Unite. Develop. Achieve.

We unite active people, social enterprises, start-ups, impact investors, experts focused on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provide a wide range of tools to ensure personal and corporate growth for each member of the community.



  • what is Impact investing and sustainability at forum
  • what are the inspiring stories and impact companies at project
  • to create free and paid events (summits, webinars and more) and to invite Camomile community
  • how to create online courses to share your expertise and knowledge


  • to find team members, partners, advisory board, search for open positions at opportunities
  • to publish your digital products and services on the market 
  • in creating contests or participating in existing competitions
  • in creating polls and exciting posts on forum


  • how to fundraise successfully - find investors, donors and sponsors which match your criteria at invest
  • where to source deals - find projects find projects and impact businesses to invest or engage
  • stay informed on new projects and investment offers which match your investment criteria
Create Impact...
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Invitation from Kevin Harrington, the original « shark » on the hit TV show « Shark Tank », Camomile’s Advisory Board Member

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Hi! My name is Svetlana, I am the founder of Camomile Impact community. Come on in, make yourself at home!

What's the topic? Entering a market with a minimum horizon of explosive growth of the coming 10 years and a volume of $ 800 billion in 2020 aimed at creating a sustainable economy.

What are we doing? We unite active people, social enterprises, start-ups, impact investors, experts focused on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the community and provide a wide range of tools to ensure personal and corporate growth for each member of the community.

Our principles:

Provide Free Basic Tools to Every Community Member

We do not track and analyze user preferences for promotions, nor transmission to third parties 

We do not put targeted ads on app pages  

How can we help? After registering with the community, you can:


  • Join the community and present yourself, your company, your product or services in the community
  • Follow other members and create your own Network
  • Conduct private correspondence with community members
  • Unite a team of professionals in Projects around your idea or business to confidently achieve goals by joint efforts, or simply create a club of interests (association). Manage the roles of participants, create tasks with deadlines for them. Set up a paid membership and manage membership fees (coming soon) 


  • Create training courses for everyone
  • Train your team
  • Create manuals for your products and services
  • Create online and offline free or paid events, invite participants, unrestricted communication with joined participants


  • Recruiters and applicants - place an ad in Jobs about the search for candidates or offer your resume
  • Buyers and Sellers - publish paid access to download digital products in the Market such as books, designs, logos, software, articles, coupons, digital gift donations, service warrants, etc.
  • Talents and Prizes - create a Competition on your own terms, assign a prize fund, select participants or participate in existing competitions.
  • Followers - publish a post on the Forum, create a Poll, store files
  • Expertise - get points for being active and increase your status in the community and become a community leader and get on the Leader Board.
  • New members to the community - earn by participating in the referral program (coming soon)


  • Find a potential investor
  • Find an investment object
  • Track investment offers and inquiries using Saved Search Technology

What else?

In addition, all your activity will be displayed on Timeline in two feeds, one of which is available to everyone, and the other to your followers.

The Privacy Settings will allow you to configure companies, projects, events and courses as public, private or selective.

Share allows you to share open content on social networks. Public content is indexed by search engines, which creates a synergy of co-growth for the content of all members of the community.

If you have a proposal for further development of the platform, make it on the Ideas page, we will definitely consider and try to implement. The status of your proposal will be available to you.

The number of available tools depends on the user's membership level, it can always be upgraded in the Pricing section.

If you have any questions, see the sections About usFAQ or ask us questions through the Contact form.

Try it now! Fill out a profile, create a company or project, follow other users and write your first post. Let's change the world for the better together!

Thank you!

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image:  Svala

image: Svala

The need for alternative leather

Before we dive into Piñatex—what it is, and why we love it—let’s talk briefly about why a material designed to be used in place of leather and synthetics needs to exist in the first place. 

On the animal side of things, let’s start with sustainability. All animal-derived leathers are processed skins, tanned in order to make them last. This, in turn, renders these skins non-biodegradable (yes, even when they’re vegetable tanned). Cowskin leather is the third most impactful material of all to produce, according to Sustainable Apparel Coalition data, with Amazonian Rainforest clearing, enormous greenhouse gas emissions, and wasteful water use behind it.  

What’s more, animal leather is made from sentient individuals, and purchasing it financially contributes to ongoing cruelty—like mutilation—and slaughter. It’s for this reason that leather is actually considered by the meat and dairy industries as a ‘co-product’, not a ‘by-product’. For this reason, many people opt for vegan leather. And while cow skin leather has a worse eco-impact than even synthetics like polyurethane, fully synthetic materials are not an eco-friendly solution. They are made from plastic, and fuel harmful mining industries. They will also never biodegrade, resulting in plastic waste and pollution. 

What is Piñatex, and how is it made?

Dr. Carmen Hijosa, having once worked amidst the leather industry, saw a need for a fashion solution that was free from both animals and a heavy reliance on petrochemicals. Thus, she came to create Piñatex, one of the first primarily plant-based leather alternatives to become more widely available. 

Piñatex is largely made up of pineapple plant leaves. It is not the leaves sprouting out the top of the sweet fruit, but rather out of the plant which pineapples themselves spurt out of. Normally in pineapple production, these leaves are simply discarded.

To create Piñatex, these leaves, which for now all if not mostly come from the Philippines, are instead pulled apart into long, stringy fibres. Next, in the non-rain season, they are dried under the sun. These fibres are then turned into a kind of fluff, which gets mixed up with a corn-based polylactic acid. 

