SustainNOW Podcast - Sustainable Solution in Retail.

Friederike von Waldenfels

35%* of all yearly CO2 emissions accounts for the sector retail - from raw materials, to transportation, to distribution and return. In this podcast we will rethink consumer behavior and the whole value chain in designing, producing and distributing goods to reach the ultimate goal - Zero Emission. I am your host, Friederike. I am co-founder of an eCommerce Platform, active in different boards and a tech lover. Our Vision: „To dig deeper in finding sustainable solutions for Retail.“ Our Mission: „Interviewing founders or experts in the sustainability field to find solution (not only problems) in the whole value chain of Retail.“*this number might vary based on different studies.

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11# -  Winning the 100m USD carbon removal XPrize - Interview with student initiative CircularHorizon
Jul 31 2022
11# - Winning the 100m USD carbon removal XPrize - Interview with student initiative CircularHorizon
This is a short episode to present the CircularHorizon initiative, with Stella Harper and Darius Stulz. Darius co-founded the student initiative Circular Horizon with the goal of developing a scalable carbon removal project based on biochar. They are participating in the 100m USD XPrize Challenge by Musk Foundation. To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tonnes removed per year. Stella Harper is an ETH Material Science Student and joined the team later in the communication team. The student initiative already has 40 student members, and they are actively searching for companies to support them with expertise and financing. In this episode, we are addressing the following questions:Can you please explain to my listeners what Circular Horizon is and why you started it? 1:40It is part of the Musk Foundation Project / Challenge Xprize - Can you explain that a little bit more? 3:18Can you explain what Biochar is? 6:27Which projects will you submit? 7:56What makes your solution different and more scaleable? 10:16What are the limits to using biomass and how would you overcome them? 11:41How far in the project are you? 12:56What have been your roles in this project? 14:37How do you finance your projects? 16:53If someone wants to support you, how can they do that? 18:25What kind of support do you need from the community? 20:40
11# -  Winning the 100m USD carbon removal XPrize - Interview with student initiative CircularHorizon
Jul 31 2022
11# - Winning the 100m USD carbon removal XPrize - Interview with student initiative CircularHorizon
This is a short episode to present the CircularHorizon initiative, with Stella Harper and Darius Stulz. Darius co-founded the student initiative Circular Horizon with the goal of developing a scalable carbon removal project based on biochar. They are participating in the 100m USD XPrize Challenge by Musk Foundation. To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tonnes removed per year. Stella Harper is an ETH Material Science Student and joined the team later in the communication team. The student initiative already has 40 student members, and they are actively searching for companies to support them with expertise and financing. In this episode, we are addressing the following questions:Can you please explain to my listeners what Circular Horizon is and why you started it? 1:40It is part of the Musk Foundation Project / Challenge Xprize - Can you explain that a little bit more? 3:18Can you explain what Biochar is? 6:27Which projects will you submit? 7:56What makes your solution different and more scaleable? 10:16What are the limits to using biomass and how would you overcome them? 11:41How far in the project are you? 12:56What have been your roles in this project? 14:37How do you finance your projects? 16:53If someone wants to support you, how can they do that? 18:25What kind of support do you need from the community? 20:40
Episode 10 - Turning from a for-profit into an impact entrepreneur - Interview with Christian Vollmann  - founder of Carbon One (C1).
Jul 5 2022
Episode 10 - Turning from a for-profit into an impact entrepreneur - Interview with Christian Vollmann - founder of Carbon One (C1).
