Things that you even want to know about sustainability in Retail during Summer

Welcome to "nouveau monde", sort of a "nouveau genre" newsletter to better understand how to make the world better through the lens of retail. This is #23

Did you expect we would not publish anything this Summer?! See below.

Things move fast in retail and sustainability, we’re really happy to help you get the right tips and be inspired (even from the beach)!

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Today's newsletter is with not to many words, I promise, you might have 5 minutes to read, right?


Some sustainable startups for the Summer

by Phil

Anthony and I met with IndieBio a long time ago, through a connection I made with a froggy at Hax, the other incubator part of SOSV. “Impossible made Inevitable” is the motto of this investor, “a global venture capital firm providing multi-stage investment to develop and scale our founders’ big ideas for positive change. We invest in 150 companies every year through category-leading startup development programs.”

IndieBio is a biotechnology and life science startup accelerator located in San Francisco, California and was founded in 2014, where their accelerator program is still based, and runs twice a year, with usually more than 10 companies in each batch. IndieBio provides participating startups with lab space, $250,000 in funding, and a 4-month incubation program for scientists and entrepreneurs to grow their biotechnology business.

Unlike some medias around, I chose the three more surprising startups (on my opinion) among the recent 11th batch. Fasten your seat belt!

Vertical Oceans (click on the picture to see their video): grow shrimps everywhere. What, in your bath tube?

Vertical Oceans is working to disrupt the global $28 billion shrimp and prawn industry. The company was founded by John Diener, who used to be managing director of Gold Coin Aqua Group, a tropical marine aquaculture company focused on shrimp and tilapia nutrition and genetics, and is incorporated in Singapore.

Pitch: “Vertical aquaculture producing sustainable seafood using a balanced ecosystem of shrimp, fish and algae managed by smart algorithms. Farm to fork in under 8 hours, we bring premium, clean seafood to your plate whether it’s the Central Business District of Singapore, where we have built our demo facility, or downtown Chicago in January. Our modular, stackable ecosystems can pay back capex within 4 years at current market prices. And our customers tell us they would pay above market for our snappy, clean, and flavorful shrimp.”

Innate Biology: fast with pills. Yeah baby you can.

Innate has different meanings… First, “existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth : native, inborn innate behavior.” Also : “belonging to the essential nature of something : inherent.”. Finally, : “originating in or derived from the mind or the constitution of the intellect rather than from experience.”

Innate Biology produces supplements to mimic the same cellular benefits you would get from fasting, without having to fast. Their formulation uses a unique combination of natural human molecules and has been clinically shown to produce the same anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardioprotective benefits of fasting — so you can live life and thrive. Californian sibling founders Dr. Chris Rhodes and Caitlin Beatty share their journey to unleashing a healthier life below.

Pitch: “At Innate Biology our supplements produce the same cellular effects you would get from fasting, without having to fast. Our cellular repair and regeneration mechanisms have been demonstrated in experiments with human cells, not worms.”

Sundial Foods: everything about the chicken leg without the leg. Cocooooot?!

Sundial Foods, based in Berkeley, California, utilizes a macro and microstructural engineering approach to create plant-based meat alternatives for conscious consumers.

Pitch: “We use an innovative protein structuring technique to create a healthy, delicious, and minimally processed meat analogue. Our first product is America’s favorite guilty pleasure - the chicken wing. With a crispy skin and meaty texture you expect from real chicken wings, our novel technique lets us skip the fillers and gums and still give the consumer a real wing experience. Our product has only 8 ingredients, and one of those is water.”

Those entrepreneurs are crazy. Inventive. Even working among the same family, decisions must be funny to watch when taken. But things must change, and quickly. Have you read the news?

If you want to see the selection from green queen, go there. The full 11th batch by yourself, here.


Unilever to start labelling the carbon footprint of its products

by Anthony

Unilever is quite a big player in the food industry with its 75 000 products catalog it sells worldwide. So it really is a big deal when it says that it wants to label all of its products in the next 2 to 5 years, starting with two dozen by the end of 2021.

There are already some initiatives in the world (and in France, we might have a little advance since Emmanuel macron said it wanted to create the « Yuka » of Carbon Footprint) but for Unilever to enter the game could be a real boost.

For the moment, Unilever plans to add a kind of traffic light icon that says if the product is good, average, bad on the CO2 level, so that it’s not too complicated for the customer. If he wants to go deeper, all the data will be online.

Of course, retailers are not all enthousiastes about this project : we all know that calculating a carbon footprint is difficult, so how accurate this label will be ? Another downside is that they consider that most packagings already overcharged and that adding another label could be overwhelming.

Unilever admits these problems but says that it prefers to put forward speed over complete accuracy.

I get this as I think that we don’t need to know exactly our footprint at the CO2 gram but rather understand the proportions and find keys to help us change our behaviors. But still, data should be in the correct range.

Nestlé, the other big player, though a bit smaller than Unilever, stands for another label that takes into account the damages made on biodiversity and the use of water. They also stand for a standard label, cautioned by the scientific world and seem to be annoyed that Unilever race alone when that type of matter should be worked in a collaborative way.

I get it too but we have to make a start somewhere and Unilever has the power to make the whole industry move forward. We’ll see if its label will become a standard or if it will come back in the peloton after its escape (yes, I still have the Tour de France in mind…)

What’s also interesting with this whole thing is that it should get brands to do efforts and change their value change to get good marks, at least if they really care for climate. Time will tell…

Source : The Independent


Quick Hits

Well, don’t ask too much. We’re on the beach, told you.


Bonus Track

by Anthony