Technology : One oyster can filter up to 1.3 gallons of water an hour. This equates to around sixty two litre bottles of soda a day! Historically oysters in the Chesapeake Bay could filter the entire bay in a week. Now due to overfishing of oysters, it takes nearly a year to do so.
Oysters eat by pumping large volumes of water over their gills through the beating of cilia. Algae, plankton and other particules get trapped in the mucus of the gills. The nutrient rich mucus then travels to the oysters esophagus and stomach to be eaten and digested.
Once digested, the indigestible material is expelled from the anus. The “pseudofeces” are expelled from the oyster’s shell via a rapid closing of valves. The particles form smoke rings which are indication that the water has been filtered.
Currently, a citizen project called the “Billion Oyster Project” aims to restoring one billion live oysters to the NY Harbor by 2030. The project aims to deploy school children in marine restoration based STEM programs.
Stakeholders : With industries and individuals rapidly depleting water quality, oysters are a means to filter water naturally and cheaply. Dirty water effects the entire community reducing accessibility but specifically farmers, business owners and those seeking recreation in the region as well. To Governments, it poses an expensive threat. To the ecosystem, it seems like a great way to restore its services.
Next Steps: To effectively fulfill if not expand the billion oysters project, Governments, schools, NGO’s must educate people on the importance of oysters and engage them in development project. In addition, the Government could sanction a higher budget and growing spaces to repopulate the oyster community. In addition, strictly monitoring and fining over fishing of oysters could also serve as means to conserve the species.
Cement is used in most construction methods. Making cement is very energy intensive. Manufacturing one metric ton of cement releases 650 to 920 kilograms of CO2. The nearly 3 billion metric tons of cement that were produced worldwide last year accounted for about 5% of all CO2 emissions.
Some companies are manufacturing waterproof concrete which can be recycled, reducing the lifecycle footprint of a building. Others are working on cement production method that could absorb more CO2 that it releases. Here magnesium silicate is used and as the cement hardens, CO2 in the air reacts to make solid carbonate strengtheners. If this technology by Novacem takes off, cement manufacturing could essentially be carbon negative.
In order for the technology to become commercially viable, key stakeholders such as construction companies and governments must each contribute. Business would need to acquire funding to mass produce the technology in order to reduce prices. Once prices become competitive Governments could put quotas or re-think cement standards which would compel construction companies to use green cement. Lastly, customer awareness about the benefits of green cement could also aid in the wide spread acceptance of said technology.
Sustainability Problem : The US alone accumulates upwards of 222 million tons annually. Most of this comes from a variety of sources including plastic, paper, organics and glass. Even though recycling rates in developed countries are considerably higher, contamination of recyclables still poses a large risk and loss. In addition, the cost associated with transporting trash to landfills is tremendously high.
Autonomous M2M sensor is installed in the container lid. The sensor measures container fill level and transmits data to a centralized system where route optimization is planned.
Solar energy enabled bins can be used to fuel bins as internet hot spots being fashioned as learning hubs
Sustainability Problem : Waste is an impending threat to the sustainability of the planet and economically hampers resource efficiency and increases cost. A circular economy eliminates or at least controls waste by promoting resource efficiency and symbiosis within or across sectors. Business models such as fast fashion, pose a drastic threat to the emergence and viability of a circular economy.
Ecosystem players embed physical triggers (QR, NFC chips of RFID tags) into textiles to provide unique identification of the product like composition.
This allows traceability and trackability allowing the textiles to cascade through the circular economy with how to instructions on end-of-life recycling, disassembling, remanufacturing or modifications.
In addition, digitally enabled clothing can be programmed to provide information throughout the use phase, giving information about the user’s health, stress levels etc. with the ability to replace wearable technology.
The technology can also be deployed to provide users or wearers with digital experiences, applications and analytics.
Sample ecosystem players : Etology, Content Thread, Rebecca Minkoff, Born Digital Movement
NGO’s (proxy for environmental and social concerns)
Businesses must develop technical capabilities to understand the benefits of the technology and the circular economy by defining flexible business models and management strategies.
Market technology by demonstrating the sustainability management and marketing aspects used to better product lifecycle management.
Develop collaboration platforms for value creation and data optimization to gain and maintain competitive advantage.
Sustainability Problem : Climate change poses an inherent risk in the ever lengthening supply chains in today’s industrial ecology. Environmental and social concerns are driving companies to make their supply chains transparent for not only risk management but also brand reputation in many cases. In most cases, supply chain risks lay beyond first-tier suppliers. This creates the need to understand, map and visualize supply chains in greater microscopy for management efficacy.
Digital supply networks transforms the linear Supply Chain nodes into a series of dynamic interconnected networks, providing a truer picture of today’s supply networks
Digital supply networks use proprietary databases to visualize and map complex supply chains across various industries deploying a data-driven sustainability monitoring system against social and environmental impact KPI’s.
The technology benefits companies by providing end to end traceability which can be used for optimization and planning, data auditing and verification, risk and compliance.
It helps identify real-time risks like disasters or changes in political situation to help a company allowing them to create alternate supply chains.
Traditional supply chain management tools like excel sheets and questionnaires are tedious and time consuming. This technology allows for quick, effective management in addition to using the database to understand their network beyond just visualization but assess risks through comprehensive heat maps.
Sample ecosystem players : Llamasoft, Sourcemap, Kinaxis, O9, One Network, GE Predix, SAP APO, GT Nexus, SAS
Strategic partnerships to provide industry/sector specific proof of concept of technology
Market technology by demonstrating the tool as a supply chain management software used to minimize risk and cost with the added benefit of devising effective data driven sustainability strategy.
Mandating transparent supply chains advocated by NGO’s and governments.