Framework refines its laptops and adds a cute way to reuse old parts

Framework is one of a few companies leading the charge against disposable electronics, in particular laptops. It just showed off some new models, but also a unique case that you can slot your old parts into to form a new (old) desktop or home media PC.

After reviewing last year’s Framework 13 and finding it a perfectly nice, conscience-soothing alternative to the usual suspects, I did begin to wonder what happens to the old parts when you decide to upgrade. New board? Great, slot it in. And the old one goes… where?

Their clever answer is this collaboration with Cooler Master: a $40 custom case that works with Framework parts, so as you upgrade your laptop, you also assemble a desktop.

Actually it’s small enough that you could tuck it away and use it as a media server or something. Honestly, it’s nice just to have a place to store the parts.

Image Credits: Framework

The new Framework 13 is… not actually a new laptop, exactly, but a new set of parts that you can order all together in the form of a laptop. In a way that’s just a laptop, yes, but you can also buy the pieces individually and slot them into your old Framework 13. For instance, there’s a new matte screen and an improved hinge — you can cop just those if you want. Or the improved speakers, battery or, of course, the mainboard supporting the latest Intel and AMD processors.

Sure, you’re still taking part in the rat race of PC upgrades, but you’re not producing nearly as much waste, and there’s no need to worry about compatibility or anything. Plus all the packaging is recyclable.

Pop the old bits into that sweet little case and you’ll be feeling good. We’ll try to get our hands on this and report back on the process soon.

Framework refines its laptops and adds a cute way to reuse old parts by Devin Coldewey originally published on TechCrunch

Investors want best-of-the-best ESG data. Here’s how to give it to them.

One of the main criticisms leveled against ESG investing is that the movement is all talk, no action. The main reason for this is that there simply aren’t enough entrepreneurs providing adequately ESG-aligned investing opportunities. In fact, a third of VCs face difficulties with identifying suitable ESG investment opportunities, even though 97% of them find it important in making investment decisions, driven by the lack of adequate ESG disclosures and excessive costs for gathering and analyzing ESG information.

At the same time, ESG-focused assets under management are projected to increase from $18.4 trillion to $33.9 trillion in the coming years. Whether these figures become reality is increasingly up to entrepreneurs who need to get serious about delivering high-quality ESG data, fast.

There simply aren’t enough entrepreneurs providing adequately ESG-aligned investing opportunities.

Choose the right disclosure framework

Investors have lower levels of confidence in companies that do not collect investment-grade data (shorthand for data that meets high standards of timeliness, accuracy, completeness and auditability), and the majority of investors see unstandardized and poor quality data as their biggest barrier.

Regardless of your market and industry, the best way to get started with delivering investors with high-quality data is to embrace preexisting reporting and disclosure frameworks as early on as possible. There are many frameworks to choose from, including Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), CDP (originally known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) and United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Although founders may need to carefully consider which framework to prioritize in the beginning, most of the frameworks are complementary in nature and mature firms tend to lean on several of them in their reporting.

For example, the GRI framework examines a company’s influence on the broader economy, environment and society to identify material concerns, while SASB is more tuned to serve the interests of investors who are interested in ESG data that could significantly affect the financial performance of firms in their portfolio. In short, GRI is an ‘inside-out’ framework that examines the company’s impact on the world, while SASB is an ‘outside-in’ framework that looks at the effects of the climate on the company and the risks it faces.

What ends up working best for any given company at any particular time will be down to a number of unique factors, and effective prioritization is key.

When eyeing an IPO, make aligning with TCFD your first priority

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) introduced a proposed set of rules concerning mandatory climate disclosures last year. Under the proposed rules, firms who file with the SEC need to disclose a number of data points, including whether climate-related events are likely to push the needle on any of the accounts in its financial statements and what governance structures are in place to mitigate against climate risks. The disclosures envisioned in SEC’s proposal are largely in line with those of the TCFD and Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and if you are gearing up for an IPO, you would do well by ensuring that your ESG data is aligned with these frameworks as a matter of priority.

Investors want best-of-the-best ESG data. Here’s how to give it to them. by Jenna Routenberg originally published on TechCrunch

Startup says the seaweed blobbing toward Florida has a silver lining

A brown macroalgae native to the Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea is increasingly a menace to coastal ecosystems and communities across the Gulf of Mexico, ever since mats of the normally beneficial seaweed (known as sargassum) exploded in numbers in 2011. This is the backdrop for Carbonwave, which recently raised $5 million to put the hulking algae blooms to good use.

Researchers say farm and sewage runoff is likely driving the now 5,000-mile-wide “Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt.” Climate change may also be playing a role.

There’s no need to run screaming from sargassum, despite the tone of some stories covering the Florida-bound blooms. Still, they pose a threat to coral reefs and tourism-dependent livelihoods alike. When the stuff piles up on beaches, it rots, emitting skunky hydrogen sulfide. 

The recent sargassum surges are forcing folks to find creative ways to get rid of it, and already, possible applications run the gamut. Researchers and entrepreneurs aim to turn it into syrup, bricks and even jet fuel. As for Carbonwave, the Boston- and Puerto Rico–based startup is using it in fertilizer, cosmetics and even faux leather.

Backed by ESG-themed investment firms and Viridios Capital, as well as ocean-focused VC Katapult, Carbonwave says the new cash will help it scale production of its seaweed-based emulsifier for cosmetics. The startup said in a statement that it “has already sold half a ton” of its emulsifier, which it created as an alternative to petroleum-based ingredients. The company also claimed that its sargassum fertilizer “reduces the need of” climate change-driving nitrogen fertilizer.

CEO Geoff Chapin said Carbonwave makes these products through a “proprietary extraction process,” which involves pressing the seaweed and removing the arsenic. The process yields a liquid fertilizer, while the leftover pulp forms the basis for the emulsifier and fake leather. The way Chapin tells it, the company uses “almost every part of the seaweed to make these products.”

Carbonwave is part of a wave of startups vying to turn algae into environmentally friendlier products. For starters, there’s H&M-backed Algiknit (now Keel Labs), which creates textiles; a slew of bioplastics companies, including Loliware and ULUU; and a firm called Umaro, which makes sea-bacon. Seaweed startups often focus on commercializing kelp in one way or another, but a few (like Carbonwave and Seaweed Generation) focus on sargassum.

“We need to put it to good use before it creates more ecological and climate harm,” Carbonwave told TechCrunch. 

The startup added that it topped off its $5 million Series A with additional funding. It’s secured at least $12 million to date.

Startup says the seaweed blobbing toward Florida has a silver lining by Harri Weber originally published on TechCrunch