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Great breakdown on the video! It’s amazing how we overlook some of the best resources that are right in front of us. That’s what this video reminded me. Answers and innovation are all around us, but are we stopping to consider and study them? The way animals and nature has evolved and survived, as well as how they didnt’, are great lessons to consider.
Thanks for the great summary!
Collin this was amazing to watch and you wrote a great summary. I have never even heard of Biomimicry before this and now it seems so obvious. I agree the world does not always work efficiently and wastes time, energy, and resources trying to start from scratch to solve things that nature already has the answer to. It seems it would better serve everyone if this research and discoveries were more in the forefront of news and readily available to read. We, as a universe, are running out of time to make changes and this path seems to have so much potential. As it has been shown, the example of how the life cycle of a tree wastes nothing. I like the refernece to replacing our chemistry books with nature’s recipe book.
Nice summary and power point on Biomimicry. This is something that I have not heard of – and found this quite fascinating! Some of my take aways from the video:
- life has been on earth for 3.8B years, life has learned what works here and what is appreciated and lasts, maybe we need to learn from this
- we need more innovation inspired by nature
- instead of inventing things from scratch, we need to learn from what’s already here
- life banks on diversity
- life upcycles everything
- maybe we need to replace our old industrial chemistry book with natures recipe book
There are so many companies today that are observing and learning from nature, animals and our eco-system – for example, when you mentioned how spiders are being observed and studied in order to recreate their web fibers, which are stronger than steel; or how coral reefs are being studied to replicate in the concrete industry. I found this video information very interesting – and did not realize how many companies that are currently working on these types of studies and learning from our environment to make our world better.
WEEK 6 VIDEO
• What is Biomimicry
• How to be better adapted
• There are a set of operating instructions
Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature. A new discipline where the people who make
our world ask themselves what in the natural world has already solved what I am trying to
solve, and they try to emulate what they have learned.
There are no ways to be better adapted than the millions of species that have preceded us.
• Runs on sunlight
• Does Chemistry in water
• Depends on the local
• Banks on diversity
• Wastes nothing
• Uses a small portion of the periodic table
• Uses shape instead of chemistry
Runs on sunlight compared to ourworld that runs on photosynthesis trapped in fossil fuels.
Does chemistry in water where we depend on toxic solvents.
Depends on the local, they have to understand their places.
Banks on diversity and rewards cooperation
We should be apprentices to the species that have been around a long time. We should
replace our chemistry book with natures recipe book.
Use safe elements and delicate recipes
Some of organisms create color based on structure, much brighter and never fades
We could use lifes principles and make a better world much quicker for ourselves.
MATERIALS THAT COMPANIES ARE
• Carbon Dioxide
Organisms make materials in and near their own body.
Spiders create a fiber that is stronger than steel, ounce for ounce.
Inside of an abalone shell is an example that is hard, and companies are looking at creating
ceramics without a kiln.
We see as a poison and life uses as a building block. Several companies are taking gases
and making products.
A recipe from corral reef is being used to make concrete.
If we could create many more materials the way organisms already do our world it would
help our supply chain issues and be better for our environment.
• Energy conservation
• Self cleaning object
Ants and bees communicating and used to apply to appliances to reduce energy bills by 20-
Take vertical axis wind turbines and set up similar to a school of fish and got 10 times more
power with less land use.
Comparing to a beetle effect of conserving water.
Life is good at filter water, and we have components in our bodies that will help with this.
Agriculture is one of our biggest uses and we need to find a way to support and minimize
Lotus leaf was studied and stays cleans is a structural solution. Dirt does not stick due to
structure. Fabrics, roofing tiles, paint, dirt can’t adhere rainwater cleans the surfaces.
• Secrets to sustainable world are all around us.
This video only shared a small portion of the opportunities that exist in our world that we
could learn from organisms. It was very interesting to watch and hear what some
companies are investing in and trying to make our world a better place.
We all could be learning other ways from organisms to be more sustainable in our
households and at our companies.
Success for organisms is take care of the place that takes care of their offspring so it
will last for many years to come.
A lot of time is wasted trying to come up with new sustainable ideas when we could
invest in species that are already sustainable.
What is biomimicry?
Nature has already solved the issues we face.
Operating Instructions for Biomimicry:
Nothing is wasted
Is operated in sunlight (very few exceptions)
Performs chemistry in water
Uses shapes instead of chemicals (natural colors are mainly shapes reflecting light)
Understanding of hierarchy within the ecosystem
Substances companies are trying to replicate using biomimicry:
Concrete – companies are studying how coral reef is made in order to replicate the material
Fibers – spiders are being studied in order to recreate their web fibers which are stronger than steel but much lighter
Ceramics – companies are trying to eliminate the use of kiln in order to create this material
Points of interest to every society:
Drinkable water – in a world in which every living organism requires this, studying how to sustain clean water is a priority. Living organisms have already solved this issue.
Energy conservation – Smart solutions are being developed in which appliances can communicate between each other in order to conserve energy. This mimicry comes from ants and bees in the living world.
