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The Right Way to Build Sustainable Innovations

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The Right Way to Build Sustainable Innovations

Driven by next-gen innovations across sectors like energy and agriculture, the $10 billion global sustainable technology market is expected to grow more than seven-fold by 2030. Read on and learn why the best sustainability programs put innovation front and center.

The core of sustainability is opportunity, not compliance

While there is broad agreement in the international business community about the social and environmental value of corporate sustainability programs, no such consensus exists around how these programs can best serve a company’s bottom line. This is a shame, since the most exciting developments in the sustainability space are being driven by technologists and innovators, not compliance officers.

According to a recent Deloitte survey of more than 2,000 executives from 21 countries, 79% of business leaders agree that the world is approaching a climate change tipping point; even more of them (88%) believe immediate action is necessary. However, the report found that respondents were uncertain about what such action should actually look like. For example, executives said they were more likely to have “used more sustainable materials” in the past than to have “developed new climate-friendly products or services.” In other words, there is a relatively widespread unwillingness among companies to embed sustainability principles into their core cultures.

A Harvard Business Review article from back in 2009 stated this problem clearly: “Most executives treat the need to become sustainable as a corporate social responsibility, divorced from business objectives.” In fact, the true winners in this space will likely be the ones who embed sustainable, planet-friendly thinking into every aspect of their organization, rather than haphazardly and at the margins.

Increasingly, large organizations are waking up to this new reality, but in many cases there is deep uncertainty about where to begin. The scope of a genuine sustainability program can be daunting, and the payoff might seem remote. Indeed, many firms struggle to quantify their carbon footprint—methodological inconsistency remains a big challenge—let alone articulate a coherent climate action roadmap that aligns with their growth and innovation targets.

An intelligent sustainability program, like a good innovation strategy, should aim to secure options for future growth and, ultimately, grant your organization some operational breathing room in conditions of uncertainty and crisis. In this sense, it pays to get started quickly.

Set your sustainability goals before you figure out how to achieve them

To help integrate sustainability practices into your organization, consider setting your energy goals before assessing and allocating the necessary resources. We might call this the visionary, or target-first, approach to sustainability.

This approach may seem counterintuitive at first, but it has several virtues that may help your organization go from zero to one on sustainable innovation. Adopting a target-first mindset will help you embed environmentally-friendly thinking and sustainable practices into every aspect of your company, from process to product. It will also allow you to actively work towards building a better future instead of passively reacting to tomorrow’s crises.

Some companies may be tempted to make minor sustainability conciliations purely for the purpose of promoting them in a self-congratulatory fashion. This tactic, sometimes pejoratively called “greenwashing,” essentially treats climate policy as a marketing or PR function. Apart from its questionable ethics, the greenwashing approach fails to acknowledge the immense business potential of sustainability.

Sustainable innovation is a rapidly growing space that has the potential to fundamentally transform the future of business. The global green technology market size was valued at just over $10 billion in 2020; it’s projected to exceed $74 billion by the decade’s end.4 Partly driving this anticipated growth are a series of breakthroughs in the emerging technologies space, including developments in the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The most promising next-gen innovations in the green space include:

  • Smart energy management tools: Recent developments in IoT and AI technologies have made it easier than ever to gain effective insights into energy usage data. Read the U+ report How AI Can Save the Energy Industry Billions in 2022 and Beyond for a closer look at the energy sector’s exciting future.

  • Air pollution monitoring: Thanks to a combination of next-gen technological solutions and record-low pollution sensoring costs, organizations are increasingly replacing legacy systems with connected ones, allowing personnel to draw upon actionable data in real time.

  • Smart waste management: Innovations in wireless sensor technology are creating unprecedented levels of efficiency in the waste disposal process, allowing stakeholders to optimize their operations according to on-demand data.

  • Sustainable farming: Sophisticated IoT and machine learning interventions, as well as new sensor technologies, are driving change across a range of agricultural outputs, from irrigation to seeding.. Also, breakthroughs in farming analytics have made it possible to minimize per-acre resource consumption while radically lowering costs. These solutions are all notable for their scale, sophistication, and ambition. A technological leap forward in any one of them could have an enormous impact on the long-term trajectory of their respective sectors.

The demand for genuinely sustainable innovation is as popular with consumers as it is with regulators, and it continues to grow. The organizations that will capture the largest share of the rapidly expanding green technology market will be those that adopt a target-first mindset, align their environmental plans with their core business goals, and get an early start building tomorrow’s sustainable infrastructure. These tactics make up a long-term strategy that will ensure better results than, for instance, hiring a green PR team and posting pictures of recycling bins on Instagram.

The climate crisis is more urgent than ever. It no longer pays to focus on virtuous messaging. The time has come to innovate, build, and iterate—in short, to invest in virtue itself.

About Jan Beránek

Jan Beránek is chief executive officer and founder for U+, a leading global digital product development company, specializing in corporate research and development, the launch of corporate and startup innovations, and the transformation of Fortune 1000 companies’ digital ideas into real products. During the past 12 years, U+ has successfully turned more than 90 ideas into reality with total valuation exceeding $1B in the fintech, energy, telco, e-health and automotive industries. For more information, please visit

integrate logistics automation freight

The emergence of logistics platform

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, the logistics supply chain industry began to experience difficulties. Due to the air traveler restrictions in most countries, air transport was the first to reduce their normal scheduled flights which disrupt air transport shipments. Then, ocean transport experienced its own set of problems; vessels had to berth longer out of the ocean since ports were operating at half capacity because of the alternating work schedule of its workers. Problems worsened with an increased demand of containers capacity by Asian manufacturers due to an explosive demand by e-commerce. As a result, ocean liners were not quick enough to return empty containers back to Asia, which created a supply chain backlog and a price increase to the industry.

The International Trans-Pacific Ocean freight charges significantly increased over the last two years. For example, the cost of moving shipment from South East Asia regions cost $3,000 USD/container to the US. It gradually increased every other month and reached $11,000 USD/container by December of 2020, an increase of more than 300% in over a year. The cost reached $16,000 to (US-West Cost) and $19,000 to (US-East Coast) in main ports by December 2021. An inland transport to the final destination, for example, Atlanta, costs $26,000/container. Imagine, a container that has 1,000 items from Asia to the US with a transport cost of $3.00 had become $26.00/ item. It is why inflation has been unusually high.


The logistics company (transporter) has been operating an offline business method for decades. Operating business in an offline environment makes operation and administration slow, expensive and non-transparent. Quotations given by transporters listed too many itemized charges, making it difficult for shippers to analyze. Charges at origin and destination varies among transporters. Shippers who want to get five quotations must make inquiries to five different local transporters, requiring about 2-3 days for one quotation to be delivered. Companies using an offline business method lack efficiency and are far behind those who have adapted to technology. We are now living in an online world where platform news, social communication and shopping is done in an instant, and businesses should use a technology platform to its advantage.

