An Example: Blue Economy Business Transformation

26 02 2015

Lisbon Farm, South Africa (Citrus co-op learnt to ‘cascade’ outputs, create multiple revenue streams and get more from ecosystems)

When South Africa’s largest citrus farm, Lisbon, found it couldn’t compete against the global citrus market because its prices were too high, the co-operative turned to Gunter Pauli and the Blue Economy for a solution, with notable results.

Lisbon Farm is located next to Africa’s oldest natural park, the Kruger Park, which is an international tourist destination with 600 lodges for sightseeing the continent’s five big animals.

Lisbon took new measures to deliver local juice fresh to all 600 lodges every day. No more importing juice from Europe.

The farm then created a natural laundry detergent out of the prodigious amount of leftover orange peels — a solar-powered process enables the extraction of something called d-Lemonine from the peels, which is the detergent.

In keeping with a signature characteristic of natural ecosystems, the farm then began to diversify its revenue streams, and started offering laundry services to the 600-plus lodges, using the local and natural detergent.

Because the laundry water is polluted only with extract from local foods, it can be reused for irrigation back at the farm.

Keeping in mind the key question, what would nature do — the farm also began reusing its citrus tree pruning’s, which are rich in amino acids, to farm mushrooms. The mushrooms were sold to the lodges, which removed the cost and impact of otherwise having to fly mushrooms in from China. 
After harvesting the mushrooms, the pruning’s which are usually not edible, were enriched in amino-acids which made an excellent food for chickens – this then saw the introduction of a chicken and egg farm.

Building on the increasingly integrated relationship with the lodges, arrangements were then made to collect their food waste as feed for a new series of pig farms.

The Kruger Park region is savannah-like where chicken and pig farms are typically expensive to run, but with waste now being a food source it made it cost-effective.

The waste from the pigs was used as a bio gas and help to regenerate the soil.

This program saw nine new revenue streams generated for the farm and the world market price for citrus has become a moot point. Employment is up by 50 percent.



At Innovasians we think beyond towels …….

9 10 2014

images (1)It is for the last 4 years now that Innovasians has been marketing it’s unique low carbon towels in Asia. Towels geberally have a tendency to ‘snag’ – yes when the thread is drawn when one of the loops on the surface is pulled or extended. This results in threads dangling from the towel surface that cannot be cut off. If these are in fact cut off – it will leave a hole…..
So towels at the poolside and in the Spa and the room add up to large purchases of towels. Millions of USD. You may not know but typically there are face towels and hand towels and bath sheets and … and resulting in about 8 or 10 towels per room (exclusing poolside and Spa) depending if one counts the towelling bath mat and the pice of textile ate the toilet and oh, the piece of textile at your bed with your slippers on. THREE sets are bought per room: (a) one set in the room, (b) one set on the way to the laundry and (c) one set on the way from the laundry. So if you have 1200 rooms in the 5 star hotel – there would be 10 X 3 x 1200 towels JUST for the rooms (excluding Spas and poolsides). That is a whopping 36,000 towelling textile pieces laundered daily ….
Should these have ‘snags’ – these are thrown out and replenished with new purchases. The life span of a hotel towel is 150 washes on average. That is only 5 months use if washed every day (or if snagged – is repleced sooner). so in theory one hotel with 1200 rooms buy at least 36,000 every 5 months which is 172,000 towels in a 2 year cycle that go to landfill from ONE hotel….
The hotel chains with 43,000 rooms totally – it is simple math to calculate what is disposed of every 5 months.
Surpisingly (or not) in Asia the hotels generally do not consider towels when they assess environmental impact. It is good to look at food waste from the lavish buffet tables and carbon footprint (which is now at a point of being a little boring as saving the environment and climate change is not going to happen looking at carbon alone..)
In a discussion with a well-known 5 star hotel chain we discussed:
a. roughly a saving of one budget purchase – if you have 10 hotels with 1200 rooms and rougly spend USD 10 million in a 2 year tender cycle, the Innovasians Eco Towel can save USD 10 Million (at least one purchase as this towel cannot ‘snag’ and has at least twice the life)
b. 30% saving in drying cost as these dry quicker
c. 30% saving in carbon of laundering these
So, what is stopping said hotel from walking their talk and saving environmental impact in HK and Asia through saving not only one budget run in 24 months BUT also saving the environmental impact of landfill in HK as half the wastage will go to landfill.
What will it take for Hotels in HK and Asia to see “beyond towels …”

Why do we not address the root of ‘trashing’ rather than ‘clean-up’ again and again …………………………………………..

