An article by Fraser Owen, 2degreescommunity.
Covering developments in innovation across 142 countries, the Sustainia100 is a much anticipated annual publication, showcasing the gadgets, gizmos, technologies and trends currently being deployed and driving sustainable change in organizations the world over.
The study – covering efforts to make the fashion and food industries, homes, offices and transportation systems more efficient and sustainable – is a result of research into more than 900 technologies and projects. And, “while we don’t have the luxury of time to fix the problem of unsustainable development,” as Raj Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change puts it, “we do have a wealth of readily available solutions. And with Sustainia100, we now know where to find the most inspiring of them”.
The list is certainly a broad church of innovation. But there are clearly three key drivers for the market-ready 100: circular economy products; data analytic services; and improved sustainability practices throughout the supply chain.
“The circular economy is a growing focus area,” says Laura Storm, director of Sustainia. “Clever use of materials is a key innovation driver; companies re-think consumption, waste, materials and return-systems at impressive scale.”
Here’s my Top 10 solutions from across the 10 different categories:
Salt water air-conditioners Advantix Systems
A new air-conditioning technology based on a non-toxic ‘salt water’ solution that dehumidifies and cleans the air while saving energy and improving the indoor climate. The system’s upfront costs are comparable to conventional systems and, in humid climates, save 30% to 50% on running costs, according to Advantix.
Harvesting larvae from waste for animal feed AgriProtein Technologies
MagMeal uses fly larvae for animal feed, generating compost from waste and providing a natural alternative to soy and fishmeal – which, in turn, reduces pressure on ocean fish supplies. An estimated 10 tons of CO2 are generated per ton of fishmeal produced. MagMeal produces just two tons
Self-sufficient solar street lighting Bjarne Schläger Design and Alfred Priess
The Touché streetlight combines aesthetics with solar energy that self-sufficiently illuminate public places around the world. Replacing just one traditional lamp post of around 100 watt/h translates into 400 kWh of electricity saved annually, according to Bjarne Schläger Design.
Second-generation biofuel for commercial flights LATAM Airlines Group and Honeywell
Colombia is the latest country to host a commercial flight using second-generation biofuel made from natural oils mixed with conventional jet fuel. According to Honeywell, Green Jet Fuel can offer a 65% to 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Menstrual pads made from banana fiber Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE)
Reclaiming an abundant resource – banana fiber agro-waste – to produce a menstrual pad that addresses the overlooked demand for affordable access to menstrual products in the developing world. In Rwanda, SHE estimates the menstruation-related loss in productivity and schooling reduces GDP by $115m a year.
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