CRA reveals the worlds first compostable marker

December 28, 2020 by  
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Design and innovation practice Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) recently unveiled what it claims to be the world’s first fully compostable marker. Scribit Pen cartridges are made of natural fibers and contain non-toxic, water-based ink. Scribit Pen aims to help address the issue of plastic pollution , so each component making up this compostable marker is completely eco-friendly. In addition to its natural fiber cartridges, the main barrel of the marker is made of biodegradable plastic, and the non-toxic ink is so safe, you could eat it. The design was inspired by CRA’s eponymous drawing robot (named one of the best inventions of 2019 by Time magazine) that uses markers to draw visual content on vertical surfaces. Related: Green Box — a hotel amenity kit made of compostable plastic “We are proud of Scribit’s success, and how it has empowered thousands of people around the world to change the way they draw,” said Carlo Ratti, who led the Scribit Pen design team. “However we were troubled by the amount of plastic produced by the markers that the robot uses. By developing the new Scribit pen, we can turn one of humankind’s primordial acts — drawing — into a fully sustainable one.” According to the company, the global marker industry sends more than 35 billion plastic markers into landfills each year, an amount that could cover Manhattan over 11 times. The pen barrel can be used indefinitely, as the internal components are replaceable. Buyers will have a choice between wood, bioplastic and anodized aluminum for the barrel material. These important features promote a circular economy, which replaces the “take-make-waste” linear model. CRA has worked on several other sustainable projects in product design and architecture in the past, such as the Italian Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 , which uses recycled components like orange peels and coffee grounds for construction materials, and the Circular Garden at Milan Design Week 2019 , which was made from mycelium. The Scribit Pen project is currently under development, but those interested can stay updated by signing up for the newsletter . + Scribit Images via CRA

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Katie Schindall on Cisco’s holistic approach to circular economy

November 20, 2020 by  
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Katie Schindall on Cisco’s holistic approach to circular economy This video is sponsored by Cisco. “By drawing connections across the different pieces of it, we see opportunities that we may not otherwise connect. We have a focus on operations and we work with our supply chain around reducing resource use and waste and we also have a focus on design. By focusing on our suppliers and bringing those ideas of the circular economy into how we work with our suppliers, they come up with ideas that in turn help us to achieve goals that we may have around product and packaging design.” Lauren Phipps, director & senior analyst of circular economy at GreenBiz, interviewed Katie Schindall, director of circular economy at Cisco during the VERGE 20 virtual event (October 26-30, 2020). View archived videos from the conference here: https://bit.ly/3kMjeXt . taylor flores Fri, 11/20/2020 – 08:44 Featured Off

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Innovative sanitation solution is crowned winner of VERGE Accelerate contest

