In Search of Sustainable Materials: Accelerating the Transition to Healthy Products

It’s been shown that the materials needed to create a product makes up about 70%, on average, of the environmental footprint in apparel, furniture, packaging and toys. Addressing resource scarcity and environmental issues in the supply chain is becoming increasingly crucial for every brand’s license to operate. As more and more brands are looking to source materials in sustainable ways, they are encountering a complex mix of successes and challenges.

At this years Sustainable Brands conference in Copenhagen Leaderlab’s Managing Partner Sofus Midtgaard headed a panel: In Search of Sustainable Materials: Accelerating the Transition to Healthy Products. Sustainable Materials pioneers from IKEA, LEGO, Carlsberg, Novozymes and Sustainability Consult presented new products, shared cases and discussed opportunities, challenges and the need for Partnerships.

Jonas Engberg Ikea

While the session underlined the importance of new products based on sustainable materials from the IKEA, LEGO and Carlsberg it also articulated the need for collaboration and partnerships to disrupt value chains and take new sustainable materials to scale.

Claus Stig Pedersen Senior Director of Corporate Sustainability from Novozymes and Kathryn Sheridan Founder of Sustainability Consult invited the panel participants to think of their sustainable materials in new contexts.


Moderator Sofus Midtgaard then took the lead and invited Jonas Engberg (IKEA), Tim Brooks (LEGO) and Simon Hoffmeyer Boas (Carlsberg) to switch seats/change jobs and advice from the position of their new job-position.

The new ‘leaders’ of sustainability in IKEA, LEGO and Carlsberg gave their contention on the complexity of opportunities and difficulties in developing with sustainable materials.

Afterwards, the floor was open for questions. The debate on if recycling is always the right choice, recyling vs. biodegradable materials, bioplastic, secutiry, scale and how to keep the cost down for customers constituted the many challenges connected to the transition to more sustainable materials.

Introduction slides from the sessions are available here:

We wish to thank:

  • Jonas Engberg, Sustainability Manager, 
  • Tim Brooks
 Vice President for Environmental Responsibility, LEGO
  • Simon Hoffmeyer Boas, Director, Corporate Communications & CSR
  • Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes
  • Kathryn Sheridan CEO & Founder, 
Sustainability Consult

Please see the event description here

Food Innovators Unite!

In partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a broad cross-sector network of key opinion leaders and industry players, LAUNCH is taking a people-centred approach to action across the whole of the food system. This call for innovations was developed through consultation with industry, government, and civil society from the Pacific Islands, Australia, the United States, Europe, and beyond.

If you are working on an innovation that will contribute to improving health outcomes through the food system, we want to hear from you. Don’t be afraid to surprise us! If you’re working on a related solution in another field that could apply to this challenge, answer the call.


LAUNCH is looking for a balanced portfolio of innovations (game-changing early stage prototypes) and solutions (post-pilot solutions with the potential to scale within 2 years) that address supply, demand, or both, but offer impact at the level of an individual’s personal consumption. We are open to solutions that address any point in an individual’s life journey, from birth on.

For more information about LAUNCH Food details can be found at


– Leaderlab: Sofus Midtgard:

LAUNCH Nordic: Closing the Loop – how do we create a more sustainable society?

Imagine a world where instead of owning everything you leased it. We know it sounds a bit crazy. But what if it wasn’t! What if it was the birth of a sustainability revolution where waste is turned into resources and kept out of landfill? What if it was the starting point of an age keeping products and materials in the loop? An age of products designed to last, be repaired, to be disassembled and to be recycled…

Everybody’s talking about the potentials in the Circular Economy. But how do we create closed loop systems and material streams? How do we design and manufacture for disassembly and recycling? And how do we shift to new business models that stimulate the design of durable products and re-use?

These questions are at the center of this year’s LAUNCH Nordic Innovation Challenge. IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat and several Nordic Ministries and public institutions have joined forces to accelerate a more circular economy.


