Circular Economy

Adidas to take back apparel from any brand in resale program with ThredUp

The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. The textiles industry relies mostly on non-renewable resources – and with low usage rates and low levels of recycling, this linear system creates a massive footprint and applies pressure on the world’s resources. adidas’ sustainability mission is to help End Plastic Waste through forging partnerships and developing product innovations that either: use recycled materials, are made to be remade or are made with nature.

Adidas has introduced its Choose to Give Back program aimed at helping to extend the lifecycle of sports performance & lifestyle apparel and footwear.

Leveraging thredUP’s Resale-as-a-ServiceⓇ platform and expertise, the program will invite consumers to send used product from any brand back to adidas.Initially launched within the adidas Creators Club app to members on October 7, the program is rolling out more widely online and in stores in early 2022. To participate, consumers can generate a Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label through the app and use it to send apparel and accessories across any brand or category, including their used sports gear in – from its running shoes to soccer jerseys or other performance apparel. If an item is not in a condition to be resold it will go through thredUP’s select network of textile reuse partners. In exchange for sending in their old gear Creator Club members will earn rewards.

By making it easy to buy and sell second hand, thredUP has become one of the world’s largest resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories. thredUP has processed over 125 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories.

Choose to Give Back is the latest of many sustainability initiatives from adidas – including a low-carbon shoe collaboration with Allbirds, Stan Smith Mylo: made with mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms and Made to be Remade shoes. The brand is also working towards a goal of Carbon Neutrality across all North America facilities by 2025, including retail stores, distribution centers, and employee offices.


Netflix shows, video-meetings and online banking services are handled in data centers around the world

According to the International Energy Agency, data centers consume approximately 200 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, or nearly 1% of global electricity demand, contributing to 0.3% of all global CO2 emissions. This is why data centres must be part of the net-zero discussion

A data center is essentially a dedicated space used to house computer systems for processing, distribution and storage of data. It contains IT equipment like servers, networking equipment, storage systems. In addition, data centers house cooling and ventilation systems because they dissipate large amounts of energy. Data centres therefore need large amounts of energy and water.

With the rise of remote work and e-commerce, demand for computing power is rising exponentially and so is the carbon footprint of data centres. Most data centers’ cooling systems are inefficient and the heat removed by the cooling system can be a valuable resource, but is rarely used. Also, most data centers use non-renewable electricity sources meaning there is a good chance your next video meeting is powered by coal, oil or gas.

Building on-site renewable energy sources and partnering with green vendors are some steps being taken by large tech companies. By the close of 2022, Netflix will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. To reach this goal, the company will first reduce internal emissions by 45% by 2030. Amazon recently became the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, Google and Microsoft are not far behind. since 2014, SAP owned and run datacenters draw 100% of their power from renewable energy sources, mostly from wind turbines. Emissions are compensated through Renewable Energy Certificates. There is also significant work happening in optimizing energy use at data centres and making them hubs for storing and using energy.

Circular Economy

The world’s first NetZero professional football game on September 19 #GameZero

The Premier League club @Tottenham Hotspur has partnered with media group @Sky to progress plans for the home fixture against Chelsea on September 19, which has been branded #GameZero. All direct emissions will be reduced as much as possible, with the remainder offset through natural projects that remove emissions from the atmosphere. This will include


Reducing all match day emissions


Green transport for fans and club members – players will head to the stadium on a coach that is running on biofuel, Fans and staff will be encouraged to use EV’s, Public Transport, Bicycles


Better food choices will be available at the stadium and will include Plant based foods


Clear recycling instructions for fans on its bins, as well as a reusable beer cup scheme.

The club, COP26 partner Sky and the UK Government want the game to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and encourage football fans to make changes that will help reduce their carbon footprint.

For those emissions which remain, Sky is working with Natural Capital Partners to restore natural carbon sinks which remove emissions from the atmosphere, by supporting a community reforestation in East Africa, and creating new UK native woodlands to support the UK’s net zero objectives. The Club and Sky will also plant trees locally to the stadium later this year.


Space tech is turning its attention to earth as more than 50% of essential climate variables (atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial) are measurable only from space

Satellites are critical to monitoring atmospheric concentration of carbon and methane. Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellites (GOSAT), GOSAT-2, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, OCO-3 and Sentinel-5P track GHG emissions globally. While satellites provide vital data, gaps remain in modelling, mitigation and coordination. The time has come to build a new type of decision- support facility: an Earth Operations Centre that leverages space data and expertise to conduct multidisciplinary science and engineering research, and to successfully manage and coordinate net- zero efforts. (via WEF)

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, scientists and state officials gathered to discuss how satellite data, 3-D imaging and new radar and laser technologies can provide invaluable insights into Earth’s rapidly changing systems. An MOU has been signed between Jet Propulsion Labs and the state of California to support these initiatives. Upcoming Earth-centric missions will provide a more precise look at “everything that’s happening” with the oceans, the land and the atmosphere than ever before. Among the big-ticket items were new tools to measure snowpack and groundwater, satellites to monitor methane emissions and remote sensing assets to assess the impact of hazards such as wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides.

