Cookie cups made from biscotti biscuits are being trialled aboard Air New Zealand flights ©Air New Zealand
Cookie cups made from biscotti biscuits are being trialled aboard Air New Zealand flights ©Air New Zealand

From green fuel to edible cups: a world of innovation

Where supply chains make a difference

Scotland
Efforts are underway to develop precise methods of analysing satellite imagery to improve the selection and viability of mining projects. AI and blockchain company Hypervine has partnered with the European Space Agency to provide more accurate topography, liquid, mineral and density readings to help with surveying and planning.

Denmark
Global shipping creates 2-3% of global CO2 emissions. But perhaps not for long. Later this year, Maersk will begin trialling a new fuel it has co-developed with the University of Copenhagen, called LEO. A blend of lignin and ethanol, it is far more environmentally friendly than traditional fuels.

France
A commercial aircraft with the potential to reduce fuel consumption by 20% has been unveiled by Airbus. The debut of MAVERIC, a ‘blended wing’ designed commercial aircraft, is thought to signal that the technology project could soon come to real-world fruition.

US
Robot pickers are being taught how to understand when boxes are full, so they can pack better next time. Advanced algorithms, which enable robots to ‘learn’ how to pack products more efficiently, are being developed by start-up Berkshire Grey. Sensors in the arms of the robotic packers are linked to AI software.

Japan
The Grubin is an ecological answer to food waste. Essentially it’s a bin housing black fly larvae, which eat food scraps and when fully grown, are dried and ground into animal feed. The bin is the work of two University of Tokyo students.

New Zealand
Edible cookie cups made from biscotti biscuits are being trialled aboard Air New Zealand flights. Called ‘Twiice’, the cups remain leak-proof long enough for a hot beverage to be drunk, and could help cut the millions of cups disposed of into landfill each year.

Australia
Fed up with your smartphone running out of charge? What could be the world’s most efficient lithium-sulphur battery – capable of powering a phone for five days and giving an electric car a 1,000km range – has been developed by a team at Monash University.

Spain
The world’s ‘first sustainable desalination system’ is how Aqua Abib is describing SunAqua – a solar powered solution for turning seawater into drinking water and salt for commercial purposes. Each unit has the potential to meet the drinking water needs of more than 2,500 people. 

Crunching the numbers


82m
The net population growth of the Earth every year. There are around 140 million births compared to 58 million deaths – equivalent to the combined populations of the UK, Greece and Croatia.

2,328
The number of times the average £20 note changes hands in its lifetime. In mid-February, China began disinfecting and destroying cash in order to limit the spread of coronavirus.

95.5
The World Trade Barometer reading for February 2020, signalling ongoing below-trend activity, well below the 100 baseline. World merchandise trade volume was down 0.2% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to 2018.

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