Tesla to open its first European factory
Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has previously talked about Tesla’s aims to build a European factory, but it was while he was at an award ceremony in Germany that he announced the location of their European production site. He revealed that the company would build their “Gigafactory 4” near the German capital city, Berlin. He also stated that the company planned to build a Research and Development center in Germany.
The Gigafactory will be Tesla’s fourth of this kind but it’s the first one in Europe. It has been reported that several countries tried to sway the companies’ decision, but ultimately it was decided that the German capital was the ideal location. According to the company, the UK was also considered. However, Musk stated that “Brexit uncertainty made it too risky” to locate the Gigafactory in the UK.
Tesla states that the factory will be built in the outskirts of Berlin, with some reports suggesting that the exact location will be near the new Berlin airport. With Tesla’s third Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, almost complete, it is likely that construction of this new factory will begin soon.
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Adidas to close its Speedfactories
Adidas currently has two Speedfactories which are located in Ansbach, Germany and Atlanta, USA. They use automated tech to produce sneakers and were introduced in order to bring production closer to the consumer. This allows them to respond to consumer demand quicker as well as reducing the company’s environmental impact. However, Adidas has now announced that both Speedfactories are set to close within the next 6 months.
The factories were opened as part of a strategy to decentralize the production process. Now, the announcement of these factory closures will see the company recentralize its production. “More than 90% of our products are manufactured in Asia”, according to company spokeswoman, Claudia Lange, and for that reason “it makes more sense to concentrate production of the Speedfactories where the know-how and the suppliers are located”. However, while this may be the official statement, this may not be the full reasoning behind why Adidas has made this decision.
While the factories will be closing, the technology used in the Speedfactories will not be lost. This is because Adidas has decided to deploy the technology to two existing production facilities in Asia and thus according to the company, will enable them to continue to deliver short production times.
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Seaweed to replace plastic packaging
Due to the effects that plastics are having on the environment, consumers are looking for alternate solutions. With this in mind Hellmann’s, a sauce making company owned by Unilever, has partnered with Just Eat, a take-away delivery platform, to run a trial project where plastic packaging used in sauce sachets is replaced with seaweed.
The trial involves 65 of Just Eats’ London based restaurants, who will swap their traditional plastic packaged sauce sachets for seaweed ones. The seaweed sachets can biodegrade naturally within six weeks, therefore resulting in no plastic waste left over. In a press release, Helen Detsiny, VP of Marketing Foods and Tea and Managing Director of Unilever Food solutions for UK and Ireland, said that Hellmann’s are “committed to creating a sustainable future for food – by enhancing taste and reducing waste.” She continued that while many consumers will have never had sauce out of a seaweed sachet before, “it’s one small change with the potential for big impact”.
While this remains a trial, according to the press release, the company is receiving “very positive feedback”. It can only be assumed that if this continues, a further roll out could take place.
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Have a lovely weekend!