At this point, the material is sort of like a felt. This felt gets coloured with GOTS-certified dye and coated with resin made from water-based PU, which is REACH compliant to ensure environmental safety. It’s at this point that the material is completed to make a strong, sturdy, and more water- and wear-resistant material that is great for everyday use. 

Image:  Svala

Image: Svala

Is Piñatex a sustainable material?

Piñatex is an extremely low-impact material. Before we get into this though, it’s worth noting that, just like cow skin leather and synthetic leather, the material is not 100% biodegradable. However, the base of the material—the mixed-up pineapple leaf fibre and corn-based polylactic acid—is biodegradable, but just in controlled industry conditions (so don’t put it in your compost bin at home). This base material makes up about 95% of the entirety of Piñatex.

Given that none of these materials (leather, synthetic leather, or Piñatex) are completely biodegradable, what’s perhaps more important to talk about when it comes to environmental impact is production. When considering impacts like global warming, fossil fuel use, water scarcity, chemistry, and eutrophication (which can lead to dead zones in waterways and oceans), Piñatex has an extremely small comparative impact. To produce the pineapple-leaf-based material, the eco-impact is about two-thirds less than that of polyurethane synthetic leather. Compared to cow skin leather, Piñatex is around an incredible nine times less impactful to produce. 

This is because producing this material is far less water-intensive, releases less greenhouse gas emissions, involves a lot less chemistry and fossil fuels, and leads to less eutrophication as well.

Is Piñatex also ethically produced?

Sustainability is not the only important factor to consider when choosing a material; ethics must come into play, too. Not only is Piñatex free from animal slaughter, but the humans involved in producing this bio-based material are treated well, too. 

Earlier it was noted that the leaves of pineapple plants are normally discarded. Just like selling cow skins makes raising cattle for the sale of meat far more profitable, selling leaves to create Piñatex makes growing pineapples for fruit sales much more financially beneficial. Essentially, the creation of Piñatex has created a pineapple fruit co-product, economically supporting farmers and their communities in the Philippines. Each year, about 13 million tonnes of leaves from the global pineapple industry are turned from waste into profitable materials, thanks to Piñatex!

This is important because too often we forget to consider not only who made our clothes and accessories, but who made the materials and grew the fibres that make up these items. Piñatex is produced in a supply chain that is largely transparent, with information about where each process takes place available for everyone to see. 

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather Fabric.jpg

How does Piñatex perform?

The coating on this material allows for a more sturdy, long-lasting finish. Piñatex softens over time, like animal-derived leather, and can be cared for with balms, similar to those used on animal leathers, too.

Piñatex has also released Piñatex Performance, a material with a slightly higher PU percentage, which is even more sturdy and long-lasting. This particular material is especially beneficial to those seeking to use it for instances where high water and abrasion resistance is important. For example, this material might be preferred for some shoemakers, but is less needed for bag makers. Piñatex Performance is still 58% biodegradable. 

Where can I get Piñatex?

There are a whole lot of brands creating gorgeous bags, shoes, wallets, watches, and even jackets with Piñatex. Below, you’ll find some favourite brands making ethical, sustainable garments, shoes, and accessories.

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather | Svala.jpg


Carries | Handbags & accessories

This sustainable handbag brand uses materials like Piñatex and cork to create totes, backpacks, purses, and wallets. Everything is handcrafted in L.A. from premium, European, innovative fabrics. The inspiration for Svala’s name comes from Iceland, where the founder, Helga's, mother is from. Svala means swallow in Icelandic; the swallow bird is a symbol of love, loyalty, freedom, and hope in many cultures.

Shop Svala
Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather | Time IV Change.jpeg

Time IV Change

Carries | Watches for men & women

Made in a Hong Kong factory with ethical credentials, Time IV Change is an Australian designed and owned brand creating watches with leather-free straps.

The label’s Piñatex collection offers gorgeous, classic, and minimal styles.

Shop Time IV Change
Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather | Luxtra.jpg


Carries | Bags, wallets, & small accessories

A brand that is always at the forefront of material innovation, Luxtra is made ethically in Florence, Italy.

The brand uses Piñatex in their bags, wallets and other accessories.

Look out for their cactus and apple leather bags, too! 

Shop Luxtra
Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather | HFS Collective.png

HFS Collective

Carries | Bags, wallets, and more

This brand is locally and ethically handcrafted in Los Angeles, and creates bags and purses from Piñatex.

These bags are also lined with sustainable materials like eco-suede made from 70% recycled and 30% plant-derived materials. 

Shop HFS Collective
Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather | No Saints.jpeg

No Saints

Carries | Sneakers for men & women

This shoe brand is ethically made shoes in Portugal, and designed with love in Australia.

Using Piñatex, alongside other sustainable, animal-free materials, they create sneakers that are as comfortable on your feet as they are kind to the planet.

Shop No Saints


Even a decade ago, it was almost impossible to find leather alternatives that weren’t made from fossil fuels. But lucky for us, that’s changing! There are now so many great leather alternatives like Piñatex that are not only more ethical when it comes to animal rights, but also plastic-free and beautiful, too!


Emma Håkansson is the founder and director of Collective Fashion Justice which seeks to create a total ethics fashion system that prioritizes the life and wellbeing of non-human & human animals, as well as the planet, before profit & production. She has written countless articles on ethics, sustainability, and fashion, and has two books due out over the next two years.