November 5, 2020 by  
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Innovative sanitation solution is crowned winner of VERGE Accelerate contest Myisha Majumder Thu, 11/05/2020 – 01:00 On the last day of VERGE 20, five startups that won lightning-round pitch sessions during the Food, Carbon, Circular, Energy and Transport conference competed for the vote of the viewers. The overall winner addressed a unique blend of environmental and social concerns. This was the first year of this two-round approach, with 25 entrepreneurs pitching throughout the week in market-specific sessions, culminating in the final VERGE Accelerate round. Presenters were given less than three minutes to make a compelling argument to the audience on why their company and innovation should win this year. The overall winner, change:WATER labs , presented by Diana Yousef, founder and CEO, did just that, after winning the Circular pitch session. Yousef’s pitch began with the stark statistic that half of the world’s population lives without access to a safe, clean toilet, given lack of sewage infrastructure in their area. The common solution thus far has been offline portable toilets, which Yousef claims is an $18 billion-year investment, given the frequency of maintenance. Change:WATER labs’ iThrone creation cuts down on waste logistics by eliminating the waste inside the toilet itself and turning it into pure water. This is done through a membrane that evaporates raw sewage without any energy source and allows for a functional, safe toilet without the need for power or plumbing, Yousef said. Yousef spoke about the first deployment of iThrones in Uganda: “Currently, our first iThrones are servicing the population and providing them with safe and sustainable sanitation. Harvested vapor will provide pure water to the local hospital and dried urine salts will fertilize local agriculture.” An added benefit, Yousef noted, is that iThrone “makes sanitation much more accessible because it’s five times cheaper than comparable toilets. It cuts collection costs in half, and makes collections 20 times more scalable, demonstrating pent-up demand for this type of solution.” This cost-effective and efficient innovation has earned change:WATER labs funding from the Turkish government, the United Nations Development Program and other private-sector contractors, as well as recognition from Bloomberg , The Daily Beast and the Boston Globe . An international soil carbon offset marketplace VERGE Accelerate runner-up ConserWater Technologies, represented by CEO Aadith Moorthy, won the Carbon Pitch session earlier in the week. Moorthy’s compelling narrative began with ConserWater’s impetus five years ago: “I was traveling to a small village in South India, and I saw a funeral procession. That year, a farming family had committed suicide because the monsoon rains had failed. And that got me thinking: Why do farmers have a struggle like this? This is the face of climate change that brought me to conserve water, where we use [artificial intelligence] to help farmers to mitigate climate change at scale.” ConserWater’s software analyzes satellite data and images to help predict actionable insights about the farmland, such as soil moisture, nutrients and carbon levels, without using sensors or hardware. “We’re able to help the farmers grow more with less by optimizing their resource usage and verifiably increasing their soil carbon sequestering,” Moorthy said. The company already has global operations, and Moorthy claims ConserWater is running the world’s largest international soil carbon market, with credits associated with millions of acres of farmland that can be purchased by companies, governments or individuals for offsetting emission. According to ConserWater, farmers can make up to $40 or more per acre through the marketplace. Industry experts break with audience choice Nancy Pfund, managing partner of DBL Partners, and Meera Clark, senior associate of Obvious Ventures, two industry experts who provided feedback on the VERGE Accelerate pitches, gave Food pitch session winner eggXYt their votes. Clark justified her choice given the potential of the business, and like Pfund, saw it as having market appeal. EggXYt uses CRISPR, the gene-editing tool, to detect the genes of chicken eggs through the shell. Co-founder and CEO Yehuda Elram said the technology helps mitigate the billions of dollars that go into incubation and hatching of eggs, only to kill over 4 billion male chicks annually that are not viable for the market. EggXYt is developing what Elram calls “the ultrasound for eggs,” which allows for sex detection of chick embryos immediately after the eggs are laid and before the eggs enter the 21-day incubation process. The non-incubated male eggs can be sent to market. The other two presenters spoke about their company’s interface in the energy and electric grid. Energy pitch session winner Uprise Energy, represented by co-founder and CEO Jonathan Knight, pitched Uprise’s mobile power station. The company has created a portable renewable energy system, which can provide reliable power through the patented 10-kilowatt portable wind turbine. Knight said the portable turbine is designed to fit in a standard shipping container and only takes an hour to set up by one person. Andrew Krulewitz, co-founder and CEO of Flux, winner of the Transport pitch session, spoke about his startup’s potential role in reducing the cost barrier to electric vehicle deployment. Flux’s model offers what is essentially a power purchase agreement for EVs that helps defray the capital expenditure, with plans starting at $99 per month and 10 cents per mile. Topics Innovation VERGE 20 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off iThrone cuts down on waste logistics by eliminating the waste inside the toilet itself and turning it into pure water. Courtesy of change:WATER Close Authorship

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How to ensure circular fashion is good for people and the environment

