News 03.08.2023

Need to Know

Biozeroc’s playful new branding, AI revolutionising IVF treatment and why swathes of the US food supply chain depend on local forced labour.

Bio-concrete company Biozeroc spreads ‘the hard truth’ about the cement industry

Biozeroc. Identity by How&How, UK
Biozeroc. Identity by How&How, UK
Biozeroc. Identity by How&How, UK

UK – Biomaterials science company Biozeroc worked with How&How on a rebranding, playfully nicknaming the bio-concrete manufacturer as the House of Hard Things.

While conventional concrete is reportedly responsible for 8% of global emissions, Biozeroc is using biotechnology to create a carbon-negative version of the construction material. The start-up commissioned How&How to create an impactful brand identity that will stand out in the low-attention category that is concrete and other hard materials – while raising awareness of its carbon footprint.

Instead of opting for classic environmentalist aesthetics, How&How decided to opt for humour. The result is a brutalist visual language with colourful accents and playful messaging. Biozeroc’s mission has inspired the tagline House of Hard Things – appropriate for a company undertaking the hard mission to re-invent the core components of the world’s hardest materials. The company is also ‘spreading hard truths’ by sharing unspoken dirty secrets about the cement industry.

The use of subversion in sustainability messaging is proliferating. This creative strategy can draw attention to topics that the wider public is tired of hearing about, or doesn’t care for much, to initiate a climate conversation.

Strategic opportunity

Take cues from How&How’s creative rebranding of this cement start-up – can you opt for a more unconventional and engaging narrative to tackle serious topics and stand out?

AI to revolutionise IVF treatment and offer hope for infertility

UK – The landscape of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by the power of artificial intelligence (AI). With one in six people experiencing infertility, AI's potential to improve IVF outcomes could help swathes of patients. The technology can analyse vast datasets and provide personalised recommendations for lifestyle adjustments and medication, optimising each patient’s chances of success. AI could also boost early and precise diagnoses of infertility.

In London’s Centre for Reproductive & Genetic Health, AI is already playing a vital role in selecting the most viable embryos for transfer. Through an AI tool called CHLOE, embryologists can assess embryo viability more efficiently, potentially enhancing IVF success rates.

Automating specific tasks within the process could allow healthcare professionals to spend more time with patients throughout their IVF journey and foster more human interaction. As explored in our AI Optimism Market report, the planet could also benefit from the technology as personalised AI-powered treatment plans may reduce medication waste – contributing to a more eco-friendly and cost-effective approach to IVF treatment.

Photography by Amina Filkins

Strategic opportunity

Insurance companies can use AI-driven data analytics to develop innovative health insurance plans that cover IVF treatment and related services. Tailored insurance products can reduce financial burdens for patients and encourage more individuals to seek fertility treatments

Stat: New study reveals forced labour occurring in US food supply chain

Black Urban Growers and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance at Norman’s farm by Nydia Blas, Atlanta
Black Urban Growers and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance at Norman’s farm by Nydia Blas, Atlanta

US – A recent study published in the journal Nature has shed light on a concerning issue in the US food industry. Contrary to popular belief, forced labour may be happening closer to home than previously suspected rather than solely in foreign countries.

The study found that 62% of food products, excluding seafood, sold in the US and produced through forced labour were likely to be manufactured in the country itself, with animal-based proteins, processed fruit and vegetables, and discretionary food such as sweeteners, coffee, wines and beer being the highest-risk categories. These findings indicate that the problem of forced labour exists in the US food supply chain, potentially affecting the health and wellbeing of those involved.

The authors highlighted the vulnerability of certain groups, such as migrant workers with precarious immigration status, who are at higher risk of being forced into labour due to their limited mobility and economic constraints. With nearly 28m people globally coerced into labour daily, according to The International Labour Organization, this study serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilant monitoring and prevention of forced labour practices. It also calls for more social justice movements, similar to those highlighted in our Activism Eating Market, to look at how to create opportunities and connect communities around provision and accessibility.

Strategic opportunity

A rising number of conscious consumers will demand more transparency regarding supply chains and who makes the products they purchase. Businesses should not only ensure they are not engaging in forced labour practices, but must also communicate this effectively by setting ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets

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