The construction industry has been slower than most to adopt technological innovations, which has stagnated the sector’s labor productivity in the United States and elsewhere in the last 40 years. At the same time, the construction industry is the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, yet only a fraction of its waste gets recycled. According to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), these factors coupled with the industry’s size and weight make construction ripe for disruptive transformation that could have profound benefits for the world.
AkzoNobel and agro-industrial cooperative Royal Cosun have partnered to develop novel products from cellulose side streams resulting from sugar beet processing.
The partnership will combine Royal Cosun's specialist knowledge in separating and purifying agricultural process side streams with AkzoNobel's expertise in the chemical modification of cellulose.
As the pursuit of sustainability in business becomes more mainstream, it is intersecting with burgeoning and cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way we interact with our planet, our things, our community, and more.
Ethical Markets Media has revealed a stunning new total for its Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS), a metric that tracks private investments and commitments in creating more sustainable economies globally, showing the weight investors place on clean technologies driving the future of business and finance. The GTS’ goal is to see $10 trillion privately invested in the clean economy by 2020 to effectively scale innovations and reduce costs in sustainable technologies.
Last week, Sustainable Brands staff and corporate members took a trip to Detroit to celebrate the relocation of our flagship conference in 2017. Why are we moving from San Diego to Detroit? The answer is simple: We are inspired by the city’s revitalization; it is a place of burgeoning innovation where business can thrive and create a sustainable and flourishing future — what better place to convene our community? We spent three days in the city, witnessing many promising signs of its rebirth while also witnessing the challenges and opportunities for growth that remain.
Whether climate stabilization and economic growth can coexist or promote each other is the subject of ongoing debate. Recent analyses by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) add to the evidence that we could indeed have the best of both.
Are we truly stuffed? Our obsession with ownership means we have become somewhat attracted to clutter. It is estimated that the average US home contains 300,000 items, yet this still isn’t enough for 1 in 10 Americans who have to additionally rent offsite storage.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
In February, the U.K.-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) announced the launch of a U.S. network to run in parallel with the Foundation’s successful international Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme. Today, the CE100 USA network of business leaders, academics, innovators, policymakers and city authorities who aim to develop and act on circular economy opportunities held their launch workshop in San Francisco.
The latest data and in-depth information about UK plastics recycling and reprocessing has been released in an updated Plastics Market Situation Report from resource efficiency experts WRAP.
The report includes detailed analysis of recovered plastic flows, prices and the sustainability of end markets, including the risks and opportunities. It reviews trends past and present, and updates on data reported by the organization since the previous Plastic Market Situation Report was published in 2011.
The three key themes covered in the report:
John A. Mathews and Hao Tan, both professors based in Australia, believe that the country that consumes the most resources in the world and produces the most waste also has the most advanced solutions. In a recent article for Nature, they summarized China’s progress on closing industrial loops to reduce its industries’ consumption of virgin materials and waste generation – in other words, the development of a circular economy.
China’s levels of consumption and waste are completely unsustainable, and its resource use is inefficient. The authors provide several statistics for context:
The latest generation of descendants of oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller have denounced the industry upon which he built their fortune.
The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) announced this week it has sold its holdings in Exxon Mobil and plans to dump all of its other fossil-fuel investments “as quickly as possible.” Foundation director Lee Wasserman told Bloomberg that fossil-fuel investments comprise roughly 6 percent of the RFF’s $130 million in holdings.
To celebrate the first World Recycle Week April 18th to 24th, fashion retailer H&M is partnering with artist and singer M.I.A. on an ambitious global garment collection campaign. H&M aims to collect 1,000 tonnes of unwanted or worn out clothing items across its over 3,600 worldwide stores. To raise awareness, an exclusive M.I.A. music video will debut on April 11th at hm.com.
With the opportunity to curb over $80 billion in annual industry losses, a circular economy for plastics seems pretty appealing. Several projects in Europe are working to make this happen: Earlier this month, Sustainable Brands covered a collaborative effort between the cities of London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen to improve plastics capture, but companies, non-profits and research centres are also working together to improve traceability and create new materials to help facilitate the transition to a circular economy for plastics.
From “competitors” to collaborators – several European cities in a race to be capitals of the next economy are joining forces to develop practical projects to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen have announced they will work together to design a project that will improve the capture of plastics.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) has launched a U.S. chapter of its Circular Economy 100 (CE100) program, which brings together leading organizations with the objective of innovating, developing and implementing circular economy opportunities.
Food waste has been one of the trendiest topics in sustainability of late, as more and more people have become aware that as much as one third of the world’s food is being wasted. The UN set a target to halve global food waste as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the CEOs of Nestlé, Tesco, Unilever, and other leaders formed Champions 12.3 to pursue.
More and more, circular economic business models are proving ways to cut costs and increase efficiency. A new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) reinforces that turning waste into resources presents economic opportunities for American businesses.
Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation.
Last month, IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Steve Howard, raised eyebrows at a panel debate by suggesting that in some parts of the world we have reached the point of ‘peak stuff’, a comment that was interpreted by some as a warning that consumer appetite for home furnishings had reached a crucial turning point.
The prospects of linear models in Europe are slowly diminishing. European experts have concluded that the current cradle-to-grave way of life – exploiting resources, processing them, using them, and discarding them – has no future.
Following the adoption of the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package and the announcement of a €24B fund to support circular economy projects and businesses, several organizations have released research reports and tools to aid the transition.