Shippers who participate in Logistics Platform would be able to analyze available transporters at Origin and at Destination. Logistics service information is properly displayed and all questions can be answered directly by transporters with the chat feature in the platform. With just a few clicks, shippers will be able to confirm shipments to transporters with transparent detailed services: pricing, schedules, document requirements at origin and at destination. Once the shipment is accepted by transporters, work-order and reminder note are issued by the platform to alert everyone involved. A shipper that paid $26,000 from Jakarta to Atlanta in an offline environment, would only pay $22,500/container in platform business model.

Internet technology is an important factor in our daily lives. The relationship between transporters and their shippers is now more interactive with direct communication. A platform with its embedded algorithm into digitalization would speed up and minimize transporter manual operation and paper administration. The status of delivery in Bangkok can be instantly viewed by the Shipper in Amsterdam. The identity of the truck and driver is available for shippers in Tokyo to track before shipment is released. Digital Proof of delivery in Los Angles is transmitted to the transporter in San Francisco to speed up invoicing and confirmation of acceptance by Shipper. Warehouse space becomes easily searchable with the selection of available warehouse operators where the platform operates. Decision-making is faster with less human involvement and operation becomes simpler.

We are now able to do almost everything using our smartphone, and it has become our identity and trusted 24/7 companion. Any individual with a smartphone can create products and sell online from every corner in the world. There are now more individuals who have joined Global Digital Market as either Buyer or Seller, driving the demand of logistics services. A platform that fits into the Business-Consumer trend will open up new channels and bridge the transition from traditional systems would attract many followers. The integration of the Logistics Industry with Internet Technology will be beneficial for all parties involved. With no barriers, shippers in Jakarta able to make a seamless transaction to select transporter at Jakarta and at Atlanta via smartphone or computer in just a few clicks. Companies that fail to catch up with Digitalization and Automation will lose out their Development Growth to connect the Online World, which demands direct interaction, competitive pricing and consolidated services.


Cyber-Security Takes Its Rightful Place At The Forefront of Multinational Corporation (MNC) Growth Strategies

Over the last few years, cyber-attacks have become more and more prevalent across the United States and no doubt in the global news cycle. ‘Ransomware’ has become a household name and in short, found its potential to hold America and its businesses hostage.
From the attack on the JBS meat plants to the Colonial Pipeline, the correlative effects are clear and present to both small enterprises and multinationals.

The potential for digital warfare to spill beyond Russian and Ukrainian IP addresses should serve as additional notice that companies need to be thinking pragmatically and be on high alert.

Atlantic Data Security is a Cybersecurity solutions provider that manages, consults, and offers wholescale security protection solutions. Named the “Most Promising Cyber Security Solution Provider by CIOReview,” Atlantic Data Security can analyze all types of system configurations, then recommend, deploy and manage all critical security components of a company’s network.

Scott Kasper serves as the company’s CEO, herein addressing the challenges and opportunities inherent to the industry of cyber and to cyber stakeholders.
Please provide our readership with background on the steer and scale of Atlantic Data Security?SK: Atlantic Data Security has over 30 years of experience in the cyber security industry providing high-level cyber consulting and professional services to some of the world’s top corporations.  We also provide end-to-end value from architecture to professional services, managed services, post-deployment support, and consulting.

We have physical offices up and down the East Coast.  We partner with the leading suppliers of cyber technology to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients.

The notion of quasi-‘State Capture’ through ransom-ware has captivated the media cycle as of late. Where are the pain points in an organization assessing their weaknesses against ‘phishing’-oriented and cyber-security threats?

SK: Phishing attacks are considered among the most challenging cyber-security threats faced by all organizations.  Regardless of how much you train your employees, or how cautious they are online, there remains a high probability that your company or agency will still be attacked.

Phishers keep developing their techniques over time and as long as there is electronic media, they will find vulnerabilities to exploit.  Ransom-ware attacks are becoming daily headlines precisely because they are so prevalent.  360-degree knowledge about your environment is the first step of being prepared for an attack.  Here’s our approach:

First, we conduct a Readiness Assessment.

A Readiness Assessment will improve your organization’s ability to respond to a ransom-ware attack quickly and effectively.  Our firm is made up of experts who have extensive experience in cyber-security and incident response (IR) plans.  We will review your IR plan, capabilities, and technologies. If you don’t have such a plan, we’ll help you craft one.  Our consultants will highlight gaps and identify areas for improvement to bolster your readiness and strengthen your overall cyber defense capabilities.

Here’s what we’ll do as part of our typical Assessment:

1.  Analyze relevant firewall and network device configurations for security weaknesses;

2.  Review user activity logging and audit configurations to prepare for a potentially broader investigative efforts;

3.  Review network and endpoint security monitoring solutions and processes;

4.  Evaluate email and web filtering options and configurations to prevent phishing attacks and malicious payload delivery;

5.  Review access and privileged access controls and processes; and

6.  Evaluate overall vulnerability and patch management controls and processes

Next, we’ll teach you to run a Ransom-ware Tabletop Exercise.

Performing the Ransom-ware Tabletop Exercise will improve your organization’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to a ransom-ware attack.   At Atlantic Data Security, we will design and facilitate a ransom-ware attack tabletop IR exercise.  We base the exercise on the many investigations our IR team will have performed to test your readiness by means of a simulated attack.

We also educate and train your teams to practice IR processes and workflows. It is important to keep up-to-date on modern day attack techniques to evaluate effectiveness in, and be ready for, real-world scenarios.

Where are the opportunities for industry growth in the arena of cyber security?

SK: At Atlantic Data Security, the opportunities for growth are nearly infinite.  We are building a generation of expertise in an area where real world experience is frighteningly rare in the existing talent pool.  While it is said there is a zero percent unemployment rate in cyber, that fact does not take into account the dearth of practically tested experts. We provide that real world experience because we’ve been there since the beginning.

Today there is an even greater need for top-level, defensive talent. With increased use of the cloud and the accelerating rate of people working remotely, the market needs professionals trained and experienced in keeping organizations safe.

Where does Atlantic Data Security seek to expand within the course of five years’ time?

SK: Atlantic Data Security is poised for vibrant growth over the next five years.  Towards the end of 2020, I was tasked with engineering our business practice to take fuller advantage of our primary resources – our consultants.  Atlantic Data Security’s long history and background puts us in the unique position of being one of the top cyber consulting firms in the world.

Like the business management firms McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company, Atlantic Data Security is becoming the leader in cyber consulting.

As we grow, we are investing in 5 key areas:

Brand name:  Our brand is our promise to our customers. We see it as our responsibility to provide advice, guidance, and assistance to protect against cyberattacks with proactive, focused, industry-relevant threat intelligence. That’s why our name gives our clients the confidence that comes from knowing their business is secure.Strategy work: At Atlantic Data Security, we focus on strategy work, which is the cutting-edge of consulting work in the cyber industry.   We also partner with other leading cyber agencies and leaders to ensure we are providing the latest and absolute best advice and counsel to our clients.