October 9, 2020 by  
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How to ensure circular fashion is good for people and the environment Annelise Thim Fri, 10/09/2020 – 00:15 This article originally was published in the BSR Insight . The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the fashion industry into disarray, leaving supply chain workers without wages and causing major global brands to file for bankruptcy. In the United States alone, 2.1 million retail workers lost their jobs due to the crisis. In Bangladesh, the garment sector is expected to lose over a million jobs by December, with over 70,000 workers already laid off. While many underlying issues are not new to the industry, the unprecedented situation has made us acutely aware of the fragilities of our current economic system and of just how vulnerable people — especially workers and their communities — are to significant business disruption. As our society looks to build back better by emerging from the crisis with a more resilient and sustainable system, many industries are planning to integrate circularity into their recovery plans. Indeed, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, circular economic models had been sprouting up at increasing speed in the fashion industry, both to counter its enormous environmental impact and to respond to economic opportunities. The textile industry alone produces 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year and accounts for around 20 percent of global industrial water pollution . Companies, brands and designers are increasingly looking to circular fashion models, including resale, rental and repair, to mitigate these impacts. A strong signal of the circular fashion opportunity: Resale grew 25 times faster than the overall retail apparel market in 2019. While the potential positive environmental impact of a shift to a circular economy is enormous, few organizations are considering the social implications for the more than 60 million people in its value chain . Given the sheer size of the industry and the many ways people intersect throughout production and consumption, social implications, whether positive or negative, are unavoidable. Women, who comprise between 60 to 90 percent of total apparel workers, of whom an estimated 80 percent are women of color , likely will take the brunt of the impact due to their precarious working conditions and existing gender-based discrimination. BSR’s new brief, ” Taking a People-Centered Approach to a Circular Fashion Economy ,” explores the potential social impacts that may emerge from a mainstream shift to circular fashion . The textile industry alone produces 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year and accounts for around 20 percent of global industrial water pollution. Informed by BSR’s research and stakeholder engagement supported by Laudes Foundation , an independent foundation tackling the dual crises of climate change and inequality, the brief proposes opportunities for businesses, policymakers and advisers to design circular fashion business models to be inclusive and fair from the outset. In addition, we provide a set of guiding questions for companies and organizations to practically think through the social impacts of their shifts to circular fashion models, aiming to avoid and mitigate negative social impacts and more consciously target positive social impacts. “The vision of ‘circular economy’ presents an economy that is compatible with nature, but we cannot take for granted that it will be inclusive,” said Megan McGill, senior program manager at Laudes Foundation. “BSR’s work is enabling us to ensure that in our pursuit for a regenerative and restorative economy, we are actively managing and promoting the rights and equity of people touched by the fashion sector.” This current period of complex disruption presents a unique opportunity to leverage the shift to circularity to address some of the global fashion industry’s persistent and pervasive environmental and social issues. By taking a people-centered approach, we can build a more resilient industry and respond to the calls from stakeholders — through safer inputs that increase the health and safety of workers and production communities, enabling creative and dignified employment, and building inclusive models adapted to the needs of a diverse consumer base. Supported by Laudes Foundation, BSR is continuing to explore the impacts of the shift to circular fashion on job opportunities and quality — a topic largely ignored in the circular transition to date and which we begin to delve into in this brief. Our current work aims to explore and develop responses to these impacts in collaboration with fashion companies and broader industry stakeholders. In addition, we will leverage strategic foresight in developing and testing practical recommendations with special focus on the U.S., Europe and India. This brief was developed by Cliodhnagh Conlon and Annelise Thim, with input from Laura Macias and Magali Barraja and with the support of Laudes Foundation. As we delve deeper into this topic, we are keen to hear feedback and learn from others who are working to ensure that the circular fashion transition delivers benefits for people. If you are currently working on circular fashion or would like to learn more about our work, please reach out to connect with the team. Pull Quote The textile industry alone produces 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year and accounts for around 20 percent of global industrial water pollution. Contributors Cliodhnagh Conlon Topics Circular Economy Supply Chain Fashion Supply Chain Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Garment worker in Bangladesh, where the garment sector is expected to lose over a million jobs by December 2020, with over 70,000 workers already laid off. Photo by Jahangir Alam Onuchcha on Shutterstock.

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UPS is aiming to be better, not bigger

September 18, 2020 by  
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UPS is aiming to be better, not bigger When Carol Tomé joined UPS as the company’s CEO on June 1, 2020, she put a stake in the ground around social justice and equity. “We announced actions to address the racial and social justice challenges facing communities here in the U.S. and around the globe,” said Suzanne Lindsay Walker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, noting an internal equity task force and legislative advocacy. “It’s a huge focus area for us and one that I’m excited to continue and see where we go.” Related to the circular economy, Walker said UPS has an important role to play in enabling it through its own operations and its customers’ circular strategies.  John Davies, vice president and senior analyst at GreenBiz, interviewed Suzanne Lindsay Walker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, during Circularity 20, which took place August 25-27, 2020. View archived videos from the conference here . Deonna Anderson Fri, 09/18/2020 – 15:58 Featured Off

