Last week marked the official launch of Mission Possible – edie’s new campaign which seeks to empower and inspire sustainability professionals to achieve a low-carbon, resource efficient and profitable future for their organisations.

For those who missed it, here’s the campaign video…

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie will be bringing you this new weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Published every Sunday, the new series will chart how businesses and sustainability professionals are working to achieve their ‘Mission Possible’ across the campaign’s five key pillars – energy, resources, infrastructure, mobility and business leadership.

This first edition of ‘Achieving Mission Possible’ highlights some of the great progress we are now seeing right across the globe.  From a renewable energy blockchain platform being developed in Australia to an electric vehicle sporting event in the snowy mountains of Andorra – each of these projects and initiatives are empowering businesses to achieve a sustainable future, today.

Achieving Mission Possible: The sustainability success stories of the week (19-26 March 2018)…

ENERGY: Blockchain looks set to drive Australia’s renewable energy revolution

The fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution continue to accelerate how businesses act within society. Nestled in alongside automation and the Internet of Things, blockchain technology is emerging as a concept that could truly revolutionise sustainability.

Blockchain is already being used by the likes of Nestlé, Unilever and Walmart to improve traceability in global food supply chains, while a blockchain start-up recently launched a new initiative to support global projects that tackle plastic pollution.

Now, a group of small and medium-size South Australian businesses have come together to launch a first-of-its-kind power trading platform using blockchain technology in a bid to save money and make local clean energy transactions.

Blockchain-based microgrid developer LO3 Energy is starting this new project with renewable electricity firm Yates Electrical Services, a South Australian-based company which was last year hired to install electrical equipment on the 100MW battery storage project famously installed by Tesla.

The blockchain energy trading platform has already won the backing of 12 companies who together hope it will make it easier to buy and sell affordable renewable power in a region of extremely high electricity prices.

RESOURCES: A new digital platform is empowering businesses across the global to make the circular economy transition

To meet society’s future consumption needs, businesses will of course need to step up efforts to drive greater resource efficiency. Circular economy business models offer a practical way to achieve this overarching aim, through the repurposing or reallocation of old products and waste materials to serve new demands, or by offering services that can better utilise idle assets.

It is the latter model that is now being embraced by social enterprise Circle Economy, which, through “generous” financial support from eBay Foundation, has just launched an online platform that aims to mobilise a global community of entrepreneurs, businesses, circular economy experts and governments to engage and co-create circular solutions.

By digitising knowledge and best-practice, the Circle Lab platform encourages collaboration to break down information silos and tackle universal and local challenges.

A pilot phase last year saw a community of nearly 14,000 co-create unique reverse logistics solutions for the mobile phone industry, and led to the launch of an open-access knowledge portion of Circle Lab in 2017. Last week, the platform launched a project in partnership with Circular Glasgow and Zero Waste Scotland to focus on how SMEs can improve the legacy of major city events and conferences.

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Lidl Lithuania becomes certified for resource-efficient retail stores

The ongoing expansion of green building certification opportunities on both a national and global scale is helping businesses to become leaders in the built environment. With the number of companies that have more than 60% of their building projects certified ‘green’ expected to double in the between 2017 and 2019, having certifications such as BREEAM and LEED can not only act as a differentiator, but also unlock new financial streams in the process.

This sustainability leadership in the built environment looks to have been grasped by discount retailer Lidl, whose Lithuania branch has this week revealed it had received an internationally-renowned green building certification for a logistics centre and all 35 of its retail chain stores in the country. An innovation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification awards building owners who demonstrate a high level of resource efficiency in their buildings.

Lidl Lithuania adopted numerous innovative measures to reduce energy consumption, water consumption and the embodied impact of materials in its stores and logistics centre. By reducing the window to wall ratio, installing energy-saving light bulbs both inside and outside the stores, and ensuring the roof and external walls were properly insulated, Lidl Lithuania’s stores have reduced energy consumption significantly.

On the water side, resource-efficiency measures include installing dual flushes for water closets in all bathrooms and water-efficient kitchen faucets and urinals. It was equally important to consider the impact of the materials used in the buildings. Lidl Lithuania’s team analysed the embodied impact of materials and chose lower impact options such as such as precast concrete panels for the external walls, steel-clad sandwich panels on the roof and finished concrete flooring.

MOBILITY: Tesla and Nissan took to the mountains for an eco-Grand Prix

The automotive industry is on the cusp of a electric-vehicle (EV) revolution, with top car makers including VWBMWFord and Jaguar Land Rover all moving to ramp up investment into EV production and battery research and innovation.

As this EV revolution continues to gather pace, a group of event organisers and manufacturers have come together to show the fun side of EVs. The first 100% ‘EV snow race’ took place this weekend on a circuit in Andorra.

Organised by eco Grand Prix (eco GP), the race is part of a series of events that will test EVs to the limits in harsh environments. The five-hour race takes place high in the Pyrenees bordering France and Spain and teams already registered are Tesla Model S, BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf. Competitors are allowed an unlimited amount of driver changes and charge stops, and the team that completes the most lap in the five hours wins.

“A lot of petrol-heads are commenting there will be no fun anymore if EVs take over,” said Rafael de Mestre, eco GP organiser and record-holder for the fastest person around the world in an EV. “We at eco GP are showing that eco GP is a thrilling race series which attracts people to think about buying electric cars.”

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP: The world’s largest brewer tells edie how the company is placing climate-science into communities

edie spoke with Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) chief sustainability & procurement officer Tony Milikin this week, to discuss how the world’s largest brewer is linking science-based climate goals with a “moral” belief that it should be influencing the communities it operates in.

AB InBev has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 against a 2017 baseline. The emissions target headlines a new package of commitments that aims to ensure that 100% of direct farmers are “skilled, connected and financially-empowered” and that all communities in high-stress water areas have measurably improved access to, and quality of, water.

AB InBev is the latest firm to provide leadership on climate action by putting science-based targets in place. More than 300 businesses are now signed-up to the Science-Based-Targets Initiative, which encourages the corporate sphere to transition their company in line with the Paris Agreement.

Achieve YOUR Mission Possible at edie Live 2018

Whether you are an energy manager, a sustainability, CSR, or environmental professional, or business leader, edie Live 2018 will help you achieve your Mission Possible.

On 22-23 May 2018 at the NEC Birmingham, you will be inspired by thought-leaders, coached by industry experts, encouraged to collaborate with your peers, and shown the way by hundreds of innovative suppliers and solutions providers.

Find out more about the show and register for your free pass here.

George Ogleby

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