On Monday I had the great pleasure of attending the Fortune Green conference. Set on the ocean side in sunny California it brings top leaders in clean tech from around the world to discuss strategies and issues involved in moving environmentally responsible technologies forward. The conference kicked off with an evening address from Sir Richard Branson, who, among other topics, hinted at the launch of his new Virgin submarine, which will dive deeper, and to more places, than any submarine in history. Sir Richard was charming as always, and re-ittterated his business strategy of hiring great leaders to run his business units "as if they were their own". Tuesday started with breakfast conversations around Geo-engineering, the relevance of Green marketing, and a rousing discussion on the place of coal in our energy infrastructure. (Summary: Coal is here to stay for the next 10 years, emission sequestration is feasible, but very expensive, will NOT happen without a government mandate). The mid-morning on Tuesday was a particularly exciting time for me because it marked the launch of Ecovative's newest creation: Mushroom® Packaging for Dell computers. Oliver Campbell (head of the Dell packaging team) took the stage and announced our exciting pilot project, for the first time EcoCradle (Mushroom® Packaging) was being used to protect sensitive (and expensive!) electronic equipment. Ecovative mushroom engineers had worked hard with the Dell packaging team over the last 8 months to develop a new formulation of EcoCradle, based around local cotton waste found near Dell's Austin Texas manufacturing facility, that could not only support the 100 lb+ servers, but could also provided incredible shock absorption. Our pilot with Dell marks another important step in our vision to help remove environmentally damaging foams from the worlds supply chain. It also embodies our philosophy of using local materials to grow products which not only perform as well as their synthetic counterparts, but can be composted at home without any special equipment. The use of EcoCradle Mushroom® packaging by Dell is just another step in their environmental story. Last year they launched Bamboo Packaging, a revolutionary alternative to conventional molded paper pulp. Made from rapid renewables, Dell now ships nearly half their laptops in Bamboo Packaging. The work they did with Ecovative demonstrates their continuing commitment to being the worlds greenest electronics manufacturer. Now they are leveraging both rapid renewables (bamboo) and what we like to call "ultra rapid" renewables: mushroom mycelium- which grows in just a few days! Here at Ecovative, we are very excited to be bringing our Mushroom® Packaging to an entirely new market. I can't say how proud I am of our team, which worked many long nights and weekends to make this possible. I'm also in awe of the team at Dell: They continue to demonstrate vision, commitment, and leadership, when it comes to making a significant and positive impact on our planet. If you're interested in learning more about ultra-rapid renewables watch for our Environmental Director's Sam Harrington's TedXGrandRapid talk coming next month. And if you want to learn more about our philosophy of leveraging biological systems for good, check out my recent TedXAlcatraz talk, on using trees in arid regions as water pumps. You can follow me on twitter as @Ebenbayer and on our corporate account @ecovative.
Keep it green, -Eben