The scientific method Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool originally developed to scrutinize the environmental performance of products, product systems or services. In recent years, the LCA framework has been expanded to include all aspects of sustainability. This blog post will present what LCA is, how it has developed historically and why you should care about it.
Often the word sustainability is used to designate that something is good, without any specification of good for what or good for whom. It’s time to put some hold to the phrase ‘sustainable’. Learn more on what it means and what you need to keep in mind when talking about sustainable products or solutions.
When most people were talking about the brutal polar vortex that hit Chicago earlier this year, I am sure many were looking for ways to best protect the products they are producing, transporting, storing and using from being destroyed by freezing. In this blog post, I will briefly mention a few tips on how to make products freeze-thaw stable such that they can be used in winter harsh areas.
In China we are currently seeing a massive shift towards sustainable technologies. Many are describing China as the next green superpower, and that China is positioning itself towards a new area where the accessibility to energy is becoming very different from the current situation. This can shift the power balance towards economies which embrace the new opportunities from more sustainable solutions. Where can you find opportunities in this? And are there opportunities for novel sustainable materials like cellulose fibrils and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC)?
Over the last century, human activities have been affecting the global environment, most noticeably with the general increase in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). This rise in greenhouse gases has mainly been due to the upsurge in fossil fuel consumption over the last fifty years. This consumption has had a knock-on effect with global temperatures, with a general increase of 1°C over the last century and this is projected to rise by 2°C over the next century.1 This increase in temperature has also affected climate change by giving more extreme weather conditions. But how has this affected the construction industry? Have we been developing alternatives that could point us in a more bio-based direction?
Solving problems you have or initiate new innovations can lead down quite different paths. Sometimes the urge to get rid of a problem can lead to many quick decisions, but what should one really look for in these types of situations? Should your standard tool box of problem solvers be used, or do you have the opportunity to focus on upgrading this box? In this blog post, I will try to show you some concrete examples why adding new tools to your tool box can improve your functionalities beyond your scope, using the microfibrillated cellulose as an example. Simply, why new functionality beats substitution.
Coating performance is often very complex, and can depend on the coating system itself, substrate to be coated, conditions during coating etc. Increasing the performance is often a lengthy process with multiple tests on wet paint performance and dried coating performance. Key aspects of wet paints can be control of rheology, and for solid coatings the ability to improve endurance. Are there technologies available for aiding on the key aspects? For sure. Are there new sustainable additives which can improve the new water borne technologies? Let me show you an example of exactly that in this blog post.
Is powder handling a problem in your production facilities? If yes, you have probably tried to reduce the dusting and other environment, health and safety (EHS) risks related to powders as much as possible. Have you considered to change the additives and ingredients that will reduce or give no dust, whilst keeping the desired performance? In production, the handling of powders can often lead to EHS issues. But are there any alternatives? Yes, indeed.
The business case is central to directing investment in most organisations, but business cases are often biased substantially in favor of the outcome desired by their authors. It is the role of a responsible Executive to reject such ‘fantasy’ business cases, but this can lead to hard rules that also reject strategic investments in innovation.
Once you have taken the decision to strengthen your business based on organic growth you have already taken a very important strategic step. At the same time, you have placed yourself at the gambling table, because with all new opportunities comes a risk. But how can you take measures to control this risk and mitigate it as much as possible? Here are some practices you can utilize when looking for technological enablers to your new bio-based innovations.