Cambridge students create the UKs most efficient solar-powered electric car

November 12, 2019 by  
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Undergraduate students at Cambridge University have teamed up with Formula 1 engineering experts and Bridgestone to design and build Helia — a solar-powered electric car that is so energy efficient, it can travel more than 500 miles at 50 miles per hour on the same amount of power it takes to boil a kettle. The student team, known as Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER), equipped the aerodynamic and lightweight vehicle with an extremely high-energy density battery pack to achieve more than double the range of a Tesla Model 3, while being just a quarter of the size. To show off its features, Helia recently competed in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019, a renowned solar car race where 40 to 50 teams race 1,864 miles from Darwin to Adelaide. Related: Meet ‘Blade’, the world’s first 3D-printed hypercar In designing Helia, CUER pushed the boundaries of automotive battery technology and aerodynamics. Portsmouth-based Formaplex, a manufacturer of lightweight components for high-powered supercars and Formula 1 teams, created Helia’s ultra-lightweight, carbon-fiber chassis and body panels, making it possible for the four-seat family car to weigh just 1,200 pounds without compromising structural integrity. The aerodynamic build is coupled with low rolling-resistant tires — developed in collaboration with Bridgestone — to significantly enhance the electric car’s overall energy efficiency. The solar-powered Helia is equipped with high-performance lithium-ion battery packs produced in collaboration with Silverstone-based vehicle electrification company Danecca. Although electrical issues prevented the team from progressing past the first stage of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019, they are optimistic about taking Helia to other solar races in Europe and beyond. “Helia was designed to demonstrate the technology behind electric vehicles and renewable energy and will visit schools next summer with the aim of inspiring the next generation of engineers,” said Xiaofan Zhang, CUER’s program director. “We have plenty of positives to take forward and are already in search of our next challenge.” + Cambridge University Eco Racing Images via CUER

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Cambridge students create the UKs most efficient solar-powered electric car

Tom Chi on making ecological regeneration an imperative for tech

November 5, 2019 by  
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Tom Chi, a founding team member of Google X, talks about the opportunities for humanity to leverage technology and become a net positive to nature.

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Tom Chi on making ecological regeneration an imperative for tech

EIT Food Marketplace disrupts the industry with additive-free beverages, veggie milk and more

October 16, 2019 by  
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Earlier this month in Munich, new trends in sustainable food were featured at the annual Food Marketplace event hosted by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) . The future of food appears to emphasize clean, sustainable eating that boosts personal and planetary health. The EIT Food Marketplace serves as a venue for innovators to pitch their game-changing or disruptive ideas in front of investors and corporate partners to accelerate market entry. The recent event hosted 25 invited startups from across Europe. New ideas that were proposed by these startups included a new vegetable milk , a software that targets healthier nutrition and diets for hospital patients as well as fruit chips for breakfast cereal made from discarded bananas. Related: Climate fears affecting meat, bottled beverage and plastic production industries Ultimately, this year’s winner was “Air up Gmbh” for its innovative bottle, from which mineral water is sipped through a straw. “Taste” is given to the mineral water by aromatic sponges in the lid that provide a “pretend” taste, free of artificial flavors. As Air up Gmbh CEO and founder Jannis Koppitz explained, “While you suck through the straw and drink at the same time, our palate communicates the mix then as the taste. Thanks to the replaceable aroma sponges, this can be anything from mango to lime to cucumber.” In other words, with this method, drinks of the future will need no additives nor sugar, thereby providing a revolutionized, healthier beverage to quench one’s thirst. “In terms of healthy nutrition and new techniques, we want to offer a platform with a lot of publicity to young junior researchers. It is the responsibility of EIT Food, on behalf of the EU and as a transformer, to make the food system fit for the future with the help of innovations,” said Dr. Georg Schirrmacher, director of EIT Food in Germany. “ Sustainability , healthy nutrition and new ways of training at universities are crucial factors. But each and every one of us can help transform the food system worldwide with well-considered decisions on what to buy and what to eat.” Thanks to this year’s successful Food Marketplace, another is scheduled for next year. EIT Food, after all, strives to achieve its strategic agenda of “creating consumer-valued food for healthier nutrition, enhanced sustainability through resource stewardship and supportive food entrepreneurship” by integrating education, business creation and innovation. + EIT Food Image via Aline Ponce

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EIT Food Marketplace disrupts the industry with additive-free beverages, veggie milk and more

5 startups unlocking the mobility revolution

October 15, 2019 by  
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From data to electrification, these entpreneurs are surmounting barriers to reaching an equitable, sustainable mobility future and empowering first movers to act.

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5 startups unlocking the mobility revolution

Making buildings the next great climate project

October 15, 2019 by  
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Sponsored: Buildings are the next frontier for carbon emissions reduction and businesses should leverage a holistic approach.

