HP & IKEA join initiative for the development of a global ocean-bound plastics supply chain
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) predicts that if current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2020. We are now more aware than ever about plastic consumption, but consumers alone cannot tackle this problem. This week HP and Ikea joined 8 other companies, including General Motors and Dell, in the NextWave Plastics initiative to keep “plastics in the economy and out of our ocean” by establishing ocean bound plastics as a commodity.
Both companies have already made progress; Ikea has made several planet-friendly commitments such as removing single-use plastic from stores by 2020 and designing all Ikea products with new circular principles by 2030, and HP decided to join the First Mile Coalition previous to the initiative. As part of this movement, the company that it has upcycled around 12 million plastic bottles from Haiti into ink cartridges, stopping them from entering the Caribbean oceans. Though this initiative will not solve the enormous ocean trash problem, it is a baby step for large corporations, using their supply chain powers to tackle a problem that they largely contribute to.
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Digitalizing the grain industry
Four of the world’s largest grain traders are looking towards emerging technologies, including blockchain and artificial intelligence, to standardize and digitize time-consuming processes in the global agricultural commodity value chain, starting with shipping transactions. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) believe that through collaboration they can bring much needed automation to an age-old industry. Currently almost all grain transactions are documented on paper, creating a lot of inefficiency in the industry. The initial aim is to automate the current manual trade execution processes for grain and oil seed. They represent a very costly part of the supply chain, as each year companies spend a hefty amount just to ship trading documents across the globe.
Digitalizing processes would result in shorter processing times, reduced waiting times and better end-to-end contracting visibility. The long-term goal is to extend this approach to all paper-based processes tied to contracts, invoices and payments. The companies have collectively acknowledged the need for cooperation and industry-wide participation, to promote global access and adoption.
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NASA needs help shipping cargo to new lunar station
NASA wants to know who could help ship its cargo to a future lunar space station 240,000 (around 400,000 km) away from earth. This week the agency opened a solicitation to US companies, to consider what they would need to deliver said cargo; the firms have until Nov.2 to put their ideas forward.
The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway station is expected to orbit the moon and host astronauts by the mid-2020s. Preparations are already underway so that the agency can be fully equipped and know which commercial partners will be available to them way in advance. The agency is searching for companies that would be willing to ship both pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the station, during and after its construction, similar to what Space Dragon X currently ships to the International Space Station. The first out of three cargo missions is scheduled for 2024.
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Have a great Weekend!