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Pinatex? | Vegan Leather Alternatives | Pineapple Leather | Sustainable Fabric Series.PNG


We are constantly updating blog posts to give you the best in sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

This post contains affiliate links.

As always, views are genuine and brands are truly loved.

Thanks for supporting the brands who are working to make this industry a fairer and cleaner place!


Our Brand Directory is home to hundreds of sustainable brands, from makeup to cleaning supplies, from underwear to shoes. We have broken everything down by category for easy shopping, along with discount codes unique to Sustainably Chic viewers.

Shop the Sustainable Brands Directory

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Content Creator: Emma Håkansson


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Following the recent announcement of its purpose to achieve Ecological Transformation, Veolia has declared it will use its water, waste and energy solutions to deliver on Australia’s decarbonisation goals, prevent climate change and restore a sustainable future.

Ecological Transformation sets the agenda for rebalancing the way humans interact with the planet. It considers the way we source, make, use and dispose in unison, to ensure a sustainable approach at every stage. By doing this people can continue to thrive, while protecting natural resources and preventing detrimental impacts on the environment at the same time.

Modelling undertaken by Veolia shows the steep trajectory Australia must take if we want to prevent climate change and keep pace with Paris Agreement targets, which aim to limit global warming to below 2°C. As part of Australia’s commitment to the global environment crisis, the government has set ambitious low-carbon targets to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% by 2030. Achieving this requires immediate action from all industries.

Modelling by Veolia, showing the trajectory we need to take in order to be in step with the Paris Agreement. Click here to view a larger image.

Richard Kirkman, CEO and Managing Director for Veolia Australia and New Zealand, said:

“Australia is at the edge of an opportunity to prevent climate change, take up the economic benefits of going green and build sustainable jobs for the future. If we don’t act, devastating floods, bushfires and loss of biodiversity will only get worse.

“Never have environmental concerns been so visible, or their consequences for our societies so real. With a focus on Ecological Transformation, our water, waste and energy solutions are designed to halt biodiversity collapse, and avoid resource depletion.”

Building on its strategic plan Impact 2023, Veolia is committing to accelerating and expanding the deployment of existing solutions, to act on the environmental concerns of today’s society. This goal reinforces its Resourcing the World mission and is in line with the Group’s purpose.

To learn more about Veolia’s water, waste and energy solutions, visit: Veolia.com/ANZ.

*Modelling adapted from trends used by Robbie Andrew (Center for International Climate Research) for the Global mitigations curves.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/doidam10




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image:  Svala

image: Svala

Cork & Sustainability

When I think cork, I think wine, and I bet it’s not just me. But have you ever thought of cork outside of working it out of your way to enjoy a nice glass of red? Have you thought of where it goes after you finish that bottle? Or where it comes from? It turns out cork is actually *super* cool and equally as sustainable. This natural material is a powerhouse, a master of all trades, an overachiever. So, pop that cork and pour yourself a glass, and settle in for a little lesson on what cork has done for humanity.

What is Cork?

First of all, we gotta know what cork is, exactly. Cork is an extremely versatile, naturally occurring material that actually comes from a tree, specifically the outer bark of a mature cork oak. These cork oak forests, which are commonly found in theMediterranean, are important parts of the economic and environmental ecosystems they exist within. According to Amorim Cork Composites, “over 200 animal species and 135 plant species find ideal conditions for survival in the cork oak forest.” In addition to supporting such a biodiverse environment, the cork oak forests also absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and protect against soil erosion and fire hazards since it’s such a low-combustible material. 

Portugal, which hosts the largest amount of cork oak forests in the world and is responsible for half of the world’s cork production, has hundreds of companies that are directly linked to the forests. There are a plethora of ways these businesses rely on the cork oak forest, whether they are in charge of harvesting, storing, processing, or using the cork, or working with other aspects of the forest, like ecotourism. These forests have been creating and sustaining thousands of jobs for people for many, many years. 

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion & Lifestyle Blog | What is Cork? | How is Cork Made?.jpg

How is cork made?

So how exactly does cork go from tree bark to a wine cork? It’s quite fascinating, actually. The outer layer of bark is stripped multiple times over the course of decades, and each time a layer is removed, a different cork product is created. The first removal results in “virgin cork” and only occurs after the tree has fully matured, which takes about 25 years. The second stripping results in “secunderia cork”. These two products are then used in a variety of ways, from insulation for housing to items in the fashion industry. Finally, after nearly fifty years, the third removal results in the highest quality of cork, “amadia cork” which you’re most familiar with as wine stoppers.  

Each harvest occurs every nine years or so during the spring to summer months, when the tree is experiencing the most growth. A cork tree is never cut down during harvest, so harvesting during its growth season ensures that the tree isn’t harmed, so it can continue maturing and producing cork for years to come. As we, as a society, are increasingly searching for sustainable alternatives, it’s important to look at the whole picture of how these products are created and how they play different roles within our lives.

What can cork do (or is the better question, what *can’t* it do?)

Cork works wonders at insulating due to the tiny bits of air within each cell. And we’re not just talking about typical insulation like you would think of in a home. Cork has gone to *space*, insulating rockets and spaceships since the 1960s! It’s also used for acoustic and thermal insulation and vibration absorption all across the construction industry - from flooring to boats to railways to skyscrapers. 