“We are working to make our whole product range more sustainable, including playing an active role in the transition to a circular economy. We are looking for innovators with disruptive ideas and fresh mindsets who can help us on this journey. I’m looking forward to help select and interact with this years five selected innovators.”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

This year LAUNCH Nordic offer five selected innovators the opportunity to join a coalition of companies, government institution and innovators, committed to accelerate the shift to a circular economy. We are looking for game changing ideas and innovations for this year’s challenge: Closed Loop Solutions and Recycling Technologies.


“What is special about LAUNCH Nordic is the strong partnership of both government, academic and industry. Public Private Partnerships is exactly what we need to help sustainable innovations go to scale. We look forward to help this year’s innovators and shape a more sustainable society.

Claus Stig Pedersen, Senior Director, Sustainability, Novozymes.

The LAUNCH Nordic challenge 2016 is open to individuals and teams, start-ups and established companies. Deadline for applications will be September 1, 2016. In October 2016 the top 5 innovations will be selected and the teams will take part in a unique program that provides support, networking, and mentoring from influential business and government leaders.


“Being partners in LAUNCH Nordic has been highly inspirational for us. We are looking forward to helping this year’s innovators, but we learn a lot from them as well. We look forward to share knowledge and hopefully find meaningful and relevant technologies and innovation suitable for co-investment.”

Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat

LAUNCH Nordic will search for innovations with the potential to go to scale globally, as well as game‐changing early stage technologies and prototypes. Innovations can be business models, design tools, materials, manufacturing processes, technologies or systems or programs that have the potentials to shape a more sustainable society.

“Region Skåne is a partner in LAUNCH Nordic because of the strong commitment from both Nordic and Global partners like IKEA, Nozozymes, Kvadrat, Nike, USAID and U.S. State Department. LAUNCH Nordic offers a unique platform to identify and collectively scale innovations with a positive impact of people and society.”

Carin Dahl, Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Region Skåne

Vigga Svensson – a 2014 LAUNCH Nordic Innovator, who herself is pioneering circular economy with her start-up – delivering subscription based baby-clothing says the following:


“I hope a lot of great innovators from around the world with ideas to accelerate the shift to a more circular and sustainable world will apply.

Vigga Svensson, Founder, Vigga.US – and LAUNCH Nordic Innovator 2014

For more information about LAUNCH Nordic and this years Innovation Challenge on Closed Loop Systems & Recycling Technologies please read the full challenge here contact Sofus Midtgaard, LAUNCH Nordic: +45 30220111 – or For more about LAUNCH Nordic partners please contact:


– IKEA Group: Jamie Rusby:
– Novozymes: Debbie Spillane:
– Kvadrat: Anders Byriel:
– Vigga.US: Peter R. Svensson: +45 22665595


LAUNCH Nordic is a global innovation platform by: IKEA Group, Novozymes, and Kvadrat, as well as the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), The Danish EPA and Region Skåne. LAUNCH Nordic was created in collaboration with LAUNCH founders NASA, NIKE, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) & The U.S. Department of State.

Relevant information

The challenge is available at the LAUNCH Nordic website:




Hvordan sætter vi tryk på bæredygtigt byggeri og eksport?

Byggeri spiller en afgørende rolle for miljø, sundhed og produktivitet både i Danmark og globalt. På den baggrund samles den danske byggebranche og 10 innovatører 8-9. juni 2016 til Sustainable Build Accelerator Forum for at sætte tryk på bæredygtige innovationer i byggeriet.

Over to dage skal ti udvalgte innovatører vise deres konkrete løsninger frem foran et panel af bygherrer, investorer, arkitekter, producenter og andre kompetente fagfolk. De ti innovatører får hjælp til at skalere deres innovation og mulighed for at lande nye samarbejdsaftaler. De to innovationsdage løber af stablen d. 8. og den 9. juni på Carlsberg Akademi.

