Product, Service & Design Innovation

The latest products, services, design approaches and business models that are helping organizations of all sizes deliver on their sustainability ambitions and establish a new business as usual.

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Coca-Cola Taps Consumers to Drive R&D on Sugar Alternatives

In response to changing consumer preferences for ‘cleaner,’ healthier products, food and beverage giant Coca-Cola is ramping up efforts to uncover new non-sugar sweeteners for its portfolio of beverages and snacks. But instead of heading to the lab, the company is outsourcing its R&D, turning to the public to come up with a naturally sourced, low-calorie sugar alternative that mimics the taste of sugar.

Trending: Cyborg Bugs, Prickly Pears Poised to Be Next Big Things in Renewables

Step aside solar — bacteria and prickly pears could be the future of renewable, sustainable energy, according to new research in the United States and Mexico.

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Reveals Five Finalists Vying for €500K

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, one of the largest sustainable enterprise competitions in the world, has announced the five startups still in the running for a cash prize of €500,000. Finalists include innovators from France, Rwanda, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Socially Conscious Hotel Booking Platform Empowers Travelers to Create Positive Impacts

Hotel booking platform and blog Kind Traveler is changing the way consumers think about travel. Built on a socially conscious ‘Give + Get’ model, the platform aims to empower travelers to become a force of change that benefits communities, the environment and animals. In just its first year of operation, Kind Traveler has already reached 130 hotels, destinations and charities that have come together to fulfill its mission.

New Farm-to-Bottle Vodka Fights Hunger in America

A cocktail that gives back — that’s the premise for Danny Lafuente and Dan Maslow’s Simple Vodka, the latest company to enter the social enterprise space. The Idaho-based distillery aims to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the US one bottle at a time, with each sale of its gluten-free potato vodka resulting in the donation of 20 meals through partnerships with local and national hunger relief programs.

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BFI Highlights Projects Catalyzing Change in Architecture, Education, Food Systems and More

Ahead of announcing the 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge semi-finalists, the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) has unveiled some of the initiatives that were selected for the 2017 Catalyst Program, representing the top 17 percent of entries this year.

Kavita Shukla: Fighting Food Waste with FreshPaper; Rallying Women Innovators with FreshVoices

What started as a simple home remedy and a middle school science project has exploded into a viable and affordable solution for fighting food waste across the globe. During a trip to India to visit family when she was 12 years old, Kavita Shukla’s grandmother gave her a homemade tea of different spices to ward off illness after having ingested a glass of unfiltered tap water. The spicy concoction prevented Shukla from becoming sick and ultimately became the inspiration behind years of experimentation with rotting fruits and vegetables that would lead to the creation of Shukla’s revolutionary FreshPaper.

Trending: The Future of Sustainable Food Is the Stuff of Science Fiction

Organic agriculture is likely one of the first things that come to mind when considering a sustainable food future, but emerging news would suggest that it is the laboratory — not the fields — where the sustainable food revolution is taking form.

Trending: European Automakers Roll Out Retrofits to Drive Down Diesel Emissions

As the environmental impact of the internal combustion engine — particularly those powered by diesel fuel – begins to rear its ugly head, governments across the globe are cracking down on automakers to address critical air pollution problems, curb emissions and mitigate climate change.

Plug and Play Accelerators Advance Sustainable Energy, Fashion

2017 has been a busy year for global innovation platform Plug and Play.

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MIT Climate CoLab Offering $10K for Solutions for Energy, Emissions, Shifting Climate Change Attitudes

While nearly every country in the world – along with many companies, cities, regions and other organizations – has outlined goals for addressing climate change, there is still much work to be done to create the detailed implementation plans to actually achieve these goals.

Trending: New Circular Solutions Aim to Eliminate Waste from Kids' Clothing

When it comes to sustainable fashion, the contribution of children’s clothing to the textile waste problem is often overlooked. While the sector represents only 12 percent of overall market share, it constitutes a considerable portion of the 26 billion pounds of textiles entering landfills each year. Children themselves embody the fast fashion model, with their rapid growth rate requiring a constant flow of new clothing to keep up with lengthening limbs and expanding feet.

UNDP Report Reveals How Investment in Innovation is Helping Achieve SDGs

Innovation and emerging technologies are increasingly changing how international organizations are investing to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) says a new report published by the UN Development Program (UNDP) Innovation Facility.

Reporting 3.0 Launches New Business Models Blueprint, Seeks More 'Positive Mavericks'

This is part four of a four-part series on themes explored at the 4th International Reporting 3.0 Conference. Read parts one, two and three.

Tired of Waste: How Hankook Is Working to Disrupt the Tire Industry

For every single car that eats fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gases (GHGs), there are four tires propelling it down the road. Car owners know buying tires eats away at their pocketbook, but tires do more than just consume cash. The manufacture, distribution and disposal of tires contributes to pollution, and consumes rubber trees. Tire manufacturing depletes 70 percent of the world’s natural rubber. Natural rubber comes from Hevea brasiliensis, the rubber tree; 93 percent of the trees are grown in Asia, which increasingly needs rubber trees to preserve rainforests.

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5 Climate Change Solutions Advance to Biomimicry Accelerator

Nature-inspired solutions designed to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems continue to gain steam as five teams of entrepreneurs from around the world vie for the top prize at the 2017 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge.

What Archimedes Can Teach Us About Sustainable Innovation

If we could transport ourselves to Sicily about 2,250 years ago, we might get there just in time to hear Archimedes famously say, “Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I shall move the world.” He couldn’t have imagined, almost 23 centuries down the road, how urgently we would need to pull every lever available to save the health of that world and its inhabitants.

Dell, HP, Fairphone Top Greenpeace Ranking on Product Repairability

Greenpeace East Asia has released a new IT product guide ranking tech giants according to iFixit’s repairability score. Seventeen IT brands were represented in the study and over 40 best-selling smartphones, tablets and laptops launched between 2015 and 2017 were assessed.

IKEA Bootcamp Giving US Startups 'Head Start' Into Incubator Program

Late last month, IKEA and entrepreneurial cooperative Rainmaking announced the launch of a new startup accelerator, IKEA Bootcamp, which will run from September 18 until December 8, 2017. The program will see startups create solutions for three challenges outlined by IKEA: creating products that are affordable, accessible and have positive impact on both people and planet.

Nestlé Lends Expertise to Terra Startup Accelerator to Shape Future of Food, Agriculture Industries

Expanding its commitment to innovation in the food industry, Nestlé has teamed up with Rabobank and Rocketspace to support startups through the Terra Food + Agtech Accelerator Program. The food giant will collaborate with Terra to select and coach the most forward-thinking and disruptive startups in the food and agricultural industries.

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