⏩ Future Normal: Fast Forward #10

Net zero gasoline; clothing printed with air pollution; plant-based disruption comes to big meat; regenerative agriculture and more...

Last week was Earth Day, which meant a slew of eco-announcements. Here you’ll find a couple of initiatives that show what the manufacturing of consumer goods will look like in The Future Normal.

Inspired by these provocations? Share them with your colleagues or contacts, and challenge them to think about how we can create a fairer, healthier and greener future!

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Prometheus Fuels announces ‘world’s lowest direct-air-capture CO2 cost of $36 / ton’

🔮 #FutureNormal // I’m fascinated by the multiple startups promising to convert CO2 to useful products. I’ve written in the past about SkyDiamonds and Solar Foods, and now Prometheus claims to produce cost-effective, carbon-neutral gasoline.

💡#TrendTruth // While truly novel solutions are always exciting, it can be just as thrilling, if not more so, to learn of a solution that promises to be exponentially cleaner (or faster, or cheaper, etc) with zero behaviour change required. Humans are creatures of habit. Modern economies are entrenched.


Unilever launches a laundry capsule made from CO2 taken from a Chinese steel mill.

🔮 #FutureNormal // Take waste industrial emissions and convert to ethanol. Convert this ethanol into a feedstock for surfactants (a key ingredient in cleaning products). Watch as one of the world’s largest manufacturers integrates the low carbon solution at one of its Chinese manufacturing plants.

💡#TrendTruth // Chinese consumers are exposed to high levels of visible pollution, which makes them enthusiastic consumers of eco-innovations. But the key line in Unilever’s press release? ‘The product will come at no extra cost to consumers’.


PANGAIA’s clothing collection features type and graphics printed from air pollution

🔮 #FutureNormal // India’s Graviky Labs’ brilliant slogan is to ‘mine unnatural resources’. The startup captures PM2.5 particles from exhaust fumes and domestic emissions and turns them into ink for textiles and packaging, or in this instance, printed type on PANGAIA’s upmarket sustainable clothing.

While this feels like a bit of a stunt, science is the new storytelling. Indeed PANGAIA calls itself a materials science brand rather than a fashion brand, and its website menu tells a powerful story: Women / Men / Kids / Science.


PepsiCo is scaling up regenerative agriculture on 7 million acres of land

🔮 #FutureNormal // PepsiCo buys nearly 4 billion pounds of potatoes annually to make potato chips. Introducing sustainable practices across its agricultural footprint will eliminate an estimated 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. More powerfully: it sends a signal that big ag can––and should—adopt these practices.

💡 #TrendTruth // We won’t save the world through tech alone. Many sectors will be able to reduce their footprint with low-tech systemic changes.


JBS agrees to acquire Dutch plant-based food producer Vivera BV for €341 million

🔮 #FutureNormal // I’m fascinated by the question, ‘which everyday behaviours will future generations look back with horror on?’ As the British vegan comedian Simon Amstell’s mockumentary, Carnage, shows eating meat will almost certainly be one of them.

💡#TrendTruth // Can acquiring disruptive companies really help incumbents that find themselves on the wrong side of history transition to The Future Normal? It’s the multi-billion dollar question on the lips of many a multinational.


Now, over to you. Are you waiting for The Future Normal? Or creating it?

Henry