Det er kulminationen på årets arbejde i projektet SUSTAINABLE BUILD, hvor byggebranchen fik til opgave at identificere udfordringer og vækstpotentialer inden for bæredygtigt byggeri. Målsætningen er at skabe vækst inden for bæredygtigt byggeri gennem samarbejde og innovation.


”Markedet for bæredygtigt byggeri og bæredygtige byggematerialer er stort og voksende – og dermed interessant for danske virksomheder. Branchens aktører er imidlertid meget afhængige af hinanden, når der skal innoveres, eftersom nye materialer, produkter og løsninger skal kunne fungere sammen på tværs af branchen. De kan derfor have svært ved at skabe innovation alene. Målsætningen med SUSTAINABLE BUILD er derfor, at samle branchen og øge innovationen, videndelingen og væksten på tværs af byggebranchen,siger Mads Lebech, adm. direktør i Industriens Fond.



”Da vi i Region Midtjylland blev spurgt, om vi ville være partnere i SUSTAINABLE BUILD, var vi ikke i tvivl. Byggeriet er et at de meget vigtige områder i den grønne omstilling – i Europa står byggeriet for 40 procent af det samlede forbrug af energi og materialer! I mange tilfælde kan vi som bygherre spare penge, hvis vi tænker os godt om og arbejder helhedsorienteret for at løse flere udfordringer på en gang. Og så skader det jo ikke at vi forhåbentligt samtidig kan styrke væksten blandt en række virksomheder med miljørigtige og sunde produkter,“ siger Bent Hansen, Regionformand, Region Midtjylland.

Alt fra naturlig maling til vægbeklædning fremstillet af tøjaffald

De ti innovationer er udvalgt på baggrund af året innovation challenge:


De ti innovationer spænder vidt: fra spiseligt naturlig maling til vægbeklædning fremstillet af tøjaffald, formaldehydfri lim og vinduer, der automatisk åbner for ventilation med forvarmet luft og sikrer godt indeklima – uden at bruge strøm. De 10 innovationer har deltaget i årets Innovation Challenge sammen med et stærkt felt af 57 innovationer og er udvalgt af SUSTAINABLE BUILDs styregruppe og partnere.

DE 10 udvalgte innovatører er er:


”Det er en god idé at kigge på de små udviklingsvirksomheder i Danmark, når man skal finde de nye innovationer i byggeriet. Det er en stærk arbejdsdeling, at nytænkningen opspores hos græsrødderne og skaleringen kommer fra os, der har fået ansvaret af samfundet for at udvikle- og bygge bæredygtigt. Det er et ansvar vi ta’r på os, og samtidigt skal virkeliggøre i et marked, der er under store omvæltninger og presser os for blive mere produktive. Sustainable Build er derfor et udviklingspartnerskab der skærper og fremskynder branchens bæredygtige produktion og konkurrencekraft til fælles glæde”, siger Martin Manthorpe, strategidirektør, NCC.

Signe Kongebro

“Et af vores mål med at være med i projektet var at opnå konkrete og målbare resultater. Det er nødvendigt, hvis vi også skal se en effekt af det i branchen. Det føler jeg vi er godt på vej til at opnå med resultatet fra innovationsudfordringen, og nu gælder det om også at implementere dem i branchen og lade os inspirere af de innovative løsninger. For der er brug for innovation i branchen, særligt hvis vi skal tænke mere bæredygtigt, og det er der et stort behov for, at vi gør,” siger Signe Kongebro, partner og chef for bæredygtighed hos Henning Larsen Architects.

Alliancer på tværs af branchen

Partnere bag projektet inkluderer alt fra Henning Larsen Architects, NCC, Region Midt, PensionDanmark og Tarkett og branchen er således bredt repræsenteret. Partnerne har i samarbejde med et bredt udsnit af byggebranchen samlet tre Task Forces, som har arbejdet med konkrete indsatser og løsninger for øget bæredygtigt byggeri. De tre Task Forces har arbejdet med udbuds- og samarbejdsprocesser, materialeviden og sporbarhed, samt sundhed og indeklima. Resultaterne af deres arbejde bliver præsenteret på Accelerator Forum sammen med de 10 udvalgte innovatører.