Strong client relationships:  Advising and standing by our clients for over three decades, we have built very long-standing relationships. Atlantic Data Security has a history of client retention because we put tremendous value on client trust and on the quality and impact of our work.  We feel as though we are truly an extension of each of our clients’ team, and that is how we work.

Investment in personal development: Atlantic Data Security invests heavily in the professional development of our consultants. Some of our consultants come to us with years of experience, but that is never where the learning ends.  Our consultants have the opportunity to learn and develop many skills, both hard skills and soft skills, in a short period of time. Atlantic Data Security believes mentorship is essential and facilitates frequent peering sessions and exposure to best practices among all divisions.

Talented, smart people: Atlantic Data Security hires the smartest, most talented people around. Our clients know that when a consultant is working with them, they are not part of a training cycle or in the middle of a learning curve.  We have the most knowledgeable and professional consultants in the industry.

Lastly, in the era of en masse virtualization accelerated by COVID-19 social distancing, how can technology safeguard work-from-home employees of MNCs?

SK: There are a number of ways companies and employees can safeguard work from home especially if they are working for Multinational Corporations.  For instance:

For the Employer:

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The use of a VPN is a fundamental safeguard when users access the company’s network from home or a remote location. A VPN also allows for encryption of data, which adds a level of protection for information such as passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive or private information. A VPN can also provide a level of anonymity through capabilities such as masking of location data, website history and IP addresses.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

The simple principle of MFA is that an authorized user must provide more than one method of validating their identity. Even if a cyber attacker has obtained a user ID and password, MFA decreases the risk that an attacker can gain access by requiring an additional means of validation. Multi-factor Authentication uses something you have such as an authenticator app on a smartphone, something you are such as a fingerprint or something you know like a PIN number.

Ensure systems, software, technologies, and devices are updated with the latest security patches.

Employers should track the equipment to be used in a home environment and provide a means of updating software security patches.

For the Employee:

Prevent unauthorized users on company resources (e.g., laptops, mobile devices).

Employees should not allow anyone to access company resources, including family members.

Use only company-authorized devices for remote work.

Personal devices may not have the same level of security and privacy protections as company devices. If your company has a “Bring Your Own Device” policy, be sure that your use of a personal device is in accordance with that policy. This includes home printers and personal email accounts.

Dispose of company documents properly.

Review your company’s records retention and management policies, as well as information management policies, to ensure compliance. If you must dispose of hard copies of company documents, either shred them or securely retain them for proper disposal when you return to the office.

business applications

Cities With the Largest Increase in New Business Applications Since COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on small businesses, which are estimated to employ nearly half of all American workers. A recent Federal Reserve Bank study noted that the pandemic caused an additional 200,000 businesses to close their doors last year, with small businesses comprising the bulk of the difference.

However, it hasn’t been all bad news for the nation’s small businesses. A real-time survey of business applications conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau offers encouraging results: the increase in business shutdowns combined with changes in consumer preferences created gaps for new entrants to fill, resulting in a strong resurgence of new businesses. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a nearly 25% increase in new business applications, and that increase has held relatively steady through 2021. About one-third of current applications are considered “high-propensity applications,” or those with a high likelihood of turning into a business with payroll.

At the industry level, the increase in new business applications is being led by the retail trade sector of the economy. When comparing the number of applications from 2019 to 2020, retail trade applications increased by 59%, followed by the transportation sector which increased nearly 35%. Further, the largest percentage increases in applications were more likely to occur in those sectors already generating the highest number of applications overall. Together, this indicates the start of a robust trend for total small business creation in the economy.

While total business applications grew markedly since the beginning of the pandemic, the strongest increases appeared in the Southeast. Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana lead the nation with application increases of over 55%. Yet, not all states fared well, as Alaska and North Dakota each saw small, single-digit percentage decreases over the same time period. At the metro level, those reporting the largest increases in new business applications are also found in the Southeast, with a handful of locations in Texas and the Midwest also ranking highly.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine the locations with the largest increase in new business applications since COVID-19, researchers at Self Financial calculated the percentage change in new business applications from 2019 to 2020. In the event of a tie, the location with the higher total change in business applications from 2019 to 2020 was ranked higher.

Here are the large U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest increase in new business applications since the start of the pandemic.


Metro Rank Percentage change in business applications (2019-2020) Total change in business applications (2019-2020) Total business applications in 2020 Total business applications in 2019
Memphis, TN-MS-AR    1    +77.7% +11,554 26,431 14,877
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA    2    +56.8% +73,365 202,603 129,238
New Orleans-Metairie, LA    3    +55.6% +10,659 29,830 19,171
Cleveland-Elyria, OH    4    +54.5% +11,302 32,045 20,743
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI    5    +49.7% +51,394 154,758 103,364
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI    6    +48.9% +26,947 82,098 55,151
Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI    7    +37.6% +5,773 21,127 15,354
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX    8    +37.4% +32,185 118,183 85,998
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC    9    +35.3% +11,879 45,487 33,608
Birmingham-Hoover, AL    10    +35.3% +4,070 15,593 11,523
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC    11    +35.0% +6,683 25,783 19,100
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD    12     +33.4% +25,103 100,265 75,162
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA    13    +32.2% +10,944 44,887 33,943
Fresno, CA    14    +32.1% +1,782 7,332 5,550
Jacksonville, FL    15    +31.8% +7,537 31,202 23,665
United States    –    +24.2% +848,210 4,356,870 3,508,660


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Self Financial’s website:


Insufficient Weather Information Can be Costly

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana in 2020 with 150 mph winds before moving up the East Coast to drop a record amount of rain on New York City. In its wake, the Category 4 storm caused severe flooding and destroyed just about everything in its path, with the cost to insurers estimated by leading risk management analytics firm RMS to be between $31 billion and $44 billion.

Hurricanes don’t just destroy properties though – they also destroy infrastructure and disrupt freight transport, especially by truck and rail. The damage from weather events is pervasive, but advanced weather data analytics that combine legacy and new datasets can improve the understanding of storm threats. With more data to inform analysis, those affected can better prepare to prevent losses and destruction that cause prices to rise, particularly those related to ground transport.

Immediately after Ida, digital brokerage platform Transfix reported that dry-van spot rates, or the cost of space in an enclosed trailer, rose 5 to 8 percent out of Memphis, about 5 percent out of Georgia, and up to 15 percent out of Louisiana and Mississippi. Freight rail operators suffered gridlock from the storm, as well as crews that had to wait for floodwater to recede before starting repairs. Freight cars were then rerouted or ran under limited service until the railroad network was fully operational.


Any slowdown in transport or increase in rates likely results in an increase in the prices consumers pay for those goods being transported. While some of these increases are inevitable, given enough information and forewarning, freight carriers can plan accordingly for these events, especially since few areas within the U.S. aren’t affected by Mother Nature.

