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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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.

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.

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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.

Is Lyft Facing a Restraining Order Ahead of Its NYC Launch?

The New York attorney general reports the State Supreme Court has granted an injunction that kept Lyft from launching as planned on Friday. However, Lyft claims this a "deliberate misstatement," and it put the launch on hold to make changes to its service that will comply with local regulations, The Verge reports.

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CA Business Leaders Call For Oil Industry to Comply with CO2 Law

More than a thousand California business leaders are urging the State to deny requests to exempt oil companies from its cap and trade program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The California Business Alliance for a Green Economy (CBAGE) is a network of more than 1,280 mostly small and mainstream businesses that support California's efforts to promote clean energy, fossil fuel independence and energy efficiency."Hundreds of California businesses have been successfully complying with the state's clean energy law — AB 32 — and the oil industry shouldn't receive a special exemption," said Susan Frank, director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, which recently signed a letter to a handful of lawmakers seeking such an exemption.

BlaBlaCar Raises $100 Million, Plans Global Long-Distance Ride-Sharing Network

French long-distance ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar has raised a solid $100 million from VC funding — the largest VC funding ever for a French startup — to expand its service and network globally. The funding was led by Index Ventures, with contributions from existing investors Accel Partners, ISAI and Lead Edge Capital.“BlaBlaCar has a huge potential market,” said Martin Mignot from Index Ventures. “Everybody needs to travel long distance, that’s why ride-sharing makes sense. Comparatively, Uber or even cabs are all about convenience. BlaBlaCar is both convenience and necessity.”

Nudie Jeans Showing Customers That 'Repairing Is Caring' (or Why It's Cool to Not Wash Your Jeans)

Sustainability isn't all about sustainability, as I found out from Nudie Jeans — embedding it into the culture and telling a story is where it’s at.Walking past 29 D'Arblay St in London, a window is decorated with the words “Repairing is caring.” What might surprise you is that this isn’t on the outside of a seamstress’s workshop, but a jeans retailer.Yes, Swedish clothing brand Nudie Jeans is encouraging its customers to repair their denim in a bid to make them last, and subsequently, help them hold off buying new ones for a little bit longer.

Brazil Releases Forest Reference Emission Level Assessment, Kickstarting Participation in REDD+

Brazil has created the first Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL), a technical assessment that will measure the country’s reductions in global warming emissions from deforestation.Deforestation is responsible for an estimated 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and reducing deforestation emissions is a central part of mitigating climate change, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Life-Size Living™: How to Find Meaning Within Our Means Once More

The time when we were happily seduced into reaching far, far beyond our means with a promise of infinite everything and the glittering lure of a‘larger-than-life’ life, seems, to some of us at least, quite archaic now.But even in our socially enlightened, austerity-shredded, community-conscious, light-speed-connected present, we still struggle to get to grips with a smarter, lighter, less financially and materially burdensome style of life.We’re all still living ‘larger-than-life’ lives. We seem to struggle to find meaning in the things that exist comfortably within our means.

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Attitudes v. Behaviors, $75B Worth of Plastic Damage Hot Topics on #SB14sd Day One

Monday, day one of SB ’14 San Diego, was jam-packed with thought-provoking workshops featuring dozens of experts sharing their latest research and insights on a variety of topics — from multi-sector anti-deforestation efforts to intrapreneurship to context-based sustainability.The day was dominated by a two-part, day-long session featuring market insights from top researchers. In part one, researchers from Shelton Group, GlobeScan, BBMG, Cone Communications and more shared their latest findings on customer attitudes and behavior, many of which not surprisingly still examined the stubborn gap between the two.

Circles and Straight Lines: Making Business as Usual Better Than Usual

The challenge of creating a circular economy is, quite rightly, the focus for a lot of the current thinking at the cutting edge of sustainability. From large incumbents to small startups, remarkable changes are starting to take place.We are seeing innovative business models where yesterday’s waste becomes the revenue streams of today and tomorrow, and where products are redesigned for recycling, upcycling, repair or reuse. But while the pioneers are blazing a trail for how we can reconfigure the way we do business in the coming decades, the vast majority of the world’s economy currently follows a linear path.

#SB14sd Preview: Philips on Redesigning for a Circular Economy

At Sustainable Brands ’14 San Diego next week (June 2-5), the circular economy will be a major topic as we search for ways to decouple economic growth from resource consumption. In 2013, Philips committed to reimagining its products through the lens of a circular economy approach that focuses on customer access over ownership and business models for services and solutions, rather than transactions. The company also became a global partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a global nonprofit dedicated to advancing the concepts of the circular economy.

How Natural Capital Accounting Can Become Your Newest Communications Tool

Natural capital accounting is growing in popularity. Trucost has worked with more than 50 clients on how natural capital valuation can help them become more sustainable businesses.

Startup Building a Network of Inventors, Consumers and Paying Them to Change the World

In the weeks leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 4th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will get to know our 11 semi-finalists. Today, meet CREW.

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