In this episode of the SustainNOW Podcast, I am talking to Christian Vollmann - Founder of Carbon One. In this episode, she is talking with Christian Vollmann, a serial digital entrepreneur who transformed from a pure profit to an impact entrepreneur. He co-founded  companies such as iLove,  eDarling, video platform MyVideo and social network nebenan.de. Christian was Business Angel of the year in 2017 and invested into more than 70 companies. In 2022, he co-founded Carbon One with the vision to replace fossil fuels based methanol with green methanol for the shipping and chemical industry. Carbon one is building a platform to re-design the production process of methanol with quantum-chemical simulation with the aim to save several gigatons of CO2 every year.In this episode, Christian Vollmann is sharing insights to his journey to be an impact entrepreneur, why it is so difficult to solve the climate crisis, why shipping industry is a good place to start and how to be successful as a digital entrepreneur in the chemical industry.In this episode we are addressing the following questions:“Turning from "for-profit" entrepreneur into "impact entrepreneur". Can you please explain what you mean by that? 2:01What was the moment you realized that you need to change from a digital entrepreneur into an impact entrepreneur? 4:49What kind of skills can you use in that new industry? Or any other digital entrepreneur who is turning to impact 7:21What makes you in general optimistic that we will solve the climate crisis? 9:51What are the biggest challenges in solving the climate crisis in your own words?11:23Coming now to Carbon One. The vision of the company is "Establish closed carbon cycles in shipping and chemical production via green methanol". Can you please explain the vision and how you want to achieve it? 16:16What is the input you need (biomass, capture co2, etc.) to create 63’000 gallons of green methanol fuel? 21:26What is the biggest challenge in the production process? 27:01Why not electrify container ships or use hydrogen?
09 - Cannabis as "magic" solution plant for climate change - Interview with Gavin George, Puregene
May 30 2022
09 - Cannabis as "magic" solution plant for climate change - Interview with Gavin George, Puregene
Dr. Gavin George is a co-founder and CEO of Puregene AG. The Swiss company has developed a technology stack that harnesses the power of genomics for trait discovery and predictive plant breeding, using massive datasets and machine learning to assemble tailored elite varieties, fit for industry. He was awarded a PhD in 2010 from Stellenbosch University before his 7 years at the ETH Zurich as a Postdoctoral researcher. He has authored 12 peer reviewed publications and contributed to 6 books."We are a 4-year-old company, with 15 PhDs, who have created the largest trait discovery program in cannabis that has mapped over 350 traits to genomes containing 50'000'000 identified polymorphisms, using over 40'000 unique plants, 120'000 images, all fed into a genomics prediction platform aimed at disrupting cannabis and incumbent agricultural crop production."We will talk about the different usages of the Cannabis plants, why Cannabis could feed the world, the difference to soy and how sustainable Cannabis really is. We also talk about why the Jurassic Park book and movie inspired him to explore genome editing but also thinking about security at the same time. In this episode we are addressing the following questions:We know hemp (German: Hanf); Cannabis, THC, CBD,  Marihuana, Haschich → can you please explain the differences between these names? 04:34You told me that cannabis will feed the world in the future. What do you mean by that? 06:09Under which conditions Cannabis can be planted? Does it need a lot of water? Heat? 10:19Where do you see the potential in sustainability? And why?  12:00What is the “innovation” of breeding 3.0? What is the difference to CRISPR? Can you explain that non-experts? 13:08Cannabis has also other incredible features such as a high absorption rate of CO2 - So shall we plant Cannabis instead of forests? 22:20Would it be possible to grow cannabis through vertical farming? 27:47How will the revenue in the company change and what will change in the industry in the next 5 years?  29:05Are you expecting Switzerland will open its laws like California and Canada? 31:30What are the challenges in your company in the next 5 years? 33:32Get more great stories around Climate Solutions at www.sustainnow.ch
08 -  Turning CO2 into food. Interview with Arkeon Founder Gregor Tegl.
May 2 2022
08 - Turning CO2 into food. Interview with Arkeon Founder Gregor Tegl.