Weather Events Disrupt Supply Chains

High winds and tornados disrupt trucking as they can push a high-profile vehicle out of its lane or in the worst case, flip it over. Flashfloods can wash away railroad tracks and potentially cause derailments. Rain and fog lead to decreased visibility for locomotive engineers and truck drivers, cutting speed by as much as 25 percent. Snow and ice can make roads impassable and tracks brittle. A wildfire destroys everything in its path, including roads and rails.

Infrastructure damage frequently causes disruption to, and in the worst-case halts, supply chains. While these slowdowns certainly can create compounding issues downstream in the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail sectors, transportation businesses are typically the first to suffer financial tolls ranging from penalties for missed deliveries to loss of equipment and freight damages.

The estimated annual cost of weather-related delays to trucking companies range from $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. There are about 700 railroads operating in the U.S., and North America’s largest freight rail operator, Union Pacific, suffered about $100 million in losses from wildfires and heavy rains that caused disruption over the company’s 32,000-mile network in 2021.

Extreme weather events are becoming more prevalent as weather patterns are changing, and they’re becoming more costly to all. Since 1980, the U.S. has experienced over 300 weather and climate disasters that have had overall damages exceeding $1 billion, for a total cost exceeding $2 trillion, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The numbers have trended upward over time, with an average of about 16 events each year from 2016 to 2020 and 18 events topping $1 billion occurring in 2021 just through October 8. This number doesn’t include the tornados that tore through Mississippi in December or the Colorado wildfires that closed out the year.

Developing advanced planning and forecasting tools to aid in deciding whether cargo should go or not requires data that’s more timely, frequent, and accurate than what’s readily available today. However, recent advances in satellite-based weather observation systems and big data processing enable substantial progress towards a better understanding of storms.

More Data Makes a Difference

While technology can’t change weather patterns, it can be used to create innovative solutions for determining where a storm is, how severe it is, and where it’s going. The current weather forecasting systems gather an insufficient amount of actionable data that can be analyzed in real time. If only a few datapoints are available, for example, forecasting models must interpolate data to fill in the gaps. Given more real-time observations, the forecast accuracy can be vastly improved.

Less densely populated geographic regions typically have the fewest weather data collections – yet these open spaces are where many of the country’s major highways and rail corridors run. Gathering data across these zones utilizing satellite-based observation platforms can augment limited ground-based radars. Data from multiple sources provides more accurate predictions of weather events before they transpire, as well as their severity and movement as they’re ongoing.

There are a variety of methods used to gather weather data, including ground-based radar, sensors, and instruments; weather balloons; and aircraft-mounted radar and sensing equipment. These technologies don’t provide the same insight as some satellite sensors and cameras, though. Clear Weather visual systems aboard satellites capture a view of the ground during clear skies, and the tops of clouds during storms. All Weather technologies, such as passive microwave sensing, are capable of penetrating through clouds to gather information inside the storms to collect critical data, such as water volume, temperature, and precipitation type.

Weather information from any source is useful when it comes to understanding weather fronts, but the right detail helps create a more complete picture. Microwave-sensing technologies give unique insight into weather patterns that provide clarity as to the severity of a weather event. Despite its value, there are only 11 operating microwave sensors in orbit today, making the ability to see and predict fast-moving storms very limited when the satellite is only able to provide data for a region in the U.S. every three to six hours.

Align and Analyze for Better Forecasts

Quickly putting all the pieces together to gain better understanding of what’s happening now and forecasting what will happen as conditions change is no simple process. This process requires a significant amount of computing power to align and combine disparate datasets for a multidimensional representation of weather at a specific location and time. With a high-definition cohesive picture of the weather, traditional forecasts can truly become nowcasts.

The broadest view of the weather with the most forward-looking data comes from satellites though, and until recently, the few in orbit were flown by governments with multi-billion-dollar price tags.

Now, commercial satellite providers are putting more sensing equipment into orbit, and each new satellite sensor in orbit collects data that adds to forecast certainty and enables preemptive actions to reduce losses and impacts.

Being able to move goods predictably and safely is a key component of supply chains. Transportation companies need to be able to properly assess how infrastructure is affected by weather and the resources needed to make repairs or delay transport. Accurately planning for these events can prevent losses. Just getting trucks off roads and planning rail network actions before a storm could save big dollars, and having the right weather data drives the right decisions.


Calculating the True Value of a WMS: Top Cost Savings for Manufacturing Companies

When manufacturing companies consider the digitization of their supply chain, many opt to delay their project because of the investments required to acquire and implement new technology solutions. In so doing, however, they deprive themselves of their operational and financial benefits.   

SaaS solutions like the SOLOCHAIN WMS have made efficient technology solutions far more affordable than ever before. Nevertheless, a WMS still remains a significant investment to smaller manufacturing companies. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a WMS or ERP’s TOC is not indicative of the system’s actual value – at least, not in and of itself.

Any investment in supply chain infrastructure must be evaluated by relating the TOC to the ROI an operator stands to achieve. It is therefore essential that operators rigorously understand the kinds of savings and gains a given technology solution can yield to make an informed decision regarding its value.

In this paper, we look at five ways manufacturing companies achieve tangible and intangible savings and gains thanks to the SOLOCHAIN WMS.

1. Roasting Coffee to Customers Satisfaction, for Less

A coffee roasting, packaging, and distribution company is putting out a great product and garnering the attention of major players the likes of Walmart, Target, and Menards. To benefit from these new revenue streams, the manufacturer must comply with distinct customer requirements, from packaging to labeling to shipping.

With the SOLOCHAIN WMS integrated with its ERP system, the manufacturer can rely on automated compliance processes and ensure that all shipments meet their customers’ requirements. At all stages of the production and distribution cycle, employees are informed of the customer’s requirements through intuitive interfaces on handheld devices or computer stations.

Thanks to these efficiency gains, the manufacturer is able to achieve a throughput that meets the increased demand instead of having to invest in new real estate, new material handling equipment, and a larger labor force.

2. Manufacturing Cosmetics in an Attractive Work Environment

Some savings generated by the SOLOCHAIN WMS are easily quantified. Others are more intangible, but nevertheless very real.

Most manufacturers these days have trouble attracting and retaining qualified warehouse workers. For a cosmetics manufacturer, this was true before the pandemic hit and it has become a real thorn in their foot today. Labor shortages are now affecting manufacturing and distribution activities to the point where they cannot meet productivity targets. Delays in shipments are having an impact on service levels. Meanwhile, a high turnover rate leads to significant training fees and further operational penalties.

The SOLOCHAIN WMS supports workflows from production processes all the way to shipping. Thanks to clear instructions on intuitive interfaces, activities in the warehouse are more efficient and the cosmetics maker can meet its productivity targets with fewer employees.

Implementing the WMS on handheld devices similar to iPhones and Android platforms, the younger generation of workers find their work environment much more pleasant. This helps the cosmetic maker achieve a higher retention rate, which in turn reduces the training budgets.

