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CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Nestlé UK and Unilever are among organizations coming together on a new project aiming to improve the recyclability of flexible packaging products, in the hope of pushing the resource industry closer towards a circular economic approach.
SUPPLY CHAIN - Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has appointed Anthesis Group to develop and manage a single online sustainability community spanning the retailer’s supply base.
SUPPLY CHAIN - On Monday, Archroma, a global producer of textile dyes and specialty chemicals, launched a new range of products created from agricultural waste. In addition, the company is utilizing the latest in communications technology to enable transparency of the supply chain to consumers.
PRESS RELEASE - EnerG2, a Seattle-based company manufacturing advanced carbon materials for next-generation energy storage devices, and BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, today announced a strategic partnership. EnerG2 and BASF entered into a comprehensive collaboration to improve and scale-up the production of EnerG2’s proprietary carbon materials for use in supercapacitor electrodes and as a performance additive in start-stop lead-acid batteries. Both technologies play an important role in short-term energy storage for automotive and industrial applications.
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The Boeing ecoDemonstrator 787 has begun flight testing more than 25 new technologies aimed at improving aviation's environmental performance through every phase of flight.The program accelerates the testing, refinement and use of new technologies and methods that can improve efficiency and reduce noise. Boeing says this new round of testing, using 787 Dreamliner ZA004, will evaluate software and connectivity technologies related to operational efficiency; remote sensors to reduce wiring; aerodynamic and flight control improvements for greater fuel efficiency, and icephobic wing coatings to reduce ice accumulation.Technologies being tested include:
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - India-based social enterprise Spring Health has announced plans to join the Business Call to Action (BCtA) and provide safe drinking water to two million customers in rural India by 2017 to improve the health outcomes of more than five million people in Eastern India by 2019.Spring Health is the Indian counterpart of US-headquartered Windhorse International, founded by entrepreneur Paul Polak with Indian partner Jacob Mathew and CEO Kishan Nanavati.
CLEANTECH - Microsoft, Siemens and FuelCell Energy have come together to build what they claim is the first zero-carbon, waste-to-energy data center in the U.S.Microsoft's data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming uses biogas produced at the nearby Dry Creek facility, which is a byproduct of municipal wastewater treatment. Anaerobic bacteria produce the biogas while stabilizing solids removed from wastewater. The fuel cell electrochemically converts the biogas into electricity to power the Microsoft IT server container. Virtually no air pollutants are released because of the absence of combustion.
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The circular economy and water stewardship dominated the morning’s agenda on the final day of SB ’14 London. After leading us through a host of thought-provoking plenary presentations Tuesday morning, our two event MCs - Forum for the Future chief executive Sally Uren and The Guardian’s executive editor Jo Confino – expressed their enthusiasm for the ideology that underpins the circular economy.Confino felt it was a concept that could go mainstream. “Business can buy into it easily as it doesn’t fight against the current capitalist system,” he said, while Uren was optimistic about the level of brand innovation it could potentially unlock.
PRESS RELEASE - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH establish joint laboratoryResearch institute and BASF subsidiary cooperating to further develop thin film superconductorsKarlsruhe and Rheinbach, October 29th, 2014 – The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH have made it their goal to develop tailored high-temperature superconductors for energy technology applications. The research institute and the BASF subsidiary New Business GmbH have signed relevant cooperation agreements.
WASTE NOT - The Basel Action Network (BAN) has announced they are bringing to market an online trading platform that will allow businesses to easily recycle used electronics with some of the world's most responsible electronic waste recyclers — those certified to the e-Stewards® Standard.The e-Stewards® Marketplace, developed in cooperation with industry leaders and Seattle-based technology company Retrace, has been enthusiastically supported by e-Stewards recyclers and companies such as LG Electronics, as well as the data protection services firm Tabernus, which have expressed their intent to use the site for their electronic asset disposition or services.
