Today, the world emits 50 billion tons of CO2 equivalents of greenhouse gases (GHG) each year. As part of this, so-called "harder-to-abate" industries are responsible for 27% of the global CO2-emissions, being the second largest source of GHG emissions. Materials, steel, cement, aluminium, and chemicals are jointly responsible for almost two-thirds of these emissions. Directly affected by the generated emissions in the harder-to-abate industries is the construction industry, which relies on materials like steel and cement. According to the Global Alliance for Building and Construction, the construction industry emits 38% of global energy related CO2-emissions, with the expectation to grow if no urgent actions towards net-zero targets are implemented.
At Finch & Beak, we are always curious about the sustainable developments taking place in the cities that we work in, and Rotterdam is one of them. In 2016, a shocking 20% of the national CO2 emissions of the Netherlands was accounted for by the port of Rotterdam. Time to take action: between the period 2016-2020, the port of Rotterdam managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 27% to 22.4 million tons. A noteworthy reduction that can be explained by the switch to more renewable energy sources and the exploitation of waste-to-value opportunities. The port of Rotterdam is making an impact through discovering the benefits of the circular economy.
The construction sector is a continuously growing industry led by rising urbanization and global population increase: In 2050, about 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. These trends will increase the pressure for construction companies to improve the durability and efficiency of their infrastructures. Incorporating new digital technologies will be key to face these challenges in the future.
This year's Innovation Summit takes place at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London and focuses on the role of culture in innovation. Business leaders, policymakers, academics, corporate entrepreneurs, innovation directors and business development executives come together to discuss and share insights on integrating innovation in the day-to-day work life.
A first of its kind circular project was announced in June 2018, originating from the research from an engineer and executive MBA graduate at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL). The project aims to help Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore mining company, transform residue into resource. It does that by extracting untapped value from its mine tailings by transforming it into new products. Concurrently, sand consumption around the world is increasing faster than supplies are naturally able to replenish, making it one of the most coveted resources behind fresh water. This forms a great opportunity for Vale as its mine tailings high in quartz can be used in many sand-based products. In a conversation with Finch & Beak, project initiator and leader Emile Scheepers explains how thinking differently about the product life cycle allowed him to uncover this new opportunity.
Instead of innovating in isolation, multinationals are opening their doors and partner with startups to design solutions for their most pressing challenges. Coca-Cola, Google and Disney are only a few of the companies that have captured value of initiating these corporate accelerators. These accelerators increasingly focus on sustainability issues. One of the latest companies entering the stage is Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). The global beer company has announced its 100+ Accelerator, aiming to address global challenges in line with the group’s 2025 Sustainability Goals.
As companies collect more and more non-financial data, it's worth exploring what else can be done with the results of this huge effort. Novozymes shows that companies can turn this burden into a business opportunity by capturing the value that is harnessed in the abundance of data. Using big data techniques, peer comparisons are made and the non-financial data is harvested and combined with market information resulting in clear prospects.
The newly created World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) will be launched on March 22 and 23, 2018 in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. Ports are critical points in the global supply chain and play a crucial role in working to improve the sustainable performance of the supply chain on a local as well as on the global scale. The WPSP will bring together the international ports community in order to contribute to a sustainable future.
On 11 October, Finch & Beak hosted the first Accelerating Your Circular Economy Game Plan executive training in Barcelona. Participants included representatives from a wide range of industries across Europe, including food, energy and chemicals. Using established business tools, and a real-life case from circular frontrunner Interface, participants were challenged to develop business cases for the circular economy.
According to chemical industry association Cefic, the EU chemical industry’s share of world markets has seriously declined in the past 20 years. In 1995 EU industry sales amounted to €326 billion, representing 32.3% of worldwide sales. Two decades on, the EU chemicals sales have grown almost 60% but the market share has dropped to a meagre 14.7% in 2015. This “dilution effect” looks set to continue. Demand for chemicals is growing strongly in China, India and other emerging countries but slowly in Europe and North America, where Europe sells most of its chemicals. What can sustainable innovation contribute to this challenge?