By relying on a smaller workforce and retaining more of its employees thanks to an improved work environment, the company can meet its productivity targets and ensure customer satisfaction while saving on labor costs.

3. A Production Flow That Never Drops the Ball

The benefits of traceability might be more obvious in the Food & Beverage industry, but the truth is that all manufacturers stand to make important savings by keeping track of the items that go into making what they produce.

Through SOLOCHAIN’s traceability and automated order cycles capabilities, a baseball equipment manufacturer can keep an eye on quantities produced as well as every item consumed in the process. Management can configure the WMS so that it automatically generates POs to procure items once a certain quantity threshold is reached. In that way, SOLOCHAIN ensures that production is never halted because items are missing on the shelves.

With management in charge of determining thresholds, the system also bypasses the risk of human errors, avoiding that too many, or to few items are ordered. This leads to an optimal use of the warehouse’s storage capacity, which saves the baseball equipment manufacturer from having to make unnecessary investments in their physical infrastructure.

4. Your Counts

Weekly inventory cycle counts force a manufacturer of audio-visual equipment to close areas in the warehouse. This slows down productivity and cuts into the manufacturer’s margins. Thanks to SOLOCHAIN’s inventory management capabilities, the company can save on the costs of long weekly cycle counts.

Once implemented on handheld scanning devices, SOLOCHAIN enables the manufacturer to keep track, in real time, of the quantity and location of every item in the warehouse. While they perform cycle counts, employees are continuously supported in their activities with clear instructions, which drastically cuts down on the time required to complete their tasks.

Today, the manufacturer is attaining inventory accuracy levels of 99.6% and working on eliminating weekly shutdown periods altogether. Thanks to SOLOCHAIN’s support, annual counts can be performed in a single weekend, ensuring that their production of a5. Thinking Ahead: Intelligent Manufacturing  audio-visual equipment never misses a beat.

A food processing facility specialises in the production of organic packaged meals that are delivered daily to various organic grocers in the region. Their products are gaining in popularity and demand is on the rise. The number and complexity of customer orders are quickly overwhelming their pen & paper fulfilment processes. The resulting production and shipping errors are now eating at the manufacturer’s profits and affecting customer satisfaction levels.

The SOLOCHAIN WMS facilitates Just-In-Time Delivery through automated full cycle order management. Thanks to the system’s support, order fulfillment at the food service manufacturer is now virtually errorless. Clients are satisfied and demand is on the rise again. Meanwhile, lesser returns lead to lesser losses, which in turn saves the organic meal maker from welting margins.

About Generix Group

Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more. 

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4 Ways the IoT Helps Optimize Cold Chain Logistics

Industry 4.0 technology can help to make cold chain logistics much easier to manage. Internet of things (IoT) devices are already used in a wide range of industries to gather real-time information on business processes.

In the cold chain, IoT technology can help businesses track important data on shipments — potentially allowing them to prevent temperature excursions and provide better data to stakeholders.

Here’s how businesses are already using IoT to optimize their cold chain logistics.

1. Temperature Monitoring

A key feature of IoT devices is their ability to monitor the temperatures that cold chain shipments are exposed to.

By attaching an IoT temperature monitor to the outside of a package or pallet, sensors can be used in a variety of transportation modes — including trucks, rail freight or air cargo — to continuously track the temperature of food items, important pharmaceuticals and other items that need cold chain logistics.

These sensors will gather and report this data in real-time. Because IoT sensors can automatically store data on the cloud, all relevant stakeholders can have access to the temperature data that they collect.

In the event that an IoT sensor detects a temperature excursion, an alert system can automatically notify managers, drivers, administrative staff and other workers — allowing them to take action to prevent spoilage.

Stored data can also be used to improve processes, identify bottlenecks and determine fault in the event that an excursion causes spoilage. At any time after a sensor collects temperature data, stakeholders can review captured information and trends — or use analytics software to automatically extract valuable insights from historical temperature data.

IoT temperature tracking devices can also monitor other aspects of a shipment’s journey — for example, a combination vibration, light and temperature sensor can monitor for heat as well as exposure to light, shocks, vibrations and sudden stops.

Many cold chain products don’t just require low temperatures. Many vaccines that need cold chain logistics, for example, may spoil or lose potency if exposed to light. Sudden shocks can also risk damage to vaccine containers and packing materials.

IoT devices that monitor for temperature can also help to monitor for these potential threats.

2. GPS and RFID Shipment Tracking

IoT devices are also excellent at tracking the current location of a shipment or individual product. By using technology like GPS or RFID, it’s possible for an IoT device to gather information on a shipment’s movement.

With GPS, this information will be in real-time. With RFID, the system will depend on RFID readers installed at important locations that continuously scan for RFID tags. These systems will provide instant updates whenever an RFID tagged shipment arrives at a warehouse, fulfillment center, retail location or delivery destination.

These systems can automatically alert stakeholders when an item is on the move, allowing them to track the position of all their shipments, 24/7. The same IoT device can be used to monitor both temperature and location.

The same technology can also help businesses and logistics providers offer better delivery estimates to their clients. With real-time tracking, it’s much easier to accurately forecast when an item will arrive at a destination.

3. Automated Reporting and Cloud Data Storage

Because IoT devices are connected to the internet and can collect data continuously, they can also be used for automatic report-generation and cloud data backups.

For example, data from an IoT device can be automatically delivered to relevant stakeholders or stored for monthly documentation of important information.

In addition to delivering data to the cloud, an IoT device can send information to logistics management platforms, where the information can be analyzed by stakeholders with the help of dashboards and other data visualization tools.

The device can also stream information to AI-powered analytic tools, allowing businesses to use the IoT data to power delivery time or temperature excursion prediction algorithms.

These algorithms can help businesses see a crisis coming based on patterns in IoT data, potentially long before the issue would be obvious to a manager or analyst following the data on their own.

4. Equipment Health Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance

In addition to monitoring shipments directly, IoT devices are also an excellent tool for tracking the performance and health of cold chain equipment — including delivery vehicles, warehouse machinery and even HVAC systems.

Existing IoT performance monitoring systems can track a wide variety of performance and environmental variables. Information from these systems can help businesses track machine performance and health.

For example, an IoT fleet may capture information on a machine’s timing, vibration, temperature and lubrication. If one of these variables leaves its safe operating range, the system can automatically notify site technicians.

IoT devices may also measure local temperature, humidity and CO2 levels, allowing managers of a warehouse or fulfillment center to know if local environmental conditions may be negatively impacting the performance of a site machine.

Equipment monitoring is already a popular application of IoT devices in many industries, meaning that cold chain logistics professionals wanting to adopt the technology have access to a large and growing market of IoT equipment monitoring solutions.

Experts predict that the market is on track to grow quickly over the next few years, meaning that logistics companies will have access to even more options in the near future.

With enough data, businesses can also use IoT devices to lay the foundation for a predictive maintenance system. These are systems that use AI and IoT machine performance data to predict a machine’s maintenance needs.

