Social innovations for climate actions are popping up around the globe. Nations around the globe are drawing attention and joining forces in the fight against climate change. Based on NASA, the current warming trend is highly linked to human activity (greater than 95 percent probability) since the mid-20th century and it proceeds at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. Having that cause-effect relationship also means that humanity can alter the situation by a massive climate action. We need true social innovations for climate action to really work though.
In this blog post we showcase 8 inspiring social innovations for climate action that empower individuals to take action in their own communities. Healing the planet can start in your kitchen, at your work, or at a dining-room table.
ClimateCare works on innovative finance models and projects that aim to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment. Part of their projects was the creation of the Carbon Calculator that helps individuals look at the size of their emissions and consequently raise awareness of the environmental impact they cause. The carbon calculator can be used at home (heating conservation, water savings, food and fridge and electricity conservations), can provide driving tips (e.g. regular car service to keep it running efficiently), as well as flying and office recommendations (e.g. combination of trips and turning off the lights in unused rooms). The ClimateCare approach to date has cut 20.6 million tonnes of CO2 and improved the life of over 16 million people. | Find more information about the company’s projects here |
Internet has the power to transform lives for the better, when used as a means of bringing major social impact. David Suzuki wanted to change peoples’ lives for the better and founded David Suzuki Foundation in 1990. The foundation has as a mission to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future. But how do they do that? The foundation resorts to evidence-based research, policy analysis, education and citizen empowerment, it conserves and protects the natural environment to create a sustainable Canada. They collaborate with NGOs, all levels of government, individuals and businesses. The most inspiring key component here, lies in the fact that they encourage people to positively influencing the world by providing guidance on how to use their own power. The foundation makes a call to action online, by encouraging users to sign petitions on several environmental challenges encountered in their societies. The petitions concern current issues like renewable energy, improving environmental protection act, climate action and many more. | Find more information about the company’s projects here |
The Climate Innovation Lab
Social innovations often require a variety of different stakeholders to participate. This was the case at the Climate Innovation Lab in Luxembourg, designed and run by The Impact Lab. How did they do it? Well, in the words of The Impact Lab founders themselves, ‘We have designed and implemented what we call a ‘collaborative innovation for climate action’. The first component of it was the Climate Innovation Lab. 100+ participants with very diverse profiles (citizens, youth, researchers, innovators, enterprises, startups and SMEs, NGOs and associations from civil society, klima team members and advisors, finance specialists, public authorities, and more), several dedicated content experts, trained process facilitators and an international climate action expert, have worked side-by-side over the Wakeup Weekend to co-create almost 20 innovations in four core sectors: agrifood, economy, housing and mobility. All this was preceded by several months of intensive preparations including strategy development, process design, stakeholders mapping and analysis, communication campaign, content work, and project management.’ | Interested more in their work? Click here |
Alternative nutrition sources
A huge part of all global emissions comes from feeding the world’s population. A significant part of it is created from the consumption of meat. Raising animals for future consumption needs land and water resources and that exploitation has a huge impact on the environment and climate change. Today, there are several innovative companies that try to tackle this issue, by providing a different means of nutrition. Did you ever thought of trying a burger, which meat patty is entirely plant-based? Or maybe you wanted to have an omelette/scrambled eggs by not torturing chickens? Well, Beyond Meat (supported by Bill Gates) created a revolutionary plant-based burger that looks, cooks and have the same taste as beef. The company’s vision is to replace animal protein in order to conserve the natural resources. Similarly, JUST brings healthier and more affordable food based on plants and creates awareness about the impact people have on the environment. These two companies are bright examples of social innovations for climate action that nurture public health and the protection of the planet, while encouraging individuals to take immediate actions. | Find more information about the companies’ projects here, here & here |
