Need to Know
05 : 10 : 22

A wellness brand combining NASA technology with the blockchain, a sun-centric exhibition, and water companies are forced to return £150m to customers.

An exhibition dedicated to solar-powered futures

The Energy Show at Het Nieuwe Instituut, The Netherlands
The Energy Show at Het Nieuwe Instituut, The Netherlands
The Energy Show at Het Nieuwe Instituut, The Netherlands

The Netherlands ­– What would a world running on solar energy look like? This is the main focus of The Energy Show, an exhibition exploring interactions between the sun, solar energy, people and design.

The exhibition, hosted at Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut, is centred on the sun’s significance for humankind and all of the cultural, social and ecological possibilities it offers. The project takes visitors through a history of energy usage, inviting them to reflect on their own use and showcasing examples of innovative solar technology.

‘Solidarity is the turn towards the sun, a turn towards solar ideas. With The Energy Show I welcome you to the New Power Generation: designers, artists, architects, citizens – all humans designing, living or imagining new energy systems with the sun,’ explains Matylda Krzykowski, the exhibition’s curator.

While this project stands out with its radical focus on the sun, other curatorial projects have investigated sustainable design’s role in creating better futures, like Design with Nature at the 2022 Milan Design Week.

Strategic opportunity

How can your business play a part in the transition to solar energy as we continue to move towards a post-carbon future?

The fragrance brand embracing NASA and blockchain

Aeir, US Aeir, US
Aeir, US Aeir, US

Aeir, a new fragrance and wellness brand, has launched a collection of fragrances combining NASA and biotechnology. Co-founders Enrico Pietra and Rodrigo Caula met when attending Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne in Switzerland, also known as the university of luxury. After their studies, both went on to work for the likes of Tesla and Hermès.

The new line of fragrances – unlike traditional brands – is entirely lab-made, protecting the environment from the extraction process, resulting in a product with the lowest carbon footprint possible. The silver coating achieved on the packaging is produced through a process developed by NASA that not only creates a sleek design but creates zero waste. The brand is also creating a Web3 app that provides exclusive access to its Aeir ID product line.

Inspired by future space travel, scents are designed to be reminiscent of our home planet, creating earthy fragrances inspired by the ocean, the desert and fresh sheets, for a future-facing take on wellbeing-first fragrances.

Strategic opportunity

Now more than ever, consumers want to purchase from brands driven by purpose, so think about how your product will inspire positive change, socially and environmentally.

Google adds sustainability credentials to travel searches

Global –To help identify greener travel choices, Google is rolling out a series of new search tools and filtering options.

Travellers conscious of their carbon footprint can now filter out flights and hotel results on Google based on their sustainability rating.

New filters include a Low Emissions option for flights, and an Eco-certified label for properties and hotels, based on information provided by organisations like the US Green Building Council and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, which are importing their databases of eco-certified hotels to the search engine.

Google also launched a direct purchase option for train tickets on Google Search for travel in several countries, hoping to incentivise train travel over more polluting car or plane journeys.

Globally, 81% of travellers say that sustainable travel is important to them (source: Accelerating Post-conscious travel, such large-scale initiatives that enable them to act on this preference will be welcomed by this group.

Fedje Hotel, Norway

Strategic opportunity

Simple solutions can empower consumers to make better decisions. How can you optimise communications around your sustainability commitments?

Stat: Water companies face penalties for missing pollution targets

Jolie, US
Jolie, US

Ofwat, the water regulator for England and Wales, has announced a cut in customer bills after it found that 11 water companies have missed their pollution targets. Thames Water and Southern Water will have to return £51m ($58m, €58.1m) and £28m ($31.9m, €32.1m), respectively, after failing to comply with regulations on water treatment, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding from 2021 to 2022.

The government and water companies have faced widespread criticism for permitting the dumping of raw sewage, despite the practice only being allowed during periods of high rainfall. ‘We expect companies to improve their performance every year; where they fail to do so, we will hold them to account,’ says David Black, CEO of Ofwat.

With growing consumer calls to protect the environment, some organisations are awarding legal rights to the natural world as a way to help stop ecological destruction, and to ensure sustainable actions are a legal requirement.

Strategic opportunity

Companies should look to implement preventative measures now, as laws and policies could become tougher. Consider the natural world and adopt a less human-centric mentality within sustainability strategies.

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