By analyzing information collected from IoT devices, it’s possible to predict when a machine will need maintenance or repairs.

These systems can also alert managers when they predict that machine failure is imminent — allowing for an emergency shutdown that can help to prevent significant damage to a machine that may result in more expensive repairs and greater downtime.

How IoT Devices May Help to Transform the Cold Chain

With new IoT devices, cold chain logistics providers may be able to streamline their operations. A fleet of IoT devices can provide crucial information on both shipments and the equipment used to move them.

Cold chain professionals are already using IoT devices to prevent spoilage and more effectively monitor shipments as they move from location to location.

IoT devices can also lay the foundation for predictive analytics algorithms that can accurately predict delivery times or machine maintenance needs


Emily Newton is an industrial journalist. As Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, she regularly covers how technology is changing the industry


7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a New Software Program

In the business arena, software remains one of the fastest-growing categories of startups today — and for good reason! The scalability of software, and it’s unique ability to serve one or one million users, makes it the ideal weapon of choice for entrepreneurs looking to make a big impact.
In my 10+ years as a software developer and as the co-founder and Operating Partner of CiteMed, I have built my own software, hired teams, and worked for teams hell-bent on creating “the next big thing”. From apps, to Software as a Service, I have hit major pitfalls, completely failed, and even found my way into some successful companies.
Are you thinking of bringing your own software platform to market and want some helpful advice? If so, here is a highlight reel of the top mistakes that plague most young and ambitious software entrepreneurs. I personally made many of these mistakes and can attest to their severity.
If you are thinking about building something, struggling to find the best product market fit, or are fighting it out in the marketplace already, it’s imperative to avoid these key mistakes.
Not Choosing Your Market Wisely
Most software startups are doomed from the start, simply because their founders have chosen a bad market. Bad markets can be too competitive, or too empty (no real paying users). So when you are picking a market to enter with your software idea, make sure of two things: first, that your product can compete (don’t try and build a competitor to Facebook), and second, make sure that there will be paying customers or advertisers to pitch what you end up building to.
Not Building a REAL Minimum Viable Product
It’s all too tempting to set out with a features/functionality list that rivals the top competitors in your space. However, you are wasting your time and resources if you are waiting to build the perfect product before launching.
It’s (now) common Silicon Valley wisdom to launch a version of your software that you are a little embarrassed by. This is sage advice and should be heeded. The reality is, until you get feedback from real users and customers, you won’t be able to know exactly what to build. So take a guess of what that may be, build the fastest/quickest/dirtiest version of that guess, and then go out there and try and get people to use it.
Not Knowing Who Your Target User Is
While you may not know exactly what to build, you should have a very strong notion of who you are building it for. To do this, construct a detailed “avatar” of your ideal user.  Who are they? Where do they work? What do they do for fun? Why would they need your software? The more you understand your target user (and their problems), the better your software product will turn out. You can add functionalities and more that they would really find valuable.
Underestimating Your Budget
If you are in the more traditional “startup” and venture capital world, this translates into one thing: raise enough money. If you are a bootstrapper and self financed, this is even more critical to building your product. In my experience, I have found that software tends to take twice the time and (at least) twice the budget of whatever a professional or development team quotes you. As much as I hate to admit it, this is just the way it always seems to work out.
So when you set out to hire developers and build a team, be sure that you have enough capital to actually get a product out into the marketplace. If not, you will end up with a half-finished project, and shattered nerves.
Cheaping Out on Developers
When you do manage to find the budget, be sure that you aren’t just attracted to the cheapest bids from offshore development companies. Yes, while an $8/hour developer may seem attractive on paper, I assure you that they will end up costing you more in lost time, poor craftsmanship, and headaches down the line.
Pick good developers, and if you don’t know the difference, hire someone to pick them for you (let me tell you, a good Chief Technology Officer (CTO) co-founder is worth their weight in gold).
Not Having a Techie In Your Corner
While a CTO is not essential, working with one does eliminate the vast majority of problems that non-technical founders ultimately face in the building and launching of software products. They also significantly reduce your initial costs if they can write a large portion of the code themselves. If you can’t find a suitable co-founder that’s a programmer, simply having a friend or trusted advisor in your network to vet ideas and hire developers is well worth the effort to secure.
Waiting to Launch
Waiting until things are “perfect” is one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my software career. The truth is, your software will never be perfect. And by waiting, you are losing out on the most precious asset of all startups: real user feedback.
To combat this, instead of waiting to launch, launch immediately but with a very fast system in place to hear about and fix bugs. For example, you can set up an email address that all of your users can be instructed to send problems to, a phone number directly to you, or a live chat box.  The important thing is that users have an easy way to complain to you.
The second part of this is a way to quickly fix things. This is more of a challenge for your development team, but be sure that your developers have the capacity to fix things and get it to your customers immediately without a complex process of updating your software.
To Wrap It All Up
Congratulations on starting the journey of bringing new software to market! Make sure to avoid some of the most common mistakes that plague new software entrepreneurs, which include not choosing the market wisely, underestimating the budget, being cheap when selecting developers to work with, and waiting to launch. Avoiding these blunders should help your entrepreneurial endeavor be nothing short of successful.
Ethan Drower is the Co-Founder and Operating Partner of CiteMed, which is revolutionizing the European Union Medical Device Regulation (EU MDR) process. Literature Search and Review is the cornerstone of medical device companies’ Clinical Evaluation Report, and CiteMed has made this process more streamlined and optimized than ever. The CiteMed team was formed to deliver a high volume of beautifully written and formatted Literature Reviews on timelines that will enable companies to meet their EU MDR goals. CiteMed’s top goal is to help companies get their medical products to market as quickly as possible, all while maintaining state-of-the-art compliance with the European Commission regulations. A renowned business expert, Ethan educates others on the fundamentals of launching a successful software product, tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, and

How WMS Can Enable Manufacturers’ Growth Strategy

Successful growth strategies require technology-enabled innovation. Manufacturers can look at various technologies to automate operations, improve efficiencies, and scale more efficiently throughout the entire supply chain. A WMS is one technology that can help manufacturers transform their warehouse or plant operations to scale for growth.  

A good WMS will provide real-time inventory visibility and create new efficiencies within inbound, warehousing, manufacturing, and outbound processes. SOLOCHAIN WMS combines warehouse management and manufacturing execution system capabilities to deliver a flexible platform with features and capabilities to enable efficiencies and support operational excellence.

Inbound Processes – Improve Receiving, Quality Assurance and Put-Away of Inventory

The goal of a WMS is to reduce the number of steps in a process and the touches or movements of inventory. During inbound processes, the WMS optimizes inventory receiving.

-WMS enables cross-docking by receiving, creating the picks, and staging the inventory to ship out within a cross-dock zone without putting the inventory into overstock or pick locations within the warehouse. Cross-docking can help move products more quickly based on sales orders and reduce overall handling and movement of inventory.

