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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.

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Autodesk Launch First-Ever Product Design Challenge

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software, have teamed up to offer product designers a chance to win up to US$4,000 through the inaugural Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge. Participants are eligible to submit their design after completing the free 1-hour, online course, Designing Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products for the Circular Economy. Submissions are due March 15, 2015 and winners will be announced in April.

Solomon to Sustainability Laggards: Catch-Up Will Become Harder to Play

Joel Solomon, a pioneer in social venture capital, is chairman of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest organization in the sector.With $98m in assets under management, Renewal Funds invests in organic food, responsibly made products and environmental innovations. Its portfolio includes Alter Eco, Aquatic Informatics, Elevation Brands, Sensible Organics, Seventh Generation and Sweet Earth, to name a few.

Unilever Achieves Zero Waste to Landfill Across Global Factory Network, Creating €200M in Savings, Hundreds of Jobs

Consumer goods giant Unilever today announced it has achieved a key sustainability target of sending zero non-hazardous* waste to landfill from its global factory network. The company says the milestone not only represents a significant step towards its ambition to double its size while reducing its environmental impact, the effort has eliminated more than €200m in costs and created hundreds of jobs – once again proving the business case for sweeping sustainability initiatives.

Study Projects Creation of More Than 200,000 UK Jobs as Circular Economy Grows

The continued development of resource-efficient business activity, such as recycling, reuse and remanufacturing, could create demand for over 200,000 new jobs across Britain between now and 2030, according to a new study by Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and UK charity and environmental think tank Green Alliance.

Diversity, Slavery, Future-Fit Workplaces: SustainAbility's 10 Trends for 2015

From historic climate change marches and bold advocacy by companies on the price of carbon to global economic volatility and heated debates on inequality, 2014 was a year of accelerated awareness and action for sustainable development.Our Ten Trends for 2015 distills SustainAbility’s thinking over the past year and forecasts the issues that will shape the sustainable development agenda in 2015.

Forbo Closes Loop on Its 'Back to the Floor' Recycling Scheme

Dutch flooring supplier and manufacturer Forbo Flooring has now closed the loop on its Back to the Floor recycling scheme, according to Environmental Expert. Now in its third year, the scheme now recycles Forbo flooring off-cuts into new products.

The 2014 Corporate Sustainability Awards: 5 Companies That Bravely and Brilliantly Led the Pack

2014 was a year of stunning statistics and some moments of brilliance from a few brands. Unfortunately, most of the numbers were of the gloom and doom variety: warmest year, worst drought, worsening economic inequality — not to mention Ebola, war, and a looming sixth Great Extinction. Was the business community’s response proportionate to the scale of the problems that were revealed? What actions stand out? I have five, admittedly subjective, awards to give out.

eBay Drops ALEC After Pressure From Environmental Groups; Activists Set Sights on AT&T, UPS

On Thursday, after months of pressure from climate change activists, eBay confirmed its departure from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).“This is a major victory for those of us who have continued to pressure eBay executives to drop ALEC,” said Ryan Canney, Senior Campaigner with Forecast the Facts. “Denying climate change has no place in the modern economy, and this decision shows the credibility of eBay’s commitment to climate change.”

Peers Launches New Suite of Tools to Help Workers Overcome Challenges in Sharing Economy Landscape

Peers, an independent community whose mission is to make the rapidly growing sharing economy work for the people who power it, is today adding two new services to support its 250,000 members: Homeshare Liability Insurance — a comprehensive personal liability insurance for homeshare hosts/owners — and Keep Driving, a program for any sharing economy workers who rely on their vehicle, that provides a replacement vehicle if theirs is out of commission.

Are You Interested in Redesigning the Global Economy? 2015 Wild Card Competition Now Open

An amazing opportunity for one student from any university in the world to win a place in the exclusive Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship Programme — an international postgraduate fellowship on the circular economy for design, engineering and business students (worth £10,000) — is now open for entries.

Geoengineering: Are You Feeling Lucky?

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness,the good he seeks.”— Mary WollstonecraftI’ve got a bad feeling about this…There has been increasing discussion of late, in the context of the IPCC's latest report on the dangers of climate change, about geoengineering — deliberate intervention in the functioning of planetary systems intended to arrest trends we don’t like or encourage ones that we do.Geoengineering solutions (which might be termed mechanical geoengineering) fall into two categories:

Fashion, Scuba Giants the Latest to Close the Loop on Textiles

The concept of the circular economy — a more thoughtful approach to how we process materials and manufacture products — continues to gain traction, especially in the textile and fashion industry. In the last few weeks, some of the industry’s biggest players have upped their involvement in the market shift.

CDP Identifies 853 Water Risks Threatening Growth For World's Largest Companies

Two-thirds of the world's largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth, according to a new report by CDP. The news comes amid mounting shareholder concern around the business impacts from water scarcity, accessibility and poor water quality.

New Initiative Helping Detroit Businesses Reduce Waste, Costs Through By-Product Synergy

At a time when landfills are overflowing and public pressure is mounting, business can’t afford to waste anything – especially in a city such as Detroit, which is still fighting its way back from economic ruin.Thankfully, the Motor City has launched a promising new initiative that’s bringing together local industries and institutions, along with entrepreneurs and small business owners, to create closed-loop systems in which one organization’s waste becomes raw material for another.

Report: Collaborative Economy Gaining Momentum in Australia

A new report, The Emerging Collaborative Economy in Australia, produced by Vision Critical in partnership with Collaborative Lab and Nine! Rewards, reveals promising momentum and enthusiasm for collaborative economy platforms that use technology to enable people to share and exchange a variety of goods and services.

Lyf Shoes' Cradle-to-Cradle Creations Out to Revolutionize 'Dirty' Industry

Sustainable footwear is a hotbed of innovation right now for many apparel and lifestyle brands, who are looking to blend ever-smarter manufacturing efficiencies with material optimization techniques. But one enterprising startup is looking to take this to the next level — calling itself a “disruptive digital manufacturing revolution,” Lyf Shoes is looking to capture a slice of the market by handing the creative process back to the consumer.

Discounting the Discount Rate: How Can We Value a Sustainable Future?

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”— George Bernard ShawA bird in the hand…We know that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The adage works well, and it makes sense for a hunter-gatherer, but does it also holds true for a globalised species seeking a sustainable future? Under some circumstances might the bird in the hand actually be worth less than a larger number of birds, which are potentially available but currently out of reach?Does the value proposition change at four birds in the bush, at six, or at ten?

IKEA, Philips, H&M, Mars, Nestlé Launch Campaign to Lead Business Shift to 100% Renewables

IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips and Reed Elsevier were among businesses that joined a powerful group of NGOs and clean energy experts during Climate Week to launch of a multi-year initiative to encourage major companies to commit to using 100 percent renewable power.

The Circular Economy Requires Size and Scale — How Will We Get There?

In the build-up to the official launch of the world's largest aluminum recycling centre this week, John Gardner, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Novelis — which built the plant — discusses the barriers and the opportunities for taking the circular economy to scale.

Institutional Investors Managing $24T Call for Carbon Pricing, Ambitious Global Climate Deal

Nearly 350 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets have called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.