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Exploring the Fourth Wave of Environmental Innovation
Header banner - Innovation and the Environment by EDF
February 7, 2020 
Coldplay changes the tune on touring's climate impact
When an industry leader commits to environmental innovation, others must follow or risk being left behind. Consider Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, with more than $7 trillion in investments. In his annual letter to CEOs, Fink announced an exit strategy from coal and urged every government, company and shareholder to confront climate change and prepare for a significant reallocation of capital. Microsoft has also stepped up in a big way (more on that below). And so has the band Coldplay, which decided to forego touring in support of its new album over sustainability concerns. They’re one of a growing number of influential bands working with university researchers to factor energy use and emissions into touring decisions, paving the way for acts of all sizes to do the same.
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Also worth your time…
Microsoft Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa announces new sustainability initiatives

Microsoft to go "carbon negative" by 2030 
Why it matters: Microsoft plans to remove more carbon from the air than it has emitted since its inception in 1975. They believe this will help them get ahead of competitors’ commitments faster, and the plan is backed by a $1 billion investment in developing carbon removal technologies.
 
Tech innovators should pay attention to NYC’s new air pollution monitoring pilot
Why it matters: This is the latest example of how municipalities are tackling air pollution in unprecedented ways. New York City operates over 30,000 city-owned vehicles, the largest municipal fleet in the country, and a new pilot will put some of them to additional use as hyperlocal air quality monitors.
 
Smart Home experiment helps you decide when to conserve
Why it matters: The end-of-the-month water bill isn’t enough to influence people’s behavior, so Carol Lindquist of Texas Tech University wants to help people see their use in real-time. Subjects living in an experimental home in Texas will know exactly how much water they have in their tanks, how they’re using it and how much rain is coming. With access to data, she hopes to usher in an era of mindful consumption.
 
McKinsey explores precision fisheries and advanced analytics
Why it matters: In this industry deep-dive, McKinsey highlights an untapped approach to balancing fishery interests and environmental concerns. It’s all about using smart-boat technology to collect, process and interpret  data — better for the fishermen, better for the fish
 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation releases "Circulytics"
Why it matters: This digital measuring tool gives companies a comprehensive picture of their circularity across all operations (NB: circularity refers to methods of production and consumption that keep products, components and materials in the economy and out of landfills). “Now a freely available resource, Circulytics is providing global capacity for every organization that wants to accelerate the adoption of circular economy practices.”

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I look forward to sharing more news from the frontiers of environmental innovation. Please send me your thoughts and suggestions at innovation@edf.org.

Fred
 

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join the Fourth Wave of environmental innovation conversation on Medium.

 


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