-Put-away logic in the WMS can help workers put inventory in the best or right location when it enters the warehouse. This is important for frozen, refrigerated, and other goods to ensure they are in the optimal location. Likewise, put-away logic can bring additional efficiencies if it makes sense from a logistics standpoint to allow forward pick locations to be topped up during the receiving process while still respecting FIFO/FEFO rotation. Put-away logic will help optimize the picking process and improve inventory turnover.

Warehouse Processes – Improve Inventory Control, Accuracy, and Movement of Inventory

Our WMS can improve inventory control and accuracy within warehouse processes and make inventory movement more efficient and productive.

-Cycle counting within SOLOCHAIN WMS allows for inventory control and accuracy. Inaccurate inventory is one significant way manufacturers lose revenue. A strong cycle counting process gives a warehouse an ongoing measurement of inventory accuracy while reducing stock shrinkage and shutdowns and the ability to identify out-of-sync inventory or mistakes more quickly.

-Warehouse movements are managed in the WMS. These can include put-away moves, replenishments, pre-emptive replenishments, manual moves, and picking. To improve operational efficiency within the warehouse, task interleaving can reduce deadheading and maximize travel time. For example, a forklift operator will complete the next closest task based on their location in the warehouse – it could be a pick, a cycle count, a replenishment, etc.

Manufacturing Execution Functionality – Support Kitting, Multi-Stage Manufacturing, and Recall Reporting

Unlike many WMS, SOLOCHAIN WMS has MES functionality built into the platform to give businesses real-time visibility and traceability throughout the supply chain.

-Kitting or multi-stage manufacturing processes can be managed with the WMS to produce finished products. The warehouse becomes connected with the production floor to ensure a consistent material flow.

-Traceability and recall reporting is made possible by WMS. Throughout assembling or producing a finished product, detailed information about each material used is tracked, including lot numbers. As a result, manufacturers can trace forwards and backward. For example, if there was an issue with a single ingredient, the manufacturer can trace all finished products where it was used. Alternatively, if there was an issue with a finished product, the manufacturer can also identify all raw materials used to produce the good. Real-time traceability allows for recall reporting in instances where there are product issues. This functionality is ideal for industries with traceability regulations such as food, cosmetics, and nutraceuticals.

Outbound Processes – Manage Order Types, Fulfill Efficiently, and Meet Customer Compliance Requirements

As customer buying behaviors have shifted significantly, businesses strive to enable new channels to support customer needs, such as eCommerce and omnichannel experiences. How efficiently outbound logistic processes operate is critical to success. Outbound processes managed within the WMS are flexible and highly configurable.

-Multiple order types are managed within this WMS, and the solution looks to optimize the picking process for the specific order type. A warehouse can fulfill orders for direct eCommerce, omnichannel, and traditional wholesale more efficiently as WMS will direct the pick from the most efficient location. For example, if a large pallet quantity is in the order, the WMS may suggest picking the oldest pallets from bulk overstock rather than from forward pick locations. Likewise, customer compliance requirements can be generated through our WMS.

-From a shipping perspective, SOLOCHAIN WMS can be integrated with a TMS. If the WMS is integrated with the TMS. the platform can further optimize the picking process. For example, SOLOCHAIN WMS can wait for enough case quantities to create a picklist that will pull a full pallet shipped out by UPS. The UPS shipping labels are printed and applied in sequence during the pick creation as the worker picks the product. With a whole pallet of product, the worker can move and load it onto the UPS trailer versus taking it to a packing station.

The core capabilities of SOLOCHAIN WMS optimize processes – inbound, outbound, manufacturing, warehousing – and accurately capture data and use it to enable new efficiencies. For manufacturers, SOLOCHAIN WMS’s manufacturing-specific processes within its foundation allow for better optimization and synchronization across operations. To learn more about the features and capabilities of WMS, download the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WMS Report today.

About Generix Group

As omni-channel driven demands become the norm, with resulting customer satisfaction harder to achieve, supply chain professionals need to leverage advanced WMS technology to keep their operations nimble, efficient, and scaling – especially in these volatile times.

Given Generix Group’s completeness of vision and ability to execute, as recognized once again by the Gartner analyst community, their SOLOCHAIN WMS is well positioned to help companies needing a modern, flexible and agile solution that can easily adapt to their changing needs. We invite you to contact us to learn more.



Sustainability is undoubtedly the critical issue of our time. 

With the global population expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the United Nations estimates that the equivalent of almost three planets would be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain that many modern lifestyles.

While consumption and production are critical to the global economy, current volumes and unsustainable practices are placing a massive strain on the environment and its resources, leading to some already catastrophic impacts.

For instance, Deloitte reports that between 2000 and 2020, CO2 emissions released by global fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes rose by roughly 35%, to 34.07 billion metric tons. Given the need to address climate change and meet net-zero targets, this trend must be reversed.

Thankfully, many manufacturers are now recognizing the strong business case behind pursuing more sustainable practices. Indeed, operating in a sustainable manner can improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, lower costs, increase operational efficiency, enhance brand reputation, boost recruitment and staff retention practices, provide competitive advantages, futureproof for regulatory constraints and opportunities, and unlock access to government grants and funding.

Of course, sustainability is not a case of one-size-fits-all. Every manufacturer is different, and each will have to make sustainable changes that match unique criteria. Yet this diversity is resulting in an abundance of commendable innovations. 

What follows are some leading global manufacturing companies that are taking proactive and progressive approaches toward sustainability.


Canadian Pacific (CP) is one firm leading the sustainability charge in the rail arena, having introduced a hydrogen locomotive program back in December 2020.

Many railway operators globally use diesel-powered locomotives at present, representing the industry’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Recognizing this, CP has introduced a host of sustainability initiatives that have been successful in improving its fuel efficiency by more than 40% in the past three decades. Should the hydrogen program prove to be successful, it will help the firm take a further leap toward sustainable practices and serve to revolutionize energy consumption for the industry as a whole.

CP is in the process of retrofitting a line-haul locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to power the locomotive’s electric traction motors. The company will then conduct rail service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology’s readiness for real world use. 

To accelerate the program, the company also recently received a CA$15 million (US$12.1 million) grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta to increase the number of hydrogen locomotive conversions from one to three, as well as developing more hydrogen production and fueling facilities at CP’s rail yards in Calgary and Edmonton.

The former will comprise an electrolysis plant that will produce hydrogen from water, this process powered by solar panels at CP’s headquarters campus to keep emissions at zero. The latter, meanwhile, will see a small-scale steam methane reformation system being used to generate hydrogen while tapping into Alberta’s abundant natural gas resources.


Over in the mining and metals sector, organizations are also tapping into the potential of hydrogen to unlock similarly transformative solutions.

Rio Tinto, the world’s third largest mining company, has partnered with POSCO, the largest steel producer in South Korea, for the exploration and development of technologies capable of contributing to a low-carbon emission steel value-chain.

