Written by John Cumbers
Most of us want the government and brands to prioritize sustainability even while facing other issues.
When the coronavirus shutdown hit California, San Diego-based clean manufacturing firm Genomatica sent its desk workers home to work remotely, which gave more room to its lab workers to maintain physical distance from one another. As the weeks went on, Genomatica’s co-founder and CEO, Christophe Schilling, says that he and his fellow Genomaticans began to notice something.
“The air was cleaner,” he says. “It was quieter. I could see stars and satellites at night in ways that I couldn’t before.”
In a sense, Genomatica is in the business of sustainability. Using fermentation—the same biology process used to make beer, cheese, and bread—Genomatica makes bio-based alternatives to the petroleum that would normally go into your nylon clothes, your coffee capsules, and even your skin care products. So when the skies cleared and the price of gas fell, Schilling saw the kind of changes in the world his company is striving to make.
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