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The Next Economy

The myriad new models and processes aimed at fixing the flaws in capitalism and laying the groundwork for practical, alternative economic frameworks designed to benefit all stakeholders.

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Fashion, Scuba Giants the Latest to Close the Loop on Textiles

The concept of the circular economy — a more thoughtful approach to how we process materials and manufacture products — continues to gain traction, especially in the textile and fashion industry. In the last few weeks, some of the industry’s biggest players have upped their involvement in the market shift.

CDP Identifies 853 Water Risks Threatening Growth For World's Largest Companies

Two-thirds of the world's largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth, according to a new report by CDP. The news comes amid mounting shareholder concern around the business impacts from water scarcity, accessibility and poor water quality.

New Initiative Helping Detroit Businesses Reduce Waste, Costs Through By-Product Synergy

At a time when landfills are overflowing and public pressure is mounting, business can’t afford to waste anything – especially in a city such as Detroit, which is still fighting its way back from economic ruin.Thankfully, the Motor City has launched a promising new initiative that’s bringing together local industries and institutions, along with entrepreneurs and small business owners, to create closed-loop systems in which one organization’s waste becomes raw material for another.

Report: Collaborative Economy Gaining Momentum in Australia

A new report, The Emerging Collaborative Economy in Australia, produced by Vision Critical in partnership with Collaborative Lab and Nine! Rewards, reveals promising momentum and enthusiasm for collaborative economy platforms that use technology to enable people to share and exchange a variety of goods and services.

Lyf Shoes' Cradle-to-Cradle Creations Out to Revolutionize 'Dirty' Industry

Sustainable footwear is a hotbed of innovation right now for many apparel and lifestyle brands, who are looking to blend ever-smarter manufacturing efficiencies with material optimization techniques. But one enterprising startup is looking to take this to the next level — calling itself a “disruptive digital manufacturing revolution,” Lyf Shoes is looking to capture a slice of the market by handing the creative process back to the consumer.

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Discounting the Discount Rate: How Can We Value a Sustainable Future?

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”— George Bernard ShawA bird in the hand…We know that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The adage works well, and it makes sense for a hunter-gatherer, but does it also holds true for a globalised species seeking a sustainable future? Under some circumstances might the bird in the hand actually be worth less than a larger number of birds, which are potentially available but currently out of reach?Does the value proposition change at four birds in the bush, at six, or at ten?

IKEA, Philips, H&M, Mars, Nestlé Launch Campaign to Lead Business Shift to 100% Renewables

IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips and Reed Elsevier were among businesses that joined a powerful group of NGOs and clean energy experts during Climate Week to launch of a multi-year initiative to encourage major companies to commit to using 100 percent renewable power.

The Circular Economy Requires Size and Scale — How Will We Get There?

In the build-up to the official launch of the world's largest aluminum recycling centre this week, John Gardner, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Novelis — which built the plant — discusses the barriers and the opportunities for taking the circular economy to scale.

Institutional Investors Managing $24T Call for Carbon Pricing, Ambitious Global Climate Deal

Nearly 350 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets have called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.

The #CVSEffect in Action: 'Walk the Talk' Edition with Intel, Verizon, Ford and Google

Seven months ago, this series kicked off with CVS’ surprise announcement that it would no longer carry tobacco products in its retail stores. Fast forward, the company announced Sept. 3 that it had met its goal a month ahead of schedule and had a new name to match its bold, new vision of a tobacco-free America — CVS Health.

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Accounting for Carbon: New UK Regulations Connect Carbon to Finances

In 2013, legislation quietly passed within the UK that would require companies listed on the London Stock Exchange to disclose global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) within their publically available annual Directors’ Report. These new reporting rules made the UK the first country to institute mandatory carbon reporting as of October 2013.

Klein: Capitalism Is Unsustainable and Driving Climate Disaster

In her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (due in stores September 16), author and social activist Naomi Klein espouses that capitalism, rather than carbon, is the core issue and key driver in imminent climate disaster. Klein argues that current carbon trading programs, for example, offer perverse motivation, enabling manufacturers to produce excess greenhouse gases, which they are then compensated to reduce. Therefore, a fight against climate change is a fight against the inherent values of capitalism.

New Research Explores Whether Consumers Appreciate Disruptive Innovation in Sustainable Packaging

Novelis, a global leader in rolled aluminum products, is in the process of shifting its entire business model from a traditional linear model to a closed-loop or circular model. The company is embracing an entirely new way of thinking and operating in order to radically transform itself — and, in the process, reap the brand value associated with being a clear leader on that front in its industry.In 2013, Novelis introduced evercan™, the first independently certified, high-recycled-content (currently 90 percent, with a goal of 100 percent) aluminum beverage can sheet, while committing to making it available at no extra cost.

Why 'In with the New' Is Always Infinitely Easier Than 'Out with the Old'

“Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.”AesopThe old phrase tells us that new and old ideas find a natural balance, that the introduction of the new requires that it is also “out with the old.” Indeed, sustainability should be about saying “let’s do something new” rather than “stop doing that old thing.” However, most sustainability practitioners and campaigners spend much of their lives fighting to change existing behaviour. Much time is spent rationalizing unsustainability, rather than doing as Buckminster Fuller advised:

Al Gore Inviting Youth to Challenge World Leaders on Climate Change

The voices of the world’s younger generation — who potentially have the most to lose from climate change — have predominantly been left unheard in the whole debate about how (or if) to deal with it. Former Vice President Al Gore hopes to change that, however, with the launch of a new campaign offering young people the opportunity to have their say when the world’s leaders meet in New York next month for the UN Climate Summit.

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New Report Urges UK Government to Move Towards Circular Economy

The UK Environmental Audit Committee has released a new report – Growing a Circular Economy: Ending the Throwaway Society – which calls for lower taxes for businesses that repair or reuse goods; mandatory municipal waste separation systems; longer warranty periods for consumer goods; banning food waste from landfills; and increased funding for agencies that promote transitioning to a circular economy.The Committee was appointed by the British House of Commons to review government policies and programs in terms of their contribution to environmental protection and sustainable development.

Airbnb: North American Guests Alone Save Enough Energy to Power 19,000 Homes for a Year

A new study released by Airbnb quantifies the environmental benefits of home-sharing for travelers, and finds that the company’s business model promotes a more efficient use of existing resources and is a more environmentally responsible way to travel: using Airbnb results in significant reductions in energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and waste, and encourages more sustainable practices among both hosts and guests.North American and European highlights from the study include:

General Mills Joins Ranks of Companies Advocating for Climate Policy

BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) announced on Monday that General Mills has joined its coalition to advocate for innovative climate and clean energy policies.

Bridging the Gap: Using Sustainable Finance to Improve Cocoa Farmer Livelihoods in Côte d’Ivoire

Smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire produce 40 percent of the world cocoa supply and are the backbone of a global industry worth billions of dollars. Yet while they generate up to 15 percent of the Ivorian GDP, the vast majority still live in poverty due to declining productivity.Cocoa yields in Côte d’Ivoire are some of the lowest in the world, primarily due to aging trees, deteriorating soils and disease. In the absence of long-term financing opportunities, cocoa farmers have been changing to other crops with better income opportunity, such as rubber trees.

Sainsbury's Receives First Corporate 'Green' Loan to Help Fund Its Sustainability Commitments

Sainsbury’s today announced it has agreed to a £200 million corporate “green” loan to invest in ongoing carbon reduction and sustainability projects. While Green Bonds are now increasingly issued by institutions to support sustainability initiatives, the retailer says this is the first time that a commercial loan has been structured to do the same.

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