research & reports
Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Biomimicry is the practice of drawing inspiration from nature to solve human problems and inspire innovation. A small but growing number of products now imitate natural plants and animals, with untapped opportunity for manufacturers to acknowledge the potential application of biomimetic techniques in their processes and products.
– Consider emerging opportunities and threats in the CPG market and gain insight into potential future consumer behavior.
– Identify interesting new and emerging concepts, products, and ideas on offer in retail, foodservice, online spaces, and beyond.
– Understand how new concepts and ideas fit into – or challenge – current consumer trends.
– Gain insight and inspiration for innovation programs and new product development.
Consumption is outstripping bio-capacity. As the pressure on the planet’s limited resources increases, interest in sustainability will only heighten. Therefore, bio-utilization – using biological ingredients in product formulations – is being increasingly replaced with more sustainable ways of obtaining natural ingredients.
If climate goes the way most scientists predict, then “resilience” is a word we’ll read ever more often. Last weekend I attended “Design 4 Resilience” and here is an example of what emerged:
Chris Byrne, a participant at D4R last Saturday, has catalyzed D4R’s first informal workgroup to discover a resilience pattern language. Chris’ curiosity, dialog skills, and insightful contributions to discussion inspired Peter+Trudy Johnson-Lenz, who blog at People & Place, to share their index of design philosophies for Chris to work with. They graciously agreed to share their index with Shareable. Thank you PTJL. See any patterns in these philosophies? Please share your observation in comments. http://shareable.net/blog/towards-a-resilience-pattern-language
I generally focus on solutions rather than preaching to the choir about the issues, but sometimes a report like this is a wakeup call for me and everyone who believes there is a good chance that human influence climate change (chaos!) is underway.
“Number of Americans who believe in climate change drops, survey shows only 57% of Americans feel that the planet’s atmosphere is warming, a fall from 77% two years ago”
AlwaysOn is a silicon valley media that hopes to “identify the sweet spots in the market, where technology innovation is disrupting behavior and creating explosive new entrepreneurial opportunities for both startups and big businesses” so it’s not surprising that they’re tracking the ‘green’ market. They’ve just announced their Top 100 list:
Investment and public interest in cleantech continues to grow in the face of record gas prices and increased concern for the environment and global warming. With that backdrop, AlwaysOn presents the second annual GoingGreen 100 Top Private Companies list, featuring leading private companies in cleantech. Continued at AlwaysOn…
Much of their ‘Top 100’ list could be called ‘light green’ so I hope next year they’ll dig deeper to find some of the many ‘deep green’, truly transformative technologies.
If you’re attending the GoingGreen conference Sept 15-17 here in SF lets connect!
David Holmgren (futurist and the co-originator of the permaculture concept with Bill Mollison) explains the issues and points to scenarios in this fascinating site/paper:
FutureScenarios.org presents an integrated approach to understanding the potential interaction between Climate Change and Peak Oil using a scenario planning model. In the process I introduce permaculture as a design system specifically evolved over the last 30 years to creatively respond to futures that involve progressively less and less available energy.
Continued at http://www.futurescenarios.org/
Read on and I’m sure you’ll find it simultaneously frightening, and enlightening.
As the price for staples like corn and rice escalate rapidly attention has focused on the (mis)use of food crops for fuel. Energy Farms Network is working on solutions:
Using science, proven tools, and evolving methodologies the Energy Farm Initiative seeks to demonstrate systems of agriculture that can sustain both farms and communities in the face of climate change and peak oil. This program weaves threads of the Relocalization vision into a fabric of local currency, local food and biofuel systems, revitalization of local industry, and community cooperation.
Energy Farms Network is a program of the Post Carbon Institute.
As I begin a very expensive green remodel project, its heartening to read this news:
Promoting the green design, construction, renovation and operation of buildings could cut North American greenhouse gas emissions that are fuelling climate change more deeply, quickly and cheaply than any other available measure, according to a new report issued by the trinational Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).
North America’s buildings cause the annual release of more than 2,200 megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, about 35 percent of the continent’s total. The report says rapid market uptake of currently available and emerging advanced energy-saving technologies could result in over 1,700 fewer megatons of CO2 emissions in 2030, compared to projected emissions that year following a business-as-usual approach. A cut of that size would nearly equal the CO2 emitted by the entire US transportation sector in 2000.
Read the full report: Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges
The latest annual edition of Clean Energy Trends has just been published. Joel Makower and his colleagues at Clean Edge have once again identified key trends affecting clean-energy markets and produced their annual forecast, along with 2007’s investment trends.
The five trends we cover in this year’s Trends report cover electric cars (how all of the action seems to be from smaller players, not the major automotive companies); sustainable cities (the emergence of new, fossil-fuel, carbon-neutral cities – in the Middle East, of all places); wind (how the U.S. market is being driven by foreign companies); geothermal energy (it is experiencing a global renaissance, particularly as large, utility-scale projects); and shipping (the new push to create cleaner oceangoing transport, including putting sails on freighters).
While this blog tends to focus on solutions more so than problems, as a keen surfer I’m particularly attuned to the ocean – so this BBC coverage of findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston.
Only about 4% of the world’s oceans remain undamaged by human activity, according to the first detailed global map of human impacts on the seas. A study in Science journal says climate change, fishing, pollution and other human factors have exacted a heavy toll on almost half of the marine waters. Only remote icy areas near the poles are relatively pristine, but they face threats as ice sheets melt, it warns. The authors say the data is a “wake-up call” to policymakers. Continued at BBC.
More at NYT &
Trying to understand who’s who, and what’s what in green business? Help has arrived via Joel Makower and the editors over at GreenBiz.com. Their first report into US green business activities is now available at www.StateOfGreenBusiness.com.
The report debuts the GreenBiz Index, a set of 20 indicators of green business progress including measures of how efficiently companies are using resources, reducing toxics, purchasing green fleet vehicles and renewable power, and reporting social and environmental performance. It also features the 10 key green business trends of 2007, plus dozens of “Editors’ Picks,” lists of the best books, websites, reports, business initiatives, and other resources of the past year.
Surprisingly for such a well researched and organized report, its free!
Update : Coverage at technology news site Cnet