”Med støtte fra Industriens Fond og projektets partnere har vi samlet byggebranchen og sat fokus på innovation og vækst inden for bæredygtigt byggeri. Det er inspirerende at opleve engagementet fra projektets partnere, såvel som de over 200 involverede deltagere i projektets workshops og arbejdsgrupper. Ser vi alene på vores innovationsudfordring fik vi 57 innovationer fra 11 forskellige lande. Det viser, at vi er nået bredt ud i branchen og har fået engageret en lang række forskellige aktører”, udtaler Mikkel Kragh, programchef for BUILD hos Dansk Arkitektur Center.

Sofus Midtgaard

“Der ligger en kæmpe uudnyttet potentiale for vækst i bæredygtigt byggeri – både herhjemme og i udlandet. Men det kræver at vi samler aktører på tværs af værdikæden omkring at fjerne barrierer og skabe rammerne for mere bæredygtigt byggeri. Her spiller vores 10 innovatører en afgørende rolle. Jeg glæder mig til at se hvad vi kan udrette de kommende dage og måneder.” siger Sofus Midtgaard, Managing Partner, Leaderlab

SUSTAINABLE BUILD er et samarbejde mellem Industriens Fond, Dansk Arkitektur Center og Grøn Omstillingsfond og er udviklet i samarbejde med Leaderlab. Projektet udspringer af Industriens Fonds temaindkaldelse om bæredygtig produktion. SUSTAINABLE BUILD realiseres i tæt samspil med byggebranchens leverandører, bygherrer, virksomheder og organisationer.

For yderligere information kontakt:

Kristoffer Soelberg
Sustainable Build/DAC,

Mobil: (+45) 40 16 33 32
Ole Østrup
Industriens Fond

Mobil: (+45) 23 80 06 60

Sustainable Build er et samarbejde mellem Industriens Fond, Dansk Arkitektur Center og Grøn Omstillingsfond og er udviklet i samarbejde med Leaderlab. Sustainable Build realiseres i partnerskab med NCC, Region Midt, PensionDanmark, Henning Larsen Arkitekter, Tarkett, Flügger, Kebony, Outrup Vinduer, Frøslev Træ, Rheinzink, Junckers, Eurotag, Wienerberger, Xella, The Architecture Project, Lendager Arkitekter, GenieBelt, KALK, Connovate, Green Building Council, AY Arcgency, bips, Vugge til Vugge, Advanced Nonwoven, DAKOFA, Dansk Byggeri og Eksportrådet.


Saving Lives Sustainably – Leaderlab helps UNDP

Leaderlab UN workshop

May 11, 2016 Leaderlab was invited by UNDP to facilitate a workshop on: How Health Procurers Can Change the Global Health Sector.

UNDP, UNFPA and the Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) Secretariat had joined forces to explore the latest sustainable procurement initiatives, share good-practice examples and advance the dialogue on how sustainable procurement practices can be harmonized and scaled-up across the global health sector.

Toke Sabroe, Senior Partner from Leaderlab facilitated the workshop.

Saving Lives Sustainably

Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), principles of the UN Supplier Code of Conduct and the Ten Principles of the Global Compact, all UN agencies will gradually shift their procurement process towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. Proceeding on the assumption that health sector procurement is burdening the environment on the following dimensions:

– Greenhouse gas emissions
– Resource depletion (water, energy and material consumption) and
– Chemical pollution


The goal of the workshops was to share experience, initiatives and inspire procurers to connect to the Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) and collaborate on the further development of sustainable procurement initiatives and tools.

For more information please contact Senior Partner Toke Sabroe M: +45 22131293 or or visit UN website:


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