The air in each cell also lends elasticity to the material that others lack, which makes it extremely lightweight but also durable and able to withstand high amounts of pressure and temperature. This durability can help it extend the life of other machines, like car engines and electrical power plants; technology that mixes cork with other materials, like rubber, has led to massive improvements across multiple industries. Its superstar composition doesn't stop there; because of cork’s non-absorptive properties, it is mold-resistant and hypo-allergenic, which means it can stand the test of time since it doesn’t deteriorate as quickly as other materials.  

On the other side of the coin, cork is also consumer-friendly! Yoga blocks, chairs, fruit bowls, wallpaper, shoes - cork can do it all! We also consume cork products when watching movies, believe it or not! Props made of cork are lightweight and easy to move around or, you know, blow up in action scenes!This natural material is taking the consumer industry by storm as more and more people recognize that its versatility doesn’t sacrifice its sustainability. 

Why cork deserves to be in your life (and probably already is!)

Cork is an incredibly sustainable product in and of itself. In addition to that, it can also benefit your health and home. Since it’s a non-absorptive, hypoallergenic, heat/fire-resistant material, it can bring peace of mind into your home. Installing cork flooring or insulation in your home could not only benefit the environment but end up protecting you and your property for much longer than other alternatives.

On a lighter note, although there hasn’t been extensive research done, studies have found that cork wine-stoppers have imparted antioxidant benefits into wine. Cheers to that, and hopefully some more research!

Around your house, cork should always be welcome and easy to incorporate. It’s biodegradable, recyclable, and backyard-compostable. A triple threat, if you will! If you’re looking to recycle your cork within the U.S.A., check out ReCORK’s website. Along with tons of info about cork, they also have cork recycling locations available to search.

Since it is such a versatile product, cork can be used in a multitude of different ways in your daily life. You could wake up and walk along your cork insulated floors. You could slip on your sneakers with cork insoles. You could grab your cork wristlet on your way out the door. You could drive to the market and have your car engine being supported by cork. You could pick up a bottle of wine with a cork that supports cork farmers in Portugal. You could go to a yoga mat and use your cork mat and cork roller. Then head home and not need to turn on your heater/a/c because your walls are more temperature regulated due to the cork insulation. You could pour yourself a glass of wine and not even consciously think about how incorporated cork already is in your life-What a subtle little sustainable powerhouse. 

So cork is awesome, but is it too good to be true? Is there something we haven’t told you that will ruin cork forever? Short answer: no. Pinch yourself all you want; cork is cool! And for anyone worrying about the cork oak trees, wondering if they should just be left to their own devices, they actually are able to help their surrounding environment more after each harvesting process. According to a 2005 study by Luis Gil that Tiny Eco Home Life covered, it was “found that a harvested cork oak tree absorbs three to five times more CO2 than one that is not harvested.” And to repeat this very important fact: cork oak trees are NOT cut down to harvest the cork. Most trees live over 300 years, providing for people and the planet the whole time.

As this product becomes more and more popular with the trend toward sustainable alternatives, it will be increasingly easy to incorporate this super product into your daily life. 

Sustainable brands & products using cork

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion & Living Blog | What is Cork? | Cork Products from Goldune | Cork Soap Dish.jpg


This 2020 woman-founded startup has *tons* of sustainable products, including some of the chicest cork you’ve ever seen.

Each product is vetted personally by the founder, Azora Zoe Paknad, before being added to the site.

Goldune also includes detailed product descriptions, end of product life information, and a “sustainability scale” for the businesses they partner with.

To help limit carbon emissions, a majority of products are shipped directly to consumers, instead of heading from a business to a warehouse to our homes. Goldune thinks of the little details, the ones that make us consumers feel good about where our money is going and what it’s supporting.

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion & Lifestyle Blog | What is Cork? | Sustainable Cork Products by Goldune | Fruit Dimple Tray.jpg
Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion & Lifestyle Blog | What is Cork? | Sustainable Cork Products by Goldune | Shoe Insoles.jpg
  • Cork Dimple Tray: Make your fruit the main character with this adorable recycled cork tray. Another quirky use could be displaying your growing collection of glass paperweights - you never know.

  • Carbon Neutral Everyday Insoles: Remember when I mentioned that combining cork with other materials has led to advancements across all industries? This is what I’m talking about! These insoles are created with “carbon negative cactus leather sourced from Mexico, hand-harvested cork from trees in Portugal, and naturally growing tree-based foam from Indonesia”. This sustainability teamwork is what we’ve all been looking for!

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion Blog | What is Cork? | Sustainable Cork Brands & Products | Cork Handbag by Svala.jpg


This sustainable handbag brand uses cork to create totes, backpacks, purses, and wallets. You may be relatively familiar with their Pinatex (pineapple leather) handbags we showcase on Sustainably Chic, and their cork products are just as lovely and of high quality. What we love about a cork handbag is that it can literally go with any outfit. It’s that perfect neutral color.

Shop Svala
code:  Natalie10  for 10% off

code: Natalie10 for 10% off


This sustainable online marketplace is home to several cork products. You can find cork yoga mats (like the one pictured here), pens for the office, desk mats, coasters, and even cork massage balls. It’s great to have one place to go to find many different sustainable cork products under one roof, so be sure to check it out from time to time to see if anything new has been added!

Shop EarthHero
Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion & Lifestyle Blog | What is Cork? | Sustainable Cork Products by Made Trade.jpg

Made Trade

Another wonderful stop to make for all things cork. Made Trade is one of the best destinations for sustainable fashion and home decor. You can easily shop your values, and their aesthetic is worth checking out. We’ve linked up the cork products for you, and they have a ton for you to choose from. These adorable recycled bamboo storage jars are just one of the exciting cork products!

