Unbound: No 141
By B Bickham profile image B Bickham
6 min read

Unbound: No 141

How to Select Sustainable Textiles for the Built Environment by Gordon Boggis | Sustainable Brands Acknowledging that many textile manufacturers are vague about their products, with little to no proof of sustainability or misrepresenting their claims, can be disheartening. But there are a few key ways to identify a greenwashed product.

How to Select Sustainable Textiles for the Built Environment
by Gordon Boggis | Sustainable Brands

Photo by analuisa gamboa on Unsplash

Acknowledging that many textile manufacturers are vague about their products, with little to no proof of sustainability or misrepresenting their claims, can be disheartening. But there are a few key ways to identify a greenwashed product.

As awareness and understanding of their negative environmental impacts increases, the fashion and building industries are re-evaluating their practices and working to minimize their harmful impacts. It’s fantastic to see a collective movement of corporations becoming more mindful of where and how they source their goods and what materials they work with. Businesses of all sizes must practice accountability for their environmental and social impact, leading to a cycle of corporations and consumers influencing one another to collectively do better.

The design industry specifically has an exciting opportunity to lead this environmental charge forward. Equipped with a better understanding of greenwashing indicators and responsible material selection that considers holistic, embedded lifecycle impact; clean manufacturing processes and carbon-footprint evaluation, the industry can achieve meaningful progress and boost stakeholder confidence.

3 Minute Read →

A visit to the future of electronics recycling
By Jon Smieja | GreenBiz

Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash

In my last piece, I took you to an electronic-waste sorting facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was fascinated to see the breadth of the products that came through the facility and the number of separate material streams created just from mechanical separation of parts. Naturally, my curiosity had me asking: What’s next for all these materials?

That inquisitiveness led me to the brand-new Camston Wrather circuit board recycling facility in Carlsbad, California. The process it has developed and the facility the company has built is unlike anything I’ve seen before, so I asked Aaron Kamenash, co-founder and chief innovation officer, to answer a few questions to help me better understand this part of the e-waste recycling supply chain.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the e-waste problem is huge. Even though circuit boards make up only a small fraction of the overall weight of the e-waste stream, they are a very important part of the e-waste puzzle because of the value of the materials they contain.

Using data from the Global E-Waste Monitor 2020, estimates from Camston Wrather and some back-of-the-envelope math, we can see that only about 12 percent of all e-waste in the United States by weight is circuit boards. Within that small weight percentage, though, is over $2,000 of precious metals per ton of circuit boards, or more than $1.6 billion in total value each year in the United States alone.

2 Minute Read →

JPMorgan Chase Completes Quantum “Deep Hedging” Study, May Increase Risk Mitigation Capabilities in Financial Services
By | CrowdfundInsider.com

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

QC Ware and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) have completed a study of quantum “deep hedging,” paving the way “for future increased risk mitigation capabilities in financial services.”

In a new paper released on March 30th, 2023, JPMorgan Chase and QC Ware examined two questions “on how the practice of deep hedging—reducing risk for a portfolio utilizing data driven models that consider market frictions and trading constraints—might be improved with quantum computing.”

The researchers first “examined whether existing classical deep hedging frameworks could be improved using quantum deep learning.” Then, using quantum reinforcement learning, they studied “whether a new quantum framework could be defined for deep hedging.”

The study found “that deep hedging on classical frameworks using quantum deep learning enabled models to be trained more efficiently.”

3 Minute Read →

🌙 NASA - Best Photo from Last Week
NASA Launches Climate-Focused Startup Studio with Technology Incubator

Kaycie Gillette-Mallard, 2021 FedTech participant, presents her project, Video Magic, a video-based, remotely operated structural health-monitoring software.Credits: FedTech

When it comes to “going green,” NASA technology is already hard at work all around you. Better water conservation, improved renewable energy storage, and even toxic chemical cleanup are just some examples of the ways these technologies, invented or enhanced to further the space agency’s mission work, are being used on Earth, for Earth.

Now FedTech, an organization that specializes in connecting entrepreneurs with technologies from federal labs, is teaming up with NASA Technology Transfer Expansion (T2X) to introduce entrepreneurs to NASA technologies ripe for commercialization as solutions to climate-related problems. The NASA FedTech Startup Studio matches entrepreneurs with agency patents available for licensing and groups them into teams for entrepreneurial training to develop new products and services.

“One of the great things about NASA is our ability to innovate and support emerging technology – and that’s as important for studying our home planet as it is for studying the rest of the universe,” said Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor. “Programs like this help ensure not only that we have access to innovative climate technology, but also that those technologies can be used more broadly by businesses around the world.”

Technology selection and entrepreneur recruiting are underway for the series to kick off in June. Participants will work in teams for 16 weeks, leading up to a showcase event to be held in Wilmington, Delaware in October, where they will pitch their final business concepts to judges selected by both T2X and FedTech.

T2X accelerates the commercialization of NASA-developed technologies and new venture creation through strategic partnerships, entrepreneurial activities, and engagement with academia. T2X falls under the NASA Technology Transfer program.

“We’re excited about this next step to get NASA technologies in front of the right groups of people,” said Dan Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer program executive. “We aren’t just waiting for people to come to us­­ – we’re going out there, making connections with entrepreneurial communities, and ramping up the process to solve some big environmental challenges.”

The Startup Studio will guide participants through the challenges associated with starting a business. FedTech will run the program on behalf of NASA. FedTech will help the participants build skills to discover customers, develop business models, and raise investment funding to gain a competitive edge and be successful. Business mentors will also serve as sources of professional advice throughout the program.

Participants are grouped based on interest, skill, and experience to form dynamic, complementary teams. The Startup Studio will walk the teams through the business model development cycle with NASA technologies related to wind turbines, environmental monitoring, waste management, solar power, and more.

“With all of the current focus around climate technology, now is a perfect time for any aspiring entrepreneur to take the leap to launch a new venture,” said Robyn Brazzil, a partner at FedTech. “This startup studio will create important opportunities and will help us build upon the successful cohorts we’ve previously had with NASA in creating new businesses around vetted technologies.”

Previous NASA FedTech Startup Studios have led to several startup companies. Past participants have also pitched on ABC’s Shark Tank and participated in the virtual NASA Startup Feature Series.

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2023
Editor: Loura Hall

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By B Bickham profile image B Bickham
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