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Impact focus – Trends and technology that offer sustainable, breakthrough solutions

Think outside the bowl. That's the message from the new breed of upscale bug-protein pet food brands. The trailblazers tapping the $50 billion canine nutrition market say that “ento” insect snacks have a smaller...
With intensified investor and media criticism ahead of  the IPO of We Company, one of the world’s biggest remote office startups, the coworking model is facing the toughest scrutiny to date. Can We Company...
Startups are increasingly on the front line as the U.S. Department of Energy nibbles at using Blockchain technology to secure the energy grid from cyber attacks. Internet security startup TFA Labs won a $199,660...
Key Takeaway:  Shape Security, which became a unicorn last month after raising $183 million to date, has developed an AI-powered engine that helps distinguish humans from bots...
John Thornton remembers his passion for space being ignited when, in his early teens, the robotic spacecraft Pathfinder landed on Mars with a roving probe. “My ‘Apollo moment’ was seeing the Pathfinder mission” the 35-year-old Thornton...
The Trump administration Thursday finalized the repeal of Obama-era clean water regulations that the president has called “oppressive,” the latest in a broad assault on environmental regulations. The Waters of the United States rule...
Key Takeaway: The burning of biomass, trees, plants and animal poop, was once seen as a renewable fuel and answer to the climate crisis. It’s now getting...
Most car fresheners try masking bad smells, with pine or fruit aromas. But why not subtly change the way the driver perceives an odor, tricking the person into thinking the smell is pleasurable? And...
If you are currently wearing a pair of Allbirds sneakers, you’re probably in agreement with the company’s slogan: that they’re the world’s most comfortable shoes.  But the ubiquitous direct-to-consumer sneaker startup did not get...
Car shoppers soon may have another option to consider when buying -- whether or not to add solar. While vehicles powered entirely by the sun won’t be sold for a long time, if ever,...
Uber has been fighting for years to keep its 3.9 million drivers classified as independent contractors, which means they are in business for themselves and ineligible for benefits.  Now heavyweight California, home to the...
China is addicted to pork. Last year, the nation, home to half the world’s pigs, produced more than 50 million tons of pork. It’s citizens ate more of the meat than any other country.
From waste-sorting robots to a 3-D food printing appliance that cuts waste, Closed Loop Partners is backing products that aim to redefine recycling. The investment firm’s driving force is Ron Gonen, who founded the company in 2014...
From the window of the small Italian café called Coffee Break on Main Street in Hackensack, New Jersey, Dominic Daniele has had a front-row seat to the changing fortunes, not all for the better, of his New...
Is it possible to change how the most ubiquitous building material on earth is made -- one so dirty that it accounts for nearly a tenth of greenhouse gases, yet so cheap to produce that it costs...
If Beyond Meat’s ebullient post-IPO performance is any indication, everyone wants to have a piece of the plant-based, fast-growing sustainable food market. Even Tyson Foods, America’s biggest meat producer. Behold: plant-based Tyson Foods...
LO3 is seeking nothing less than to transform energy production and distribution with its blockchain-based software, and has heavy-hitting backers willing to support their quest. Blockchain has become a potential game-changer in the energy...
While animal manure is piling up around the world, threatening widespread pollution, the U.S. trails Europe and other parts of the world in finding a solution. Each year, organic waste from America’s eight billion...
Shanghai, the world’s third-largest city, has been frantic about garbage sorting tips since July 1, when the so-called “strictest garbage regulation in the history” became law. It will soon spread to 45 other Chinese cities. 
Prince Harry, whose commitment to environmental protection was questioned after a few too many private jet trips, has started a company to help consumers make more eco-friendly travel decisions. Travalyst is the first initiative...
Ethan Brown, the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, does not seem fazed by intensifying competition in the plant-based industry, from either food tech startups or industry giants like Tyson Foods Inc. “Our biggest...
That empty plastic bottle you threw in the recycling bin used to be in for a trip to another hemisphere. That changed in 2017, when China stopped accepting U.S. waste, disrupting the way the global recycling market...
Slowly but surely, the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is becoming more economic. Since 2010, the battery cost per kilowatt hour has collapsed from $1000 to to just over $200, suggesting that soon EVs could reach price...
The timber industry, long associated with a range of environmental problems from removing oxygen-producing trees to ruining habitats, probably doesn’t rank high on many impact investors’ lists of favorite industries. A recent study from North Carolina won’t...
Billionaire Bill Gates has taken a side in the polarized issue of whether to dump fossil fuel stocks to effect climate change or hang on to them. Unlike the Church of England and some of the Rockefellers,...
As the United Arab Emirates grapples with growing plastic pollution from its rapidly-rising population, two local companies say they can help tackle the crisis. Dubai-based Purecog says it has developed a water-soluble, biodegradable plastic...
A grim U.N. report detailing the effects of climate change on food production warns that without large-scale change, food across the globe will become scarcer, more expensive, and contain less nutritional value. To break...
Key Takeaway: Science for 1.5C Cities, a side-event held in UN’s basement last week, showcased the potential of new approach to climate change: letting cities take the...
Natural gas flaring is more than just blasts of flames jetting high above the New Jersey Turnpike and gas wells around the world. The burning off of excess natural gas spews carbon into the atmosphere, and big...
Green investments, at times shunned and misunderstood by mainstream investors, may be having their moment in the sun.  In a latest sign that investors are seeking opportunities to fund companies that mitigate greenhouse gas...
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