Revol Greens to Become the World’s Largest Indoor Lettuce Producer via Climate-Controlled, Solar-Powered Greenhouses

Sustainability Issues: Safety and Health, Water, Energy, Waste

There is a $20 billion market for salads and lettuce, and it has become increasingly common for salad greens to be contaminated or recalled. Meanwhile, the lettuce dilemma translates into safety and health, water, energy and waste issues. This is all compounded by the rising global population that is estimated to need fifty- to one-hundred percent increase in food production by 2050.

Technology: controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology

Article: https://dallasinnovates.com/revol-greens-raises-68m-to-build-worlds-largest-lettuce-greenhouse-in-texas/

• Revol Greens (Revol) is expanding to construct a the first 20 acres of a potentially 80-acre-large indoor greenhouse in Texas
• Revol’s goal with installing these climate-controlled, solar-powered greenhouses is to be in proximity to provide lettuce to a third of the U.S. Population within 24 hours. Beyond that, Revol plans to multiply the model building 5 indoor greenhouses in 5 years
• The Texas facility is the third of Revol’s plan; the others include Minnesota and California. Collectively, all facilities should enable Revol to generate over 33 million pounds of lettuce annually, which will help alleviate the recalled and contaminated greens
• More than that, Revol’s controlled-environment platform technology uses climate-controlled, solar power to combat climate change and food insecurity. Revol intends to enable its technology to be deployed anywhere in the world. Designed to remove waste and enhance growing, the agtech startup utilizes hydroponics, sterilized water, and LED-supplemented sunlight (when necessary) to produce non-GMO lettuce
• Revol’s Greenhouses require 90% less water than standard agricultural fields in addition to lowering transportation costs by being able to yield more lettuce per acre than traditional fields

Stakeholders:

-Salad and Lettuce consumers

-Restaurants, grocers, distributors, retailers

-Agricultural regulators

-USDA, FDA, EPA, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

-Agricultural service providers

Implementation:

  1. Proceed in constructing the 3rd facility, a 20-acre greenhouse in Dallas-Fort Worth region
  2. Collect data on Revol’s two other greenhouse (Minnesota and California) lettuce distribution and market reach. Identify pain points and successes
  3. Map out target market and distribution in order to fulfill Revol’s goal: to provide non-GMO indoor lettuce to one-third of the U.S. population in 24 hours

Next-Gen Insect Repellent Technology for Farmers

Sustainability Issues: Safety and Health, Water, Waste, Energy, and Civic Engagement

Chemical insecticide use for farming spans safety and health, water, waste, energy, and civic engagement issues with an emphasis on the former issues.

Across the globe, chemical insecticides are used for commercial farming to prevent insects. The use of chemicals on farms is harmful for the environment, animals and people. Farmers must control and thwart of pests, because pests-or destructive insects- can cause damage to crops, property, and equipment, among other things. Needless to say, curbing pests is crucial for successful agriculture.

Technology: BigSis Solution

Article: http://bigsis.tech/solutions/

  • BigSis technology offers an alternative to chemical insecticide treatment for many sectors, including agriculture
  • This environmentally-friendly technology can reduce the cost of traditional chemical insecticides-known as sterile insect technique (SIT)- by 90% per hectare, while simultaneously treating the environment better
  • SIT acts to rear and release sterile male insects, which mate with wild females resulting in fewer fertile eggs. This method has proven to prevent and reduce target species such as agricultural pests and mosquitoes
  • The technology is supported by artificial intelligence and automation capabilities
  • SIT is non-toxic and involves no genetic modification, which is compatible with organic agriculture and results in reduced regulatory implications

Stakeholders:

-Commercial Farmers

-Agricultural Regulators

-USDA, EPA, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

-Agricultural Service Providers

-Consumers

Implementation:

  1. Collect results from field trials and continue to expand field trials into new geographies.
  2. Evaluate field trial results so far. Based on results, target technology expansion- from 4 states and England- into broader markets.
  3. Assess the trial results to plan and prepare partnerships and marketing to start to grow product awareness. Lastly, use the trial results to begin to prepare logistics for more widespread deployment.

Other Sources:

Wash Your Hair and Use Less Water While You’re at It!

Sustainability Issue: Water

Across the globe, water is lost during showers or salon visits. Specifically, a standard showerhead produces eight liters of water a minute. The Water Saver aims to manage water and reduce the use of the vital resource. The product anticipates reducing water usage by a billion gallons annually.