Shop Made Trade


I’m so glad that I stopped for a moment and thought past the wine stopper. That curiosity about cork has been sated, and in its place rests a deep appreciation for this natural product and all it’s done and will do in the future. Mother Nature really thinks of everything, doesn’t she?

Paige Annelayne Headshot (1).jpg

Paige Annelayne is a freelance writer and digital media specialist currently based in Alabama, who loves to cook, learn about intersectional sustainability, and read a lot of books. Her cat, Gnocchi, her plants, and a good cup of matcha bring her joy. You can connect with Paige on Instagram @vitality.blog and at www.vtltyblog.com

Sustainably Chic | Sustainable Fashion & Lifestyle Blog | What is Cork? | How is it Sustainable? .PNG


We are constantly updating blog posts to give you the best in sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

This post contains affiliate links.

As always, views are genuine and brands are truly loved.

Thanks for supporting the brands who are working to make this industry a fairer and cleaner place!


Our Brand Directory is home to hundreds of sustainable brands, from makeup to cleaning supplies, from underwear to shoes. We have broken everything down by category for easy shopping, along with discount codes unique to Sustainably Chic viewers.

Shop The Sustainable Brand Directory

Related Reading You May Also Enjoy:




Content Creator: Paige Annelayne


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The wave of success in digitization: A new measurement device from SICK enables ships to maintain reliable exhaust gas cleaning. But that’s not all: The data that it provides opens up pioneering new application possibilities. Also thanks to a digital twin in the cloud.

Important new regulations took effect on 1 January 2020: The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UNO subsidiary dedicated to the safety and environmental compliance of ships, reduced the sulfur limit value in fuel in international waters. Because most ships are powered with heavy fuel — and therefore emit large quantities of sulfur dioxide — this change requires urgent action for many shipping companies: About 60,000 ships worldwide must either switch to considerably more expensive low-sulfur fuel or retrofit exhaust gas cleaning equipment. This so-called scrubber washes sulfur oxides from the exhaust gas and is installed with an emission measurement system.

SICK offered a solution at the right time: “We specifically developed our MARSIC measurement device for maritime emission measurement,” explains Hinrich Brumm, Strategic Industry Manager Combustion Engines and Maritime, who has been at SICK AG for five years. “It proves compliance with the IMO regulation, and therefore the efficiency of these exhaust gas cleaning systems — and is an indispensable component of the scrubber.” The device (roughly 130 x 40 cm and weighing about 120 kg) can measure up to nine gas components — SO2, CO2, CO, NO, NO2, NH3, CH4, H2O and O2— and is also designed for other on-board process measurements.

Even in heavy seas — the Digital Twin in the cloud

The emission measurement devices have meanwhile been approved by the world’s seven largest classification societies, and thus cover 90 percent of the world fleet. “Our customers come from all over the world. Demand has been, and still is, enormous — particularly in China and South Korea, the classic ship-building nations. We are the market leader in ships’ emission measurement devices. An achievement that is all the more impressive considering that this area was new to us,” adds Brumm. But the MARSIC offers tremendous additional potential: The measurement device provides continuous data, and can thus form the basis for new applications because internet connection is now also possible on the high seas — so the data is constantly available via cloud solutions and can be accessed at all times. SICK is using this capability for its current work developing a variety of new maritime applications.

One such application is a cloud-based digital twin of the physical MARSIC device — a ‘virtualized asset’ in Industry 4.0 jargon. Any sensor can be represented, and the device’s real-time data visualized on the SICK AssetHub, a cloud-based web service for SICK customers. It is therefore possible to see what the device is measuring at sea, so the shipping company can monitor the emissions. If there is a problem, for example a clogged filter, not only is the crew notified, but also the shipping company — and appropriate measures can be implemented.

The data creates transparency

It is also possible to link the MARSIC emission data with other data. In future, therefore, digital services will be able to combine these values with the ship’s position data and issue warnings when the ship enters a SECA zone, enabling the crew to take action in good time. Severe penalties can be imposed if a ship enters such a zone while its exhaust gas cleaning plant is switched off. Such fines can amount to millions — with potentially dire consequences for a shipping company. “The combination of different data sources always provides a good basis for generating a completely new level of transparency. In this case it offers shipping companies improved productivity and operational security,” says Alexander Wiestler, Head of Global Product Management GBC Global Integration Space.

In the safe haven of digitization

A digital service based on a ship’s emissions measured using MARSIC could also, for example, be very helpful in future for collaboration with ports. The complex emissions requirements vary enormously from port to port. Some ports now even have incentive models with reduced port fees if the ship emits lower pollutant levels. Manual completion of the numerous forms required by ports makes enormous demands of the crew with plenty of leeway for mistakes. A digital service that transmitted the emission values to the port authorities via the cloud would improve the process and provide added value in the form of reduced workloads and the security of having complied with all regulations.

But that’s not all: SICK is already working on developing new digital services for all aspects of decarbonization or ‘green shipping’: “The maritime industry is undergoing radical change and, in view of the climate change debate, must stop using heavy fuel and move towards alternative propulsion concepts,” explains Hinrich Brumm. “SICK, with about 40,000 different sensors, also has the competence to develop suitable solutions here, too, and offer them in good time — from individual products to complex complete solutions including cloud-based services.”

