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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.

#BusinessCase: Dow, TNC Study Highlights Power of Green Infrastructure in Natural Disaster Protection

The Dow Chemical Company and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have released a new study focusing on how nature can help protect business assets from natural disasters. Based on research completed as part of the ongoing Dow-TNC collaboration, the study demonstrates that asset protection strategies can include green infrastructure — such as marshes, mangroves, coral and oyster reefs — along with more conventional infrastructure — such as dikes and levees — to protect business assets from hurricanes and flooding.

United Upcycles Banners Into Bags to Benefit Re:new Project, Peruvian Forest Project

More than 20 large banners that encouraged United Airlines customers to “Fly the Friendly Skies” at Chicago O’Hare found new life; the airline worked with the Columbia College Chicago Department of Fashion Studies and the Re:new Project – a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for refugee women – to transform the large fabric signs into 100 eco-friendly carry-on bags.

6 Health, Energy, Infrastructure Solutions Shortlisted for World Design Impact Prize

Earlier this week, the shortlist was announced for the World Design Impact Prize 2015-2016, a global competition hosted by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). Six projects that address health, energy, and infrastructure challenges were selected from the 82 nominations.

WRAP to Lead €2.1M Raw Materials Recovery Project for Electronics

UK waste-reduction charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is launching a first-of-its-kind project to explore commercial opportunities for harvesting critical raw materials (CRMs) and precious metals from everyday end-of-life electronic products. The EU LIFE-funded project, Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery (CRM Recovery), will link collection methods with recovery success.

Shell CEO Calls for Carbon Pricing; Environmentalists Say Devil Is in the Details

Cross-Posted from Behavior Change. Royal Dutch Shell PLC CEO Ben van Beurden promoted a carbon-pricing plan at the Oil & Money conference in London on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reports that the plan will encourage investment in renewables and favor cleaner-burning natural gas over more carbon-intensive coal.

Report: Circular Economy Could Create Over 13,000 Jobs in Northern Ireland

More than 13,000 jobs could be created if Northern Ireland moved to a circular economy, according to a new report launched today in Belfast.

Dell Advances Circular Economy Model with CE100, Industry-First Recycled Carbon Fiber

On Monday, Dell announced additional progress against its circular economy initiatives, including the expansion of its closed-loop recycled plastic supply chain, introduction of reclaimed carbon-fiber source materials and new industry collaborations to advance global circular practices.

10 More Cities Commit to Climate Action, Pressure National Governments Ahead of COP21

Last week, 10 cities presented ambitious climate action plans in accordance with the planning and reporting requirements of the Compact of Mayors.

Shell's $7B Foray Into Arctic Drilling Fails; Environmentalists Rejoice

Royal Dutch Shell announced Monday it has aborted its mission to drill for oil in the Arctic after failing to find enough of it, according to the Associated Press. The move, which darkens the outlook for long-term domestic oil drilling here in the U.S., validates environmental groups such as Greenpeace, which has relentlessly campaigned against the company for years in efforts to prevent what Executive Director Annie Leonard has called “a terrible mistake.”

How to Fix Capitalism: Part One

This is the second post in a short series on purpose. If you missed the first one, you should start here.I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers, but I think I’ve at least become better at understanding the problem. Capitalism has lost sight of its original purpose and is too narrowly focused on profit at the expense of society. There are very simple things we can do as citizens to help get things back on track, but we’ll need the help of policy for the heavy lifting.

CDP: Threefold Increase in Companies Disclosing Carbon Price from 2014

Big brands across all industries are now assigning a carbon price to offset the costs and risks of their GHG production: Companies reporting that they price their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) has nearly tripled this year, now 437 from 150 in 2014.

Why a Circular Economy Is Key to Sustainable Development (and Why Business Must Lead the Way)

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post, "What's Working: Sustainable Development Goals," in conjunction with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed set of goals will be the subject of discussion at the UN General Assembly meeting on Sept. 25-27, 2015 in New York; they cover 17 key areas of development — including poverty, hunger, health, education, and gender equality, among many others.

#BusinessCase: Furniture Take-Back Programs from IKEA, John Lewis Save Money, Emissions

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. Furniture waste is the focus of two reports released this month. UK think tank RSA and recycling and waste company SUEZ published Rearranging the Furniture, which takes a design-focused approach to bulky waste reduction, increased reuse of furniture, and development of a circular economy. And the Furniture Re-use Network’s (FRN) new report, Commercial Retailers: Their Impact on the UK Reuse Sector, discusses the impacts of FRN partnerships with major furniture and electrical equipment retailers.

UK ‘Borrowing Hub’ Challenges Consumption Economy

The “sharing economy” has become a buzzword of sorts in recent years. Everything from cars to homes and even people’s dogs can now be “shared” with strangers connected through digital technology. But what about everyday “stuff”? That old guitar collecting dust, the hammer buried in your drawer or even… your trusty unicycle?The sharing economy is particularly popular in the United Kingdom, where research has shown some 65 percent of adults already are part of it, benefiting from £4.6 billion ($7.1 billion) worth of savings or earnings.

As Groups Continue to Push Obama for Strong Climate Action, Deniers Pose 'Fossil Fuel Free Challenge'

In the less than 100 days remaining before the much-anticipated COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, more and more stakeholder groups are adding their voices to the throng urging world leaders to come to a decisive, actionable consensus on how to address the global climate crisis.

Climate Week NYC 2015 to COP21: Commit to a Low-Carbon Economy

There is a building sense of urgency among leading businesses, public figures, and concerned citizens as the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP21) approaches.In December, over 190 government representatives will gather in Paris to discuss a new agreement on climate change. The message to them is clear: We need bold action.

#BusinessCase: CalPERS, CalSTRS Report $5.1B Losses on Fossil Fuel Investments

A new report from Trillium Asset Management finds that California’s two major public pension funds, the largest in the nation, lost a combined $5.1 billion on fossil fuel-related investments last year. The California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS) posted a 28 percent decline on its oil and gas portfolio, while the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) lost 27 percent on a similar set of investments for the fiscal year ending June 30th. Over the same period, most other stock investments held by the two pension funds rose.

7 Key Players Needed to Take Us Over the Circular Economy Finish Line

Circular business models thrive on longevity, reuse and capacity sharing - they disrupt, uncover customer value and drive resource efficiency. Many would agree that society needs to adopt this circular thinking, but how do we really make it happen at large?The truth is, there are several players required to accelerate the journey to a more circular economy; it can't be achieved by certain echelons of society alone. Instead, it requires a holistic view of the diverse role business, public bodies and investors all have to play to accelerate the uptake of circular principles; a belief reflected in the categories of this year’s Circular Economy Awards, aka The Circulars.

NGO Asking Coke to Spend Its $3B Ad Budget on Saving the Rainforest Instead

Hey Coca-Cola, how about redirecting your advertising budget for a year to help save the planet?That is the ask of the group Buy the World a Hope, an “independent group of people who believe that there must be new ways to substantially help the world, to work with the system and benefit the planet.”Buy the World a Hope aims to revolutionize marketing. Its website, available in 15 languages, asks visitors to sign an open letter to the CEO of Coca-Cola, urging the company to quit its $3 billion advertising spending budget for one year and direct that money toward protecting rainforests.

Happy Earth Overshoot Day (or Congrats - We're Overdrawn Even Further Ahead of Schedule)!

In less than eight months, humanity has used up nature’s budget for the entire year, with carbon sequestration making up more than half of the demand on nature, according to data from Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think tank with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.