March 8, 2019


Five/in/Five - IBM Predicts Five Innovations To
Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years at
2019 Think Conference

At the recent IBM Think 2019 Conference, fascinating artificial intelligence (“AI”) innovations were showcased; these are approaches in development to help meet the needs of global stressed food and water ecosystems.

Forbes’ contributor Lee Bell outlined the work of scientists and developers at IBM’s research unit, telling the story from the conference with a “crop-to-trash” theme.  These innovations are:

The Digital Twin – AI helping to accurately forecast crop yields (helping farmers to establish critical data points for arranging farm credit).

Blockchain – this is about using AI to help keep more food out of the waste system, and address numerous “unknowns” in the food supply chain; this is a Blockchain approach to help the value chain players (from planting to ordering to shipping) reduce food loss (food loss is a major factor in the herculean effort of addressing pressing hunger issues around the world).

Microbe Mapping – the use of millions of microbes to protect food with DNA and RNA sequencing using Big Data resources.

Food Detection AI Sensors – this is in the works now using advanced technology to help farmers, food processors, grocers, home cooks, to detect dangerous contaminants in food.  Simple:  using a cell phone or countertop AI sensor to spot e.Coli or Salmonella.

“VolCat – a welcoming note here as the IBM researchers look to eliminate existing plastics (such as those used in grocery bags) and develop new products that can be used again and again.  VolCat is a catalytic chemical process designed to turn polyesters into a new substance to make new products.

Years back we attended an IBM briefing with a research head who explained that many products in the lab would be at market in five years or less if they worked out as planned.  Today IBM continues on that path with its explanations of what the company’s research team members are looking at what could be possible five years from now…when the eight billionth person joins humanity and enters a world more connected and inter-dependent than ever (said Arvind Krishna, SVP of IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software).

Historians tell us that wandering tribes and clans of hunter-gatherers settled down  somewhere in the Fertile Crescent to “farm” and raise food animals some 10,000-to-12,000 years ago and the practices they established changed ever-so-slowly over the millennia.  Rapid change came in the modern times of agriculture” (some 200-to-500 years ago) with advances in mechanization, seed development, irrigation, crop rotation, selective breeding, preservation, plant nutrients, fertilizers, and recently, digitization of many tasks.

It will be fascinating to see what just the next five or ten years may bring in terms of technological developments for agriculture, ranching, food manufacturing and distribution, and related activities.  Stay tuned to the IBM AI research efforts!

The IBM February gathering with the theme of “five in five” (5 innovations within 5 years) had a number of fascinating tech discussions, including “Human-Robot Interaction”, “How AI and Blockchain Will Change the Game”, “Trust and Ethics in Tech”, and IBM Chairwoman/CEO Ginni Rometty’s address – “Building Cognitive Enterprises”.

Click here to learn more about the IBM Think 2019 Conference.

This Week's Top Story

Sustainability Tech: The Top 5 Innovations Set To Transform Our Lives Over The Next Five Years   
(Tuesday - February 26, 2019) Source: Forbes - Researchers unveiled a raft of innovations earlier this month that they claim will "change our lives the most over the next five years", and they’re all related to the very things keeping us alive: food and water. 

And of related interest…

Newly Founded “Plant-Based Product Council” Advocates Sustainable Products and Packaging   
(Monday - February 25, 2019) Source: Vegconomist - The Plant Based Products Council (PBPC) is a new association of companies and environmental leaders committed to sustainable products and packaging made from plant materials. The PBPC was founded at the California Bioresource... 

Sustainability: Continuing Forward Momentum!

Column: How to make manufacturing cheaper and more sustainable
(Monday - February 25, 2019) Source: Oakland Press - How will we continue to innovate, create jobs, and ensure regional economic success? -- ?all while meeting the pressing needs of environmental sustainability? 

Why Sustainability Needs To Float Your Business Boat
(Tuesday - February 26, 2019) 
Source: Forbes - IKEA launched a boat onto a London river recently which will help clear rubbish from the waterway. It is doing this to highlight its environmental and community commitment. 

For partnerships to be sustainable, they must be SMART
(Tuesday - February 26, 2019) 
Source: Green Biz - In my frequent engagement with innovators during the early days of sustainability-driven innovation, I observed that deeply sustainable strategies incorporated five key principles. Conveniently, these spelled out the word SMART...

