Climate change is a fact of our lifetimes. Within the past two decades, we have all witnessed and even experienced the disasters brought on by global warming, and the related deterioration of the environment, including pollution and deforestation.
For now, these disasters are localised in time and space, even though they are increasingly frequent. But the evidence is clear – they will become still more frequent and more catastrophic.
Unlike the frog that boils to death because the heat rises too gradually for it to notice, we have to act now, before drought, floods and the resultant humanitarian crises become the new normal.
In the recent past, we have made significant progress in replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. But this is only part of the problem. To effectively combat climate change, we must find sustainable materials and circular processes for industry.
The undeniable urgency of the crisis made me move on from a comfortable career in information technology, to start a company that researches and develops processes and materials that replace the unsustainable and damaging status quo.
We learn from nature, and collaborate with it. Nature is circular; natural growth comes from regeneration and renewal, not exploitation. We’re helping build the circular economy, which reuses, replenishes and renews even as it grows.
In the process of finding new answers to the urgent questions of our times, we often find that the substitutes we are inventing are not merely compromises; they are better in important ways than the materials and processes that they replace.
Biocomposites made from crop waste, for example, eliminate a harmful industrial age agricultural practice of stubble burning, yielding a material that matches plastic in durability and versatility, while at the same time being climate-friendly and eco-friendly. It benefits farmers, industry and the community.
I believe that we can turn the threats of climate change and environmental degradation into opportunities. We can reinvent our way of life, and move on to the socially inclusive, gentle and constant improvement in quality of life that the circular economy promises.
This is only possible when all of us work together, each adding a piece of the puzzle to complete the circle. I invite you to join me in our journey to a safer and healthier world.