6 09 2014

Every year we Ecovision orchestrate a large event with several teams VOLUNTEERING to “clean up” the city, parks and beaches with teams that literally go and pick up garbage. Thank you Ecovision!
Every year the “trashing” continues and we repeat this cycle on the clock.
The same I guess applies to the Sevens Rugby tournament sponsored by Cathay Pacific ( where the internal Cathay Corporate Social Responsible principles are not extended to the Sevens Rugby Stadium and large volumes of fast FOOD PACKAGING and PLASTIC CUPS are swept into landfill annually.
Or we could possibly compare the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon ( where the mountains of plastic cups left at every water stop is swept into landfill and forgotton.
Although one has to admit that the repetitiveness of trashing and then cleaning up and just filling the landfill is quite bizarre – one tends to look for the few but present changes that are happeing and one wants to tell the whole world that there are some businesses (although smaller) who are taking action to reduce the load on the incinerator and who are looking at the impact of loading more and more toxic plastic into our oceans and our landfill.

I was utterly surprised to learn that Genie Juicery in Central actually walk their talk! The bottles they are using to bottle their juices are biodegradable. ( That is quite amazing for a new and Entrepreneurial business in Hong Kong to set the example and walk their talk of NOT adding to landfill but considering the future of Hong Kong. Well done Genie Juicery – you deserve the best in business and I wish you well. If you are looking for a wastewise nomination – please knock on my door.

And then there is Chachawan – ( the most exquisite menu in Hong Kong with totally biodegradable and natural take away FOOD CONTAINERS. No plastic and polystyrene that can leach all kinds of toxins into your food. Finally a set-up that care about their customers BUT also care about the environment – so their environemntal footprint is minimized as well.

Ovation 1
There is a paper cup under development for HK market that will be 100% biodegradable.

images (1)178082-dixie-wisesize-PET-B1100% biodegradable paper cup for fast food institutions under development and 100% biodegradable beer cup already available for Fosters, Heineken and San Miguel – reducing the impact on the environment

Many consumers do not know that a paper cup as we know it from all fast food outlets in Hong Kong is totally filling landfill and is NOT biodegradable. The PE or plastic or polyethylene liner inside the cup makes the cup waterproof but is not biodegradable. To reduce the impact on the environment we need to convert the PE coating inside the cup to something that is biodegradable yet still provides some waterproof function. Some attempts have been made to line the cups with cornstarch BUT these linings are (a) heat sennsitive andnot great for hot drinks and (b) carries a premium or cost a lot more.

The new papercup will be launched in December and is 100% biodegradable yet still lined with PE but a PE that is modified to be biodegradable. (This same modification is possible for straws and for beer cups at SEVENS rugby!) lets hope and pray Foster’s (, Heineken ( and  San Miguel (…) put their money where their mouth is and reduce their environmental footprint with a cup that looks the same and feels the same and does not cost a lot more but is 100% biodegradable.

Would that not be wonderfull to take a little pressure off the landfill in 2015 when we have the Sevens tournament in Hong Kong. Foster’s, Heineken and San Miguel, you can make a difference to Hong Kong.

Should changes mentioned above be implemented the load on the incinerator would be reduced BUT the amount of garbage through Ecovison “Clean-Up’ would be greatly reduced as well!

I guess if there is less “trashing” there is less ‘clean-up’ required after ourselves and there is less toxic stuff filling the landfill and leaching into the land and the water table and litter the oceans.
We have to start somewhere …….

Please contact for more information or visit 

Are we moving forwards or backwards…?

6 09 2014

The shocking report in the SCMP today that ‘Gutter Oil’ is in the human food chain is just to awful to imagine. …..

We realise the reality (like an ice bucket poured over our heads) that if Maxims (  is withdrawing some cakes due to possible tainted lard from the same source …. we may have already ingested some of this horrid cooking oil and lard in some form. The real estate in HK is constantly testing the profitability and sourcing of produce to make a living.

A few weeks ago we had the tainted/rotten chicken from McDonalds Hong Kong ( and there was denial and then the mysterious appearance of hundreds of boxes of rotten meat in landfill in Hong Kong.

For the health and safety of the human food intake, one needs to look at where this is going wrong?

The appearance of horse meat in the human meat supply chain was a factor we dealt with as well. where is all this leading to?

Can a skateboard save the world?

22 05 2014

entrepreneurs 2


NEW YORK — Bureo skateboards look like fish because they are made from old fishing nets.

They started out as garbage — fishing nets discarded in the waters off Chile. About 640,000 tons of these nets clog the world’s oceans, and that’s only a tenth of the world’s debris.

According to a report from the Coastal Conservancy, in just one day, worldwide volunteers picked up more than 12 million pounds of rubbish from beaches and waterways. The top three culprits were cigarette butts, food wrappers and plastic bottles.

