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.

New Study Cites Sustainability as Top Priority for Millennial Workforce

At this stage in the game, a company’s performance in regards to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues strongly influences its value in the eyes of investors. But such matters are increasingly becoming important considerations for the millennial workforce too.

The Love Economy: Fixing the Economic Jenga That Greed Built

I recently had the honor of speaking on the TEDx stage. In my talk, I asked: “Can we build an economy that isn’t built on greed? Is it possible to build an economy that is additive, not depletive?” I believe we can, and I believe the Sustainable Brands community has a leading role in re-constructing our current economy and building one with a much stronger, more durable and more evenly distributed foundation. This blog summarizes the message I gave in my TEDx talk.

Report Explores Myriad Circular Economy Benefits for Built Environment

Discussion surrounding circular business models (CBMs) is often focused on manufacturing, packaging and consumer goods, where significant change is already underway, yet closed-loop systems have the potential revolutionize the built environment.

England’s New Open Water Market Slated to Add £200M to UK Economy

England’s Open Water market officially launched on Saturday, April 1st, opening up new economic opportunities worth around £200 million for a wide range of players.

Closing the Water Infrastructure Gap Could Save the U.S. Economy $94 Billion

A new study by the International Renewable Energy Agency has made a convincing case for transitioning to a low-carbon economy, demonstrating how embracing renewable energy could result in economic gains of $19 trillion and the creation of six million new jobs. Now, a report by the U.S. Water Alliance has revealed how closing the water infrastructure funding gap could give the US economy a major boost.

Achieving Paris Climate Goals Could Give Global Economy a $19T Boost

$19 trillion — According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), that’s amount the global economy stands to gain if countries rise to the challenge of meeting the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Rolling Back Fuel Efficiency Standards Is Bad for Everyone — Including Automakers

The CEO of a large industrial company recently described the Trump administration as “the most pro-business since the Founding Fathers.” It’s a popular perception in the business community, with or without the hyperbole, and the stock market is reacting accordingly.

A Circular Economy: You’re Not in It Alone, So Why Go It Alone?

This is the second in a three-part series from The Recycling Partnership on collaborating to drive effective engagement – and action – around recycling. Read part one. Intent vs. action. It’s the difference between buying those new running shoes vs. completing a race. Same with setting 2020 sustainability goals vs. delivering a new version of the future. And when it comes to a circular economy, here’s a great example: designing for recyclability vs. ensuring the successful recovery of valuable materials.

London, Wales Launch Ambitious New Circular Economy Schemes

More and more, circular economic models are providing ways for governments and businesses to increase efficiency, reduce waste and create new jobs. Two new initiatives in the UK reinforce that adopting circular principles presents significant economic opportunities for businesses. The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has approved a new £50 million business plan for the period of 2017–2020 to help reinvigorate London’s recycling efforts and accelerate the development of the circular economy in the capital.

ING: Circular Solutions to Water Stress Could Save 11% of Global Water Demand

Global fresh water demand is expected to grow by 2 percent yearly over the next several decades. Based on the assumption that water supply will remain relatively stable, demand growth is expected to lead to serious water stress. This is largely the result of a linear model of water usage, in which the resource becomes more polluted and increasingly wasted as it travels through the system, shortening the water cycle.

Would Bill Gates’ Robot Tax Help Create Human Jobs?

As a humanist, Bill Gates has been on something of a roll. Recently, he launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund for startups working on promising sustainable energy solutions. This isn’t actually that much money compared to what’s needed for a game-changing solution, but Breakthrough Energy will be only part of the funding picture, and $1 billion is undoubtedly a real boost.

Rollback of Dodd-Frank Won’t Stop the Shift Towards Greater Transparency

President Donald Trump issued two executive orders last week geared at scaling back or replacing financial regulations that he deems a burden to commerce and growth. The move signals a big win for Wall Street —whose elite are up for top spots in Trump’s cabinet — and comes at the expense of the working class. It exposes investors and the average American to a less-regulated landscape reminiscent of the pre-financial crisis era — and the risks that go along with it.

The Vertical Farm: A Chat with Dickson D. Despommier, Ph.D.

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will live in urban centers and that number will have increased by about 3 billion people in the interim – a big challenge and opportunity to feed. One emergent model is indoor farming, aka, vertical farming. Columbia professor Dickson D. Despommier, Ph.D., (now emeritus) at Columbia University Medical School authored “The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century,” published in 2010, and is credited with mainstreaming the term vertical farming.

How Innovation Could Bring Us to Peak Oil by 2020

Energy companies are grossly underestimating low-carbon advances with a business-as-usual approach says a new report co-authored by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative. The report also points to the falling costs of electric vehicle and solar technology as having the potential to halt the growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020, challenging the wisdom of backing fossil fuel expansion.

Deutsche Bank, World Bank Pull the Plug on Coal Financing

As the Trump administration threatens to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement and double up on efforts to revive a slowing fossil fuels industry, the rest of the world is pulling out of coal projects and redirecting investment towards renewables in an effort to make good on climate pledges.

NGO to European Commission: Your Roadmap for Plastics Leads Nowhere

Less than a week after its release, the European Commission’s new Roadmap for the EU Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy is already coming under fire. According to the Break Free From Plastic Movement, the roadmap fails to get to the root of the plastic problem, and threatens to divert Europe down a less direct — and significantly slower — pathway towards attaining its sustainability goals.

Europe Could Open Up €320 Billion by Scaling the Circular Economy

The business case for sustainability, particularly the circular economy, is a strong one, and more and more researching is backing it up. A recent report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission pointed to sustainable business models as the key to unlocking trillions of dollars in economic opportunities, and WRAP revealed that brands across the UK saved over £100 million simply by reducing food waste.

Sustainable Business Can Unlock $12T Globally, Create Millions of Jobs

A new report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (the Commission) points to sustainable business models as the key to unlocking US$12 trillion in economic opportunities and creating up to 380 million jobs a year by 2030.

Circular Economy Gains Steam in US Thanks to DOE's REMADE Project, Emerging Innovators

Two recent bits of news from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) point to continued groundwork being laid toward a circular economy in the U.S. and beyond.

Report: Small Businesses Key to UK's Low-Carbon Transition

New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warns that the UK risks failing to meet its climate obligations without the help of small businesses. FSB’s latest report, The Price of Power: Energising small business in the next UK Carbon Plan, shows how with improved incentives and fewer barriers, small firms can be key to closing the carbon gap. It calls on the Government to produce urgently a new carbon plan that includes a specific strategy on crucial areas such as microgeneration and energy efficiency across the UK’s small business community.

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