News Roundup: The Environment—from Transit to Avocados

As business innovation moves forward, considering the impact on the environment and new ways to move forward using technology is critical for success.

How to stop the decline of public transport in rich countries

Transportation has been a bigger issue in recent years as cities grow more crowded and companies like Uber, Lyft, and more recently, electric scooters seek to help people get around faster and more efficiently while using less resources. Recent reports show this is causing a decline in public transportation riders. While roads conditions and funding for more technology are part of the reason for the change, the truth is these organizations may be in competition with too big of a giant to win.

This competition is likely to only get more fierce. As taxi-service apps get cheaper and widen their range of service, shareable bikes and scooters become more prevalent, and people’s desire for convenience and speed without the need to share it with hundreds of other passengers grow, the trajectory of public transportation appears to be on the decline. But with most people seeing app-based services and public transit alike as a means to an end, there’s an opportunity to revise the systems cities use and model them after the more popular app based services. An even broader solution is to combine the two and create a seamless experience of travelling across a city with cars, bikes, trains, and every other method all within one platform. While organizing a project of such a large scope may sound daunting, it also may be a chance for cities to revitalize the way people move through their space. As digitization and a faster moving pace of business become the norm, cities have the ability to position themselves as leaders of the future by incorporating technology into their strategy.

Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought

Conversations and concerns around climate change continue to be raised, but Carbon Engineering, a CO₂-extraction plant in Canada, is using technology and innovation to show how it can be done—at an increasingly more affordable cost. In 2011 it was estimated that one ton of removal would cost $600, while today that number has gone down to a range of $94 to $232, depending on design and economics.

Carbon Engineering shared their research to open up the conversation around technology’s potential to have a positive impact on the environment. They continue to work on decreasing prices, expanding the possibilities of what can be done for the environment with innovation. With businesses focused on how they interact with the environment, and many companies working towards becoming carbon-neutral, Carbon Engineering is using technology to help share valuable information so that organizations can take important steps forward to make this possible.

Millennials, Rejoice! Costco Is Selling New Avocados That Stay Ripe Twice as Long

The life of an avocado has been succinctly summarized many times on the internet: not ripe, not ripe, still not ripe, eat me now, too late. Apeel Sciences, a southern California-based company and a Concord customer, is changing that.

The company, which is now stocking some Costco locations, created a “seal” made out of plant material that slows the deterioration of the outer peel. While cost may be the first concern some consumers would bring up, the avocados cost the same as before, as the new seal drastically reduces the waste many retailers experience from the fruit going bad. Using what nature already provides is the goal of Apeel Sciences, says CEO James Rogers. With their latest Series B funding raising $33 million from Andreessen Horowitz, the company appears to be on track to continue changing how businesses distribute and deal with food and transforming how Americans eat.

As technological advances increase, the environment is a growing focus for many organizations. Younger generations have expressed their desire for many years now to work with and for socially and environmentally responsible companies, putting pressure on businesses to be more aware of how their processes and products positively impact the world.