Rochester Institute of Technology has become a Pioneer University within the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF)’s Higher Education program, joining a select group of universities worldwide dedicated to accelerating a global transition to a regenerative, circular economy.
This #SB15sd Wednesday afternoon session on the circular economy convened a frank and open discussion about what is working, and what isn’t, when it comes to tweaking existing business ecosystems to accommodate circular models. Panelists compared notes on attempts to create new models, highlighted existing gaps, and discussed their visions for potential solutions.
“Use your city as a platform,” opened moderator and CSO for the City of Palo Alto Gil Friend.While local governments have gotten the bad reputation of being slow, bureaucratic animals, the panelists, representing four major cities across the United States — including Los Angeles and New York City- presented the business case for corporations to integrate their sustainability efforts with their cities for the success of shared goals.
Jerry Michalski, Founder of San Francisco-based REX (the Relationship Economy Expedition), helped to kick off Day 1 of Sustainable Brands 2015 San Diego with a workshop entitled, ‘Leveraging the Relationship and Sharing Economies: Innovation Potential and Strategies for Entry.’ The session provided context and comparison between the Circular, Sharing, and
What can cities do contribute to the sustainability revolution? A whole lot, according to a workshop today, opening morning of SB ’15, featuring Gil Friend, CSO of the City of Palo Alto, and Chris Guenther, Director of Research at think tank SustainAbility.The three-hour presentation and breakout discussion focused on leveraging municipal and corporate partnerships to advance sustainability goals around issues such as climate, water, utilities and mobility.
With approximately 9 billion people in the world today, society consumes and discards more and more each year, with no signs of slowing down. Culturally, we’ve begun to embrace and adopt recycling as a solution to our modern waste habits and an opportunity to keep designing, using and producing recyclable materials. But what if those recyclable materials are not in fact being recycled? Well, then we’re right back where we started, aren’t we?
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." ~Buckminster FullerSeems the hippies and the father of the geodesic dome were on to something sustainable in the 1960s when they modeled shared living spaces and bartered goods. Turns out those behaviors truly are easier on the planet and better for the soul.
Nearly 15 years ago, John Fullerton left a two-decade career at JP Morgan in pursuit of meaning. Fullerton was disillusioned with the direction of mainstream finance; he saw a once principled culture yielding to the ferocious competition in deregulated capital markets, where economic brawn increasingly trumped civility.In his search for a new path, Fullerton soon discovered the profundity of interrelated ecological, economic and social crises afflicting the world. His most startling realization, he writes, “was that the modern scheme of economics and finance — what Wall Street ‘geniuses’ (like me) practiced so well — formed the root cause of these systemic crises.”
Facebook announced new benefits for its contract workers this week; the company will require contractors to pay employees a $15 minimum wage and provide benefits, including 15 paid days off and $4,000 paid parental leave.“Taking these steps is the right thing to do for our business and our community,” COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in the post.Facebook’s decision is indicative of two important trends affecting the modern workplace: the proliferation of the 1099 economy and the growing pressure on companies to better compensate contractors.
According to Communicating the Circle: Are circular economy communication strategies starting to connect? — a white paper published by Go Circular — a majority of circular economy professionals (61 percent) believe corporate circular economy communication strategies would benefit from such a definition.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Granta Design have launched new indicators which, for the first time, enable companies to assess how well a product or company performs in the context of a circular economy. The new Circularity Indicators measure the extent to which the material flows of a product or company are restorative. In doing so, they will enable companies to measure their progress in making the transition from linear to circular models, and to identify areas of further opportunity.
To coincide with Earth Day, the New York City Council, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) and Global Kids held a joint press conference this morning on the steps of New York City Hall to push for statewide climate education for K-12 schools in New York. Resolution 0375-2014 calls for climate education to be included in the New York State school curriculum and it currently has 21 of the 26 needed sponsors to pass.
When Airbnb and Uber burst on the scene a few years ago the business world was abuzz with the potential for a new “sharing economy.”Advocates explained how these services would provide people with new ways of making money by utilizing their homes and vehicles to their full potential, while offering a service that could save energy, reduce waste and bring communities together by sharing their resources and time.
The North Face today announced the expansion of its Clothes The Loop recycling program to all of its retail and outlet stores in the U.S. in tandem with an in-store and social media campaign to encourage consumers to recycle unwanted apparel and footwear from any brand in any condition.Clothes The Loop extends the lifecycle of apparel and footwear brought in by consumers by giving them a new life through reusing items or reverting them to basic materials used for new product manufacturing. Initially piloted at 10 The North Face retail locations in February 2013, Clothes The Loop is now available in all 83 of The North Face retail and outlet stores nationwide.
Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation.
At the World Travel & Tourism Council 2015 Global Summit in Madrid today, Sustainable Travel International (STI) unveiled an industry-wide campaign, entitled “10 Million Better,” to monitor and scale up social and environmental benefits from travel and tourism.The 10-year initiative convenes leading tourism corporations, organizations and destinations around the globe with the goal of tracking and demonstrating improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people and their families by 2025. Improvements to be monitored include growth of income and opportunity, and better protection of destinations’ natural, cultural and heritage sites.
This week, the WorldWatch Institute, an independent research organization that focuses on energy, resource and environmental issues, released State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability. The report details a diverse range of threats, driven directly or indirectly by growing stress on the planet's resources, which have the potential to upend social systems, environmental balance and even entire economies.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways ...There's been lot of love shown recently to the notion of cities being 'resilient,' 'good' … or just plain fabulous. Take, for example, The Rockefeller Foundation's well-known 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which offers support to cities attempting to become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges being faced today.
People are confused about recycling because they complain that the entire process – from labeling, to which bin is which, to what your municipality accepts - makes it difficult to determine a material’s recyclability. This issue is especially common when consumers are dealing with some of the more complicated recyclable materials such as plastics, but the question persists: What exactly makes a material recyclable or not? Two very different lenses are often used to determine this: science and economics. Which of these factors is more relevant in revealing a material’s chance of being recyclable? Or is it a combination of both?