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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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.

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.”

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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.

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.

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#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.

What's the Point of Capitalism?

Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.— Adam FergusonCapitalism has no stated end-goal, no clear point or purpose, yet it dominates our planet; increasingly defining the prevailing norms of public policy, enterprise, social life and even ethics. This lack of purpose should be of great concern.

Havas: 'Smarter' Consumers Will Significantly Alter Economic Models and the Role of Brands

As the sharing economy continues to gain momentum worldwide, new research out this week from Havas Worldwide, that depicts a global population in search of a better way of living and consuming, shouldn’t come as much surprise.70 percent of the 10,574 people surveyed in 29 countries* believe that overconsumption is putting our planet and society at risk; half say they could happily live without most of the items they own and two-thirds make it a point to rid themselves of unneeded possessions at least once a year.

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California Joins H2 USA Initiative to Advance Hydrogen Transportation, Infrastructure

In California’s latest effort to advance hydrogen transportation, the Energy Commission and the Air Resources Board announced Tuesday that the state has joined H2 USA, a public-private partnership led by the U.S. Department of Energy.

ASU, Nature Conservancy Study Highlights Economic Benefits of Forest Thinning

A recent study by Arizona State University's Sustainability Solutions Services (S3) and The Nature Conservancy reveals that forest thinning could benefit the state by making its forests more resistant to environmental extremes and also strengthening rural economies. Just in the past decade (2002-2011), Arizona lost a quarter of its forests to wildfires, drought and bark beetle infestation.

Dutch aWEARness Creating the First Circular Supply Chain for Textiles

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it,” enthuses Rien Otto, the charismatic founder of Dutch aWEARness, speaking from an international showcase of corporate clothing in Birmingham, UK. For him, Einstein’s famous quote perfectly describes his journey to helping Dutch aWEARness become the first textile company to establish a circular supply chain.

Sustainability and Multicapitalism — Together at Last!

Late last month, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) announced their signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which the two groups pledged to work together to promote and support the global alignment of corporate reporting and ratings frameworks.

The Newest Rule of Green Marketing And Why I've Decided to Help Consumers 'Live Lean'

In 1988, my antenna tweaked toward an emerging trend soon to be called ‘green consumerism.’ A hole in the ozone layer was discovered over Antarctica, nightly newscasts tracked the daily wanderings of the Mobro garbage barge, and air pollution clogged views of the Grand Canyon. Among the culprits: consumer products. Alternatives needed to be found for CFCs in aerosols, polystyrene clamshells and disposable diapers. To move existing alternatives off the dusty shelves of health food stores into mainstream supermarkets, marketers needed help shifting messages from ‘saving the planet’ and ‘sparing the daisies’ to the more immediate benefits of ‘saving money’ and ‘protecting health.’So I Joined the Environmental Movement

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