Both firms have outlined ambitions to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the integration of Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and POSCO’s steelmaking technology set to be pivotal in helping them to each reach such their intended sustainability targets.

In addition, Finnish metals specialist Metso Outotec is equally championing sustainability in the sector thanks to its unique Circored process, this involving the use of hydrogen to decarbonize the production of steel.

The flexible Circored process produces highly metalized direct reduced iron or hot briquetted iron which is then in turn used directly as a feed material in electric arc furnaces for carbon-free steelmaking.

Not only does this not require any fossil fuels, but it also helps Metso Outotec to minimize its costs by eliminating the need for energy-intensive pelletizing.


Back in the transportation sector, automotive manufacturers PACCAR, Daimler Trucks North America and Volvo Group recently sealed $127 million of $199 million in U.S. federal funding made available for the development of advanced battery-electric and fuel cell electric truck projects.

According to the International Energy Agency, transport accounts for approximately one fifth of all CO2 emissions, with 74.5% of this contribution stemming from passenger vehicles (45.1%) and road freight vehicles (29.4%).

Known as SuperTruck 3, the federal funding initiative is a five-year dollar-for-dollar investment matching program designed to accelerate the development of pollution reducing electrified medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight system concepts that will either achieve zero emissions or improve energy efficiency. 

PACCAR secured $33 million of the funds to develop 18 class 8 battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks, as well as a megawatt charging station.

Daimler Trucks North America has received $26 million to develop two class 8 fuel cell trucks that have a 600-mile range and 25,000-hour durability–providing similar operational output compared with a diesel vehicle.

And Volvo Group North America will use $18 million in SuperTruck 3 funding to manufacture a 400-mile class 8 battery-electric tractor trailer that will focus on optimizing performance in relation to aerodynamics, tires, braking, automation and route planning. Further, the firm will also develop a megawatt charging station.

This is not the only commitment the manufacturers have made towards sustainable automotive solutions. Equally, Daimler and Volvo previously signed a joint venture to develop fuel cell vehicles during the current decade that would be sold under both brands. 


Pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing might seem like a sector less ripe for sustainability initiatives. However, the MARISURF Consortium is demonstrating that this is equally an area where much progress can be made.

The Consortium, backed by several companies and funded by a grant of 4.8 million euros (or about US$5.4 million) from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program, aims to develop alternatives for petrochemicals in pharma products using marine microorganisms.

It comprises a selection of esteemed academic institutions, end-users and industrial companies, including manufacturers such as Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant VZW, EcTechSystens Srl, Nanoimmunotech and Marlow Foods Ltd.

The goal is to produce marine microorganism-based products for personal care, food and pharmaceutical formulations, with promising progress having been made in the five years since the research project first launched. Given that the consumer industry accounts for more than 70% of demand for all petrochemicals, this is significant. 

Indeed, common petrochemical use cases include drug production, soaps, plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, paints, and build materials such as flooring and insulation. However, it is hoped that marine organisms will become a viable, natural replacement, owing to the consortium’s research. 


While En+ Group is renowned as the world’s largest producer of low-carbon aluminum, it is also an active player in green energy solutions through several environmentally conscious initiatives. 

Many of these are driven by the firm’s New Energy program, focused on expanding clean energy generation and access. This seeks to modernize En+’s power plants through the implementation of new technologies capable of achieving greater hydropower energy efficiency and a reduced environmental impact, without increasing the water volumes passing through its hydropower turbines.

Further, the program aims to reduce En+’s environmental impact in other ways–namely through curbing the emissions of its coal-fired power plants. Initially launched in 2007 in tandem with the company’s plans to conduct the large-scale overhaul and replacement of core equipment at its largest hydropower plants based in Siberia, the project will continue to run until 2046. 

Through New Energy, it has also become the first Russian firm and just one of 28 companies globally to achieve a UN recognized Energy Compact–an initiative launched by UN Energy to acknowledge voluntary commitments by countries, businesses, and cities in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals by accelerating the transition to clean energy and improving energy access.


In Australia, global metals manufacturer Nyrstar and physical commodity trading company Trafigura Group have committed to a joint investment that will see the construction of a commercial scale green hydrogen manufacturing facility in Port Pirie, in partnership with the State Government of South Australia.

Currently the project is in the midst of an AUD$5 million (US$3.65 million) front end engineering design study that is expected to be concluded come the end of 2022, with construction then set to commence in 2023.

In total, the project will cost an estimated AUD$750 million (US$534 million), set to be rolled out in phases. Initially it will produce 20 tons of green hydrogen per day for export in the form of green ammonia, with plans to ramp up to 100 tons per day at full capacity, powered by a 440MW electrolyzer.

The manufacturing facility will become a key backbone of green hydrogen for Port Pirie and the surrounding region, providing significant benefit to local businesses while propelling the decarbonization of transport and industry.

The oxygen created in the hydrogen production process will also be utilized by the Nyrstar Port Pirie smelter. As part of the agreement, Trafigura will source 100% renewable energy to deliver the electricity needed to run the project’s electrolyzer, which will also contribute to decarbonizing the existing smelter’s power supply.


Intelligent automation specialist Dematic and Aspire Food Group have partnered on a unique venture, constructing a flagship, state-of-the-art facility that will be used for the purpose of enhancing the production and manufacture of food-grade insect protein.

Anticipated for completion in Q1 2022, the facility will be the world’s first fully automated food-grade insect protein manufacturing site, powered by Dematic’s innovative technology. 

Its Unit-Load Automated Storage/Retrieval Systems will be implemented through the 11-story building and use 96,000 totes to breed crickets, ready to be processed for either human or pet consumption.

Industrial IoT sensors, and artificial intelligence will also be deployed to unlock key data and insights that will be used to help optimize the conditions for cricket maturation, breeding and incubation. The project will also mark the inaugural use of such technologies in the enhancement of indoor vertical agriculture with living organisms.

In total, it is estimated that the totes will be able to produce up to 20,000 tons of cricket protein and waste for fertilizer and soil supplements annually. 


In China, logistics specialist Kuehne+Nagel and Honda have worked together to cut 16,000 tons of CO2 out of the supply chain of the automotive manufacturer through an ambitious road-to-rail project, reducing the regional division’s carbon emissions by as much as 70%.

Developed through KN Sincero–a joint venture between Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese logistics specialist Sincero–the initiative has seen Honda China move significant portions of its domestic long-haul trucking operations to train lines.

Tapping into regional hubs to optimize the performance of its supply chain, the manufacturer has unlocked several benefits. It has drastically reduced supply chain efficiencies and dramatically enhanced productive reliability, the project also delivering a range of value-added services spanning sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management.

As a key partner, the project aligns with Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon initiative that was launched in 2019, geared toward not only lowering its own footprint but equally those of other organizations. Indeed, the firm resultantly achieved carbon neutrality globally in 2020, further turning attentions to supporting its partners thereafter through initiatives such as these.