Chapter 12 mainly concentrates on creating an entity’s sustainability operations. It
discusses how an entity can take steps towards emphasizing zero-emissions.
Successful businesses question assumptions, they think across
disciplines, and they are creative about the way that their products are made
(Weybrecht, pg. 223). Operations management has a large impact on how sustainable
a company can make itself. Operations management determines how materials are
sourced and manufactured throughout the supply chain and also how it is to be used
which helps control the product life-cycle. There has been a recent shift from
organizations not recognizing it is their responsibility to build sustainable operations
management to realizing that it really should be an internal duty of the company. This
is mainly due to the fact that consumers have vocalized that sustainable processes
are valuable to them. This has helped operations management across consumer
brands to focus on sustainability and deliver on consumer values and even possibly
create competitive advantages.
There are many reasons for why operations management is important
especially in the context of sustainability practices. Developing sustainableis
• Responsibility for valuing sustainable practices has shifted from the consumer to
• Creates the opportunity to reduce cost and improve operational efficiency
• It complies with existing and prepares for future legislation
• It decreases the risk of bad press
• It improves quality and customer satisfaction
The aim of operations management’s approach to sustainability is to
ultimately establish zero environmental impact through a product’s lifecycle. This can
be a difficult proposition for any company because of complicated supply chain
networks. In order for a company to reach zero impact, they will need to focus on
• Green chemistry
• Doing more with less
• Sustainable technologies
• Suppliers and contractors
• Waste management
• Life-cycle analysis
The 8 focuses for sustainable operations will be further explained on
this slide. In order to reach zero emissions an entity must balance and emphasize
each of these items.
Eco design is the intentional design of a product to align with reducing
the environmental/social impact throughout it’s entire life-cycle. To do this an entity
needs to re-think function/material inputs, re-duce inputs, re-place harmful
substances, re-cycle materials, re-use inputs, and diminish need for re-pair. By
concentrating on these things then the design of the product can be made to be
more environmentally sustainable.
Green chemistry mainly concerns designing safer materials/chemicals
with less or no environmental toxicity. It further emphasizes using renewable
materials like waste back into the manufacturing process, increasing energy
efficiency, creating degrading materials, attempting to eliminate overall
manufacturing waste, and minimizing potential risk of accidents. This goes along with
eco-design because it concentrates on the inputs needed for product manufacturing
as well as how their overall life-cycle will impact the environment.
The next focus is for entities to concentrate on doing more with their
products by using less. This means decreasing the the consumption of resources,
reducing the overall impact of production on nature, and also increasing consumer
Then the entity should concentrate on developing sustainable
techonologies. There are four different types of sustainable technologies:
• Remediation technologies – technology used to treat environmental problems
after they have already occurred
• Abatement technologies – technology used for preventative measures. These
technologies help deter possible environmental issues before they arise.
• Pollution prevention technologies – technology that concentrates on the
production of technology to limit pollution. Scrubbers are one example of
pollution prevention technologies.
• Sustainable technologies – these are the ultimate goal of technology for
sustainability and they are capable of achieving low to no environmental impact.
Next, there are suppliers and contractors. This main focus really is to
integrate suppliers into the overall life-cycle of a company’s products, because using
environmentally conscious suppliers is the responsibility of the entity. If the supplier
network performs poorly then it also reflects on upon the overall entity. This
priciniple states that entities should create policies to improve supplier performance
and consult with them to help improve.
Then the entity should consider transportation analysis. Transportation
of materials/services can create a large set of problems like emissions, traffic
accidents, and reliance on non-renewable energies. Companies should place an
emphasis on transitioning to renewable and shift R&D operations to find different
ways to transport materials through increasingly sustainable methodology.
Next, there is waste management considerations. As I mentioned
earlier the goal of waste management is to do a few things: preventing waste
altogether, reduce portions of waste, recycle and integrate waste into manufacturing,
and improve disposal methods.
Finally, the last thing that an entity should take into consideration
when determining the optimimum approach to sustainable operations management.
The operations department should take each of the factors discussed previously into
account when analyzing the overall impact of how their decisions will impact the
environment over the entire product’s life-cycle.
It is easy to say how companies should improve upon their
sustainability efforts within their operations teams. However, there are many barriers
to prevent company’s from being able to integrate the sustainable recommendations
in previous slides.
Company’s struggle to gather the real data needed to make informed
decisions on how to make their processes more sustainable. When the data is there,
then another issue is how reliable it really is. This issue is amplified even further
when considering gathering data from supplier networks. Then there are issues that
could arise in how much the supplier vs. the company values sustainability. It is hard
for a company to change the operations of it’s supplier network unless it carries great
value to the supplier. It could be the result of communication breakdowns or different
shareholder values. Another reason for a barrier to sustainable operations is the high
number of standards that already exist and will further be created. The regulations
often cause hgihg levels of confusion internally for company’s and can create
redundancies with several different efforts at similar objectives. The final issues that
could cause barriers to entry are that making change takes time especially across an
entire enterprise and finding the best ways to operate sustainability can be
challenging. So it will take time and some creativity to properly structure an entity’s