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In 1972 'Limits to Growth'
commissioned by the Club of Rome
concluded 'If the present growth trends in world population, industrialisation, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.'
Four decades after it was published, the Guardian Newspaper reports that Limits to Growths forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Dr Graham Turner of Melbourne University suggests that the world is tracking pretty closely to the Limits to Growth 'business-as-usual' scenario.
The University of Melbourne research however does not indicate that collapse of the world economy, environment and population is a certainty. Nor do they claim the future will unfold exactly as the MIT researchers predicted back in 1972. Wars could break out; so could genuine global environmental leadership. Either could dramatically affect the trajectory.
As we kick off a new year and a change of government in Vic and Qld, I thought it was opportune to look at what genuine global environmental leadership could look like.
For me it's summed up by the principles and innovations including Biomimicry and the Circular Economy that are incorporated in the Blue Economy, which some say is the greatest ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and WEALTH CREATION opportunity of our time, where nature and business go hand in hand.
The Blue Economy Report as presented to the Club of Rome by Prof Gunter Pauli is now printed in 38 languages and provides the inspiration, methodologies and technologies for sustainable development around the world. It's shaping a new ethical, more sustainable way to do business and its creating jobs (millions of them), solving problems, teaching business and industry to be more entrepreneurial and collaborative working with what we have, led by physics and inspired by nature so we create zero waste.
Through a systemic approach, standing on the shoulders of the Green Economy the Blue Economy delivers win:win solutions to a changing economic landscape in which resource depletion and social costs are untenable and unsustainable. Its 100 game changing innovations are set to generate 100 million new jobs in the next 10 years. These innovations draw on the latest bodies of knowledge, research, technologies and business models of pioneering entrepreneurs, scientists and economists worldwide.
As one of only 25 accredited Blue Economy Experts in the world, it is my great pleasure to present a series of one day workshops across Australia this February, to help you understand how you can do better business through the philosophies, principles, methodologies and technologies of the Blue Economy. It will open doors to a WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES creating value in ways you could not have imagined possible - to support and inspire you, your business, your industry and the communities in which you operate.
Network with your peers and join the growing list of organisations such as NewsLimited, Coca-Cola, Hanson, Ricoh, Brisbane City Council, Hume City Council, CitySmart, EnviroCom Australia, Global Green Tag, Victoria University, ZOOiD, In2uitive Sustainability, Balance 3, Ekkremon, Northern Sydney Institute and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage who have already undertaken this foundation workshop.
Einstein reminds us: 'We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.' We need a new set of lenses to view our challenges so we can devise holistic systemic solutions that work with not against nature to build capital in all its forms. The Blue Economy provides that lens.
With current high rates of unemployment and in excess of $40 trillion to be spent on cities across the globe on technologies such as energy generation, grids, water, waste and transport over the next 25 years plus $1 trillion of waste per annum begging to be utilised, there's never been a more important time to discover the Blue Economy.
I look forward to you joining me as we transition from Green to Blue, from sacrifice and lack to abundance and prosperity - working with not against nature, generating jobs and creating more value from what you already have - that our Blue Economy education and training will expose.
If your region is not currently represented and you'd like to host a Blue Economy Workshop, just call or email us, as we'd be happy to add new dates, especially in regional areas.
In the interim, read on to learn more about the Blue Economy and the many opportunities it can bring in this Special Blue Economy Summer Edition of MOSS NEWS, VIEWS and EVENTS.
All the best very for 2015 (the year of the sheep!)