“And we were just struck with this issue of plastic in the ocean, and we just kind of made a mission to do something about it,” says Bureo co-founder David Stover.


 Stover, along with co-founder Ben Kneppers, started in Chile, where fishing is a major industry. They figured out how to convert the fish nets into plastic pellets, which could be used in a mold. And Bureo Skateboards was born.

“Every day has been a battle, to be perfectly honest,” Kneppers says. “I mean, we’ve had to create an entirely new supply chain from scratch.”

The project has been funded by Northeastern University’s Idea program, the Chilean government and donations through Kickstarter. They’re starting small, with an initial production run of 2,000 boards that will sell for $145 each.

But can a skateboard save the world?

“So, we’re starting with skateboards, yes,” Kneppers says. “We chose it because it’s a positive product that people can connect with, especially this next coming generation. We really wanted them to be aware of this problem and better educated — but also look at it in a different way and a positive perspective and think, ‘What else can we do with our waste?'”

And judging from the public’s reaction, their plan is rolling right along.

Personal re-usable BPA-free straws ………………with style!

20 05 2014



A new sustainable product has hit the fashion scene ……..please see EnvyTM Has Turned The Ordinary Drinking Straw Into An Accessory!

Over 500 MILLION Disposable Straws Are Used In The U.S. Everyday!- and probably at least 10 million in Hong Kong

Stop the insanity… but look good doing it…………………………………………..

Let’s stop littering while:

  1. looking good sipping through a straw
  2. Use for Hot or Cold Drinks
  3. Helps keep teeth white – dentist approved
  4. Good for the planet – eliminates disposable straws
  5. Make your friends envious because you now sip with style

Reusable – Safe for Hot Drinks, BPA Free – Stylish Carrying Case – Dentist Approved – FDA Approved

Customization is possible – your own colours and your own ‘bling – bling’

This will help coastal Clean-up in Hong Kong to at least start reducing disposal of straws in HK. Somewhere to start …..

500 million plastic straws are disposed of in the US only every DAY!

• With this new fashionable reusable straw—teeth stays white (as coffee or red-wine known to stain teeth is deposited behind front teeth) while at the same time saving the environment from millions of disposable straws
• Product comes in a 2-pack
• Optional choice of one flat and fits in the conventional slot in take-away coffee cup lids
• Customization available

available in Hong Kong NOW! contact Innovasians ( at 34283102/3 or e-mail us at . We supply B2B or B2C.


From Waste to Food to Fuel: Rice Production and Green Charcoal in Senegal

2 01 2014

by Andrew Alesbury, originally published by Nourishing the Planet  | DEC 31, 2013

Inadequate management of human waste is a dire problem in much of the developing world. Swelling urban populations can make matters worse by exposing increasingly dense populations to illnesses carried by human waste. Some, however, are making good use of the surplus sewage. Rather than allow the urine and fecal matter to lie fallow, some have taken to utilizing it for agricultural purposes in lieu of synthetic or inorganic fertilizers. This practice not only makes fertilizer more readily available to farmers who might not have easy access to it in conventional forms, it is also significantly less expensive than using inorganic and synthetic fertilizers, which are often imported. Furthermore, the use of human fertilizer can sometimes be a crop-saving tactic when water is in short supply.

Leftover rice husks and straw can be used to produce green charcoal. (Photo Credit:

It is with these benefits in mind that groups like AgriDjalo, a small limited liability company focused on rice cultivation, are looking to start projects in Senegal that use urban biomass (primarily human waste) to fertilize rice fields. With over 40 percent of Senegal’s almost 13 million inhabitants living in urban areas, there is an abundant supply of human fertilizer.

AgriDjalo’s project could have the added benefit of decreasing reliance on rice imports. In 2012 alone, Senegal imported 820,000 metric tons of rice, accounting for over 6 percent of its total imports and presenting a considerable strain on the nation’s trade balance. As the second largest rice importer in Sub-Saharan Africa and one of the top ten worldwide, Senegal has much to gain, both in terms of income generation and decreased import dependency, from an increase in domestic rice production.

The project also seeks to use leftover rice husks and straw in the production ofgreen charcoal. In this way, the unused byproducts of rice cultivation can be utilized to create an alternative to the wood charcoal, firewood, and butane gas traditionally used to generate energy. In Senegal, where deforestation for purposes of collecting fuel wood has been an issue and 70 percent of the urban population relies on imported butane, green charcoal from rice represents a sustainable and affordable fuel source.

Combating both import dependency and deforestation while utilizing readily available fertilizer, projects such as this demonstrate that sustainable agricultural practices have the potential to improve food and income security for many in less developed countries.

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