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Crowdsourcing solutions for global problems with ClimateCoLab
Crowdsourcing solutions for global problems with ClimateCoLab

PRESS RELEASE - Online voting open in 18 contests addressing climate changeVoting is open in the fourth annual Climate CoLab contests, a series of crowdsourced competitions addressing specific aspects of climate change. The contests rely on the power of collective intelligence, inviting and including ideas from all corners of the world to address global climate change.

How Ben & Jerry's and NativeEnergy Helped a Vermont Dairy Farmer Turn Waste Into a Resource
How Ben & Jerry's and NativeEnergy Helped a Vermont Dairy Farmer Turn Waste Into a Resource

WASTE NOT - Dairy farmer Chris Wagner, owner of the Green Dream Farm in Enosburg Falls, Vermont, has a new setup that provides him with low-cost bedding for his herd and reduces the greenhouse gas produced by his cows. Wagner was able to install the technology by partnering with fellow Vermonters NativeEnergy, a carbon-offset and project-development company, and Ben & Jerry’s, the iconic ice cream maker.Wagner’s new equipment processes his cow manure and then composts it. The resulting product is sanitary and makes excellent bedding for his milking herd. As a result, Wagner will no longer have to purchase wood shavings and will see significant savings in the cost of bedding.

Survey: 81% of Chemical Producers Now Aim to Be Frontrunner in Sustainability
Survey: 81% of Chemical Producers Now Aim to Be Frontrunner in Sustainability

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Sustainable chemical technology company Genomatica has published the results of a major survey of sustainability issues in the mainstream chemical industry that shows the topic is now considered a high priority in the field, with Genomatica itself ranking alongside industry giants such as BASF and Dow that come to mind when respondents think of those leading the charge.

Diners in Austin, NYC Going Halfsies to Address Obesity, Food Waste, Hunger
Diners in Austin, NYC Going Halfsies to Address Obesity, Food Waste, Hunger

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Controlling the size of your portions is a great way to save money, food and unnecessary health problems caused by obesity. Eating out, on the other hand, takes that control away from you — unless you go for a restaurant that’s signed up for Halfsies. Launched at the end of 2012 in Texas and New York, it’s an initiative that lets you donate half of your food before it even gets to the table. Apart from the warm, fuzzy feeling you'll get from giving, your waistline will be thankful as well.

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Datacoup Lets Users Unlock the Value of Their Personal Data for Cash, Insights
Datacoup Lets Users Unlock the Value of Their Personal Data for Cash, Insights

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Datacoup, “The World’s First Personal Data Marketplace,” launched Thursday, providing a platform for individuals to aggregate, analyze and sell their own personal data. After a successful beta period with over 1,200 active users testing new site features and receiving money for their data, the service is primed to welcome 10,000+ individuals on its waiting list, as well as the general public, to its platform.

AT&T Energy Director to Expand Focus to Include Smarter Buildings
AT&T Energy Director to Expand Focus to Include Smarter Buildings

PRESS RELEASE - John Schinter, who was hired as AT&T’s first Director of Energy in 2009, was recently appointed Assistant Vice President of Energy and Smart Buildings. While continuing with his current role to oversee company-wide energy management efforts, Schinter’s focus will expand to include the deployment of new M2M and big data solutions to optimize facility equipment operational performance and reliability.

Unilever and Internet.org partner to understand better how internet access can be increased to help communities across India
Unilever and Internet.org partner to understand better how internet access can be increased to help communities across India

PRESS RELEASE - Press OfficeUnilever  PLC, 100VictoriaEmbankment,London,EC4Y 0DYEmail: [email protected]    Web: www.unilever.com24 February 2014UNILEVER AND INTERNET.ORG PARTNER TO UNDERSTAND BETTER HOW INTERNET ACCESS CAN BE INCREASED TO HELP COMMUNITIES ACROSS INDIA Today, Unilever announced a partnership with Internet.org, a Facebook-led alliance of partners, to understand better how internet access can be increased to reach millions more people across rural India. 

IKEA Solar Lighting Campaign Seeks to Brighten Lives of Refugees in UN Camps
IKEA Solar Lighting Campaign Seeks to Brighten Lives of Refugees in UN Camps

COLLABORATION - The IKEA Foundation has launched a two-month campaign to raise funds to provide solar-powered lighting and other renewable energy technologies to UN refugee camps run through the sale of light bulbs in its stores around the world.For every LEDARE model LED bulb sold at IKEA from February 3 until March 29, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Grass-Powered Mower Could Be Game-Changer for Suburban Lawns, Developing Nations Alike
Grass-Powered Mower Could Be Game-Changer for Suburban Lawns, Developing Nations Alike

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - Mowing the grass results in a lot of wasted biomass that could probably be put to better use. EcoMow is a small, self-fueled mower and grass pellet harvester that uses freshly cut grass as fuel and processes the biomass that it doesn’t use into a dried pellet form that can be used for other applications such as heating or power generation.

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Yerdle Becomes First Nationwide Sharing Retailer with New, Low-Cost Shipping Option
Yerdle Becomes First Nationwide Sharing Retailer with New, Low-Cost Shipping Option

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Yerdle, the online marketplace where shoppers in the greater San Francisco and New York City areas can give and get things for free, today becomes available across the country by providing low-cost, flat rate shipping for $2-4 nationwide. Yerdle has also updated its iPhone app to offer enhanced discovery browsing, a re-designed home screen, a new social “activity feed,” and a simplified shopping cart.

