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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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
When Patagonia launched its Responsible Economy campaign last fall, VP of Environmental Initiatives Rick Ridgeway eloquently summed up the ‘elephant in the room’ of capitalism: Growth is not sustainable. Ridgeway accepts that evolving from our current economic system will be especially challenging for larger companies with insatiable IPOs, but I’d like to share some ways it not only can be done but is being done.1. CSRCorporate social responsibility has been a fantastic gateway for newcomers to sustainable business values, allowing a brand to better understand its impacts and act as a baseline to refer back to over time.
Arizona State University (ASU) and the Dutch Municipality of Haarlemmermeer, along with private partners in the Haarlemmermeer region, have come together to create the world’s first regional plan based on the principles of a circular economy.The project, “Haarlemmermeer Beyond Sustainability,” will be coordinated by the Global Sustainability Solutions Center (GSSC) at Haarlemmermeer, a program within the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. The center will partner with the municipality, Park 20I20 and SADC (Schiphol Area Development Company) to create a regional visioning and planning strategy that will close resource loops in the most efficient, economical and sustainable manner possible.
No one can deny that the emergence of circular economy thinking is throwing up some fascinating dynamics right now. This urgent need for systems-level redesign requires an experimental cocktail of innovation and imagination, not to mention open platform dialogue and collaboration. Increasingly, brands are realising that is it no longer sufficient to be wedded to sustainable ideals; they need to be prepared to disrupt their business models from within.
Crowd Companies, a brand council primarily focusing on the collaborative economy movement, and Vision Critical, a consultancy that specializes in helping companies glean pertinent stakeholders insights, have partnered on a new report, Sharing Is the New Buying: How to Win in the Collaborative Economy, which for the first time maps the size and characteristics of the movement.
The sharing economy is a multibillion-dollar industry that's making big brands feel uneasy. Also known as the collaborative economy, borrowing, lending, reusing, and reselling is moving full speed ahead, and in 2014, large companies and organizations will struggle if they don’t do a few key things to adapt.Sharing as a business model is on the rise, with more than 200 companies already part of the movement. Look no further than million dollar businesses such as Airbnb, Lyft or LendingClub as examples. The numbers tells us that people want to rent out their apartment when they’re out of town, share a ride, and loan money to people in need.
A new report released Friday by the World Economic Forum (WEF) at its annual meeting in Davos, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), contends that over US$1 trillion a year could be generated for the global economy by 2025 and 100,000 new jobs created within the next five years if companies focused on building circular supply chains to increase the rate of recycling, reuse and remanufacture.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) announced today from the World Economic Forum in Davos that Unilever has joined Cisco, Kingfisher, Philips and Renault as the EMF’s latest Global Partner. The partnership will find the Foundation supporting Unilever as a pathfinder in unlocking the value of the circular economy within the FMCG industry. Unilever CEO Paul Polman has long viewed the circular economy model as a key opportunity for business development. In his foreword for the Foundation's second economic report, he stated:
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
According to a Berkeley study, one properly shared car reduces the need for nine owned cars. Participating in a car co-op may not be up your alley, but there are plenty of Millennials eschewing ownership and Boomers that are downsizing who buy into the notion of the “Collaborative Economy” — making co-owning cars a viable option for some.
A Shareable City enables residents to efficiently and safely share all kinds of assets — from spaces to cars, skills and utilities — to create stronger, healthier and more connected communities. From a policy perspective, a Shareable City looks at multiple aspects of urban planning and community well-being through a collaborative economy lens and proactively supports these goals.At Collaborative Lab, we believe that 2014 will be a big year for Shareable Cities. Why? Here are some of our favorite reasons. If you have others to add, please tweet them to @ShareableCity and let us know!