Building upon more than two decades of research, a new web-based platform called OpenET will soon be putting NASA data in the hands of farmers, water managers and conservation groups to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management. OpenET uses publicly available data and open source models to provide satellite-based information on evapotranspiration (the “ET” in OpenET) in areas as small as a quarter of an acre and at daily, monthly and yearly intervals. Evapotranspiration is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere, by water leaving the soil (evaporation) and water lost through plant leaves and stems (transpiration). Evapotranspiration is an important measure of how much water is used or “consumed” by agricultural crops and other plants.

Green Companies

In a world full of stuff, labels matter. They attract, inform and build the product narrative

Moreover they are major determinants of consumer choice. They can also serve as an invaluable tool in building sustainability and product impact stories. Garnier will be the first brand in L’Oreal’s portfolio, to implement Product Environmental & Social Impact Labelling. This aims to inform consumers on the environmental and social impact of their products, empowering them to make more sustainable choices.

This is on trial in France and on haircare products. This labelling gives each product a sustainability score, from A to E, with products labelled ‘A’ considered best in class. The score takes into account 14 environmental factors from sourcing, manufacture, transportation, usage and recyclability. Data is verified by Bureau Veritas Certification, an independent auditor. The Environmental & Social Impact Labelling of Garnier Haircare products will be accessible to consumers on the French brand’s haircare webpage before rolling out internationally.

The environmental assessment calculates the impact of a product over its entire life cycle. It takes into consideration the value chain of a cosmetic product, together with environmental methodological references, and uses the life cycle diagram below. The impact calculations when applied to the product portfolio show that the Carbon Footprint and the Water Footprint represent the two major contributors to the Overall Environmental Impact of L”Oreal products. This is the reason why the company has decided to communicate three indicators:

  • Overall Environmental Impact (14 impact factors)
  • Carbon footprint
  • Water footprint

While biodiversity is not reported as a footprint category, 6 out of the 14 impact factors used
are closely related to effects on biodiversity.


Managing the green line – the SAP way!

As the coronavirus pandemic raged across the world, even the most rigorous contingency planning and disaster management systems went awry. Many companies pivoted in unforeseeable ways. Fashion retailers produced masks and alcohol companies pivoted to creating sanitisers. While the production systems transformed, other changes have happened too. The need for brands to have ‘purpose’ and be environmentally responsible gained significant momentum. A sea change happened in attitudes amongst the investment community as well. A few years ago, sustainability was seen to be fringe and, at best, an interesting PR angle. Sustainability today is no longer a unique value proposition for many brands, but an inherent expectation that a brand will be ethically made and will not harm the environment or the community.

SAP software is essential for all enterprise functions, from manufacturing, shipping, and delivering products to managing finances and human resources. 85% of the world’s largest emitters work on SAP. That presents a unique opportunity to bring about deep, large scale impact. This is why SAP the enterprise software behemoth is pioneering the concept of the green line. What the green line represents is the impact of the company on the environment, such as carbon emissions, water consumption etc.

As we reach the end of the linear economy, we need software that enables the circular economy and builds on the existing networks to enable this. SAP software already addresses two key dimensions: the top line and the bottom line. Adding the ‘green line’ enables the ecological angle provides transparency into the use of natural resources, available alternatives, suppliers, and transportation. Bringing the three dimensions together enables better corporate decision making.

This philosophy all comes together in the Climate 21 initiative. Embedding sustainability as a new dimension of success into analytical and transactional applications allows ERP and intelligent enterprise systems from SAP to optimize the resources not only of an individual enterprise but across value chains — for the entire product life cycle.

We need software to scale the impact needed for the decade of delivery. SAP can be an essential tool in enabling this transformation!

Circular Economy

Tights are a product that truly represents throwaway fashion, as on average, a pair of tights don’t last beyond a single wear.

UK-based hosiery brand Hēdoïne has launched the world’s first biodegradable tights collections, which they also claim are ladder-resistant, in a quest to tackle throwaway fashion and make hosiery more sustainable.
Its mission is to address the fact that billions of tights end up in landfill every year, and to reduce this it is focusing on longevity, recycling and biodegradability.

The new biodegradable tights aren’t only made from more sustainable components, they also utilise Hēdoïne’s unique knitting technology that makes the tights last longer, which leads to less consumption. fully biodegradable yarn does not yet exist, so it has used a yarn that saves 85 percent of otherwise non-biodegradable materials from landfill. The remaining 15 percent follows the standard waste management process.

