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  1. The Climate-KIC team
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. Tuesday, 19 April 2016
The Climate-KIC community is currently working on the four topics Sustainable Land Use, Sustainable Production Systems, Urban Transitions and Climate Metrics and Finance.

Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?
Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?

(Please find the overview of Themes and 'hot topics' attached)

This discussion is part of the learning nugget Intention settings in Ideating Climate Business.
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?
For the UT theme, I would add e-mobility as a hot topic. I find interesting that the shared energy storage systems topic is already included and e-mobility not, specially considering that the latter will enable and foster the the energy storage technology to be implemented and diffused through different end-users. There are already several business models that combine both technologies (e-bikes, micro Smart Grids, fuel cell) and even though e-mobility has been on the radar for incumbents (Deutsche Bahn, BMW) and start-ups, the boom of e-mobility has not been established. Hence, there is still room for new business proposals and strategies for value capture.

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?
Biomass valorisation, a hot topic from SLU. Biomass is a sustainable resource that practically everyone on the planet has access (as well as wind and sun, variably depending on the region but still we do). However, Biomass technology is not as popular as solar and wind energy and it's also cost-efficient in terms of electricity prices and it's not as highly dependent on locations as sun and wind energy are. Of course, it depends on several factors but I think that business models should consider this technology as a competitive advantage in the nearby future.
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One very large problem that we face is waste management. We need an effective, clean way of managing our waste and waste production. In particular, food waste is very high for developed countries. A way to tackle this may be consumer behaviour but also regulation on packaging using non-recyclable material.
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I agree with you, Maxe, Anais and Basil that key to addressing climate change systemically is ensuring that sustainable consumption is a key part of "sustainable production systems" and that not only do we look at socio-technological transitions but also the transformation required in our values and belief systems!

In the academic literature sustainable consumption and sustainable production are coupled so I hadn't actually noticed that the theme wasn't called "sustainable consumption and production systems" until I read your threads. I had been referring to it as SCP systems...

See the International Society for Industrial Ecology's is a interesting society for those interested in this topic and the role of the circular economy in SCP <a target="_blank" href="systemshttp://www.is4ie.org/sections#OSCP" rel="nofollow">systemshttp://www.is4ie.org/sections#OSCP</a>
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Holy cow, this post sounds totally like something I could have said! Wow, great to know that there are like-minded people out there. I personally think a decentralised energy system holds a lot of advantages, too. If you're interested, I could recommend books of Hermann Scheer to this topic. They are a little older, but the thematics often still up to date.
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Hi Elena,
I think you're definitely right this theme seems to fall a bit short of the finance area, even though such things as measuring and reporting emissions can be connected to measuring the climate impact of funds or other investment products.Yet, making financing of RE and EE more accessible by setting more incentives to invest in such long term and capital intensive projects is a major issue that has to addressed, not only in the Global North, but also the South. In regard of the latter, I think it is very important to find mechanisms that help micro-finance and local finance institutions, which very often can not afford to give out loan tenors that last longer than a year, to find a way to make their products more affordable for 'smaller' consumers. Also, I think that for bigger investors, there is a need to develop more sustainable investment products, e.g. green bonds or development bonds. For these investment products, in turn, I think there is additionally the need, to measure their actual additionally, i.e. to measure what actually wouldn't have happened without these products and to develop more standardized ratings for the 'sustainability level' of such products.
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Dear Rabia,

thank you for sharing the 100days project! Really interesting and important. Cutting out meat is indeed a big thing, if everyone would do this, it is likely that we turn climate change around. It is interesting to read that you don't necessarily have to cut out all the meat but it mainly considers beef. This knowledge could potentially help people eat at least fewer meatproducts, without having to be fully vegetarian. Anyway, I am very happy that KIC decided to do a fully vegetarian/vegan summer journey!!
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I live in Ljubljana, which is green capital of Europe this year, so according to that we have put a lot of effort into awareness and especially recycling. I think everything starts with mentality of Society.
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I strongly agree with you, Basil, Maxe, Nine, Geraldine (and probably several more) ! Forcing supply to change is best done by altering the demand. Hence, customers are required to become active.

