Conserving resources

The recognition that conserving resources is good for the bank balance as well as the planet is now fully embedded in the consumer mindset. People expect increasingly sophisticated, yet simple to use, products and services that enable them to save resources personally – whilst expecting businesses to do the same

How is this sub-trend evolving?

How it was

Mainstreaming of the desire to save resources

Aquafina water (owned by PepsiCo, US) uses 50% less plastic in its production process due to a smaller bottle top.

How it is

Increasingly high expectations of sophisticated solutions for conserving resources


Chop Cloc turns the heating off in your home for a portion of time every hour  to reduce your energy consumption without you feeling any change in temperature.

How it will be

Demand for businesses to combine sophisticated solutions for conservation with smarter manufacturing ideas

Heineken’s Göss brewery became the first large-scale carbon-neutral brewery in the world by producing  biogas from the spent grain and surplus yeast created in beer production)

In-market examples from around the world

What: Ethical Bean Coffee comes in 100% compostable pods made from coffee bean chaff and other renewable materials which break down in as little as five weeks
Why: Coffee pods are hugely popular for consumers at home and in the workplace but currently many pods are not recyclable.
What: Health brand Vega uses pea protein as their key ingredient in nutritious snacks, supplements and drinks, giving customers the nutrients needed for weight-lifting and exercise.
Why: Brands are harnessing pea protein to respond to the rise in demand for a protein source that is plant-based and sustainable, offering an alternative to meat.
What: A high-end restaurant normalising vegan food and bringing it into the mainstream.
Why: More sustainable than using meat, the restaurant is trying to expand its reach to the masses beyond vegans. Fine dining isn’t usually thought of as possible when meat-free, but these restaurants are working to change that image.
What: Chapul created cricket protein flour, expanding into cricket protein bars. The bars come in four signature flavours and are advertised as a sustainable, healthy, adventurous alternative to standard sources of protein in the western world.
Why: Crickets are significantly more environmentally friendly and sustainable than many other sources of protein – they are high in protein, require minimal resources to cultivate, and make low greenhouse gas emission contributions
What: German supermarket, Original Unverpackt (Original Unpacked) opened in Berlin late last year with great media fanfare. Their main claim to fame is that they have no disposable packaging whatsoever: consumers instead carry reusable containers that they fill with their items, paying by weight.
Why: In addition to their central no-waste philosophy, Original Unverpackt is notable also for an unapologetic focus on limited choice. Their commitment is to have only one option of each item because, in their words, “one, the right one, is enough.”
What: French supermarket Intermarché ran a highly successful campaign about turning ‘ugly’ fruits that would have been thrown away (for not meeting appearance standards) into healthy, affordable soups and smoothies.
Why: Reducing waste and carbon by re-using waste ingredients and trimmings e.g. in energy generation, fertilisers and new products is a trend that more and more brands follow.
What: The Perennial Restaurant is a San Francisco start-up with an innovative supply chain.
Why: The Perennial uses an aquaponic system at its greenhouse, taking the food scraps from the kitchen and feeding them to worms/larvae, which are in turn dehydrated in a solar dehydrator and fed to the fish. This circular system is beneficial in a number of ways, including the creation of new jobs to man the cycle.
What: The Green Glass Recycling Initiative Lebanon (GGRIL) sponsors local artisans to create stylish and ecological bottles, vases and lamps from recycled glass.
Why: When Beirut’s largest waste disposal company stopped collecting glass, GGRIL took matters into their own hands and transformed this deficiency into a business model. It’s reviving the art of glass blowing, and there is huge appeal in these unique, handcrafted pieces.