The Pathway to Next-Generation Solutions
To protect species and climate, we need to conserve 50% of nature. This includes ecologically valuable Intact Forest Landscapes and forests with high carbon stocks. Taking this big stride is achievable by adopting Next Generation Solutions into our modes of consumption and production.
Currently, three billion trees are logged each year for packaging alone, many of them from Ancient and Endangered Forests. Demand for forest products like packaging and rayon/viscose is still growing. The impact is deforestation, forest degradation, species extinctions and massive carbon loss. If we want to reduce pressure on nature it’s imperative that we address how we use forest products.
To do this we can utilize new thinking, design, fibres and technologies that are more circular in nature, to reduce overall consumption, eliminate single-use packaging and move towards clothes and products that will last a lifetime, not a season.
Canopy is working directly with companies that use forest products and with technology, process and design innovators to draw “next-gen” solutions out of the far corners of the market and into the mainstream.
Next Gen Solutions encompasses product re-design, and systems (e.g. logistics) and technologies that:
- enable radical reduction in the use of raw resources;
- optimally efficient use of materials;
- product reuse and;
- shifts from conventional feedstocks (materials like virgin wood fibre) to alternative, less damaging or regenerative feedstocks for manufacturing goods.
What are Next Generation Solutions?
Next generation solutions include:
- Pulp for paper and packaging made from agricultural residues that would otherwise be burned or from on-purpose crops that fix nutrients and carbon into degraded soil;
- Viscose/Rayon fibre for clothing made from microbial cellulose, which is grown on fermented food waste;
- Rayon/viscose made by pulping used cotton garments that can be processed into new thread rather than using virgin wood to make cellulosic pulp;
- A redesign of shipping boxes to make them re-usable;
- Rethinking product marketing to dramatically reduce or eliminate the need for packaging or to capture the value of re-used products.
What is Canopy doing?
We are on the cusp of a next-gen solutions reformation. Packaging reduction measures that save retail companies money, competitive new technologies for making fabric and paper without wood and citizen demand for environmental solutions are aligning. Solutions are beginning to emerge in exciting places around the world.
In the sprit of giving citizens and companies access to the next-gen options sooner rather than later, Canopy is:
- Facilitating connections between purchasing companies and technological innovators;
- Partnering to develop two pooled equity investment funds of $300 million each: one focused on enabling construction of commercial manufacturing facilities for paper and packaging made from alternative fibres such as agricultural residues; the other focused on scaling up next-gen viscose fabrics made with inputs such as straw, microbial cellulose and/or used cotton garments;
- Educating the investment sector about next generation innovations.
Read about Canopy’s current Next Generation/Alternative Fibre technology partners: Canopy Next Gen Partners May 2020