After obtaining his PhD at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Gregor continued his dedication to environmental biotechnology at the University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada, researching enzymes for the sustainable production of complex macromolecules. His passion for food and sustainable eating ignited a 5+ year long journey of exploring microbes to produce next-generation nutrients and food ingredients. Gregor’s scientific expedition resulted in an entirely new method of producing alternative proteins using CO2 – without the need for any agricultural inputs, changing agriculture the way we know it.We will talk about what amino acids are, why they are essential for our health and food system - and not only for bodybuilders. Why 3 scientists would like to produce them on Mars and what scale really means for producing green and carbon negative proteins for our food system.In this episode we are addressing the following questions: What led you to found Arkeon and maybe prior where is the name Arkeon coming from? You are 3 scientists who co-founded Arkeon. What has been your aspiration to go from science into commercialization? How are they produced currently? And why is that a problem for the environment?How big is the problem you would like to solve? Tell me more about the fermentation process to convert CO2 into these components? For non scientists :) When are you going to be able to produce it at scale? Can you put it into perspective? How long would it take you to create all amino acids for a vegan burger? How expensive would the burger be? How would a reactor look like if you would be able to supply amino acids for Germany? What is the size? You are writing that you are carbon neutral. Can you explain this? Where do you get the co2 from? Is it realistically to meet the worldwide demand of amino acids with this process? Do you have competitors in this space? As a retailer or manufacturer who would like to use these amino acids as base for their food products. Where do you need to go? Is there already a solution? About Arkeon: Arkeon Biotechnologies leverages the power of ancient microbes to create the most sustainable, nutritious, and ethical food. The company uses highly efficient microorganisms to produce customizable functional protein ingredients for the next generation of alternative protein food products. Arkeon’s proprietary technology is fully independent from agricultural land and directly converts CO2 into a range of clean label ingredients that are GMO-free and 100% vegan. The company holds the key to unlock a food system without resource constraints, without geographical restrictions and free from animal suffering.
07: Hydrocarbon - The Energy umpf as a big challenge to get green. Interview with Yair Reem.
Apr 19 2022
07: Hydrocarbon - The Energy umpf as a big challenge to get green. Interview with Yair Reem.
Yair is a Partner at Extantia Capital, a climate-first VC fund focused on deep decarbonisation technologies. Extantia invests in exceptional climate-tech founders who build the next “Gigacorns”, companies that are ultimately capable of saving in excess of 1Gt of CO2 emissions per year and are also commercially viable with scalable business models.In this Episode, we will talk about Clean Tech 2.0, why hydrocarbons are having the biggest energy "umpf", and why is it so hard to replace them in our value chain.In this episode we are addressing the following questions: What is for you the biggest difference between the clean tech 1.0 and clean tech 2.0? At Extantia you search for the gigacorns, can you please explain what that means? Can you please explain what hydrocarbons are for a non-technical person? How it is created? For what is it used? Do you need anything else than hydrocarbon to produce heat or electricity? Can you use other molecules / Materials as the base for materials, chemicals, etc? What kind of solutions/companies do you see in that space? Is it realistic to generate the complete demand for hydrocarbons through renewable resources? What is the biggest hurdle to producing hydrocarbon from renewable resources? From an investor perspective, what are your biggest bets in the climate tech sector in the next 5 years? As a retailer or manufacturer who would like to use plastic that is coming from green hydrocarbon. Where do you need to go? Is there already a solution?
05 - Interview with Daniel Skaven Ruben - How we gonna nourish 10bn people in a sustainable way?
Nov 23 2021
05 - Interview with Daniel Skaven Ruben - How we gonna nourish 10bn people in a sustainable way?
