Sustainable Brands London event shines light on next steps in evolution of responsible business

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November 19, 2013

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The Sustainable Brands London event, which continues today online and at the Lancaster Hotel, shines a clear light on next steps in the evolution of responsible business.

You can catch up on the second day here, and congratulations to KoAnn Skrzyniarz, Founder and CEO, Sustainable Brands for bringing together a mind-boggling array of speakers to stimulate an excellent discussion on how we can organise profitable, sustainable strategies across the globe.

Tip of the hat also to first-day MC Jo Confino, Executive Editor, Guardian Sustainable Business who sparked more thoughts with his lively questioning of speakers.

For me, what stood out from the many highlights of day one was a call-to-action quote from Jo Cofino: “We’ve made products the heroes so far, we need to make people the heroes.”

This reflected the theme of people making a significant difference that ran throughout the first-day sessions, and is a rallying call for everyone trying to steer a new, more sustainable course through our fragile, inefficient and destructive economies.You can follow Jo on Twitter (@jocofino).

Among the many visionary, practical and effective contributions to this process was a young company, Deciwatt, which won the overall SB Innovation Open award and the people’s choice award with its wonderful product, GravityLight.

This is literally a “lightbulb moment” – GravityLight is innovative device that generates light from gravity. In brief, the device will enable more than 1.5 billion people around the world to break free from the economic, health and environmental hazards of kerosene lamps.

As the Deciwatt team explain, GravityLight only generates a deciwatt or two of power but has a superior light to the majority of kerosene lamps used by those without electricity, as well as being significantly more sustainable, safe and healthy. With no running costs, at $10, a GravityLight would pay for itself within a few months, freeing people from fuel poverty and the increasing costs of kerosene.

Deciwatt advises: “As LEDs continue to rapidly increase their lumens per watt and – as Koomey’s Law predicts – the energy efficiency of devices doubles every two years – this has huge implications for low cost, off grid lighting as well as computing and communication equipment. This is the driving force behind Deciwatt’s mission to explore how to do more with less.”

OK, so while this is a product, the real heroes are Deciwatt and they should be the story over the next couple of years, along with everyone moving the business world in the right direction. Respect to GravityLight inventors Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves, and the rest of the Deciwatt team: Belinda Cullen, Félix Beaulieu, Mario Siqueira, Rob Butterworth and Caroline Angus.

All the SB Open finalists are here and well worth a view. If you get the chance, do check in online and pick up some great advice from SB London speakers. We’ll be following the discussions again and sharing thoughts through the Twitter hashtag #SBLondon.

If you want advice on how to make your business more sustainable, call us on 0333 123 5464.

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