Innovation is often associated with science and technology, which are both often associated with detrimental environmental impact. In reality however, it is in fact innovation, design and science that are coming together to build a brighter future for the planet as a whole.
It is only by questioning the way we do things now that we have any chance of improving things going forward – innovation being the linchpin in making things better. Science and technology of course play key roles, but it is only with innovative thinking that science and technology can be utilised to drive improvement.
A guide to making retrofit work
The concept of retrofit is as interesting as it is widely misunderstood…which is to say, very. Whereas refurbishment and renovation focus on improving/restoring something by way of form or function, retrofitting is all about making improvements while increasing energy efficiency. Retrofit refers to the process of introducing technologies, products, materials and innovations in general to make things better, while at the same time reducing energy use.
Videos like this are demonstrating just how retrofit is a concept that can and already does work in many applications, therefore it is a field that warrants much deeper exploration and research.
Low-carbon furniture to market
It’s hardly a secret at this stage in time that carbon-reduction should and must become a primary point of focus for every business and industry in operation. In addition however, there are also companies and organisations that are focusing exclusively on the production of low-carbon goods and services.
Rype Office is a London-based company that used Innovate UK funding in 2014 to develop a business plan for eco-friendly, remanufactured furniture has already landed blue chip customers including RBS, Imperial College London and CarbonNeutral.
Unsurprisingly, they’re incredibly proud to say that “All products are 'Re-made' in the UK!”
Low carbon vehicles Innovation Platform
Vehicles continue to represent one of the biggest threats of all to the environment, pumping out millions of tons of deadly carbon into the air every year. Efforts to produce low-carbon vehicles are being stepped up all the time, though still have a way to go.
This video features an interview with Jonathan Horsley, lead technologist for the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform at Innovate UK and Wright Bus during the 2014 Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event.
Modcell: using straw as an alternative insulation material in homes
One of the most important elements in proactive innovation is that of seeing existing products and resources in alternative ways, putting them to use in new capacities. In this instance, a small company came up with the incredible idea of using the natural properties of straw to serve as an effective yet brilliantly eco-friendly insulating materials for eco-homes of the future. Compressed straw can offer seriously competitive performance, without harming the environment.
Treebox - servicing greener cities
Last up, Treebox was founded in 2009 with two primary points of focus – food production and air quality in urban environments. This diverse group of scientists and working professionals combine to create and demonstrate sustainable and aesthetic solutions by using locally manufactured, recycled and environmentally friendly products and materials. They have already worked with leading landscapers, product designers and architects up and down the country to work on urban greening projects, services and solutions.
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