Deforestation is one of the main reasons we are experiencing a global climate change. Forests play a key role in the carbon cycle on our planet and an approximate of 30 million acres of forests and woodlands are erased from the map each year. Even if we stop using these natural resources, how could we imitate the nature’s ability to create oxygen? It seems that Julian Melchiorri found a way to make the air nicer for Earth with the creation of Silk Leaf. The Silk Leaf is very light and low energy consuming solution. According to its creator “it’s completely biological and my idea was to use the efficiency of nature in a man-made environment. I created some lighting out of this material, using the light to illuminate the house but at the same time to create oxygen for us.” An inspiring example of tackling climate change by making the impossible-possible. Is it going to work? What if it does? | Find more information about the company’s background here |
Technology & Oroeco
In a world dominated by technological achievements and breakthroughs, there is a hope of resolving climate issues through the help of technical applications. At least that is what Ian Monroe succeeded to do by creating Oroeco. Oroeco is ‘the world’s first service that rewards you and all your friends for taking action to fight climate change! We make tracking your climate impacts easy by automatically putting a carbon value on everything you buy, what you eat, how you get around, and the energy you use at home. Then we add everything up, so you can see which decisions are bigger than others and how you compare with your neighbours.’ The company provides personalized tips on how to save the planet by saving money. The scientific team at Oroeco has a great understanding of the severity of the current situation and aims at tackling climate change with the help of everyone. A potentially great social innovation for climate action indeed. | Interested in downloading the app and start saving the planet? Then click here |
We Mean Business
We Mean Business is a non-profit organization that works on delivering social impact to people through the protection of the environment. How they do that? They work with the most influential businesses to take action on climate change (e.g. Unilever). Their mission is to work with companies on accelerating the transition to ‘ensure that the world economy is on track to avoid dangerous climate change by 2020 while delivering sustainable growth and prosperity for all.’ The company has developed its Theory of Change . Based on the model, the company mobilizes business to set ambitious targets and equips them to implement and achieve impact. Then they accelerate through partnerships with investors, cities, states and regions and civil society. Afterwards they influence governments to create the ambitious, enabling policy that business needs to deliver bold climate action and consequently translating policy outcomes for business. To this day, 1.214 commitments to bold actions have been made and 740 companies are leading the way to a more sustainable future, along with a $16,7 million market cap. | Interested in being up to date? Click here |
Nowadays there is the emerging green cities movement that includes thousands of cities around the globe trying to create a more sustainable future. How? The main aspect here is that they want to lessen the environmental impact, by lowering carbon emissions, expanding recycling, reducing the creation of waste and many other noteworthy initiatives. The opportunity here is to transform communities, suburbs and other areas into smart places that care for the environment. An impressive example of a green city embracing several of social innovations is Reykjavik in Iceland. Apparently, ‘Iceland plans to unplug itself from all dependence on fossil fuels by 2050 to become a hydrogen economy. Already, Reykjavik (and all of Iceland) gets energy for heat, hot water and electricity entirely from hydropower and geothermal resources — both of which are renewable and free of greenhouse gas emissions. Some vehicles even run on hydrogen, including three city buses.’ Such remarkable examples create awareness and more people are lead into adopting a more sustainable way of living.
Learn more at Social Innovation Academy
Did you know about these social innovations for climate action? Are you thinking about introducing your own social innovation initiative to help tackle global warming and the negative influence mankind is causing to the environment? In Social Innovation Academy we strive to give visibility to social innovation initiatives that could bring significant social impact for the lives of all. Yet, it is evident that social innovation practises are still too scarce in many countries and across different sectors worldwide. To address this issue, Limitless together with 4 other partners has recently started a project aiming to develop the Social Innovation Academy which will be the first fully online management training programme focusing exclusively on social innovation. Why Social Innovation Academy? Social Innovation has been increasingly perceived as the answer to the rising number of European societal challenges. While the European authorities, leading academics, policy experts, business people and activists agree that social innovation is the key to better future, it is extremely difficult for professionals to obtain high quality training on what social innovation offers and, more importantly, how it can be done in practice. Social Innovation Academy will aim to change this situation in Europe and beyond. If you are interested in keeping up with this project, you can subscribe to our newsletter, become one of our Friends, apply to become a member of our Global Advisory Board or follow us on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook). We welcome all requests for collaboration here!
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