More information and all links: www.sustainnow.ch Daniel Skaven Ruben is Head of Strategy & Special Projects at Swedish plant-based cheese startup Stockeld DreameryPrior to that, he was a consultant to The Rockefeller Foundation Food Initiative during 2017-2021, supporting the Foundation’s work to advance a more nourishing and sustainable food system. Daniel has also worked as an expert for the World Bank in Washington D.C. (2015-2016) on issues around technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.Daniel is a mentor for several FoodTech accelerators, a venture partner to four foodtech VC firms, and is an advisor to a number of AgTech and FoodTech startups. He curates the newsletter FoodTech Weekly and co-hosts The Appetizer podcast.  In this episode we will talk about: How do we nourish people [10bn] in a sustainable way in the future? The feeding GAP - how to feed 10bn people in 2050 by not using more agriculture land, not emitting more carbon and less water. The history of nourishment of an increasing population. Food is responsible for 25% of annual greenhouse emissions, 70% freshwater use, 50% of all land use. We discuss 3 solutions and existing companies for reducing GHG emission while feeding the world: Increase productivity in agriculture (crops, animals, fertilizers, etc.) by using technology such as sensors, Satellit, robotics, vertical farming, cold chain optimization in Africa, etc. Reduce food waste in developed countries (we throw 1/3 away) by increasing awareness, alarm systems for due dates, dynamic pricing, sustainable packaging, circular solutions, fair pricing by total cost accounting, etc.Shift diets from animal based protein, sugar, sodium to more fruit and vegetable, nuts, omega 3 based food, etc. Why is it so difficult to implement these solutions? We talk about the missing true cost accounting in the food chain. How your plate should look like to nourish you well. We are looking into the future and the challenges to scale them: Personalized nutrition, AI based nutrition analysis, increasing consumer demand towards origin, components and nutrition levels of food, plant-based protein, lab-grown protein, precision fermentation food. Where would Daniel invest into the next 5 years? Potential book title about himself: Incurable Optimist.
03 - Interview with Nicholas Hänny - co-founder and CEO of NIKIN
Sep 14 2021
03 - Interview with Nicholas Hänny - co-founder and CEO of NIKIN
Please find more information on my blog: www.sustainnow.chNicholas Hänny, co-founder and CEO of the Swiss clothing brand NIKIN. NIKIN plants one tree for every product sold and tries to make sustainable fashion more affordable. They've already planted over 1'000'000 trees and mostly grew threw eCommerce and Social Media Marketing. Nicholas Hänny is a scout and therefore has always had a connection to trees and nature, however the whole topic of sustainability in a business and fashion context has only come into his life with NIKIN.Nick bootstraps NIKIN since 2017 and actually started with a different mindset and adapted over the time to the sustainability vision. Actually, their customer told them that they don't want to buy their products if everything comes out of China. We also talk about how to reduce returns as a fashion brand and how to be sustainable but at the same time focusing on growth. In this episode we talk about the actions NIKIN has taken to make his whole value chain more sustainable. We go through each step and he provides actionable tips. Nick clarifies that they are not the most sustainable fashion company in Switzerland, but rather 90% better and they are trying to improve in all aspects. Currently, they are working with ECOS - a sustainability agency - to improve further their goals, values and actions. We take a deep dive into packaging. Nikin uses recycled cardboard, no plastic bags for fashion and using sugar cane paper for the tree certificate. Fun fact - for organic food they use the startup wormup, but too slow to watch them eat :) We talk about greenwashing - especially towards planting trees as co2 offsetting. This article of BBC provides a good overview - when and how tree planting is really helping the global warming or can be contra productive by limiting biodiversity due to monoculturesnot letting it grow for 100 years to store carbon effectively (rather cutting it after 10 years to create more co2 certificates)by cutting it down and using little sustainable manufacturing processes Nick explains that with the organization ONETREEPLANTED,  they tried to plant tries for different purposes such as supporting local communities with food, re-structuring river lines, helping endangered species, etc. Nick defines for himself that sustainability needs to be in balance with social, economical, environmental aspects. His top 3 necessary changes to get a more sustainable world:  Research Development by private and public organizations - especially in the energy spaceMore innovation in the sustainability space Consumer Behavior change - eat & travel more locallyIn my Blog about Climate Change, I took a deep dive into the sources of greenhouse emissions and what we can do.  Nick emphasizes that as multi-brand retailer, you have one big choice to make: "Choose your brands wisely and evaluate your products regarding sustainability. "In the end, Nick shares his passion for social media. He talks about how he bootstraps with CHF 5.000 his company to over CHF 20m revenue company by selling primarily via social media.
