Why does it matter and what can I do about it?
We may sometimes take it for granted that we have enough to eat, drink and enjoy a healthy life and a clean environment. Although many of us are aware that current practices are mostly unsustainable, it is challenging to think how you can make a difference.
The SSH aims to use people power (you !) and technology to address global sustainability issues aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. You can get involved as an individual, as an industry partner, government organisation, NGO or research institution.
Why should we address global issues?
“For more than 15 years, I have asked my students what they consider the most pressing global issues. Most students recognised that it comes down to basic needs, as we all need to eat, drink and breathe air, and we also wish to live a healthy life. Our existence in the long term relies on clean environments that include natural areas with high biodiversity, and whether or not we are able to transition to sustainable practices. The five priority areas of the Sustainable Solutions Hub reflect these views and are closely aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.” Prof. Peer Schenk
We understand that food security is not just a technical issue, but a fundamental human right and a matter of social, economic, and environmental justice. We also recognise that food security is a critical global challenge that requires urgent and collective action.
Today, more than 800 million people suffer from hunger, and millions more face malnutrition and food-related diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation, pushing millions into poverty and food insecurity. At the same time, we are facing unprecedented challenges, such as climate change, natural resource depletion, and biodiversity loss, which threaten the sustainability and resilience of our food systems.
However, we believe that food security is achievable. With the right investments, policies, and technologies, we can create sustainable and resilient food systems that can feed the world’s growing population, while protecting the environment and promoting social equity.
As a global solutions company, we are committed to working with you, our partners and stakeholders to address food security and promote sustainable agriculture and food systems. We bring together expertise in agriculture, technology, and commercialisation to develop and apply innovative solutions that can make a difference in people’s lives.
We invite you to join us in this important mission. Whether you are a government, a civil society organisation, a private sector company, or an individual, you can play a role in promoting food security and building a better future for all. Together, we can aim for a world where no one goes hungry, and everyone has access to healthy, nutritious, and affordable food.
Food and Energy are closely linked. We currently need approx. 3-10 calories of Energy (most coming from fossil fuels) to produce just 1 calorie of food! Hence, there is a pressing need for sustainable energy sources to address the challenges of food security, environmental pollution and climate change.
Energy security is a critical issue for every nation and community, with access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy sources being essential for economic growth and social development. Unfortunately, the traditional sources of energy are finite and contribute significantly to climate change, posing a threat to the environment and the global population.
Renewable energy sources produce valuable electricity. However, our current economy relies most on fuels, as they are about 20 times more energy-dense than batteries.
Our sustainable biofuels from microalgae provide a promising solution to these challenges. Microalgae are abundant, fast-growing, and can be cultivated on non-arable land, making them an ideal source of renewable energy. Additionally, microalgal biofuels have a much lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels and do not need to compete with food production or freshwater resources, making them a truly sustainable energy option.
We recognise the urgency of this issue and the need for immediate action. We are committed to advancing the research and development of sustainable biofuels from microalgae and partnering with industry and governments to realise their widespread adoption. By investing in sustainable energy solutions, we can ensure energy security for future generations while protecting our planet’s health.
Environment & Biodiversity
A clean environment and the preservation of natural ecosystems with high biodiversity are critically important. These issues are not just matters of environmental concern, but they are crucial for the health and wellbeing of our planet and its inhabitants.
A clean environment and biodiversity are critical for maintaining ecological balance and sustaining life on Earth. Unfortunately, human activities such as pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change are causing significant harm to our environment and leading to the loss of biodiversity.
The urgency of these issues cannot be overstated. The degradation of our environment and the loss of biodiversity have severe consequences for our health, economy, and society. It’s not just about the loss of natural beauty, but it is about the loss of essential ecosystem services that sustain human life.
We are committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions to protect our environment and biodiversity. We work with governments, businesses, and communities to promote sustainable practices and reduce environmental impact, for example through our Regenerative Agriculture and Wastewater Bioremediation initiatives.
The biggest “human disease” is in fact malnutrition. Access to healthy food is essential for individuals’ physical and mental wellbeing, as well as for the growth and development of communities worldwide.
Poor nutrition leads to malnutrition, which can cause a range of health problems, including stunted growth, weakened immune systems, and mental health disorders. Hence, the provision of affordable nutraceuticals is a major focus of the Sustainable Solutions Hub.
We are also interested to identify new bioactive compounds that can be used for Human Health. Our biodiscovery work has been greatly assisted by the incredible biodiversity of microbial communities, such as soil microbiomes where we have found new antimicrobial compounds, some of which may have potential as new antibiotics. Antibiotics have saved countless lives since their discovery, and they continue to be essential for treating bacterial infections. Unfortunately, the misuse of antibiotics has led to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a severe threat to global public health.
Healthy nutrition and ensuring access to effective antibiotics can safeguard human health and wellbeing.
At present, more than 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe drinking water. Clean and accessible water is not just a human necessity, but it is essential for economic development, environmental sustainability, and social wellbeing.
Water security is a growing concern worldwide, with increasing demand for freshwater resources and the effects of climate change leading to water scarcity, droughts, and floods. The consequences of water scarcity are severe, including reduced crop yields, food shortages, and public health concerns.
It is essential to ensure that we have affordable water filtration and sustainable water management practices in place to ensure that we can meet the growing demand for water.
By investing in sustainable water management practices and next generation water filtration systems, such as our Hydrate Filtration Technology, we can contribute that we have enough clean water to sustain human life, protect the environment, and drive economic growth. Together, we can build a better future for ourselves and future generations.