Above all, these digital applications are a pioneering new development for shipping. While the reliable monitoring of ships’ emissions was impossible in the past, it can now be achieved thanks to MARSIC and cloud-based services. “Our measurement devices now make emissions transparent,” says Brumm. “This is a major step forward at a time when transparency, efficiency, environmental protection and sustainability are becoming increasingly important.” So in this case a sensor — as a supplier of valuable data — opens up immense possibilities, ultimately ensuring clean air above our oceans.




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An industrial zone in the outer south-east Melbourne suburb of Dandenong is home to a permanently located integrated waste treatment and resource recovery facility. The 11,000-square-metre facility, which opened and started accepting soil in 2015, has a focus on sustainability — rather than simply sending contaminated soil to landfill, Renex Group has created an opportunity to recover and re-use the resource.

Convinced that there had to be a more long-term, sustainable solution to clearing contaminated land, the team at Renex unearthed novel technology proven over more than a decade in Germany. The technology employs a process that includes indirect drying of soil, pyrolysis, oxidisation and a sophisticated dry and wet gas cleaning plant. The resulting remediated soil is inert and non-leaching, thus no longer posing a risk to the environment and able to be safely re-used.

Melbourne’s Westgate Tunnel project is a high-profile instance, but simply one of countless examples of contamination by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a problem impacting communities worldwide. Recent reports suggest that 3 million tonnes of rock and soil from the project are set to be dumped in a landfill facility at Bulla, west of Melbourne. However, in recent years there has been a significant shift by most states in terms of preferring recycling and re-use of materials as well as land remediation rather than dumping into landfill.

One such practical re-use for the remediated soils was the subject of a study conducted for Sustainability Journal to demonstrate the usefulness of remediated soils in concrete applications. The study “successfully demonstrate[d] that commercially heat-treated remediated soils can serve as supplementary cementitious materials or to replace fine aggregates in concrete applications”. Re-use in road construction is another practical application, blending the remediated soil with asphalt.

Engineering for the Dandenong facility was handled by Melbourne’s Lycopodium Process Industries, who adapted the technology to Australian Standards and regulatory requirements. The project faced challenges such as ensuring the process was energy efficient and had minimal and compliant emissions to meet strict EPA requirements.

The completed facility has the capacity to receive up to 100,000 tonnes of soil and other prescribed industrial waste each year. Soil contaminated with hydrocarbons, pesticides or herbicides, for example, gets excavated and classified onsite, then transported to Dandenong in EPA-licensed vehicles.

The Renex team then re-test the soil to verify the contaminants before mechanically pre-treating and blending the soils to achieve a suitable feedstream to the plant.

A drying step follows, in which all the water and moisture in the soil is removed. The soil is then indirectly heated using hot oxidisation gases, and the organics are removed. Those organics are then taken through to an oxidisation chamber and used as fuel for the system’s heating process. The soil is effectively pyrolysed (in the absence of oxygen) during this step, which removes any trace contamination remaining and renders the soil inert and contaminant-free. The heat for the process is provided by utilising the energy in the flue gases from the oxidisation of the contaminants and organics in the soil, resulting in less use of non-renewable fuels such as natural gas or diesel compared to portable in situ treatment plants.

The final stage is to clean the gas that emanates from the oxidisation stage, a multistage complex process that filters particles and scrubs out any oxidisation contaminants in the exhaust gases to ensure strict compliance with regulatory licensing requirements for discharge.

The completed facility is helping give landowners sustainable options to re-use soil and avoid landfill.




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This financial year will see many changes to the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) due to the departure of two long-standing Co-Regulators and the introduction of the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 (Cth).

MRI PSO and Electronic Product Stewardship Australasia (EPSA) both ceased their Co-Regulatory arrangements at the end of the past financial year, leaving Ecycle Solutions and Australian and New Zealand Recycling Platform Limited (ANZRP) to fill the void as the most experienced Co-Regulators of the NTCRS.

“The NTCRS gives businesses, councils and the general public a solution to their recycling needs without any associated costs,” explained Chris Tangey, General Manager of Ecycle Solutions.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic generating extra e-waste, the requirement for businesses, councils and the general public to responsibly recycle their end-of-life televisions and computers has never been greater,” said Tangey.

Ecycle Solutions recycled over 17,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2020/21 and are expecting to recycle over 35,000 tonnes this coming financial year.

Despite two new Co-Regulators joining the scheme starting 1 July 2021, the responsibility on experienced Co-Regulator, Ecycle Solutions, has grown to ensure the overall recycling targets of the NTCRS can be met.

“It is very difficult for a company to join the NTCRS as a new Co-Regulator and make an impact in their first year,” said Tangey.

Tangey explained that Ecycle Solutions are prepared for the increased amount of e-waste volume across the country; a credit to their specialist recyclers.

“We work with a number of small to medium specialist e-waste recyclers across Australia that are AS/NZS 5377 accredited.

“Each of our recyclers have the capacity to infill the void caused by the departure of two Co-Regulators and their partnered ewaste recyclers.”

Despite the increased volume Ecycle Solutions expect to recycle this financial year, they continue to welcome any NTCRS compliant e-waste from businesses searching for an effective recycling solution.

The success of Ecycle Solutions can also be attributed to the partnership with their parent company, QLS Logistics — a national warehousing and logistics specialist company.

By leveraging off their key strengths and competitive advantages, Ecycle Solutions can provide a long-term diversified, commercially viable and sustainable recycling business.