Technology: L’Oreal Water Saver

Article: https://www.loreal.com/en/articles/science-and-technology/loreal-water-saver-the-new-sustainable-haircare-system/

-L’Oreal partnered with Gjosa, a Swiss environmental innovation company, to design and produce a showerhead, the Water Saver, that will reduce water consumption by 6 liters a minute compared to a standard showerhead

-The product aims to cut water usage by 80% overall by applying micronization technology to a showerhead cartridge that holds haircare products

-The Water Saver’s patented cloud cleansing approach includes dividing water flow into ten times smaller droplets to accelerate the rinsing timeline

-The Water Saver system also contains a data dashboard to alert salon professionals about their water and energy consumption usage

-The Water Saver is already accessible in specific salons throughout New York City and Paris; the global rollout, reaching 10,000 salons, is expected to continue into 2023

Stakeholders:

-Global Salons (currently select salons in NYC and Paris)

-Salon Managers and Coordinators

-Hair Colorists and Hairstylists

-Retail Consumers (in the future)

Implementation:

  1. Access and assess data on global salons and deduce a target area for deployment
  2. Engage highly-trafficked salons for interest in a free 3-month trial period to use the Water Saver in the salons
  3. After the 3 month trial period, evaluate the successes, issues, and lessons learned from the trials and apply to larger scale roll-out

Air Conditioner Condensate Re-Purposed for Water

Sustainability Problem: Water

The United Nations suggests, “Water is primary medium through which we feel the effects of climate change.” Across the globe, water can be a scarce resource, especially in drier climates that have frequent droughts and water shortages. Nonetheless, the demand for water continues throughout communities, governments, private and public businesses. As water becomes scarcer, entities must think about how to meet their demand for water.

Technology: Air Conditioner Condensate Reuse System

Article: Malloy, Chris. “Dry Cities Look to Reuse Air Conditioner Water.” Bloomberg. 11 May 2021. “https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-11/dry-cities-look-to-reuse-air-conditioner-waterhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-11/dry-cities-look-to-reuse-air-conditioner-water

• Air conditioners typically produce a byproduct water, known as condensate, that gets drained and is largely unused
• Across the globe, corporate office buildings, like Microsoft’s Herzliya Office, and governmental buildings, like the Austin Central Library, are re-purposing the condensate produced by their air conditioners. For example, the Austin Central Library now generates 90% of it’s annual water supply, or 350,000 gallons, from reuse of air conditioner condensate
• The water from air conditioner condensate reuse can be used for landscaping, cooling buildings, watering green gardens, facilitating toilets, shortening water supply chains, and contributing to the building’s water supply
• Many cities like Austin, San Francisco and San Antonio offer incentives for companies that reclaim water; however, condensate reuse requires upfront capital and is not suited for all geographies—hot and humid environments are optimal to produce the most water from condensate

Stakeholders:

• Local governmental organizations
• Commercial organizations
• Schools
• Residential buildings
• Facilities management teams
• Urban planners

Implementation:

1) Identify the entity’s HVAC systems in scope
2) Determine entity’s HVAC systems’ current condensate drainage output
3) Perform a cost benefit analysis, taking the upfront costs for an air conditioner condensate reuse system to be implemented into consideration as well as any local governmental incentives, and the timeline to achieve a ROI

Smart Water 2.0

Sustainability Problem: Water

In the United States alone, it is estimated that 6 billion tons of treated water is lost on a daily basis. Additionally, contaminants and pollution from old infrastructure can inconspicuously enter into pipes, which contributes to inefficient and unsafe water and water management. As water systems are spreading across more land and obtaining an increased physical footprint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Collectively, this presents a safety and health risk in addition to resulting in excessive loss of natural resources, namely water.

Sustainability Technology: IoT Smart Devices and Sensors

• “Implementing IoT for Smart Water Management” published in Water World found via: https://www.waterworld.com/water-utility-management/smart-water-utility/article/14185689/implementing-iot-for-smart-water-management
• IoT technology, such as smart devices and sensors, can make water management more efficient and instill a safer process
• The sensors and smart devices collect real-time data and enable monitoring of water quality, water levels (e.g., water usage) in addition to serving as a leak indicator. This can help maintain physical infrastructure as well as utility worker safety.
• Once installed, these sensors will increase the amount of data exponentially, which can be used to gain operational efficiency or increase public safety and awareness, for example.
• Ultimately, these real-time alerts can provide insights to divert excess water to another part of a water system network, signal water levels are low-which means there is a probable leak, prevent contaminated water from being dispersed to homes or businesses to name a few. However, there are many other ways water sensors and devices can promote operational efficiency and safety depending on infrastructure and needs.

Organizational Stakeholders:

• Infrastructure Technician, Private Water Company
• Infrastructure Technician, Public Works Department
• Private company (e.g., semi conductor manufacturing) infrastructure engineers
• Public company infrastructure (e.g., industrials) engineer

Technology Implementation and Deployment:

1) Conduct current state assessment (e.g., identify and map assets) and preliminary research; understand gaps in current state. This includes validating network and device security.
2) Identify site/municipality for test case based on current state analysis; execute test case.
3) Review results and make recommendation for broader scale implementation.