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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Trending: Mezcal, Crab Shells Fuel Circular Solutions for Food Waste, Pollution, Packaging

Inventive circular solutions to the world’s most pressing problems continue to stream in, with entrepreneurs and researchers across North America uncovering creative new ways to transform food waste into drivers of sustainable change.

Nissan Harnesses Power of Electricity to Improve Access to Energy, Mobility, Disaster Relief

The renewable and electric vehicle markets may be growing at an unprecedented rate, but approximately 1.3 billion people around the world still live in communities where power generation is restricted and access to electricity is virtually non-existent.

EU Launches Tool to Embed Circularity, Sustainability into Built Environment

The European Commission has launched the pilot of a new framework for sustainable buildings in partnership the World Green Building Council.

Trending: Flyleather, ACR Advance Circular Textiles; But Is True Circularity a 'Fantasy'?

Putting sustainability at the heart of the fashion industry is no easy feat, but key players across the value chain continue to demonstrate that they’re up to the task. Building on the success of its Flyknit process, which allows synthetic yarn to be woven into practically seamless shoe uppers, Nike has unveiled its latest sartorial innovation: Flyleather — a sustainable leather material made with 50 percent recycled leather fiber.

Discovery Leverages Vitality Shared-Value Insurance to Make 10M People Healthier by 2018

Earlier this week, financial services group Discovery outlined the growth in scale and impact of its Vitality Shared-Value Insurance model. Since launching Vitality 20 years ago, Discovery has invested considerably in building a platform that serves a global network of insurers, providing access to the Vitality brand, product offerings, technological innovations, actuarial and data insights and program assets. The Global Vitality Network now operates in 16 countries across North America, Europe, pan-Asia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, serving around 10 million clients through seven insurers.

TechForGood: The Israeli Incubator Helping Investors ‘Get’ Social-Tech Startups

It’s easy to see why Israel refers to itself as the “startup nation.” With a population of just 8.4 million people, the success of its small-to-scale business landscape is widely acknowledged as something of a miracle, home to more startups than any other country in the world. Today, Israel has more Nasdaq-listed companies than any country outside the US and China. It also has more venture capital per capita. In 2016, Israeli startups raised a record $4.8 billion in venture funding, and saw exits worth $9.2 billion. If you want help in starting a business – especially if it’s tech-based – heading to Israel is a safe bet right now.

How Brands Are Embedding Eco-Design at Scale

Eco-design is now synonymous with new product development (NPD). Sustainable businesses and brands have understood that to remain resilient and competitive, product eco-design must be at the heart of their corporate strategies. This requires a considerable amount of buy-in and commitment across every level of an organization and requires a disruptive approach to business-as-usual practices and procedures. Quantis is helping to lead this seismic shift, working with industry leaders to integrate sustainability at every level, driving systemic change with action informed by solid, science-based metrics.

Trending: 3D Tech Poised to Revolutionize Garment Industry

While alternative materials have largely been dominating the discussion around the future of fashion, startups and industry heavy hitters are like are now looking to 3D-printing technology to revolutionize the apparel market.

Trending: Auto Industry Introduces Scrappage Schemes for Diesel Vehicles Across Europe, UK

Scrappage schemes seem to be popping up almost daily as auto manufacturers across the UK and Europe ramp up efforts to drive polluting vehicles off the roads in anticipation of tightening governments regulations on air quality and emissions.

Circular Homeware Startup to Disrupt Global Furniture Industry with Landfill-to-Lifestyle Model

A pioneering new sustainable homeware and accessories brand has emerged on the market and is ready to radically transform the way furniture is made forever. Materials sourcing is where digital furniture startup Pentatonic sets itself apart from its industry counterparts, with its line of contemporary designer homeware fabricated entirely from post-consumer waste.

Trending: New Tech Helping Everlane, M&S Clean Up the Dirty Business of Denim

Jeans are a sartorial staple for consumers around the world, but denim is a ‘dirty’ business. The production process generates a considerable amount of waste water, which is often released — untreated — back into the environment, contaminating water sources and soil with chemicals and heavy metals. Poor practices and lack of regulation are having a negative impact on the health of local populations, with communities near denim manufacturing hubs demonstrating significantly higher instances of reproductive and fertility problems, as well as chemical poisoning.

BASF, bse Engineering Team Up to Transform CO2, Excess Current Into Valuable Raw Materials

BASF and bse Engineering have signed an exclusive joint development agreement for BASF to provide custom catalysts for a new chemical energy storage process. The process will enable the economically viable transformation of excess current and off-gas carbon dioxide into methanol in small-scale delocalized production units.

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.

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.

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