“Our reverse logistics arrangement sees QLS Logistics’ trucks leave the depot bound for retail stores with brand new electronic goods, and return with end-of-life e-waste in need of recycling,” explained Tangey.

Ecycle Solutions also recycles expanded polystyrene (EPS) and will be participating as a collection specialist in the Battery Stewardship which is forecast to commence in early 2022.

“We are excited to be undertaking some new projects in this coming financial year, including the participation in the Battery Stewardship from its commencement,” said Tangey.

Australia is well below the international standard for recycling handheld batteries with only 4% of all batteries being recycled.

The Battery Stewardship Scheme will operate similarly to the NTCRS, providing a solution for businesses, councils and the general public to responsibly recycle all battery types, excluding lead acid. It will be a free collection service.

“Ecycle Solutions welcomes any businesses interested in participating in the scheme,” said Tangey.

“We are currently securing partnerships with potential collection sites, particularly in Regional Australia.”

Ecycle Solutions are proud to be partnering with businesses, councils and the general public to reduce waste going to landfill and improve the environmental outcomes across Australia.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/bsd555




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For you as a manufacturer of compressors or compressed air systems, the flawless end product comes first. Whether in the construction & building, pharmaceutical, food or beverage industries: The compressed air supply must comply with the applicable quality criteria.

The generation and treatment of the complete infrastructure for compressed air is crucial. At Bürkert you will find the right valve solution for every step in the process — thanks to a broad portfolio, custom-fit solutions and personal consulting.

Compressor safety standards with fit-for-purpose equipment

Safe and always available compressed air is crucial in addition to the individually required air quality. The variety of compressors requires precisely matching valves and tailored to the compressed air systems.

To comply with local regulations and directives, whether ISO, UL or EAC standard: All components must comply with the regulations applicable at the place of use.

Improve energy consumption and environmental protection

Throughout the life cycle, the aim is to keep operating costs low and produce more compressed air with less energy. Other important factors are minimal noise emission and compliance with environmental regulations.

Bürkert Simplify maintenance and service

Thinking about maintenance during the design phase saves time. Free access to wearing parts contributes to this, as does a service concept adapted to the system. In addition, spare parts should be available in the long term.

Your valve partner for your compressors

To be able to produce and operate compressed air systems safely, flexibly and economically, you need the ideal valve for every process step. Bürkert meets your requirements: with a unique range of standard valves, components manufactured for your needs and a service all around. We accompany you with fluidic solutions from the idea through design and production to the application.

Bürkert not only offers you what is probably the most comprehensive valve portfolio in the world — we also have the ability to customise valves in order to meet the requirements of the application. For our customers, this means: functionally sophisticated, energy-saving compressors and compressed air technology as well as safety and flexibility in production. Air volume, installation situation, degree of contamination or mode of operation: Your requirements are the starting point to which we adapt valve characteristics and functionalities.

Explore Bürkert’s capabilities and product range to see how we can help:





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From facing a global climate crisis, to navigating a global pandemic, it’s never been more important for organisations to increase their resilience in the face of disaster.

And by mitigating risks and reducing their impact, businesses around the world are realising that championing sustainable development not only saves lives (and revenue), but also helps them to achieve a competitive advantage.

Graduates of emerging postgraduate degrees like the University of Newcastle’s Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development, are leading this change.

The degree equips people from diverse backgrounds to understand resilience and sustainable development principles, and systematically apply them to avoid disasters, operate through extreme events, and emerge better placed to face the future.

It’s designed for those in management positions (or those aspiring to be) whose work involves resilience-building through the mitigation of impacts arising out of extreme events — which can be as varied as natural disasters, data breaches, political instability, terror attacks or health epidemics.

Rhian Blackwell, a recent graduate from the University of Newcastle’s Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development, is currently employed as an Emergency Management Coordinator with ACT Health. Throughout his career Rhian has seen and experienced extremes, from bushfires through to a global pandemic.

“Needless to say, we’ve had a busy 12 months.

“The course gave me an appreciation of the challenges faced when promoting disaster preparedness, in respect to how we prepare and maintain knowledge and education for an event that may never happen, but it just might.

“The program looked at prevention, mitigation strategies and how to build communities to be more resilient in the face of a hazard — and potentially avoid a disaster,” says Rhian.

A major drawcard of the University of Newcastle’s degree is its development in partnership with the United Nations, and its delivery through CIFAL Newcastle — a United Nations training centre with a focus on disaster resilience and sustainable development.

The result? Graduates are emerging with the best-practice knowledge and skills needed to implement the new UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction — and make a real and lasting impact.

“It’s attractive. It’s one of the reasons why (students) choose the University of Newcastle to study,” says graduate Aileen Mendoza.

Aileen is focused on channelling the knowledge and skills she has gained throughout the program to improve outcomes for communities in need.

“I hope to be able to help communities by ensuring availability and distribution of basic services for them. In particular, I want to focus on helping the communities in my country the Philippines, both in Manilla and even in rural areas,” says Aileen.

The University of Newcastle offers their Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development full time or part time, online or face-to-face. For professionals like Rhian, this flexibility made all the difference.

“The flexibility of online study — to catch up with lectures at nine o’clock at night as bedtime reading — suited my situation, and meant I could keep up with the course while still having down time.

“The academics were as accessible to the online students as they were to the campus-based students. I spent a lot of time communicating with the program convenor,” says Rhian.

The course also offered Rhian the chance to connect with other professionals working across different sectors, to gain a diverse insight and experience.

