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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

From the Archbishop of Canterbury to Captain Kirk and Donald Trump

Can capitalism be ethical? This was the question asked by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, in a recent lecture in Cambridge (part of Murray Edwards College’s Capitalism on the Edge series). He argued that while capitalism may unarguably deliver ethically desirable outcomes – such as innovations in health and less onerous work – it cannot be ethical per se if, at its core, it is about the ownership of property and its exchange for profit. Such a system, he argued, can’t generate systematic, sustainable answers to questions of social good and therefore be ethical.

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City of Las Vegas Now Powered by 100% Renewable Energy

The City of Las Vegas recently announced it has achieved its goal to draw 100 percent of power for its city facilities from renewable energy sources. As of December 9, the city is powering more than 140 facilities — including all city government buildings, parks, recreation centers, streetlights and traffic signals — through a combination of direct generation and renewable energy credits.

30 New EU Life+ Pilot Projects Make Convincing Case for Circular Business Models

A recent report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a number of new initiatives sweeping Europe have highlighted the convincing business case for companies to adopt circular principles into their business models. The latest development on the path to a circular economy? A new project across the UK and the Netherlands called REBus.

2017 Circulars Nominate 36 Innovators Leading the Way to a Circular Future

There’s growing evidence around the efficacy of a circular economy and the key role it will play in helping companies and nations carry out the commitments outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, maintain competitive economies, and reduce waste and consumption of natural resources. The journey to a circular economy will be a long one, and it will require cooperation between businesses, local governments, investors and individuals around the world.

Circular Economy Framework Could Give India a Competitive Advantage

A new report has found that adopting circular economic principles would put India on a path to positive regenerative and value-creating development with annual benefits of US $624 billion in 2050 compared with the current development — equivalent to 30% of India’s current GDP.

New Program to Help London-Based SMEs Capitalize on Circular Economy

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) - a partnership between the Mayor of London and London’s Boroughs dedicated to improving waste and resource management within the capital, with the aim of turning London into a circular city - has launched a new program called Advanced London to support SMEs in adopting and scaling up circular business models.

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