Green Companies

Design and Innovation must combine with customer experience to solve sustainability

At a time when we face tumultuous changes on many fronts, we urgently need design to help us manage them. Design is not a panacea, but if it is applied intelligently, it is a powerful tool with which we can address these issues. The biggest shift of all is in the design of products.

Let’s take wet wipes as an example and attempt to find a solution. Wet wipes are currently produced using polyester or by a blending polyester with viscose or cotton fibres. Wet wipes applications include baby wipes, personal hygiene, cleaning, industrial wipes and medical applications. Wipes are today part of almost every household. However, in its current form, a used wet wipe after disposal persists in the environment for hundreds of years, as some of its constituents are non-biodegradable polyester. So, what should be done to solve this? There are no easy answers. Instead, questions abound! If you ban wet wipes, what will consumers replace it with? Should one then find an alternative to the polyester used in these wipes? Can they instead be made of biodegradable materials? But then, which biodegradable materials? What will be the quality and efficacy of the final product if the core material is replaced? Also, even if a product is biodegradable, should the manufacturing process also be relooked at to reduce harmful chemicals and processing?

Plastic based products are just one example of the challenges that can arise when trying to repurpose hard-to-handle materials in the circular economy. A new wave of advanced manufacturing technologies are now hitting the market, most notably the explosion in 3D printing polymers and other additive manufacturing materials. Even toxic materials are permissible in the circular economy, so long as the material is kept in the production cycle throughout its useful life.

While product design and innovation can help create better products, we need also product journeys with the customer in mind. A well designed product or a new material is only useful when the customer takes to it. Hence sustainable products and services are just the beginning. The true challenge lies in enabling sustainable consumption and disposal. Electric vehicles and solar panels are old technologies. They are yet to see mass adoption by individual consumers. Customer experiences that help address adoption challenges need to be created.

Financial Markets

Are you about to make a real estate investment? How will climate change affect your home?

Maps and other data are now available to help buyers analyze the risks of fires, floods and other disasters when searching for a new house. ClimateCheck empowers property buyers, owners, and brokers by exposing and quantifying the risks related to the climate crisis through it’s proprietary risk assessment and report. These ratings are based on an area’s future risk, and how much that risk will change over time. These have been created by using dozens of internationally accepted, global climate models for the continued release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Real estate brokerage Redfin — is now publishing climate-risk information for every location listed on its website. Redfin users who want to understand the climate risks for fire, heat, drought and storms over a 30-year period to any area in which they’re searching for a home can now see a ClimateCheck rating from 0-100 associated with the county, city, neighborhood and zip code of the home they’re considering. Currently, this data is available everywhere in the US, for over 94 million homes.

Climate risk is real and will significantly impact business as well as personal investment decisions. While businesses have been aware of these risks for some time, personal decision making is now getting impacted too!

Green Companies

A Green Company won’t emerge by accident, it needs to be designed

Some of the changes we see today in technology and work have been enabled by the disruption caused by the pandemic, others are simply an acceleration of the existing pre pandemic trends.

Virtually every industry has been experiencing rapid, massive, and sometimes devastating change over the last few years. Think of how much things have changed in just the last five years. Think of all the new services that you use, the new technologies in place, and all the innovation that’s right around the corner. Moreover, it’s amazing that we are able to view all these rapid changes before our eyes.

At the same time, technology has a way of making radical change feel matter-of-factly incremental. The arrival of the digital world has enhanced our capabilities in ways that are profound. A large part of the world’s population is now connected on the mobile phone. We easily have conversations across the globe and create, consume and share photos, music, videos and ideas and innovations. We are also steadily moving away from a one way cycle of buying and hoarding to different types of user models. For instance, with Uber we rent a car for a short while, we listen to apple Itunes rather than hoarding a stash of CDs or records and in many homes we increasingly order food rather than cook. However, these dramatic changes have been adopted wholeheartedly and almost naturally. The pandemic has also accelerated some of these changes.

With operations teams working overtime on hybrid working, IT is struggling to cope with emerging technology needs and marketing departments are wondering how to advertise since viewership is deeply fragmented. Sustainability and social responsibility departments on the other hand need to quickly turn and re-evaluate new strategies given the scale and magnitude of climate change targets and impacts.

The big question we need to be asking is, “What will the new world look like and can we together create a better tomorrow?” We create what we think. And this is perhaps as good a time as any to learn from the past and create a better tomorrow by designing it in a better way. Corporate structures have been driven by the need to hire specialists for each department, but now we need to think differently. The only way that we can seek to address all the accelerating digital and sustainability trends is to start thinking in systems. The same needs to be applied to how companies function too.

For instance, people talk of creating ethical AI to solve problems through automation. How you think and act gets reflected in what you create. Ethical AI is more about ethics than technology.

The inherent model behind corporations is one of liability limitation and externalization of cost. The winners of tomorrow will be companies that create value while being socially responsible.