02 - Interview with Tom Szaky- founder of Terracycle and Loop
Sep 8 2021
02 - Interview with Tom Szaky- founder of Terracycle and Loop
Please find more more information about Tom in my blog www.sustainnow.ch.Very inspiring talk with Tom Szaky - one of the pioneers of modern waste management and recycling. Tom Szaky is founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams. TerraCycle operates in 21 countries, working with some of the world’s largest brands, retailers and manufacturers to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration. Through TerraCycle, Tom is creating circular solutions for hundreds of waste streams such as cigarette butts, dirty diapers and used chewing gum that otherwise have no path to be recycled. TerraCycle operates the largest supply chain for ocean plastic in the world, partnering with companies to integrate this material into their packaging. In January 2019, TerraCycle, along with 25 top consumer products companies and retailers announced a new circular shopping platform called Loop that will enable consumers to shop for some of their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. In the podcast we talk about his personal motivation to found TerraCycle almost 20 years ago as fertilizer company out of organic waste. His motivation to become in entrepreneur sparked during a Princeton college class, when the teacher ask what is the purpose of a business? Hopeful for the answer, however he received the following statement: "Maximize Profit for shareholders". Uninspired he left Princeton university after 1 year and found Terracycle - a mission driven company to create value out of the waste of human kind.In our talk he shares facts about waste management and recycling management and surprised with one statement"in the end everything will be owned by a waste company. Everything which once belong to someone, even Mona-Lisa - however it is the least innovated industry by USD in the world."The Loop founder illustrates how to use reusable containers (shampoos, etc.) also as an ecommerce player when you don't have retail stores. He also debugs the myth that the CO2 footprint of transportation is very high in consumer perception but the production  of a new item is way higher. He also states that greenwashing is extremely dangerous for producers and retailers in that sense that small achievements are getting pumped up in Marketing out of scale. He states"You should not be afraid to make something (sustainable) small, but just don't make it look like it is big!"Tom also shares in the podcast how a retailer or producer can start its journey to get more sustainable without loosing the customer and employees by engaging customer first. In the end, we will talk about reusable shampoo containers or other containers and when are they really sustainable and when not.
01 - Interview with Shameek Gosh - co-founder of Trustrace
Jun 17 2021
01 - Interview with Shameek Gosh - co-founder of Trustrace
Very excited to present my first guest at my new podcast sustainNOW. Shameek is co-founder and CEO of TrusTrace, a product traceability and supply chain transparency platform. He has been associated with B2B Software and IT industry for more than 2 decades.The Mission Statement of TrusTrace is: "We bring transparency to producers who really want to know what they sell and for consumers who really care what they buy."What is TrusTrace doing? In a nuthsell:  Understanding the true cost of manufacturing, selling, buying, disposing of material etc. is critical for various stakeholders to act and make the value chain more sustainable. In this episode, we talk about his personal journey from India to Stockholm and how it impacted it in co-founding his company. He will share 7 Key Points on how to make the value chain and the world more sustainable: 1. Be mindful when buying. Choose responsible products with small footprint 2. Buy less and go for 'Recycle, Reuse or Rent' options 3. Companies to set aggressive goals to achieve 100% sustainable products and achieve it 4. Regulators and government to reward genuine sustainable efforts and penalise greenwashing and false claims 5. The Rich world to set examples and appreciate the challenges of developing and underdeveloped regions when it comes to sustainability first solutions. 6. Support and reward innovation on Sustainability tech 7. Support Science Based Goals and assist fundamental research and development in sustainability topicsAt the end of the podcast, he will share his challenges he experienced and provides a great tip for all founders in the sustainability space. You can find the shownotes, background materials and contact details of our guests on our website www.sustainnow.ch. Follow and share our podcast on any podcast platform available. Do you have a comment or interesting solutions to take a deep dive? Please don't hesitate to go to our website sustainnow.ch and write us an email. We will have English as well as German speaking guests coming up.