MOSS Founder and CEO & Certified Blue Economy Expert
The Blue Economy in action across industries and sectors around the world
|Biomimicry (a key principle of the Blue Economy) builds more resilient cities. Biomimicry is a methodology used in design and engineering that draws inspiration from nature. In this GreenBiz interview - Janine Benyus suggests 'If you were to actually make a city that functioned like the native ecosystem next door, it would produce ecosystem services. Ecosystem services may include the purification of water and air, sequestering of carbon, and cooling of local temperatures, and those services will also make a city more resilient to climate change.' More...|
|'Everything is food' - food for life, food for energy, food for water, and especially food for thought. Bill McDonough in a brilliant GreenBiz interview says it's critical to look to the ground to find promise for the future. Using the Cradle to Cradle protocol, McDonough is looking at whole new systems of packaging for all food and dry goods where the packaging is safe for soil and allows it to either heal soil or give soil lightness and nutrition. More...|
|In Mexico, consumer product giant P&G also now turns rejected nappies into roof tiles while scraps from its American Pampers nappies are reused as upholstery filling. Fifty P&G plants now produce zero manufacturing waste, and it claims that repurposing the waste has created an additional value of $1bn for the company. Elsewhere, a growing number of parents are turning to GNappies. The British company makes nappies in two parts: covers that can be reused, and inserts that can be composted to ensure all the nutrient is well usitized!|
|Worms as fertilizer. Repurposing waste can be as simple as it is ingenious. In Guatelamala, Byoearth uses red worms to transform food and other biodegradable waste into organic fertiliser to produce a diverse range of products. Doing so, reduces waste and results in higher-quality soil. Various worm species and flies are also voracious eaters of human waste which could add additional bi-products and value from used nappies. Opportunities about with what one can do with human waste.|
|Nutrient recycling provides wound healing and is set to feed the world! A new sustainable commercial scale fly farm initiative is setting the international agricultural industry abuzz with a new facility planned for South Africa. It delivers nutrient recycling where nutrients remaining in food and animal waste is fed on by flies and recycled into their offspring to provide a high protein food for fish and chicken farmers. More... Those wriggly maggots can also produce high value wound healing products.|
|There's value in the most unexpected of waste products - even cigarettes. For more than 10 years, TerraCycle has gathered and transformed the remains of trillions of cigarettes each year. All parts of the extinguished cigarettes - the filters, the outer plastic packaging, the inner foil packaging, the rolling paper, even the ashes are collected then recycled into plastic lumber, pallets, bins, and ashtrays. A house, for example, could be framed from this type of recycled material. More...|
|Innovative paper reduces food waste. Rarely does one blank piece of paper make a big difference. But FreshPaper an organic and biodegradable sheet added to fruit and vegetables, keeps the produce fresh for longer, thereby eliminating countless tonnes of wasted food. As world demand for food keeps rising, eliminating food waste will become even more important.|
|Creating high value products from waste. San Diego based Ecor takes cellulose fibres found in wood, cardboard, forest and agricultural waste, and turns it into new HIGH VALUE products including construction material. The process is surprisingly simple: the waste is mixed with water, heated, pressurised and made into sturdy panels and walls, tables, bowls, even glasses frames. Best of all, they contain no toxic additives and can be recycled at the end of their life-span. |
|PET upcycling produces quality yarn. If you really need to buy soft drinks or even bottled water, make sure to recycle the bottles as they can be used for yarn. Bionic Yarn turns used PET bottles into fibres that can be used in clothes. The bottles are cut into chips, which are in turn shred into fibres. The fibres are mixed with polyester and spun into yarn. The end product contains 40% recycled plastic bottles, including those found in large colonies of plastic bottles floating on the world's oceans.|
|Agri-waste upcycled into plastic bottles and medical devices. Bologna-based Bio-on has developed a pioneering process that turns agricultural waste into biodegradable plastics. Using a fermentation process involving sugar beet, Bio-on manufactures plastics that can be used for anything from food packaging to electronics. The bioplastic can also be used to regenerate human tissue to create support structures (scaffolds) for cultured bone cells; structures through which it is possible to regenerate a human bone.|
|Recycling polyester and cotton.
