News 03.06.2024

Need to Know

Cambridge researchers have pioneered low-emission concrete, Strava wants to boost female participation in sports and why Gen Z are more likely to bend workplace rules.

Cambridge researchers pioneer low-emission concrete

Zero mission concrete, University of Cambridge, UK

UK – Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a way to make low-emission concrete using recycled materials. First, old concrete from demolished buildings is crushed to separate sand and stones from the cement. Then, the crushed cement is heated to remove any leftover water, and the heated cement is placed in an electric arc furnace. This furnace is usually for the melting and recycling of steel, but in this case, it helps reactivate the used cement. The heat and the right mix of chemicals cause the crushed cement to form ‘clinker’ again, which is the key ingredient in making new cement.

Lime flux is used in steel recycling to remove impurities and often becomes waste. Here, the used cement can replace lime flux. The Cambridge Electric Cement method significantly reduces concrete and steel emissions through reduced lime flux need.

Concrete is the second-most-used material on the planet, after water, and is responsible for approximately 7.5% of CO2 emissions caused by humans, reports Chemistry World. Until now, finding a scalable way of reducing concrete emissions while meeting global demand has been a significant decarbonisation challenge.

In Regenerative Homes, we explored how eco-conscious architects are building sustainable homes by prioritising innovative materials and local sourcing. This discovery marks an important development, assisting in the shift towards more sustainable construction practices.

Strategic opportunity

Architectural firms have the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by being the first to integrate this low-emission concrete method into their projects, showcasing a commitment to sustainability and attracting eco-conscious clients

Wildfish Cannery returns to its roots with retro packaging

Wildfish Cannery rebrand by Young Jerks Wildfish Cannery rebrand by Young Jerks
Wildfish Cannery rebrand by Young Jerks Wildfish Cannery rebrand by Young Jerks

US – Brooklyn-based design studio Young Jerks has unveiled a new branding and packaging design for Wildfish Cannery, a community-rooted institution in Klawock, Alaska. Founded in 1987 by Phyllis Meuller, the cannery has been revitalised under the leadership of chef Mathew Scaletta, who combines his fine-dining expertise with his family’s traditional craft.

The rebrand emphasises Wildfish Cannery's deep community ties and commitment to sustainability. 'We fell in love with the story of Wildfish,' says Dan Christofferson, co-founder of Young Jerks, in a statement. 'Anchored in their mission of 'community care', the tinned fish line serves as a reliable protein source during Alaska’s long winters. Wildfish’s personal relationships with regional boat crews and hand-packing process ensure unmatched quality and sustainability.'

Dan Cassaro, another Young Jerks partner, added: 'We aimed to give the brand visual impact while honouring its rich history and integrity. The W mark, built from two salmon 'kissing', reflects the brand’s unique charm.'

In our upcoming Food & Drink Futures 2024–2025 Online Event, we will unpack the new novelty-nostalgia equation that brands must solve to rekindle interest in essential products and heritage institutions.

Strategic opportunity

Explore rebranding efforts that emphasise a company’s history and community roots. This can help foster a deeper connection with consumers looking for authenticity and nostalgia

Strava launches new initiatives to boost female participation in sports

Nike Women Spring 2023 campaign. Photography by Renell Medrano, US Nike Women Spring 2023 campaign. Photography by Renell Medrano, US

UK - Strava, a fitness app, is intensifying its efforts to promote female participation in sports through a series of new features. Recognising that women of all ages engage in sports far less than men – girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have (source: Women’s Sports Foundation), Strava aims to support women in achieving active lifestyles.

Among the new features introduced are night heatmaps, which help athletes identify well-trafficked routes for safer training. This tool is particularly beneficial for female athletes who train early in the morning or late at night.

The quick edit feature allows users to easily manage which details are shared with the community. This includes editing activity names and adjusting privacy settings to hide start times, maps or other workout stats, giving athletes greater control over their data.

As part of its Strive for More initiative, Strava has partnered with media and commerce company TOGETHXR to promote women’s sports. This collaboration includes a £78,588 ($100,000, €92,186) donation to the Alex Morgan Foundation, supporting its mission to help women confidently pursue active lifestyles.

This reflects a trend we've analysed where sporting companies rebrand to encourage Gen Z and female participation, focusing on diversity, inclusiveness, community and safety.

Strategic opportunity

How can your business ensure the safety of its users? Develop safety features and advanced privacy controls, allowing users to manage what information they share and with whom, ensuring concerns of particularly vulnerable groups are met

Stat: Gen Z employees more likely to bend workplace rules

After Hours by Shauna Summers via DTS, Germany After Hours by Shauna Summers via DTS, Germany

Global – A new report by ethics and compliance firm LRN Corporation reveals that Gen Z employees are more inclined to break workplace rules compared to their older counterparts. The study found that 22% of Gen Z respondents admitted to engaging in unethical conduct in the workplace within the past year, compared to just 9% of Baby Boomers. These findings are based on a survey of more than 8,500 employees from major organisations across 15 countries and 13 industries.

With 21% of observed misconduct going unreported due to fears of retaliation or the belief that concerns would not be addressed, LRN’s report underscores the importance of a strong ethical culture in business performance. Companies with robust ethical cultures reportedly see a 50% higher performance in metrics such as customer satisfaction and innovation. 'There are several realities organisations need to address, from an evident lack of trust in the system of procedural justice and a worrying proportion of individuals, particularly among Gen Z, not adverse to rule-breaking,' said Ty Francis, LRN's chief advisory officer, in a statement.

For more insights on young people’s behaviour regarding work, success and achievements, see our Gen Z Now and Next: From Vision to Contradiction macrotrend report.

Strategic opportunity

Build a workplace culture where all employees, including Gen Z, feel valued and heard. Regularly survey employees to understand their concerns and address issues promptly to build trust and commitment

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