Brewdog announced that it is officially a carbon negative company!
The brewery has a sustainability plan called ‘Make Earth Great Again’ (LOL) which explains how its carbon emissions will be offset by a range of carbon offset projects. These projects are only plans for the interim though because Brewdog is in the process of planting a new “Brewdog Forest” in the Scottish Highlands which will overtake these projects and help restore peatlands on 2,050 acres of grazing land.
The brewery’s plan also includes 100% renewable energy (wind power), producing biomethane using by-products from its breweries, as well as carbon capture technologies and changing to a 100% electric fleet. Damn!
Remember to review Brewdog beers on wherefrom and let its CEO know your thoughts on its new carbon negative certification!
Unilever wants to make sure that its palm oil supply chain is more transparent and traceable… and it plans on using new geo-location technology to do so.
This is really important considering farm-to-table traceability is a big challenge for the industry. This is also important considering the popular Roundtable for Palm Oil (RSPO) , meant to ensure sustainable palm oil production, has seen a lot of backlash from environmentalists claiming there is greenwashing and malpractice hidden from the public.
The technology for traceability utilises cell phone geo-location data to look at palm oil moving in the supply chain, especially in the first mile between farm and mills. The way the technology works is a combination of geo-fencing, anonymous mobile data and satellite imagery which look at trucks moving and monitor any deforestation that has happened. The tech partner helping Unilever undertake this task is called Orbital. As their CEO says, this geo-location tool will help uncover “which farms are linked to which mills, which mills are linked to which refineries, and which refineries are linked to which warehouses.”
Not only is this technology a great step in the right direction, but it’s also really important for Unilever. The company, which owns brands like Dove, Ben and Jerry’s and Hellmann’s, purchases 1 million tonnes of palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivatives annually for its variety of consumer goods. That makes it one of the world’s largest buyers.
Now, Orbital is gaining a lot of traction from chocolate producers and also plans on using its technology to look at soy mills in Brazil (also in partnership with Unilever).
Jaguar Land Rover is creating its own aluminium from recycled materials to manufacture brand new premium cars.
It’s a £2m project called REALITY, which has been developed in partnership with Brunel University. The company’s recycled high-grade aluminium is made from a blend of waste cans, bottle tops, scrap vehicles and a smaller amount of virgin aluminium. Recycling aluminium is obviously not a novel concept HOWEVER, it is really novel for the automotive industry. Carmakers have a tendency to send vehicle scrap aluminium overseas rather than reusing it. Jaguar Land Rover has instead decided to use technology to separate the scraps and use them as a part of their new recycling blend.
This new technology will help the car manufacturer reduce CO2 emissions from its manufacturing by more than a quarter. This can largely be attributed to the fact that recycled aluminium uses 90% less energy to produce compared to virgin aluminium production.
John Lewis is embracing the sharing economy by launching a furniture rental service.
This includes the possibility of hiring sofas, desks, dining tables and chairs for three, six or twelve months. You can also buy these pieces at any time during your rental period.
The scheme is only in London for now, but it will expand across the UK in due course. John Lewis have partnered with Fat Llama which has a “flex rental” website with tech products offered for hire.
This is really awesome, especially for young people who are prone to moving regularly and who are less likely to own homes. Plus, the sharing economy is the new hit thang (e.g. Airbnb, Zipcar, Hurr, TaskRabbit) and is pretty central to circular economy principles whereby we try and keep products in use for as long as possible.
Nestle made £166 million in sales of plant-based meat alternatives last year. So the company has decided to launch a vegan tuna called… Vuna.
It’s made mostly from pea protein and it has the same flakey texture and flavour as tuna, as well as the same nutritional profile to tinned tuna in brine. Wow!
Pea protein is low-calorie and a really sustainable plant protein as it requires little water and land compared to soy, as well as being able to grow in colder climates. Actually, 11% of plant-based alternatives sold in the UK since 2019 contain peas.
This is also a great move considering 13% of the world’s tuna stocks are overfished… plus 500,000 people signed up to Veganuary this year. It’s important for Nestle to cater to the increasing demand for sustainably sourced vegan and vegetarian products.
Kind Healthy Snacks will exclusively source from bee-friendly almond farms by 2025.
Kind sources 1-2% of the world's almonds and is now requiring that their almond suppliers reserve 3 to 5% of farmland for natural pollinator habitat in order to save native bees and help slow their population. According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 2,500 native bee species help increase crop yields. Other natural pollinators include butterflies, which are also expected to benefit from the new initiative. Kind is also working with suppliers to eliminate any use of neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos which are pesticide treatments harmful to bees.
Bees are essential for almond crop pollination. California dominates the almond market, producing 80% of the world's almonds. Each spring, 60% of the US's honeybees are trucked to the state, with 1.6 million honeybee hives needed to pollinate almonds. However, between 15 to 25% of beehives have been suffering severe damage. This is due to multiple things including an invasive species called varroa mite, which kills bees, herbicides and habitat loss, which negatively impact bees' forage, and pesticides like dicamba and clothianidin, which damage bees health by slowing their reproductive rate or weakening their immune systems.
Kind's work is a really important step that will hopefully encourage other brands to follow suit and make conservation a priority. Plus, the Kind Foundation will donate $150,000 to the Williams Lab at the University of California-Davis to help with conservation research and improve understanding of bee health.