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - For businesses looking to make their businesses leaner and greener, taking a look at the drinking water they provide for their employees is one place to start. The average full-time employee drinks about 2.5 gallons of water per month at the office — and that does not include the water used to make coffee or other hot drinks. Clearly a business looking to be more sustainable is going to ditch bottled water because of the heaps of plastic involved. Tap water is the cheapest option, but the filtration systems often have their own costs and waste issues. Now a southern California startup, Skywell, is pitching atmospheric water-generator systems, which extract water out of the air with its advanced water generators.
MARKETING AND COMMS - Microsoft has met its carbon neutrality commitment through internal efficiency projects, the purchase of more than 3 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy and a carbon offset project portfolio representing more than 600,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to the software company’s 2014 Citizenship Report.The company also achieved its goal for all new data centers to have an average 1.125 Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), one-third less than the industry average datacenter PUE of 1.7.
BEHAVIOR CHANGE - eBay, Kindle and Skype are some of the best apps for creating sustainable behaviors, according to a new study by WSP, a global professional services consultancy.eBay ranked highest due to its huge popularity and ability to make selling unwanted goods uncomplicated, which cuts waste and reduces the need to buy new goods. WSP says. Of all the apps measured eBay was the best promoter of the circular economy. The Kindle app came second as it was also one of the most downloaded apps, avoiding the need to buy a separate reader and the need to print and distribute paper books.
CLEANTECH - Southwest Airlines has signed an agreement with Red Rock Biofuels (RRB) to purchase approximately three million gallons of low carbon renewable jet fuel per year.The biofuels are made using forest residues that will help reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in the Western United States. RRB’s first plant will convert approximately 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass feedstock into at least 12 million gallons per year of renewable jet, diesel and naphtha fuels.The blended product will be used in Southwest’s San Francisco Bay Area operations with first delivery expected in 2016.
WASTE NOT - Novelis, global producer of aluminum rolling products, today opened the world's largest aluminum recycling center, located adjacent to the company's rolling mill in Nachterstedt, Germany.The $258 million recycling center will process up to 400,000 metric tons of aluminum scrap annually, turning it back into high-value aluminum ingots to feed the company's European manufacturing network.The Nachterstedt Recycling Center features state-of-the-art technology for aluminum scrap sorting, de-coating, melting and casting. The facility gives Novelis the flexibility to process a wide range of scrap types, creating a more efficient closed-loop recycling system and increasing Europe's domestic scrap consumption. Around 200 employees will work at the new facility.
CLEANTECH - CO2 Solutions, an enzyme-enabled carbon capture technology company, has partnered with the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to test its technology at EERC’s testing facility using natural gas and coal flue gas in December.The program's goal is to evaluate several CO2 capture technologies that are among the most advanced systems under development for power and steam-generation plants.
NEW METRICS - Rounding out the final afternoon of Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ‘14, Susan Hunt Stevens, founder & CEO of WeSpire, led a candid, data-rich conversation with representatives from TD Bank, Intel and CA Technologies about their employee engagement programs.“These three people are doing really amazing work not only in employee engagement, but more importantly, connecting employee engagement to broader business value and key HR metrics,” Stevens said.
NEW METRICS - Straight through to the end of the final day, #NewMetrics ’14 continued to introduce ideas and tools for gathering intelligence from previously unavailable or unusable data, as panelists from all over the world gathered to share their experiences, tools, tips and lessons learned.
NEW METRICS - There is power in the data that a crowd can provide — business- and future-shaping data. The final breakout session at Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ‘14 conference in Boston highlighted definitions and examples of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to achieve a stated social purpose. The following four approaches to big data are exciting experiments in social change driven by the crowd.
CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - BASF, Cargill and Novozymes have announced the achievement of another milestone in their joint development of technologies to produce acrylic acid from renewable raw materials. The team has demonstrated the successful conversion of 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) to glacial acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers — polymers that can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of a liquid relative to their own mass, commonly found in products ranging from diapers and other hygiene products. The team has selected the process for further scale-up.