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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.

6 New Ways Tech Is Helping to Drive Sustainability

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. Are these technologies just making it easier for us to live, or are they fundamentally shifting the way our lives work — ushering us into a new era of innovation and sustainability? Let’s take a look at six emerging technology trends that are reshaping the world we live in for the better.

Green Transition Scoreboard® Global Total Reaches $7.13T, Prioritizes 'Ending Externalities'

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.

5 Most Promising Signs of Detroit's Rebirth

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.

If 21 Countries Can Reduce Emissions While Growing GDP, It Should Be No Sweat for Companies

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.

Can This App Help Consumers, Retailers Redefine Our Relationship with Stuff?

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.

Walmart, SunPower, Tarkett Join Circular Economy 100 USA Network

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.

New Analysis Outlines Progress, Challenges, Next Steps for UK Recovered Plastics Market

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:

How the World’s Most Wasteful Country Is Leading the Shift to a Circular Economy

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:

Rockefeller Family, Who Built Fortune on Fossil Fuels, Dumping Oil Stocks — Starting with Exxon

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.

H&M, M.I.A. Aiming to Rally 1,000 Tonnes of Garment Donations for World Recycle Week

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

Trending: New Materials, Traceability Could Help Mould Circular Economy for Plastics

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.

London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen to Collaborate on Circular Model 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.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy 100 Program Comes Stateside, Lands in Arizona

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.

Trending: Zero-Waste Ale, Restaurant Save Food From Landfills in the UK

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.

Trending: Scotland Invests £70M Into Circular Economy; Report Outlines Potential for US

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.

'Peak Stuff': Why IKEA Is Shifting Towards New Business Models

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.

Trending: How Eastern Europe Is Working to Go Circular

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.

EU Remanufacturing Could Represent Up to €90B Annually, 600,000 Jobs by 2030

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.

Dell, Grenier Seeking Short Films Showcasing Benefits of Circular Economy

Dell and actor Adrian Grenier have announced the “Legacy of Good” short documentary film contest, aimed at creating compelling stories to raise awareness around the circular economy movement and the role of technology in creating a better future. As the Dell Social Good Advocate, Grenier will work directly with the winning filmmaker to develop and promote the film.

Report: The Future of Plastics Can (and Should) Be Circular

Plastic packaging is not only an environmental problem, it is economically wasteful, too. Most plastic packaging is only used once, leading to 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging – worth $80-120 billion annually – being tossed and lost to the economy.