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UPS is aiming to be better, not bigger

Circular Electronics: Creating a Responsible Supply Chain, Part 1

September 16, 2020 by  
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Circular Electronics: Creating a Responsible Supply Chain, Part 1 Can we create a responsible circular supply chain for circular electronics? This more in-depth series of case studies will explore how electronics companies are designing waste out of products and offerings, including easily repairable and modular consumer electronics. This discussion explores deeper nuances of the circular economy approaches to recycling electronics.” Part one of a two-part breakout session: https://youtu.be/c4esivyFbhY Speakers Dan Reid, Senior Environmental Program Manager, Responsible Business Alliance Remco Kouwenhoven, Social Innovation Lead, Fairphone Jordan Tse, Sustainability Program Manager, Facebook Shelley Zimmer, Sustainability Program Manager, HP Holly Secon Wed, 09/16/2020 – 01:10 Featured Off

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Forging a Resilient Circular Supply Chain

September 14, 2020 by  
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Forging a Resilient Circular Supply Chain Where should supply chain management and circular strategy overlap, and how can your supply chain advance the circular economy? From repair and remanufacturing to material reclamation, there are numerous ways to fold circular principles into your company’s supply chain. But what does it take to build these circular initiatives throughout a dispersed supply chain? What ROI can these changes afford? Can a circular supply chain hold more resiliency than its linear counterpart? Join this session to hear from companies forging robust, resilient, circular supply chains. Learn about the challenges they’ve faced as well as the risk mitigation and value they’ve seen as reward. Speakers Stephanie Potter, Executive Director, Sustainability and Circular Economy, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Deborah Dull, Product Leader, GE Digital George Richter, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Cox Communications, Inc. James McCall, Senior Director, Global Climate and Supply Chain Sustainability, Procter & Gamble This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 20, August 25-27, 2020. Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 09:39 Featured Off

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Foundations of the Circular Economy

September 4, 2020 by  
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Foundations of the Circular Economy What are the basic building blocks of the circular economy, and how can they help drive opportunity and innovation across roles and sectors?   This session addresses the basics of the circular economy, from theory to action, from guiding principles to case studies spanning products, business models and system-level innovations. Much of the work in the circular economy to date has centered on deep analysis of the broader economic opportunity. This session translates the theory into practical opportunities for colleagues working in various functions within an organization and value chain.   Speakers Joe Murphy, Network Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Michelle Tulac, New York City, Activation Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation   This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 20, August 25-27, 2020. Learn more about the event here: https://events.greenbiz.com/events/circularity/online/2020   Watch our other must-see talks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDIkTxibMLM&list=PLyVZcHL_zmn6pie1MKrS3qJuXrLpTvgx9   OUR LINKS Website: https://www.greenbiz.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenbiz   LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/greenbiz-group   Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenbiz_group   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenBiz Holly Secon Fri, 09/04/2020 – 16:57 Featured Off

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Foundations of the Circular Economy