Japanese firm Teijin have discovered a way of recreating polyester from itself. It has already saved tonnes of clothes from landfill, and earlier this year, Swedish firm Re:newcell unveiled a similar process for cotton. For several years now, retailer Patagonia has sold clothes made from Teijin-recycled fabric.|
|Coffee waste generates jobs, income and food security. Where ever in the world people farm or drink coffee, its waste can be converted to protein. The Chinese scientist Shuting Chang demonstrated that coffee serves as an ideal substrate for farming tropical mushrooms like shiitake or ganoderma. But coffee waste is not only an ideal substrate: it generates jobs, income and food security. More...|
|Aviation fuel from community waste. British Airways (BA) is partnering with a United States bio-energy company, Solena Fuels, to create the world's first sustainable aviation fuel production facility using refuse derived fuel (RDF), produced from municipal solid waste (MSW). More...|
|Closed-Loop, Organic Shrimp Farm Could transform industry. Net Zero Aqualife of San Diego aims to begin production of high-quality organic shrimp at low cost. The farm is expected to produce 100 percent organic, non-GMO, self-sustained shrimp, without emitting any waste or pollution, or consuming any water or energy, through a closed-loop system. More...|
|The race for an effective 'green battery' is underway, but has the time has come to simply eliminate the battery, and embrace out-of-the-box solutions? The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has already developed a cell phone powered by the differential between ambient and body temperature, and the pressure generated by our voice. More...|
|Cathodes from wood! Lithium batteries are the best performing and most used energy storage system used in e-mobility, laptops and other electronic devices. However, the Earth's supply in lithium is by far not enough to satisfy our demand if we would like to replace any combustion motor by batteries. We urgently need a renewable alternative. This alternative could well come from the paper industry. More...|
|The magic of hot chilli. The rise of ethanol as a renewable fuel is well established. However, for each liter of ethanol, ten litres of waste water are produced. Innovations from the City of Cali (Colombia) convert the nutrient rich water blended with extracts from hot chilli peppers into a fertilizer that at the same time controls insects and fungi. More...|
In other sustainability related news...
|Forget Tokens: Commuters can now pay subway fares by recycling. Machines at 34 subway stations in Beijing accept plastic bottles instead of cash. The machines allow commuters to insert a plastic soda or water bottle in exchange for a transit pass or mobile phone credit. Thanks to the program's success, there are now plans to expand the program to operate in 100 stations. Sydney have also now started to reward commuters for Recycling. More...|
|Google Play lists more than 400 sustainability-related apps. The most popular is BlaBlaCar, which connects drivers with empty seats with people looking for a ride, allowing users to search the biggest European car-sharing community. Common tools in this genre include ethical shopping guides, carbon footprint calculators and educational games. Businesses of the future will be judged on whether they can seed and grow farms of apps that provide solutions to the world's most serious challenges. Web 2.0 is not just about everybody being continuously online. Rather, it is a new business mindset that uses collective intelligence and co-creation to find solutions to our global challenges, and uses technology to achieve speed and scale in spreading innovation to the parts of the world with the most urgent unmet needs.|
|2015 The Circular Economy Awards Winners and Runner Ups recognized at Davos. A special congratulations to the NSW Dept of Environment and Heritage Sustainability Advantage program who came runner up in the City and Regions category. For full details and case studies on the finalists Read on... |
|Resilience resolutions for cities. 100 Resilient Cities challenge cities everywhere to make 5 resolutions to build resilience and prepare for all the challenges of a rapidly urbanizing, globalizing, changing city landscape. Read on...|
CSR and Sustainability Education and Training to advance your career and help you achieve your sustainability goals.
|Doing Business Better - a one day introduction to the Blue Economy. Be inspired as you take a deep dive with us into a new more expansive world where economic development and environmental regeneration go hand in hand in the Blue Economy. Discover real world answers to daily challenges, how to get more value from what you already have, apply innovations, save money and simply do business better. Join me MELBOURNE Fri Feb 13 l SYDNEY Wed Feb 25 l BRISBANE Fri Feb 27 l PERTH Thurs March 6. More...|
|Discover the new rules of how to communicate sustainability. Learn the best practice global principles for communicating sustainability and the 4 step process to develop a sustainability narrative to enable you to effectively tell your story and enhance your stakeholder engagement. Let us help focus your thinking and provide you a manageable yet brilliantly challenging list of what to do next, what you are missing and what you can do better. More...|
|ZOOiD presents best practice Reporting Workshops.|
Practical Integrated Reporting Workshop - March 12, Melbourne
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Process Workshop - May 12/13 & Dec 8/9 in Melbourne
; July 29/30, in Sydney.
For full details refer: www.zooid.com.au/services/workshops-and-training
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About MOSS: Models of Success and Sustainability (MOSS) is Australia's industry body for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. Seeded as an initiative from Australia's inaugural CSR Summit in 2005, MOSS supports Australian business through education, training, networking, tools and advice to drive sustainability and competitive business success. For more information refer: www.moss.org.au
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