World Environment Day 2021
Innovative companies across the UK, and abroad, are creating products that are changing the world for the better. In the lead up to World Environment Day 2021 Matt Shaw, managing partner at Forresters, focuses on the businesses that are taking action to help reduce the growing strain on the Earth’s natural systems.
Never have we been more aware of the health of our world than we are now.
Every day we hear news about many issues, ranging from global warming and melting ice caps to plastic pollution and deforestation. What we often don’t hear much about though, are the companies that are working hard to make changes that will have a direct impact on these difficult issues.
On Saturday, June 5th, World Environment Day will be raising awareness of how we all need to act now to change the current situation. This year the event will specifically focus on the theme of ‘ecosystem restoration’ and on resetting our relationship with nature. It will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
At Forresters we are in the privileged position of working with some of the world’s most inventive and creative individuals and businesses. Among those are the ones that are continually striving to create products that work towards environmental goals and objectives.
One of these is Aquifer, a client with unique apparatus that recycles and treats water. No waste water is deposited into the foul sewer and this means that companies will be able to clean waste water, sludge and effluent before it goes into rivers. Aquifer, which started in April last year, is currently using the apparatus at a car wash, H2O in Newton Abbot, Devon. Sean Ashwell and Phil Hunt from Aquifer told us that the effects of the water treatment apparatus could be far reaching:
“This is a game changing piece of equipment that conserves 99% of the water we use and can be powered by a solar array offering not only domestic, commercial and industrial solutions but also solutions that benefit the environment as well as humanitarian plight. Adjacent to the car wash is a nature reserve, and so we can see first-hand the benefits of not allowing the water to escape, as it could be polluted with chemicals such as anti-freeze, detergents and oil.
“Forresters made the process of securing patents very smooth and got us the results we wanted. In the past we worked with other IP firms to try and obtain patents, but it was costly and didn’t come to fruition. After a few recommendations we contacted Forresters, and in a short space of time the results were achieved. There has been a lot of interest in the apparatus, especially from overseas, so we will be looking at working with Forresters to secure international patents.”
Another company we work with that is making huge changes is Atlantic Lionshare Ltd. The team at Atlantic Lionshare developed a remotely operated vehicle called The Reef Sweeper that has removed thousands of lionfish from the ocean. This is helping to reduce the damage that they are currently inflicting on the marine environment. Lionfish were introduced by humans to the Atlantic Ocean, and Elizabeth Martin from Atlantic Lionshare said their aim is not just to cull the Lionfish, but have their nutritious meat become part of a regular seafood diet:
“The invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish in the western Atlantic Ocean is putting marine ecosystems from New England to Brazil at risk of ecological damage. They are voracious predators that eat large quantities of small fishes and crustaceans from the reefs, can produce up to 30,000 eggs every 4 days, and have no known predators. The Reef Sweeper extracts lionfish from their habitat, quickly and effectively, without causing any damage to other species or the surrounding environment.
“Forresters has been a pleasure to work with in obtaining our global patents and trade marks. Our technology will continuously evolve and we look forward to our long term relationship with Forresters’ talented team.”
Another business that has been inspired by the ocean is Biomason, which has created a type of cement that is cutting down on the concrete industry’s carbon emissions. Since 2012, the company has used microorganisms to grow sustainable, structural biocement® – essentially, they grow cement the same way nature does, preventing the need to emit carbon. Ginger Krieg Dosier, co-founder and CEO of Biomason told us how biocement is currently being used in projects throughout Northern Europe.
“The idea for growing cement came from examining how coral grows in the ocean, which uses carbon as a building block to create strong, cementitious materials rather than emitting it, as is the case with traditional cement production. We developed our revolutionary biocement technology by realising we could employ nature’s closed loop system and use microorganisms to create a low-carbon cement.
“From the beginning, we have chosen to treat the intrinsic problem in traditional cement production – carbon emissions. We know the world needs a radically different way of producing cement, one that does not depend upon the release of emissions. As the pioneers in the field of biocement technology, protecting the intellectual property of our years of hard work and proprietary development in this field is paramount to our success. With many granted patents and pending patent applications, we can firmly say we are, and will continue to be, the leaders in this industry.
“Biomason biocement will eliminate 25% of the concrete industry’s global carbon emissions by 2030. As we continue to work toward this goal, we are rapidly scaling our technology and growing our organisation to work with partners and projects to usher in a new era of construction.”
Plastic in our oceans, and waste in landfills, are problems we hear about regularly. By recycling and reusing we can all make an important contribution to some of the biggest environmental issues the world is facing. One UK company that’s helping to change this is LiveCoco, which creates products that are 100% recyclable or compostable. These include a wide range of dental care items that are available at Holland & Barrett, over 200 independent stores and pharmacies as well as their own website. The founder, Mohsin, said the business started four years ago, but after finding out that only 9% of plastic is recyclable they decided to take the business in a different direction.
“It’s mind boggling when you ask yourself – How can we have driverless electric cars, and yet we still can’t recycle 91% of our plastic? Two years ago we decided to focus on creating a business that was as eco-friendly as possible. I’d started using an electric toothbrush and knew that the head would have to be thrown away after I’d used it – just another thing to go into the landfill or the oceans. So we decided to develop recyclable brush heads and get rid of products that weren’t, at the very least, recyclable.
“We created our own Closed-Loop Recycling System, in which all of our products that aren’t biodegradable, can be recycled. We also developed other items for the bathroom, such as toothbrushes, soap, cotton buds and deodorant, that are eco-friendly. Since then we’ve branched off into kitchen items and pet care.
“Working with Forresters gave us the confidence to get our products into shops and other outlets. Our long-term aim is to create all our products out of biodegradable materials, but that isn’t possible yet as the technology to produce these materials still needs to be developed.”
World Environment Day is the United Nations’ flagship event to highlight environmental issues that are affecting our planet. It has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people around the world. However, it is only by taking responsibility for the issues affecting our planet that we can bring about real change. This includes supporting those businesses and individuals that are using their initiative to help create a greener future.
At Forresters we are proud to work with people that are having a real impact on some of these environmental challenges. By securing their inspirational ideas and inventions we can provide them with the confidence they need to continue putting the health of the planet first.