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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.

GoodCompany Ventures Seeking Social Enterprises for $500,000 Acceleration Grant

Now entering its fifth year, the GoodCompany Ventures (GCV) social enterprise accelerator is an initiative aimed at finding innovative solutions to address unmet social needs through for-profit enterprises that can scale for global impact.

B Lab's 'Best for the World' List Highlights Companies Making Positive Impacts

Sungevity and Trillium Asset Management are among the 67 businesses recently recognized by B Lab’s annual “Best for the World” list, which honors companies across 20 countries and 25 industries for redefining success in business.Each company on the list is a certified B Corporation focused on solving social and environmental problems and met several standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The firms also each earned an overall score in the top 10 percent of all certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment a company's impact on its workers, community and the environment.

Nestlé Ramps Up Sustainable Design Efforts Throughout Brand Portfolio

As consumers become increasingly demanding of more social and environmental sustainability efforts from their favorite brands, Nestlé is one multinational that is responding in kind. The challenges for the world’s largest food company, however, are as complicated as the company’s long and tangled supply chain.

Global Forest Watch 2.0 Fights Deforestation With Google Technology

A new initiative unveiled this week at the United Nations Forum on Forests will use Google technology to provide real-time information to help governments, companies and communities prevent deforestation.

Project 100 Brings Classy Car-Sharing to Downtown Las Vegas

In an effort to reduce area residents’ need for vehicle ownership within a very car-dependent city, Las Vegas is getting a high-class car-sharing service.

Virgin Atlantic To Rate In-Flight Meals on Sustainability

UK airline giant Virgin Atlantic has partnered with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, a non-profit that helps UK restaurants improve environmental footprints, to have its entire global catering operation assessed for sustainability.

Global Fresh Foods Technology Enables International Salmon Shipment by Sea

Global Fresh Foods, which specializes in extending the shelf life of fresh food, recently announced it has begun using its technology to ship fresh salmon from Chile by sea to the west coast of the U.S. without using ice, environmentally harmful polystyrene foam packaging or expensive carbon emissions-heavy air freight.

Australian Social Enterprise Partners with WaterAid To Wipe Away Disease in Africa

To prepare for this year's Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) competition, we're catching up with some of our favorite entrepreneurial ventures from competitions past ... The next time you visit the loo, consider yourself lucky. While many might think little about answering nature’s call, some 2.5 billion people — or roughly 40 percent of the global population — do not have access to a toilet. In areas lacking adequate facilities, human waste can contaminate drinking water, which when combined with malnutrition, often causes gastrointestinal infections such as diarrhea.

Whole Foods Partners With Gotham Greens To Build First Commercial Rooftop Greenhouse

Whole Foods and Gotham Greens have come together to construct the country’s first commercial-scale greenhouse farm integrated within a retail grocery space in Brooklyn.

Richard Branson and Tim Berners-Lee to Judge UK Google Innovation Challenge

Google has announced an initiative to support non-profits in the United Kingdom that use technology in innovative ways to solve global problems.

Barking Up the Right Tree: How Highland Craftsmen Is Helping the Local Environment, Economy

Forestry has always been critical to the livelihood of residents in the western North Carolina Mountains, but the economically distressed area has suffered since the furniture industry mostly vacated the region. Thanks to the efforts of Marty and Chris McCurry, co-founders of Highland Craftsmen, things are changing.

Oregon Startup Pedals To Cut GHG Emissions in Portland

Portland-based startup-up B-Line says its small team of electrical-tricycle couriers has replaced 20,000 commercial truck and van deliveries since its inception in 2009.

Resource Revolution White Paper Examines Risks and Rewards of Circular Economy

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. This article first appeared on on March 20, 2013.Environmental Data Interactive Exchange (Edie), an online sustainability resource based in the UK, has published an exclusive white paper highlighting the opportunities and challenges of circular economy realization, for both businesses and the waste management industry.The report, published in association with sponsor FCC Environment and sister title Local Authority Waste & Recycling magazine, investigates the implications of closed-loop thinking as businesses start to take back waste-derived materials and energy into their supply chains.

Stanford Selects Cradle to Cradle’s William McDonough as First Living Archive

Stanford University has chosen William McDonough as its first living archive, which will include digital and hard copy artifacts from his life to give current and future generations an insight into the sustainability design leader’s mind.

Changing Consumers to Users Key To Success of Circular Economy

In January, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a new animation, focusing on the role of new business models in the transition to a regenerative circular economy."The Circular Economy: From Consumer to User" (below) is a follow-up to 2011’s "Re-Thinking Progress: The Circular Economy," a short film that offered an introduction to the circular concept and stimulated discussion around what our future economy may look like. The new video looks in more detail at one aspect of this — what if we didn’t buy the goods we use but instead favoured access and performance over ownership?

Nike, TechStars Name Nike+ Accelerator Program Winners

Nike and TechStars have announced the winners of its first Nike+ Accelerator program. Select startups are awarded the opportunity to enter a three-month program at a Nike space in Portland, Oregon to build products aimed at helping people to lead more active lives using the Nike+ and NikeFuel platforms.

Ben & Jerry’s and Ashoka Vet European Social Entrepreneurs with Join Our Core Competition

Ben & Jerry’s and Ashoka last week launched their second Join Our Core competition to find the most innovative young social entrepreneurs in Europe.

"The Interests of the Commons": Eric Lowitt on the Collaboration Economy

In this recent interview, guest editor Adam Werbach talks with Eric Lowitt, author of the forthcoming book, The Collaboration Economy (Wiley, April 2013). As Lowitt explains, the collaboration economy describes a situation in which “the interest of the commons now affects the common interest.”To illustrate the concepts explored in the book, an excerpt from a chapter of The Collaboration Economy appears below the video.

Holistic, Brand-Led EPR Initiatives Key for Achieving Benefits of Circular Economy

With three billion new middle-class consumers projected to enter the global marketplace in the coming decades[1], it is now widely acknowledged that the global economy of tomorrow will face material scarcity and supply chain insecurity at an unprecedented scale — an inevitable consequence of an industrial era based on a make/use/dispose model. These new realities have galvanized an international community of academia, NGOs, governments and corporate interests to promote new principles to guide future economic decision-making.

GM Plans To Cut Vehicle Weight Up to 15% by 2017

General Motors hopes to save as much as 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles it builds between 2011 and 2017 through reducing vehicle weight by up to 15 percent and other fuel efficiency upgrades, the company’s CEO Dan Akerson said at last week’s HIS CERAWeek energy conference.


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