What do the following organisations have in common?
- Ecovative who grow packaging from mycelium and agricultural waste, supplying clients like Dell, Stahope Seta (and possibly IKEA soon) with biodegradable alternatives to Styrofoam and extruded plastics.
- Accor Hotel Group who are using food waste to grow food in productive gardens onsite and aim to have 1000 edible gardens in its hotels by 2020.
- Ecocaddy who uses rickshaws built from bamboo to create multiple revenue streams (fare, advertising, tours) in Adelaide in direct competition with taxis, cars and buses.
- Venus Shell Systems who grow algae using waste water to produce high quality food products, health supplements and beauty products.
The answer is that they all have foresight. They recognise that someone has to do something about the massive challenges that face our future and they are getting a head start. They recognise that business as usual in our rapidly changing world is next to impossible. Knowledge, technology, investors, consumers, law makers, climate change, resource challenges and collapsing ecosystems are making sure of that.
Threat or Opportunity?
More than 7 million people deaths are attributed to air pollution annually and we there is so much plastic in our oceans that we are now ingesting plastics assimilated into our food chain. The process of continual extraction and dumping that we have grown used to since the start of the industrial revolution is taking its toll.
A great overview of our current position can be found in the Planetary Boundaries report which describes how we are changing the way the world physically operates. Have a read, it’s an excellent article. In summary:
- Our climate is changing too fast
- We are losing too much habitat
- Species are going extinct at a rate and scale comparable to the previous 5 global mass extinction events
- We are pumping way too many nutrients into our water ways and coastal ecosystems
What are you waiting for….seriously?
We are at a tipping point. Getting serious about sustainability is inevitable. You can see it as an inconvenience, threat or something else. It’s not all about energy efficiency. There are massive opportunities to utilise waste as a resource and that’s just the beginning.
My associates and I are serious about helping you make a difference. If you would like to have a chat about this or related initiatives please get in contact. If I can’t help you I am sure I can put you in contact with someone who can.