Eco-social innovation

System Innovation on the Basis of Waste


The challenges of the future mainly related to nutrition, environmental pollution and mobility.

The world’s population is continuing to grow, and thus its need for food. By 2050, food production will have to increase by 50% in order to feed the entire world. Malnutrition is a threat, especially in areas witnessing the highest growth. 1.5 billion small farmers around the world could do something about this problem by making use of their own waste materials.

Food production and storage generates 1.3 billion tons of waste each year, which can be partially recycled by returning it to the ecological cycle and utilizing it for production purposes. This could help counteract the imminent pollution of the environment, in light of the fact that recycling agricultural waste materials would reduce global CO₂ emissions by 5%.

In terms of mobility, the increasing costs of fossil fuels can be observed. The diesel price rose by an incredible 250% in the period 2002 to 2012. In the meantime, fuel and fertilizer expenses comprise more than half the total costs of food production. This is where everything comes full circle. In turn, this makes it more difficult to feed the world’s population.

In cooperation with our Brazilian partner CIBiogás (financed by ITAIPU, one of the world’s largest hydropower plants), we have a vision on how to meet these challenges. We are working on a system innovation in a pilot region in Brazil turning local farmers in the area into energy supplilers by utilizing waste materials and production residues, thus helping them to carve out a living for themselves, and also securing the livelihood of others as well.

Learn more on our project "Atmove Biogas Innovation Center" – infrastructure for biogas-based mobility in rural areas of Brazil >