Sustainability: The 22 next big things, from eco-fertilizer to 3D printed wood

With the planet in crisis, some of the most impactful technological advancements today are focused on lessening humanity’s impact on the planet. The Sustainability winners of Fast Company’s inaugural Next Big Things in Tech awards are creating batteries that can power a renewable future. They’re reducing food waste (or turning it into fertilizer), making our appliances more efficient, and recycling everything from wood scraps and shingles to lithium-ion batteries.

See a full list of the Next Big Things in Tech across all categories here.

Winners

[Photo: courtesy of Farther Farms]
PepsiCo and Wint
For getting smart about water consumption
Wint’s Water Intelligence technology detects anomalies in water flows, allowing food and beverage plants to operate more efficiently and cut water consumption. A pilot program with PepsiCo cut water consumption at a Belgian snack facility by 10%; now Pepsi­­Co is rolling out Wint’s tech to five European sites.
Sama and Orbisk
For using AI to reduce restaurant food waste
Food-waste startup Orbisk and data annotation company Sama built an AI tool that lets restaurants scan a plate of leftover food and detect what’s going in the trash. Chefs and restaurant managers can use this information to adjust their menus, shrinking food waste by as much as 70%.
[Illustration: Noma Bar]

Honorable Mentions

AppHarvest
For rethinking agriculture with massive indoor AI-powered farms


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