Eco Innovation Awards 2022

FALL 2022 / REAL-LEADERS.COM 51 ECO INNOVATION AWARDS 2022 14. ASPIRATION MAKING CHANGE WITH CHANGE Aspiration Bank’s “Plant Your Change” initiative encourages consumers to use their spare change to plant trees. By rounding up each purchase on their linked accounts, any consumer with a debit or credit card can plant a tree, reducing their daily carbon footprint. This initiative — along with the new Aspiration Zero credit card that allows consumers to track their carbon footprint and plant a tree with every purchase — has helped Aspiration plant over 70 million trees in the past year, with a goal of planting 5 billion trees within the next 10 years. 15. HELPSY MAKING RECYCLING CLOTHING EASY AS RECYCLING A SODA CAN By collecting, sorting, and supplying used clothing to second-hand merchants, HELPSY supplants the need for the production of millions of new garments a year. 95% of what it collects is reused, upcycled, or recycled. The higher grades are resold to thrift stores in North America and other second-hand markets. The lower grades get turned into rags for industrial use or things like stuffing and insulation. With over 2,000 collection partners across the Northeast United States, HELPSY currently collects and processes more than 29 million pounds of clothing a year and is on track to double this amount next year. 16. ETTITUDE SLEEP SUSTAINABLY WITH BAMBOO BEDDING ettitude is a sustainable lifestyle brand offering bamboo bedding, bath, and sleep essentials that are gentle on the skin and the planet. Its CleanBamboo fabric is breathable like cotton and produced in a closed-loop system that recycles and reuses water up to 200 times. The bamboo comes from FSC-certified bamboo forests, which use only rainwater to grow. Based on a product life cycle analysis, the CleanBamboo sheet set uses 500x less water and creates 52% less carbon emissions. ettitude is Climate Neutral certified, and 1% of all sales are donated to environmental nonprofits. 17. GREEN PLAINS CREATING LOW-CARBON INGREDIENTS FOR A GROWING WORLD Green Plains Inc. is a biorefining company that develops fermentation, agricultural, and biological technologies that make annually renewable crops more sustainable. To improve the energy efficiency at all of its biorefineries, it began implementing its Project 24 initiative in 2019. Three of its 11 biorefineries were already built with technology to ensure peak energy efficiency during round-the-clock operations. For the remaining facilities, it developed an engineered solution that increased beer column and reboiler efficiency, lowered operating costs, significantly reduced energy usage, and improved carbon intensity scores. The system reduces the energy consumption used in distillation. 19. AEROFARMS GROWING PLANTS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF HUMANITY AeroFarms is an indoor farming company that utilizes the latest in vertical farming, artificial intelligence, and plant biology to improve how fresh produce is grown and distributed. It uses up to 95% less water than field-farmed food and up to 99% less land with zero runoff and zero pesticides. Currently, AeroFarms offers 11 varieties to over 500 retail stores in addition to online grocery platforms. Its indoor operation allows it to grow fresh greens 365 days per year, and turn its crop over 26x per year (vs. 12x in high-tech greenhouses and 1-3x via traditional farming.) 18. FLOR DE CAÑA RUM CARBON-CONSCIOUS RUM In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Flor de Caña Rum implemented a series of projects such as capturing and recycling all CO2 emissions during the fermentation process and using 100% renewable energy during the distillation process. It worked alongside Carbon Trust to make sure that the entire lifecycle carbon footprint was measured and certified, that a carbon management plan was in place to reduce emissions, and that any remaining emissions were offset. In 2020, Flor de Caña was certified as a carbon neutral company, and is working toward becoming carbon positive. “AFTER THE ACQUISITION OF A STRATEGIC COMPANY, WE APPOINTED ITS CEO TO A NEWLY CREATED ROLE OF SENIOR VP OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, WHICH HAS OPENED NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR US.” — GREG CYR, NATURE'S LOGIC