Japanese Firm Builds First Large-Scale Power Storage System From EV Batteries
Japanese Firm Builds First Large-Scale Power Storage System From EV Batteries

WASTE NOT - Japanese multinational corporation Sumitomo has developed and installed the world's first large-scale power storage system that utilizes used electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. Built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, the commercial scale storage system will begin operating later this month.Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby Hikari-no-mori solar farm, and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future.

Sustainia Seeking 100 Game-Changing Solutions & Technologies for Third Annual Sustainia100
Sustainia Seeking 100 Game-Changing Solutions & Technologies for Third Annual Sustainia100

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - What are the 100 solutions that can bring about a sustainable society? Scandinavian think tank Sustainia has launched its third annual global campaign to find the answers. With a worldwide alliance of companies and organizations, the goal is to identify the world’s 100 leading sustainability projects and technologies across sectors such as food, fashion, energy, smart homes etc. Collectively, the solutions will form the 2014 Sustainia100, a comprehensive guide to state-of-the-art sustainability practices in various industries and regions.

With New Worker-Engagement Technologies, 18 Million Is Just the Beginning
With New Worker-Engagement Technologies, 18 Million Is Just the Beginning

SUPPLY CHAIN - It has the potential to benefit 173 million workers in global supply chains and provide livelihood benefits or savings of US $30 billion annually, according to Vodafone and Accenture.What is the ‘it’? It’s a series of six disruptive opportunities for mobile to enhance the lives of workers in global supply chains. Details are laid out in their report, Connected Worker: How mobile technology can improve working life in emerging economies, with corresponding reach, benefits and business case for each of the six:

New Video Highlights adidas' New Attention to Pattern Efficiency
New Video Highlights adidas' New Attention to Pattern Efficiency

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - adidas has announced new advances in how it develops key apparel ranges to reduce waste while maintaining performance and style. Both the Running and adidas by Stella McCartney teams have worked to change the way they make patterns to increase the efficiency of their new product ranges by reducing fabric waste.The company created a short animation, in collaboration with Big Animal Productions, to highlight this conscientious new design and production process:

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New Apple Patent Could Yield Solar-Powered Mac Books
New Apple Patent Could Yield Solar-Powered Mac Books

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - Solar-powered Mac Books? Apple recently was granted a patent for an “electronic device display module” that could make the idea a reality.The patent essentially is for a dual-sided laptop display: The front of the lid would house a common LCD, and the backside would be constructed from electrochromic glass atop photovoltaic cells and touch sensors — a fancy way of saying “solar panels.”The lid would absorb energy from the sun to charge the laptop and/or offer longer battery life, according to the patent filing. The light energy gathered also could be used to illuminate the logo, and the rear of the lid could be used for touch input commands such as media controls, pass codes and other uses.

Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste
Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste

WASTE NOT - Pulp Green Tech Holding (PGT), an R&D-focused company that owns Thai Gorilla Pulp Ltd., announced this week that it has successfully achieved a high-grade paper pulp made from empty palm fruit bunches, which are most often treated as waste material from the palm oil extraction process.The company estimates that roughly 95 percent, or 300 million tons, of this raw material is currently discarded per year.PGT says the process is highly cost-efficient and will enable investors, palm oil producers and paper pulp mills to achieve ROI of over 100% in the first year of operation, assuming the pulp is sold at a price of comparable non-wood materials.

New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy
New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy

CLEANTECH - New York recently made available $21 million to help the state’s dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy.Most of the funding — $20 million — is available through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to generate electricity and heat from organic wastes. Food processing manufacturers, farms or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

Sprint Takes HFC Technology to Rooftops with Help from Department of Energy
Sprint Takes HFC Technology to Rooftops with Help from Department of Energy

CLEANTECH - Sprint announced today it will deploy hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology as backup power to its rooftop network sites thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE). The solution should allow for lower site maintenance and cleaner network energy sources and will increase network survivability during power outages.

Unilever, Pepsi, M&S Launch App to Further Sustainable Agriculture Worldwide
Unilever, Pepsi, M&S Launch App to Further Sustainable Agriculture Worldwide

ICT AND BIG DATA - A group of global food and beverage companies are using the launch of a new carbon-management web app to call for greater industry collaboration on agricultural sustainability.Members of The Cool Farm Institute (CFI) — including PepsiCo, Unilever, Heineken, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Yara and Fertilizers Europe — have spearheaded the development of an online tool to help farmers assess and improve the environmental and economic performance of their businesses.

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Imagining the Strange [Un]Sustainable New World of Tomorrow: 4 Mega Trends
Imagining the Strange [Un]Sustainable New World of Tomorrow: 4 Mega Trends

STAKEHOLDER TRENDS AND INSIGHTS - This post was originally written for and published on CSRwire's Commentary section, Talkback, on January 7, 2014.No, this is not another “looking at 2014” piece. I am more interested in looking a little further ahead. The world we live in has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and there are larger trends changing the world in ways we can hardly imagine.

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