Bringing the World Closer to a Circular Economy
Dec 09, 2019
From biogas to recycled waste feathers, these three winners are at the cutting edge of sustainability and innovation.
What do bio-organic compost, a biogas reactor, and sustainable thermal packaging all have in common? They are all innovative ideas from this year’s Top Ten Innovators competition. This year’s Top Ten Innovators competition focused on rewarding entrepreneurs whose businesses contribute to the circular economy. Shell aims to reward entrepreneurs that help move the world away from the linear economy model – taking, using, and disposing of products – towards an economy that designs waste out of the system. And the winners in food & agriculture, energy & mobility, and sustainable future categories are all taking a unique approach to designing out waste.
Food & Agriculture Winner
Egyptian enterprise Baramoda recycles agricultural waste into a bio-organic compost. The increasing global population is putting a strain on agricultural resources. At the same time, agriculture is a water-intensive industry and many countries, including Egypt, have limited freshwater resources. That’s where the Baramoda team comes in. They use agricultural waste to produce a bio-organic compost. Not only does this result in the farm soil needing less water but it also improves the productivity of the soil since the compost is chemical free.
“It’s really amazing to win this competition,” said Mostafa Elnaby, Baramoda’s CEO. “This has motivated our team to compete in the global market and spread this cause that we really believe in…the important of waste management, agriculture, and food.”
Jember Futura Energi (Indonesia)
Energy & Mobility Winner
Jember Futura Energi’s biogas reactor, BIOPE, produces energy and organic fertilizer while minimising waste. BIOPE is easier to maintain, safer, and more affordable than traditional biogas reactors. CEO Izza Auliya Amukholidi said he and his team created BIOPE after seeing another biogas project launch and fail within their community. Farmers wanted to use biogas reactors to help manage and recycle waste but they couldn’t afford the manufacturing and maintenance costs. Jember Futura Energi’s BIOPE reactor is half the cost of traditional biogas reactors and can also be easily repaired with a geomembrane tape.
“It was such a great feeling when my team was recognised as the energy and mobility winner,” said Amukholidi. “With this prize, we can help more people access clean energy.”
AEROPOWDER (United Kingdom)
Sustainable Future Winner
U.K.-based AEROPOWDER won the Sustainable Future category for creating pluumo, the world’s first thermal packaging made from waste feathers. Packaging is important, especially when transporting temperature-sensitive items. But many traditional packaging materials are made out of expanded polystyrene, which has a devastating impact on the environment. Pluumo has been designed to replace plastic-based materials so that temperature-sensitive goods can be delivered more sustainably. The AEROPOWDER team has turned surplus feathers into a unique, high performance insulation textile that is covered with a compostable food grade liner. Pluumo matches the performance of traditional packaging materials but without negatively impacting the environment.
“It has been a very busy end of the year, so to be honest the announcement caught me completely by surprise!” said Elena Dieckmann, AEROPOWDER CTO and co-founder. “It Is a great honour to have won this award, especially when the other finalists are from such a wide range of industries and countries across the world.”
Each of these enterprises will receive $20,000 to help their businesses grow. Their award package also includes mentoring support by a Shell expert, the opportunity to benefit from market linkages and the possibility to be considered as a vendor to Shell or Shell’s customers.
See the full 2019 awardee list here.