At Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design, we know that in order to make a global impact, we need to start at home. We’ve put together a list of 15 sustainability projects that, while some are under the radar, are making pivotal changes through groundbreaking research, sustainability pledges, and goals - big and small - with a clear path on how to achieve them.
1. Canadian operation Facedrive is aiming to become the world’s most sustainable rideshare service, having not only green and hybrid options rivalling competitors such as Uber, but initiating a tree-planting project to offset any carbon produced, that is additionally trackable in the Facedrive app. Currently accessible in parts of Canada and the USA, Facedrive’s next steps include expanding to Europe.
2. A research team led by the University of Washington’s Department of Environment and Occupational Health Sciences is carrying out a community-engaged study to measure 3D air quality with drones, to determine if and how vegetation helps mitigate roadway and aircraft-related pollution in Seattle. As very few studies on the effects of plants on ultrafine air pollution has been carried out in the city, this team of experts and investigators are set to find an answer - and ensuing next steps - to an essential question for the city of Seattle.
3. This year, Gothenburg boasts over 150 electric buses, with Piteå following closely in their footsteps, and Norrtälje aiming for a completely electrified bus fleet. Cities across Sweden have initiated a swift introduction to the emission-free electric bus system, and with these buses that run on electricity replacing the bustling public transport most of us use daily, air quality - not to mention noise pollution - is drastically improved.
4. Scottish craft beer company BrewDog has purchased 2,500 acres of land in the Highlands used for grazing livestock, in the aim of restoring it to forest, which consequently will allow it to sequester close to 300,000 tons of CO2. This step comes from BrewDog’s initiative to become both carbon neutral and carbon negative. Moreover, the company will soon open international BrewDog Drive Thru locations as ‘hubs for electric vehicle deliveries’ and for ‘closed-loop, zero-waste packaging.’
5. In partnership with UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program, multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH has announced a new biodiversity strategy to fight deforestation in the Amazon. As part of its Initiatives for the Environment programme, LVMH aims to limit its impact on ecosystems through the rehabilitation of 5,000,000 hectares of natural habitats by 2030.
6. Sustainable French trainer brand Off the Hook makes their shoe soles from recycled tires from around the world. For every three pairs of shoes produced by Off the Hook, a tire is recycled. Fun fact: each pair is stamped with GPS coordinates referring to the tire’s place of origin.
7. Brands around the world can take a cue from Gucci, whose new green packaging is sustainable in every sense of the word. Just months ago, the fashion house became committed to producing paper and cardboard from responsibly managed forests, eliminating glue from all packaging and using only recycled materials for shopping bag handles. Best of all, under the Fashion Pact, Gucci has vowed to eliminate single-use plastics by 2030, and has already eliminated them in product packaging for e-commerce and retail.
8. Female-led green tech startup Wonderfil recently designed a dispenser initiative that is easily integratable into any area wishing to offer cream and liquid-based products without plastic bottles. In addressing the waste created by the cosmetics industry, the team is set on heightening solutions to plastic pollution.
9. As part of their 2030 targets, the European Commission planned an impressive From Farm to Fork strategy, whose aims in the next nine years include reducing the use of pesticides by 50% and nutrient losses by at least 50%, reducing fertilizer use by at least 20%, reducing the sale of antimicrobials for farmed and aquatic animals by 50%, and helping the EU’s organic farming sector to grow dramatically, with the aim being 25% of farmland in Europe being used for organic farming.
10. The Golden Leaf of London, launched by our very own Elizabeth Marsh, is a project centred on creating a green pathway running throughout London, allowing animals to navigate the city without crossing the main road. Given the dire state of our planet, educating society on biodiversity and raising awareness are Liz’s first steps towards a peaceful and fruitful coexistence between humans and nature.
11. This year, Occidental carried out the world’s first shipment of carbon-neutral oil, delivering 2 million barrels alongside Macquarie Group to India. This is the first oil shipment to offset greenhouse gas emissions tied to the entire crude lifecycle.
12. Apple is working alongside Conservation International to replant 27,000 mangroves in Colombia, trees known for removing carbon from the atmosphere and preventing erosion on coastlines. Currently, Apple’s production facilities are also running 100% on green energy, using solar power and wind in the place of fossil fuels.
13. Real estate investment trust Prologis holds a clear focus on environmentally sustainable building developments, maintained by educating and encouraging suppliers to be more sustainable. Currently, 82% of the lighting in Prologis buildings is energy efficient.
14. Multinational consumer goods company Unilever’s Future Foods ambition was launched with an overall aim to reduce the global food chain’s environmental impact and encourage people to eat healthier. As part of their initiative, Unilever has set an annual global sales target of €1 billion from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives within the next 7 years, and has aimed to halve food waste in its own global operations from factory to shelf by 2025.
15. Dartmouth College’s Green Energy Project was launched to improve and inspire global sustainability and the impacts of climate change, starting with its own energy production and greenhouse gas emissions. Dartmouth’s goals include obtaining 50% of energy supply from renewable sources by 2025 - and 100% in the next 25 years - and has pledged to reduce Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.