Fetch the economy

fetch, a Dutch-based enterprise is launching a global digital platform that brings together corporates and start-ups worldwide to tackle the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With strategic partner Circle Economy in the Netherlands and TechForGood in Israel as a content partner, fetch provides a unique match-making service between companies and sustainability and social-driven start-ups that have at least one revenue stream linked to addressing one of UN 17 SDGs. A supporter of the SDGs, fetch is also a signatory of the Dutch SDG Charter.

According to a report by Business & Sustainable Development Commission, embedding sustainability and aligning business operations with the SDGs to could open economic opportunities worth up to US$12 trillion and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs by 2030.

The new platform provides start-ups an opportunity to showcase their market-ready innovations to corporates, who can search for these innovators based on the SDGs and four economic systems: food and agriculture, health and well-being, cities and energy and materials. Corporates can use fetch as a source of innovations that can help them fulfill their sustainability commitments while understanding how with the implementation of the solutions these start-ups provide can tackle the SDGs.

“fetch is born from years of research and understanding of what the market needs to making the world a more sustainable place. Through my experience in working with corporates and feedback from start-ups, I saw a gap and a channel missing in connecting the two together,” said Alison Azaria, founder of fetch.

“Much of the times, after start-ups have successfully gone through the incubator process, they try to promote themselves through various different topic-based platforms. While these platforms do serve as a great way for start-ups to gain exposure, it requires managing many different accounts and profiles. Moreover, corporates will also have to visit these various sites to look for what they want. The idea for fetch is to create one global digital platform where members can search for innovations that align with their goals around all topics under the sustainability umbrella and the SDGs.”

There are currently over 200 market-ready sustainability and social-driven start-ups and innovations featured on fetch. The aim of fetch is to become the world’s largest digital platform with a searchable database of sustainability and social innovations around the globe, categorized by SDGs. Both corporates and solution providers can currently join fetch for free.

fetch will continue to evolve and partner with sustainability incubators, innovation centers, knowledge hubs and sustainability media platforms to serve the corporations in achieving operational sustainability and the market in enabling our generations and the generations to come live a more sustainable and responsible life.


Solar has become the cheapest new form of energy in nearly 60 countries worldwide. Developing economies, including China, Brazil, and India, committed $177 billion to renewables, a hike of 20 percent, while investments from developed countries were down 19 percent.

A report about global trends in renewable energy investments shows that – worldwide – the new energy construction projects and investment emphasis are concentrated in solar. The world installed almost 100 gigawatts of new solar projects in 2017. This is more than the additions of coal and gas. The report of the UN, a german university and Bloomberg reflects a strong emphasis on solar energy.

By far, the leading location for renewable energy investment in 2017 was China, which accounted for total $126.6 billion in global investment, the highest figure ever. Solar investment alone in China was $86.5 billion. In contrast, U.S. investment in all renewables fell by 6 percent from 2016 and totaled only $40.5 billion.

Costs for solar energy continue to fall. Photovoltaic panels dropped down another 15 percent from a year earlier and down 72 percent since 2009. A fall in capital costs combined with efficiency improvements contributed to that price drop.

Although the total amount of energy coming from renewable resources is still dwarfed by that coming from fossil fuels, because of all the existing energy infrastructure, it is growing. The proportion of world electricity generated by wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydro power rose from 11 percent in 2016 to 12.1 percent in 2017. (Ten years ago, that all-renewables figure was five percent).

The future of investments in renewables could be changing, as developed countries have started dropping government price supports, while countries with developing economies, such as Mexico and countries in the Middle East, are providing more support.

The foreword to the UN report singled out China as the leader.

(Source: Daily Kos)

Co2 down the drain

The port will start capturing CO2 and store it deep under the North Sea. Dutch environmentalists welcomed this surprising message with open arms this week. Until recently, the energy transition of the port of Rotterdam seemed to have come to a complete standstill. The CO2 emissions even seem to have increased since 2007. However, it is the port authority’s ambition to be more environmentally friendly and to fulfil that ambition, a new innovation has been developed that could soon become a game-changer. If the port wants to meet the Paris climate agreement, it has to halve its CO2 emissions in the next 13 years, and reduce them to zero by 2050. That is why the Port of Rotterdam, Gasunie and EBN started the Porthos Initiative (Port of Rotterdam Co2 Transport Hub & Offshore Storage). These companies jointly came up with a system that enables the capture, transport and storage of CO2. The CO2 is captured at the source, after which it can be stored deep under the North Sea in empty natural gas fields. The system has proven to be technically feasible and financially viable, and preparations have been given the go-ahead this week.
Part of the project will see a pipeline network being installed through the port area, to which companies can be connected. The CO2 is partially used for the horticultural sector, but the majority will be stored in an empty natural gas field 25 kilometers from the North Sea coast.
It disappears into a closed reservoir that formerly contained natural gas. The expectation is that each year, around 2 to 5 million tonnes of CO2 can be stored. Perhaps the filling of empty gas fields could be an interesting solution for the problems in Groningen, where earthquakes caused by emptying gas fields are causing a lot of damage and suffering.

Fresh food for the foodbanks

New distribution center for more fresh fruit and vegetables in food bank packages

The economy might be booming, one million Dutch people are still living under the poverty line and around 30,000 Dutch households depend on the food bank on a weekly basis. To top it off, the quality of the food bank packages often leaves room for improvement; too much saturated fat and not enough fruit, vegetables, fish and fiber. Food bank customers have an unhealthier diet than the rest of the country. But all this is about to change.

During last week’s meeting ‘Groenten en frUITdaging’ (Fruit and Vegetable Challenge) at horticultural company Koppert Cress in the Westland area, the Dutch Food Banks, together with growers, transporting companies and voluntary organizations, agreed to join forces to deliver more varied packages. The meager supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in the aid packages is a major health problem, especially for children. The bottleneck in the collection and distribution of fruit and vegetables is the inefficiency in logistics between growers and food banks. That is why the Dutch Food Banks want to set up a special distribution and sorting center in ­­­­Westland before the end of the year. From there, the surplus vegetables and fruits will be distributed to different food banks in the region.


Stop wasting food

The meeting was intended to realise a distribution center where producers and producer associations can donate products. From this distribution center, the various food banks could receive the fresh products.

The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten was also present at the meeting and stated that she was happy with the initiative. ‘The government believes it is important to avoid food wastage and the food banks can help in avoiding this. I therefore call on all parties to report restrictive regulations and legislation on food donations to us. My ministry will then try to find a way to eliminate these.’

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