By 2050 the world’s population will exceed 9 billion. An increasing population, coupled with increased levels of consumption worldwide – but particularly in emerging economies – will place unprecedented demand on ecological systems and natural resources.
For developed countries, such as those in Europe and the North America, the footprint is already high; to support the world at a similar levels of consumption would require the resources of more than three planet Earths.
There are also mounting challenges in the areas of material resources, availability of water, soil erosion and food production. These sectors are inter-related and a holistic approach to address challenges in these areas could make a major contribution to combating climate change.
The scale of the challenge should not be underestimated, but this presents opportunities to develop technologies now that dramatically reduce the environmental impact of processes, products and services.
Nudge, www.nudge.nl (only in Dutch, translate it with Google translate) is a platform for sustainability in the form of an independent company connecting bottom up initiatives with top down sustainable commitments. Nudge was started 18 months ago and has Already Over 26K member are contributing to it – a remarkable feat for a small country. During this time, Nudge has accelerated the uptake of sustainable grass-roots Initiatives by connecting the right parties in education, science, government or corporates. To replace existing support sustainable initiatives Nudge connects them to interested consumers or businesses.
Everybody can post new ideas on the Nudge platform, or help existing projects, or give a rating. The most popular ideas will be supported by the Nudge team and transformed into a serious project. Community and business network bring participation, expertise and funding to these projects. The result is a solid ‘nudge’ – a gentle push that everybody can repeat and share with others. Because sustainability is the sum of many steps, big and small.
NudgeLab for entrepreneurs and organizations.
Many small ‘nudges’ will achieve real change – with innovative concepts that make a positive contribution to the embedding of sustainability in society.
In NudgeLab, entrepreneurs and organizations present their sustainable and innovative concept. Four questions will give more insight into the thinking behind the products or services, which are already available or under development. These questions are “Which company or organization is behind it?”, “What is it or what does it do?”, “Is it sustainable and innovative?”. “What kind of ‘nudge’ will this product or service give to society?”.
The profit bit
Nudge is also a company and therefore has to make money. The financial contribution to Nudge consists of two parts: a one-time fee and a contribution determined on the basis of valuation after the implementation period. Participants make their final contribution on the basis of the realized gains. These are often not only to gain exposure and sales, but also to the critiques and comments of the nudgers.
Nudge Crowd Funding
Many of the new and innovative concepts in NudgeLab needs a financial ‘push’ to be effectively realized. This is facilitated by the partnership with share2start. If enough people with an even small amount can contribute the best projects can get off the ground. The site promoters present their projects and indicate how much money they need.
The Coldmix case study
Coldmix is a processor of emulsion asphalt concrete. Coldmix is cold produced during processing. It is applied on old asphalt so the old asphalt doesn’t need to be milled away. The process has been developed by the Janssen de Jong Group from Son en Breugel, in The Netherlands.
Coldmix is sustainable because it is cold produced on site. Also the consumption of primary raw materials is 80% less than normal hot asphalt. The CO2 emissions of Coldmix is 50% less than warm asphalt. The company is also working to develop reflective layers.The first stretch of road with this kind of asphalt has been constructed in the municipality Eersel and the company is now carrying out detailed measurements. They are also developing noise-reducing asphalt that has been already tested in the municipality Boxmeer, Lingewaard and in the province of Limburg, in the Netherlands.
What nudge will this give?
At this moment in the Netherlands there has still a lot of asphalt to be replaced. Timely application of a product like Coldmix reduces the consumption of primary raw materials such as bitumen, oil and minerals. Coldmix is processed quickly and the road surface can be used within an hour. In addition, the costs of Coldmix are significantly lower than hot asphalt and the road does not need to be treated.
Other projects in the NudgeLab are about sustainable and innovative production of warm water, office design, playgrounds, beer, tap water, food, cars, sleeping, teaching, meet and much more.
Global society faces many challenges. By applying sustainability and innovation Nudge can help to meet these challenges and at the same time open up new opportunities for business. Platforms like Nudge focus on specific societal challenges where the government is taking action through policy, regulation, procurement or fiscal measures to try to tackle the problem.
By improving co-ordination between the key players from industry, academia, government and last but not least the public, Nudge can identify barriers to meeting the challenge, map possible routes to overcoming the barriers and align activities to support innovative solutions.