World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
LONDON, U K (Greenwise Business) - A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report has shortlisted a number of cleantech innovations to go into an online bank, including a UK-based technology that uses 90 per cent less water to wash clothes and an American project that is working to capture high altitude wind power.
The virtually waterless cleaning process, developed by Xeros, a Leeds-based company, is one of 20 sustainability innovations featured on the Green Game-changers website. It aims to tackle the amount of water being used in washing machines.
Clothes washing is responsible for nearly 13 per cent of household water consumption in the UK. Xeros has created a washing machine that uses absorbent nylon polymers to achieve a 90 per cent reduction in water consumption, and uses lower levels of electricity and detergent as well. The technology is still being developed, but the company plans to implement it in the commercial laundry sector before moving to home use.
WWF conducted its research in conjunction with Verdantix to find innovative clean technology to create the online bank of case studies and inspire green ways of doing business. The organisation’s goal is to bring ecological and economic sustainability through its work with business.
"Leading businesses are starting to look beyond their operational impacts," said Dax Lovegrove, WWF head of business and industry. "They are now considering the overall carbon and ecological footprint of their suppliers and customers too. It is increasingly clear that we need to think differently about how we do business and the aim of this initiative is to provide working case studies that show to big blue chip firms that game-changing innovation is possible."
WWF and Verdantix analysed 120 sustainability projects in dozens of countries to find the 20 they consider most promising for the future. These projects are products, business models, and market mechanisms, ranging from waterless washing machines to non-petrochemical, plant-based plastics. They arranged these and others in an online bank that is available to readers.
Even though half of the projects originated in the US, there were also several examples from the UK and Europe, and notable innovations from Singapore, India and Japan.
High altitude wind power
Some of the clean technology projects in the WWF online bank of projects include high altitude wind power, created by American innovation companies Magenn Power and Makani Power. Hovering turbines, or kites can harness powerful high altitude winds that current 100 metre-tall wind turbines cannot. These kites have the ability to fly at altitudes of 300 metres to 1,000 metres and are supported by battery technology. They are still working on this technology but they expect to begin commercial production in 2010-2011.
In the UK, inventor Laurence Kemball-Cook is capturing the kinetic energy created by footsteps with his patented Pavegen slabs. The slabs are inserted into the pavement and flex less than five milimetres under foot, capturing and storing the kinetic energy produced and using it to light nearby information displays, pedestrian crossing lights, and storefronts. The technology is currently being tested on an East London street and Kemball-Cook says it can be used anywhere.
Submit green innovations
WWF is offering viewers the opportunity to submit any green innovations they have developed or come across. Lovegrove said it is important to make information on green technology available to businesses.
"It will take green game-changing activities to ensure the private sector flourishes without harming, and better still, restoring the natural capital on which it depends," said Lovegrove.
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Updated 2359 days ago Article ID# 635722
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)