Shoppers Want More Sustainable Products, But Brands Are Struggling To Keep Up
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019) Source: Forbes - Consumers are becoming far more environmentally aware, and some of the world’s biggest brands are struggling to keep up with the pace of this change in taste. 

The Sustainability Consortium gives retailers tools for responsible products
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: - Most people have heard of blood diamonds. They’re mined in war zones, often by children, and sold to finance insurgencies, terrorism or warlord activities. In the early 2000s, diamond-producing African countries led...

EDF Unveils Crowdsourced Platform to Accelerate Corporate Sustainability
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: Environmental Defense Fund - These contributors include Conservation International, CDP, BSR, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, The Sustainability Consortium, ReFED, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Purchasing... 

What The World Needs Now? Spotify For Sustainable Supply Chains.
(Thursday - February 28, 2019) Source: Forbes - The Supply Chain Solutions Center...launched today in partnership with over 10 leading environmental NGOs, an innovative platform that puts resources and expert advice at the fingertips of supply chain professionals.

Sustainability For The Globe - And Your Portfolio  
(Thursday - February 28, 2019) Source: Seeking Alpha - The US SIF Foundation’s 2018 biennial "Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends" found that “sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) assets now account fo ... 

3 Ways To Make Sustainability A Part Of Your Business  
(Friday - March 01, 2019) Source: Forbes - A growing number of leaders from the public and private sectors have pledged support for climate action, as the link between climate change and negative environmental and social effects becomes clearer. Moreover, as the data on...

Sponsored Message

ESG Topics & Issues Headlines

SGS helps evaluate sustainability
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: Fibre2Fashion - To help stakeholders, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) released the third iteration of its Higg Index Facility Environmental Module (FEM) in 2017. The Higg Index FEM helps businesses assess their environmental... 

Sappi Limited joins Sustainable Apparel Coalition to boost supply chain sustainability
(Thursday - February 28, 2019)  Source: Supply Chain Digital - Sappi Limited, a South Africa-based global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). In an announcement made this week, Sappi revealed that it will use the... 

J.Crew and sister brand Madewell launched new sustainable denim collections that use less water, chemicals, and energy to produce
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: Business Insider - As a result of the new partnership, both J.Crew and Madewell recently launched their first Fair Trade Certified denim collections. In teaming up with Fair Trade USA, J.Crew Group also partnered with Saitex, the leading producer... 

Stainless and Sustainable: A Dane's Quest to Make Fashion Green 
(Monday - February 25, 2019) Source: Bloomberg - Startups typically create a product, find suppliers and then sell it. Kasper Brandi Petersen skipped the first step and instead built on his experience at shipping giant Maersk to help make today’s increasingly disposable fashion... 

And in other headlines…

Iceberg twice the size of New York City about to break off Antarctica, says NASA
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019) Source: USA Today 

Commentary: Acting on climate change can make difference
(Thursday - February 28, 2019)  Source: Shakopee Valley News

Expect A Correction As Oil Reaches ‘Profit Targets’
(Monday - February 25, 2019) Source:

Headlines From the Corporate Sector

Clean Energy Sustainability Goals Outline Road to 100% Renewable, Zero-Carbon Fuel 20 Years Ahead of California’s Electric Grid  
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: Business Wire--Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) has set goals to offer Zero-Carbon 1 Redeem™ renewable natural gas (RNG) at all of its fueling stations by 2025, summarized in its Corporate Sustainability... 

Bayer faces second trial over alleged Roundup cancer risk
(Monday - February 25, 2019)
 Source: Reuters

Amazon's Virginia HQ2 faces some New York-style pushback
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019) Source: Fox News 

Amazon Is Now Ditching on Seattle Plans, Too
(Thursday - February 28, 2019) Source: Gizmodo

Amazon’s latest program to curb emissions? One delivery day per house, per week
(Friday - March 01, 2019) Source: Ars Technica

Chevron Named “Corporate Bully of the Year” For Attacks On Ecuadorian Indigenous Peoples and Their Supporters
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: CSR Wire

Walmart Announces New Plastic Packaging Waste Reduction Commitments
(Wednesday - February 27, 2019)  Source: CSR Wire

Equal Exchange">An Open Letter to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters From Equal Exchange
(Thursday - February 28, 2019)  Source: CSR Wire

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