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Making buildings the next great climate project

Why this cold storage warehouse operator warmed up to artificial intelligence

October 10, 2019 by  
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TK

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Why this cold storage warehouse operator warmed up to artificial intelligence

Technology uses banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic

September 20, 2019 by  
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Plastic pollution negatively impacts the health of our planet. Waste management has led to an irreversible environmental crisis that is felt by wildlife, especially in the oceans. One organization, called Banana Leaf Technology, is helping to address the stark reality by proposing banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic . Using 100 percent organic banana leaves as raw material, the novel, eco-friendly preservation technology transforms the cellular structure by enhancing its properties so that the leaves remain green for an entire year without any chemicals. Plus, their shelf lifespan is extended to up to three years. Related: Bananatex launches a sustainable material revolution at Milan Design Week After the preservation process, the enhanced leaves have increased load-bearing capabilities, resistance to extreme temperatures, durability, elasticity and flexibility. Banana Leaf Technology’s website additionally states that the processed leaves are more pathogen-resistant with antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. How does it do this? The technology fortifies the banana leaves’ cell walls and prevents pathogenic agents from degrading the processed biomaterial’s cells. Currently, Banana Leaf Technology offers 30 products that utilize its preservation methods. These products include plates, cups, cones, boxes, writing paper and envelopes. Because the patented Banana Leaf Technology is customizable, other products are expected to be developed in the future, such as natural packaging alternatives. Banana Leaf Technology products provide several advantages. Besides curtailing the destructive damages to wildlife and landfills, using preserved banana leaf products decreases the risks of plastic leaching byproducts and toxins into food and beverages, making them a far healthier cookware, dinnerware and food storage alternative to plastic. Moreover, after their primary use, they can, in turn, serve as animal fodder or garden fertilizer to make soil more arable. First formulated in 2010 by Tenith Adithyaa, a precocious 11-year-old who was working in his homemade laboratory, the now-patented Banana Leaf Technology has since received seven international awards. The company’s mission, according to its website, is “to solve the global climate crisis without compromising the economy.” Adithyaa’s vision is to make Banana Leaf Technology “available to all human beings, regardless of their geographical and economical boundaries.” Interestingly, the company’s current business model is to “sell the tech license worldwide to any company” that shares in Adithyaa’s vision. The website elaborates further, stipulating that “any commercial or non-commercial company can purchase the license to this technology by technology transfer. The license will be granted for lifetime to operate worldwide.” + Banana Leaf Technology Images via Banana Leaf Technology and Pkraemer

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Technology uses banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic

Google and WeWork are building workplaces of the future

August 19, 2019 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: How to preserve meaningful human connections in tech-infused workplaces of the future.

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Google and WeWork are building workplaces of the future

Helsinki launches a sustainability app for the city

August 15, 2019 by  
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Finland’s capital city of Helsinki launched a sustainability app this summer that lets residents, tourists and business owners make smarter daily choices that contribute to the metropolis’ goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035. Think Sustainably launched in June 2019 and helps users decide on activities, transportation options and shops by toggling specific sustainability filters to find choices that best suit their preferences and meet environmental metrics. “Individual choices matter,” said Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, the director of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative. “If one person in each of the 2.6 million households existing in Finland would reduce their carbon footprint by 20 percent, we would reach 38 percent of the goals set for Finland in the Paris climate agreement for reducing emissions.” Related: 14 apps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle Helsinki is already recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly cities. After New York City led the charge, Helsinki was the second urban metropolis to report directly to the United Nations about its progress on the Sustainable Development Goals . According to a citywide survey from 2018, more than two-thirds of all Helsinki residents reported concern about climate change and the future of their city. In response, city officials teamed up with community groups and sustainability experts to develop an app that helps people make more eco-friendly decisions at the individual level. The Think Sustainably app touches on every major aspect of sustainable living, including transportation, food options, waste practices, biodiversity , green jobs, energy and environmental justice. There is also a checklist of ways that business owners can become more sustainable, and the city certifies shops only if they complete a majority of the recommended measures. The sustainable living app relies on self-reporting from businesses instead of a laborious auditing system, and the businesses are held accountable by customers’ reviews. “ Helsinki is the perfect test-bed for solutions that can later be scaled-up for the world’s megacities,” said Laura Aalto, CEO at Helsinki Marketing. “Operating like a city-scale laboratory, Helsinki is eager to experiment with policies and initiatives that would not be possible elsewhere … we hope that others can also learn from our experiments.” + Think Sustainably Via Dezeen Images via Think Sustainably

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Helsinki launches a sustainability app for the city

Innovator BanQu builds blockchain and bridges for traceability, small farmers’ livelihoods

August 14, 2019 by  
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Companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and Mars have allied with the company to help customers better understand their product origins and sustainability.

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Innovator BanQu builds blockchain and bridges for traceability, small farmers’ livelihoods

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