Sustainability – Our priority

Sustainability is a viable part of Umbilical Design’s business strategy and pollinates all of our activities. Innovation and sustainability are in Umbilical Design’s DNA. We are creators of innovation through technology transfer and our core business is to commercialize technology from space and bring it into industry. Space materials and technologies are in many ways sustainable from a social and environmental point of view, they are created for an environment where resources are scarce and mental health is put to test. Our ambition is to make the space sector a driver for sustainability and innovation. Being the Swedish Space Broker within ESA Technology Transfer Network, Umbilical Design works to become the established node for “Space and Sustainability” in Europe. Our focus areas within sustainability are based on the following three UN Sustainable Development Goals; Good health and well-beingIndustry, innovation and infrastructure; and Sustainable cities and communities. Read more about how these goals permeate in our earlier projects, on going projects and in our commitment within space and education.

The connection between space and sustainable development is strong. In space all closed and circular systems are a must due to the scarce resources. The increasing urbanisation has many similarities to the astronaut lifestyle where most of the time is spent in narrow spaces and where resources are limited. Astronauts consume the precise amount of water and energy needed per day. The cost of bringing 1 kg to space is 10 000 USD, thus one could say that is the value of a litre of water in space.

We define sustainability as products, services and processes that are produced in a sustainable manner from three perspectives: social, environmental and economical. Umbilical Design prioritizes collaboration partners with ambitious sustainability goals within their respective sectors or industries.

Umbilical Design’s sustainability goals are:
·       To become the number 1 sustainability driver in the space technology transfer sector.
·       To become change agents within sustainable development in the space sector and inspire others to raise their game.
·       To develop new solutions for a more sustainable earth, through space technologies and space materials. 

We will achieve these goals through:
·      Initiating projects where we through co-creation with other organisations create sustainable solutions for industry and society.
·      Communication and inspirational activities.

Activities contributing to sustainable development

Umbilical Design has over the years organized activities that aims to contribute to sustainable development. In 2014, Umbilical Design was the co-organizer of the ESA Sustainability Roundtable held in Stockholm. It was organized together with the Coordination Office on Sustainable Development of the European Space Agency. As part of our long-term strategy on sustainability and cooperation across borders, this was an important event. By managing to get the roundtable to Stockholm we enforced the image of Sweden as a country well understood with the space sector and the solutions that space sector offer other industries. The Sustainability Roundtable was held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science (IVA), with participants and guests from the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, the Ministry of the Environment, along with the Sustainability Managers of ESA, NASA and decision makers from Swedish industry and academia.

Umbilical Design is engaged in the International Workshop on Environment and Alternative Energy. Over the years Umbilical Design has both contributed with speakers and Cecilia Hertz, founder and Managing Director of Umbilical Design, has held speeches at the event. It is an annual series of dynamic international workshop organized by NASA and ESA. The series focuses on the synergy between NASA and ESA ground-based missions and various industry sectors involved in resiliency of critical infrastructure.