Quantafuel: Transforming plastic waste into environmentally friendly fuel

Maker: Quantafuel Challenge: The growing problem of plastic waste Solution: Quantafuel transforms plastic waste into high-quality diesel that can be used by infrastructure and engines without modification. Results: A reduction of plastic waste, local pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. “A third-party, independent research firm has compared the environmental impact of Quantafuel’s process to that of producing conventional diesel, concluding that …

Bike Sharing for Better Health and Greener Cities

Maker: Urban Infrastructure Partner AS Challenge: Many cities around the world face the challenge of traffic congestion and crowded public transit systems, and have a general need for solutions that improve quality of life for residents. Solution:  Urban Infrastructure Partner cooperates with cities to design efficient bike sharing systems that are operated with help from user-friendly apps, data-driven operations tools, and digital …

How to Transform the Textiles Economy

It’s high time we shake up the destructive take-make-dispose textile model and transform it into a circular one that’s better for people and environment. This report tells us how. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, textile production contributes 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year—more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Add to that the leaching of …

The Net Zero Elementary School: Modeling Sustainability for Kids and Design Community

Maker: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Challenge: Compared to other municipal buildings within New York’s five boroughs, schools account for 40% of emissions—amounting to a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint. Solution: SOM architects designed an energy efficient school on Staten Island, The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability, which generates all of its own power from renewable on-site …

The Untapped Value of Organic Waste in Construction

What if instead of sending our organic waste to the landfill, incinerator or compost pile, we could give it another life as bricks, panels, carpets or insulation? Arup, the design and engineer firm, says this is not only possible, it’s a very valuable opportunity. In their latest report, The Urban Bio Loop, Arup aims to demonstrate a different, circular paradigm for …

Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

This book is a valuable resource for architects and designers who want to implement innovative and sustainable materials in their work. Written by architect Blaine Brownell,  Transmaterial Next  catalogs sustainable materials “that redefine our physical environment.” Materials which not only have low to no environmental impact, but also deliver when it comes to performance and applicability. The catalog also exists digitally, as a …

Tetra Rex: The World’s First 100% Renewable Carton

Maker: Tetra Pak in collaboration with Braskem Challenge: Conventional packaging is primarily made from fossil fuel derived plastic and unsustainably harvested wood fibers, Solution: “The Tetra Rex Bio-based package, which is manufactured solely from paperboard and plastics derived from plants. All the paperboard used comes from FSC-certified and controlled sources, and is traceable to its origins. The low-density polyethylene used to …

Intermarché: Fight Against Food Waste

Maker: Intermarché Challenge: According to FAO,  approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of the food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted each year—and most of it is fruits and vegetables. Such waste not only adds up to a giant economic loss (about US$ 680 billion in industrialized nations, and US$ 310 billion in developing nations according to FAO). It also amounts …

Terracooler: Efficient Cooling and Preservation of Food

Maker: Stephan Augustin Challenge: Over one billion people suffer from hunger worldwide, and one of the causes of this problem is a lack of cooling and preservation of food and crops—especially for those who live off the grid.  On the other side, in modern industrialized countries, storage or cellar rooms have been replaced by energy wasting refrigerators where much food is stored that doesn’t even require hard cooling, like vegetables, eggs, and marmalade. …