“I had opportunities to talk disaster management, resilience and recovery with a number of professionals who aren’t in the clinical sphere. It was great meeting and working with town planners, and architects in both government and non-government professions,” Rhian says.

Another graduate of the program, former journalist, foreign correspondent and filmmaker Ginny Stein, says the degree has expanded her career prospects in new and exhilarating ways.

“I wanted to take a year out to work in development, which I’m fortunate enough to be doing, before hopefully moving more into the emergency response field,” says Ginny.

“I’m working with the Forestry Department of Vanuatu under the Australian Government’s Volunteers for International Development Program. I’m getting to mix my old skills with new ones in a multimedia capacity-building role.

“It’s brilliant and I’m learning so much, and thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve been able to continue filming and editing, plus implement a social media campaign aimed at promoting forestry awareness.

“This course has given me a new-found confidence and at the same time, I’ve gained first-hand development experience,” Ginny says.

Career boom

Don’t be surprised if you start hearing the term ‘Resilience Officer’ more and more. Organisations are increasingly embracing this terminology — and the intention behind it. Whether it’s in local government, planning and implementing strategies for town planning, urban and rural development, community safety, or service continuity in times of emergency, demand is growing.

Career opportunities are increasing in the private sector too — in business continuity, environmental protection, risk management, disaster recovery planning, emergency and crisis management and workplace health and safety functions.

Now is the time

It’s an emerging field — and an exciting one too. And cutting-edge programs like the University of Newcastle’s Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development are setting the benchmark for postgraduate qualification.

For those whose current role involves identifying, mitigating and managing business, safety or environmental risks — or those who aspire to such a position — this program offers an opportunity to be at the forefront of your field.

To learn more about studying a Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development at the University of Newcastle visit newcastle.edu.au/disaster-resilience.

Why study through the University of Newcastle?

  • Receive UN co-certification— complete courses that are co-certified by both the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
  • Direct engagement with UNISDR resources— receive training aligned with the Sendai Framework— the United Nation’s global strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Be recognised internationally — our School of Architecture and Built Environment is in the top 150 in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject list (2021).
  • Flexible study options — our advanced online learning system, together with that of UNITAR provides you with the flexibility and support to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study.
  • 95.7% of postgraduate students in our Agriculture and Environmental Studies find employment within four months of graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017–2019).




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EXAIR’s Reversible Drum Vac is designed for the safe recovery of fluids like coolant, hydraulic oils, sludge and chips, wastewater, tramp oil and liquid spills. The Reversible Drum Vac’s powerful vacuum can fill a 205 L drum in just 90 s and, with the turn of a knob, the same stainless steel pump can quickly empty the drum. The flow rate in and out of the drum can be controlled with the knob, making it useful for dispensing liquids.

Electrically operated all-purpose vacuums aren’t designed for use in industrial environments and as a result, motors wear out quickly and impellers clog. Powered by compressed air, the Reversible Drum Vac has no moving parts, no electric motor to wear out and has no impellers to clog, assuring maintenance-free operation. The product is designed for continuous and heavy-duty applications where electric vacuums fail and can also be used for lighter-duty applications.

CE compliant, the Reversible Drum Vac has built-in pressure/vacuum relief and attaches quickly to any closed-head 205 L drum. An automatic safety shut-off valve prevents spills or overfilling.

For more information: https://www.caasafety.com.au/products/reversible-drum-vac/.




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HRS Heat Exchangers has announced that it has been acquired by Canadian company Exchanger Industries Limited (EIL).

HRS is a specialist global supplier of heat exchangers and custom process systems across the environmental, food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. The company says the acquisition by EIL creates new opportunities by combining HRS’s capabilities and market sectors with EIL’s expansion into power generation, liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewable energy, power storage and biofuels applications.

“For decades, we’ve worked hard on behalf of our customers in Canada, the US and 25 countries worldwide, consistently providing them with mission-critical, innovative solutions in some of the most demanding environments,” said Marl el Baroudi, CEO of EIL. “The HRS acquisition will provide numerous benefits to our customers including a broader capability to provide heat transfer solutions to environmentally sustainable projects in the biogas and wastewater treatment sectors, in addition to EIL’s existing projects in clean power generation, LNG, emissions-free power storage and biofuels applications.”

The acquisition provides EIL access to a global footprint with scalable hubs in both India and Spain, and a combined portfolio of anti-fouling technologies that it believes will enhance differentiation and act as a unique platform to create value for customers.

Additionally, el Baroudi stated that the acquisition of HRS Heat Exchangers provides EIL an extraordinary opportunity to expand its exposure to an impressive international customer base across rapidly growing geographic market positions in the US, UK, Spain, Mexico, India, the Middle East, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re thrilled to join the EIL family and continue our journey to building a highly respected global supplier of heat transfer products,” said Steven Pither, founder and CEO of HRS. “Leveraging EIL’s expertise in designing innovative heat transfer systems, and their established track record in creating streamlined, highly efficient business processes will allow us to enhance our product offering and effectively scale our Spanish and Indian manufacturing operations; delivering timely, cost effective solutions to our customer base around the world. We are confident that this will drive growth to the next level.”

“Our combined manufacturing capability and leading-edge product technologies will strengthen our value proposition and increase market penetration internationally,” continued el Baroudi. “In short, this acquisition combines the capabilities of both parties to enhance an already differentiated market position. It creates better outcomes for everyone we serve.”

Image caption: HRS is a global supplier of heat exchangers and processing systems.




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