Closed Loop Partners teams with Walmart, CVS, Target to take on the plastic bag

July 24, 2020 by  
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Closed Loop Partners teams with Walmart, CVS, Target to take on the plastic bag Deonna Anderson Fri, 07/24/2020 – 01:15 Single-use plastic shopping bags are a real problem. They take decades to break down but nearly 100 billion of them are used in the United States every year to cart away goods from retailers. Fewer than 10 percent of those are recycled  — often winding up in landfills and waterways because many recyclers don’t accept them . Now, Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy is partnering with Walmart, CVS Health and Target to address that problem. Their $15 million joint Beyond the Bag Initiative  — similar to a previous collaboration focused on redesigning cups — will focus on creating solutions that reinvent shopping bags and that more effectively divert single-use plastic bags from landfills.  “By coming together to tackle the problem, we aim to accelerate the pace of innovation and the commercialization of sustainable solutions,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart, in a statement. “We hope the Beyond the Bag Initiative will surface affordable, practical solutions that meet the needs of customers and reduce plastic waste.” Together these companies and others — Kroger and Walgreens, along with Conservation International and Ocean Conservancy as environmental advisory partners — make up the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. By coming together to tackle the problem, we aim to accelerate the pace of innovation and the commercialization of sustainable solutions. “A main focus of what we do at the center is bring together corporations, nonprofits, industry groups, and others to create unexpected partnerships of competitors, to bring them together to collaborate on challenges that really no one organization can solve in isolation,” said Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. The consortium’s goals include diverting single-use plastic bags from landfills and scaling solutions that would serve the same function and replace the retail bag, through this three-year partnership. It plans multiple approaches. The first approach, which Daly named as a backbone of the initiative, centers on reimagining the design through an Innovation Challenge with OpenIDEO. That effort, which will begin accepting applications Aug. 3, will seek innovative ways to “reinvent” the retail bag. It’s open to all sorts of solutions from students, scientists and companies of all sizes, because Daly acknowledges that there will be no one silver bullet solution that will solve the plastic retail bag problem.  “Some of those [solutions] might be new material, others might be entirely new approaches to transporting what we purchase from stores to our home,” Daly said. “There might be tech-enabled or AI-enabled solutions that we haven’t learned about yet.”  Once the search ends, the group will select about a dozen winners to join the Beyond the Bag Circular Business Accelerator, which will involve mentoring, capital investment, testing and piloting. Whichever solutions win and become scalable, Daly said, “It’s really important that these options be accessible and inclusive to all the different communities across the United States.” The retail partners, which have locations across the United States, should be able to make that happen. Back in 2018, the center — along with founding partners McDonalds and Starbucks — launched its NextGen Cup Challenge, which had the goal to reduce disposable coffee cup waste. Daly said the center is taking lessons learned from that effort into this new challenge.  One of those learnings was that extensive testing is critical. For the NextGen Challenge, Daly said the group asked questions such as, “Does [the cup] hold liquids up to a certain temperature Fahrenheit? Can you comfortably hold the cup? Does the lid work with the cup? Does the coating stay on the cup? Does the coffee leak through the bottom?” For the bag reinvention, it will ask similar questions centered on identifying potential performance issues, such as: “Does the bag break?” And if it’s a new, bagless way of transporting goods, “Does it effectively prevent any sort of breakage or leaks?”  It’s really important that these options be accessible and inclusive to all the different communities across the United States. In addition to performance, the consortium plans to do environmental testing on the types of materials being used across all applications, ensuring that the materials used for a given solution — even if it’s reusable — can be recovered through recycling infrastructure. That brings us to another approach the consortium is exploring with the Beyond the Bag initiative: investments in recovery infrastructure. Daly said the group wants to ensure that the solutions — no matter which form they take — align with the recovery options at their end of life. In addition to the design and infrastructure approaches, the consortium already has started learning more about consumer behavior when it comes to plastic bags — this is another of its four approaches. It’s been asking customers about their pain points and preferences when getting their goods from a store to their homes. “We know how important it is to bring our customers along on our sustainability journey, keeping in mind that most are looking for convenience with minimal environmental impact,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president for corporate social responsibility and philanthropy and chief sustainability officer at CVS Health, in a statement. As they continue their journey, the consortium partners share a sense of urgency in addressing the issue of plastic bag waste — that’s why these unlikely collaborators are working together and acting as a collective. “We see the importance of sending a unified market signal as being really critical if you’re going to have systems-level change, and address long-standing environmental challenges,” Daly said. “The nature of bringing competitors together can help reframe the issue beyond short-term fixes and alternatives to long-lasting, systemic solutions that really take a holistic approach from production to use to reuse to recovery.” Pull Quote By coming together to tackle the problem, we aim to accelerate the pace of innovation and the commercialization of sustainable solutions. It’s really important that these options be accessible and inclusive to all the different communities across the United States. Topics Circular Economy Plastic Plastic Waste Innovation Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Source:  Emilija Miljkovic Shutterstock Emilija Miljkovic Close Authorship

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Closed Loop Partners teams with Walmart, CVS, Target to take on the plastic bag

A Circular Packaging Economy

April 14, 2020 by  
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The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected every sector of the … The post A Circular Packaging Economy appeared first on Earth911.com.

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A Circular Packaging Economy

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