Monthly Archives: February 2014

LiquiGlide-ing Our Way to Sustainability

I was recently introduced to a revolutionary product called LiquiGlide, which was created by MIT students in 2012, by my classmates in Sustainability Marketing and I was blown away. LiquiGlide is a product that can be applied to any surface and makes it hydrophobic, or permanently wet. That means that all liquids will be forced to move away from the surface which has the LiquiGlide coating. Right now, the product is mainly aimed for use in consumer goods but the company is definitely looking into expanding the product’s use to the industrial sector.

So you might be asking “what is so special about this product that would blow you away?” Take the example of a ketchup bottle. How many times have you been close to the end of the bottle and struggled to squeeze, shake, or tap out the last drops, only to realize that your efforts are futile. There is no way you’ll be able to get 100% of the ketchup out of the bottle.

Those days will soon be over. See below and prepare to have your mind blown.

Fore more videos about LiquiGlide’s application check out the videos on their website: http://www.liquiglide.com/videos/ 

The product can be tailored to suit their client’s products and they can also control the speed at which the liquids move, so don’t worry about pouring all your ketchup out on the first time. You can see how easily LiquiGlide can be applied to numerous industries and different products and make a significant impact to producers and consumers.

According to BizJournal, we can expect LiquiGlide to be used in packaging for ketchup, toothpaste and yogurt in 2015. Beyond the world of consumer packaged goods, think about how useful LiquiGlide will be for industrial companies and products – imagine having pipes that never clogged or a windshield that instantly repelled water.

Not only is it really, really cool, but it’s also something that’s very sustainable and will save everyone more money.

With LiquiGlide on the bottle of any condiment, lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. you’ll be able to use every last drop of the product. That means that none of the product, yes 0%, will be wasted, or at least left inside the bottle and sent to landfills. Our society is so focused on sustainability these days – minimizing our waste and maximizing the usefulness of a product- that LiquiGlide seems to have been created at the perfect time and consumers will love it. Without a doubt it will save money for consumers, but maybe more importantly it will change things on the production side.

Producers and manufacturers may be reluctant to implement LiquiGlide initially because it is an added cost that will either have to be passed to consumers or absorbed by the company. But if they can get past the initial cost barrier, they will see that it’s better for the entire planet if something like this is adopted. This product will slow down our use of resources because consumers won’t be purchasing as often, which also means manufacturers won’t be making as much. It may also increase a company’s “greenness” in the eyes of a consumer if they choose to use LiquiGlide, because they are opting to use a product that actually benefits consumers more.  Hopefully in the future manufacturers won’t even have a choice to implement this product or not; it will be mandatory!

I think that LiquiGlide is a game changer, not just in consumer goods but in all aspects of our lives. Soon LiquiGlide will be in/on/around products that will make our society more efficient and more sustainable. It just makes sense.

-AK

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Super Bowl XLVIII Goes Green (and It has nothing to do with legalized marijuana)

Super Bowl XLVIII was held in New York this past weekend and the grass, the Seattle Seahawks, or the numerous marijuana jokes were not the only things that were green about it. Unbeknownst to the large majority, there was a sustainability focus at Met Life Stadium during America’s biggest sports weekends that is typically characterized by rampant consumption.  According to an article by Matt Brass, the consumption aspect to the Super Bowl is not changing but the NFL is undertaking actions to try and soften it’s environmental impact.

It is estimated that Americans will eat “1.23 billion chicken wings, drink 325 million gallons of beer and eat 3.8 million pounds of popcorn.” Yes, you read that right, 3.8 million POUNDS of popcorn.

So now you’re asking what the NFL did in terms of sustainability. No, they didn’t magically replace billions of chicken, replenish the earth’s water supply or plant corn crops, but they took baby steps to minimize the Super Bowl’s environmental footprint, at least in the stadium.

  1. The Super Bowl was held at Met Life Stadium – the league’s greenest venue. Met Life’s sustainability resume can be seen here.
  2. All of the cooking oil used will be converted to bio-diesel
  3. Polystyrene foam containers were eliminated from use
  4. Recycling and composting at every opportunity

Again, these are baby steps that were undertaken by America’s most popular sport organization that has little pressure from competition or consumers to do so. Considering the above scenario, the NFL should be commended on taking the initiative to start addressing environmental concerns.

What I also noticed about the green initiatives at the Super Bowl was that the NFL did not market or publicize what was happening, at least not up here in Canada. Nevertheless, after reading about this I started thinking back to class concepts about the Green Marketing Strategy that the NFL employed.

Green Marketing Strategy Matrix – Ginsberg and Bloom

From reading “Choosing the Right Green Marketing Strategy” by Jill Meredith Ginsberg and Paul N. Bloom, it seems that the NFL is employing a Lean Green strategy. According the the article a company with a lean green strategy “tries to be good corporate citizens, but they are not focused on publicizing or marketing their green initiatives. Instead, they are interested in reducing costs and improving efficiencies through pro-environmental activities,thereby creating a lower-cost competitive advantage, not a green one.”

It is also worth noting that the typical NFL fan may not care a whole lot about sustainability and “going green.” If the NFL made a public announcement, they risk alienating some of their fans and changing their brand perceptions. Furthermore, bringing attention to minor sustainability initiatives may open up the NFL to more criticism about what they aren’t  doing rather than the positive things they are doing. 

But this could all change in the future and sustainability could spread to every team in the league. As Americans become more in-tune with sustainability, you may see the NFL, and other sports organizations,  promote their green initiatives more heavily. However, at the moment the NFL is just taking small steps – but those small steps will eventually get the company further up the sustainability mountain.

-AK

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