Is prosperity dependent on resource consumption? Two separate reports are saying no, and instead proposing a new model of industrial organisation that decouples economic growth from resource consumption, and which has the potential to deliver hundreds of billions of dollars in savings. ‘A Global Redesign: Shaping the Circular Economy‘ – a report from UK think [...]
Waste = Opportunity
In the sixth wave, waste equals opportunity. If you can find waste in a system, the opportunities will follow, because in a world of limited resources waste is a huge source of untapped value. In a world where resource efficiency is a source of competitiveness, waste is a good place to look.
Anything that reduces or eliminates waste is likely to do well. This might take the form of a technology that gets rid of waste by improving the efficiency of a system, but it might also be a technology that enables us to extract value directly from waste.
Archive for Waste = Opportunity
Fast Co. Design: Companies spend a fortune sending waste materials to landfill – an estimated US$22 billion per year according to the US EPA – but a new endeavour aims to act as an online go-between, matching businesses creating waste streams with businesses who wanted to reuse materials. RecycleMatch entrepreneurs Brooke Betts Farrell and Chad Farrell [...]
The Economist: Saving money on office supplies such as toner and ink could be as simple as changing fonts, The Economist reports. The difference in ink usage between Arial and Century Gothic fonts might seem insignificant to the naked eye, but a 2009 study found that switching from the heavier Arial to thinner-lined Century Gothic [...]
With waste an effective dead-zone of profit, one company’s waste can be another company’s resource stream. Wastivity is essentially an industrial trash and treasure, where producers of waste can cost effectively find buyers in order to avoid waste to landfill. Buyers, in turn, can drastically reduce their direct procurement costs by purchasing ‘waste’ as an input [...]
Greenbiz.com: Energy conservation efforts at IBM facilities around the world have exceeded even the company’s expectations, delivering nearly US$27 million in energy savings in 2009, representing around 5.4% of the company’s total energy use. The savings flowed from the 1900 or so energy conservation projects implemented at IBM’s 270 facilities around the world, which enabled [...]
The Economist: Cheese might seem an unlikely candidate as the next big thing in renewable energy, but a Greek researcher has discovered a way to generate electricity from one of the major waste products of cheese manufacture – whey. Whey constitutes around 70% of the volume of milk and is an often costly by-product of [...]
SMH: A chef frustrated with picky diners leaving leftovers on their plate has come up with a novel solution to reduce food waste – offer customers a 30% discount if they eat everything they have ordered. Chef Yukako Ichikawa from Sydney’s Waku restaurant decided she was sick of wasting precious food and now asks diners [...]
The Guardian: A Copenhagen hotel has discovered an unusual new source of renewable energy – people power. Guests at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers are being encouraged to make use of the hotel’s new electricity-generating exercise bikes which feed into the hotel’s power supply, with the incentive being that in addition to burning off excess [...]
The Economist: The vast majority of the millions of blog entries written each day sink into obscurity, read only by their authors, but thanks to research from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, they may soon have at least one avid reader – a computer. Researchers are hoping to one day ‘data [...]
Pneumatic workshop tools are extremely wasteful, blowing out large amounts of waste air. The Exhausted Air Recycling System (EARS), invented by Australian mechanic Chris Bosua is effectively a closed-loop system that reroutes the exhaust air from the pneumatic tool back into the air compressor via a second hose and special manifold. Bosua’s invention not only [...]