If you have probably never heard of Material ConneXion it is a consulting firm that helps companies find new materials that are renewable and can be recycled easier. The materials that Material ConneXion provides are all environmentally friendly are of high quality and are usually higher quality then the materials used in every day product that we use every day. Dr. Andrew Dent is one of many employees with a PhD, and there are many scientists and engineers who work for Material ConneXion as well. Dr. Dent’s “main job is to direct research into innovative products and process for the global materials consultancy,” which basically means that he is the guy who you talk to if your company is looking for a newer, more eco-friendly, more durable material for let’s say a shoe. (Material ConneXion has consulted with both adidas and Nike for shoe designs both can be seen at bottom of blog)
They have so many Scientists, engineers, and PhD’s on their team because no one is asking for these new materials within their own companies and as a result they come to Material ConneXion to search for one and let their team look for the solution. At times the solution has already been found and created, with 45-60 new products to their “Library” (February’s Library additions at bottom as well), in total they have over 6500 materials in their library and it’s increasing every month.
I went through the materials that were added to their library and one really stood out to me. It was the last one on the list which was a carbon fibre reinforcement which increases the amount of damage it can tolerate and improves energy absorption. When I hear of this material I instantly thought of hockey sticks. I know that hockey sticks have to have a certain break point for safety measures but with this material they can still have that break point while having a stronger more durable hockey stick.
If every company found a way to incorporate at least one material that is found in Material Connexion’s Library then just imagine what the positive impact would be in the environment. Or imagine if companies were to design their own environmentally friendly, sustainable products without the help of Material Connexion and just use them as a springboard to get their design teams moving in the right direction. The possibilities are endless when it comes to innovating products to make companies “greener,” and that in itself is a CSR initiative.
Dr. Andrew Dent - Vice President, Library & Materials Research - Material ConneXion