For that to work I consider a better communication structure to be of importance. Labeling products with associated emission amounts is a good idea. This goes hand in hand with companies' transperancy captured by the DMF section. Nevertheless, I consider consumer behavior an important topic.
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The part that I agree the most to is the strife to make houses energy neutral. The biggest challenge should be to think that the houses should give circa the same ecological services as the land that it has been occupied to build it.
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Hi Maxime! I agree with you that the sharing economy could potentially be a solution to urban sustainability challenges! However, in its current popular form, I think there is a lot of research and development that need to be done to ensure that it does contribute to sustainability. I did my thesis on the sharing economy and I can say that its running opposite to its promise of using less resources and generating less wastes. There are evidences showing that it is actually contributing to consumption and production. But I do think that since the sharing economy is still in its infancy stage, we can help direct it to a more sustainable pathway. :)
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Hi Larissa

You described the relationship between action and knowledge very well I think! Even as a highly-educated individual myself I don't always put my money where my mouth is, but rational thinking can make me change my habits. Describing how change on the individual level can lead to change on a societal scale is definitely a second step to consider. My concerns there are how people may think and act differently as a consumer (feeling more responsible, concerned with a beautiful planet for their children, etcetera) than in their role as employee (more concerned with their private shorter-term interests).

Would you (or someone else) have any first ideas or even an example of how this second step can be reached? It is something I am wondering about much myself.
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Hey Linnea!
Great that you mention circular economy, too. Last year I had a chance to talk to a representative from Helsingborg Municipality, who told me that they are currently trying to introduce circular economy principles in public procurement, particularly in building sector. Same is happening in Denmark, to my limited knowledge. I thought it was great that cities increasingly recognize it's potential, in addition to private sector, where it's relatively easy to advocate circular economy principles in the first place as it represents reduced reliance on natural resources and, hence, financial savings.
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Consumer behaviour is definitely an integral part to this system.
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I agree with you, I also think that consumer behavior is an very interesting and important topic. I agree with Femke that consuming less is part of the solutions. Food waste as already mentioned before is a huge problem, especially in developed countries, and we need innovative solutions for reducing it.
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I was also missing this part. I would like to add that also consuming less is part of the solution. Sharing is caring! Share platforms for cars and tools, cohousing, the fairphone ... There is some movement in society. Maybe it is not a tangible prototype or 'thing' but also here are opportunities for entrepreneurship!
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I agree with your opinion. I think that we first need to change our way of thinking, that it is cheaper to buy new things than repairing them. Staff is cheap because of the labor exploitation and exploitation of natural resources and furthermore also lots of technological staff it’s made for limited lifetime. I think we need to find answer how to empower consumers, and start to educate children already in kindergarten.
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Very interesting post! I have also been thinking in the same way as you. The problem that I can see is that this has a lot to do with norms and trends - which can be hard to change. It is a bit frustrating that even if you constructed a perfect solution you still need to convince the market. But I know that big companies like IKEA are interested in circular economy and ideas like this, so hopefully we will see a change in consumer behaviour.
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I fully agree with you! It shouldn't only be scientists, the goverment and activists promoting green ideas. Consumers should be engaged and should be provided with practical and easy solutions, which become the new norm.
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Urban transition is my main area of interest, and in particular greener transportation and smart use of space. I would link this to the sustainable land use and biomass valorisation, in order to think more and more about the city as an ecosystem, not as something that is not related to the surrounding country. Another climate-related problem that I see as urgent is the resilience of the built environment to the effects of climate change, in order to avoid lives and values losses.
The issue that resonates the most in me is the presence of green in cities and the big use of polluting private transports.
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I believe some solutions may adress various of the hot topics simultaneously. For example, the idea of the 'Vertical Farm'. In first place, it will relieve pressure on land use, while it might enhance urban transitions (reducing the need for transportation, potentially creating green areas for citizens, among others). Also, it might reduce the use of resources such as fuels o fertilizers also as it might be needing a highly integrated highly efficient electrical system (probably storage being needed).

I found very useful the categorization in topics, but many of the solutions I can think of are hard to frame in just one.
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Whilst it has been touched on lightly in the topics of Urban Transition and Sustainable Production Systems, I think it is really important to provide simple, cheap and effective technologies that transform PRE-EXISTING infrastructure/products into low carbon, energy efficient improvements. I truly believe that the average consumer is not necessarily looking to buy a new low carbon flat or an electric car in the next few years, and we need technologies reaching them that are affordable and simply give a climate friendly upgrade to what they have already spent their money on.

The aforementioned topics that resonate with me most would have to be either Recording and Reporting Emissions and all of the Urban Transition. Recording and Reporting Emissions is a vital condition for kickstarting change and a somewhat uniform approach is preferable across Europe too.

Urban Transition for me is finding the advantage in millions of people living in close vicinity to one another to share resources and energy in the most efficient way possible. With all amenities being close by cities should have lower carbon emissions per person than rural areas however this is not a trend we see.
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