In this week’s episode: How Phoenix is kicking its reputation as “the world’s least sustainable city,” and thinking big and small when it comes to corporate projects in cities.
The common refrain in these 5 segments: If a solution isn’t accessible for everyone, it isn’t viable over the long term.
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You can’t have lasting sustainability without social inclusion
Forget plastic and leather, your next wallet could be made from a more ethical and eco-friendly alternative—banana fiber. Kosrae, Micronesia-based startup Green Banana Paper tapped into banana tree waste, upcycling the unlikely material into stylish and sturdy vegan leather wallets. Green Banana Paper launched a Kickstarter to bring these eco friendly wallets to the global market and help improve the lives of local farmers. Bananas may be easy to eat, but the trees they grow on need a surprising amount of work. There are approximately 200,000 banana trees spread across the island and after harvesting, local farmers must cut down the plant every year to promote fruit production. The mass amounts of banana fiber waste are typically left on the ground to biodegrade, but Green Banana Paper saw an entrepreneurial opportunity with environmental and social benefits. Founded by New England native Matt Simpson, the social enterprise produces strong and water-resistant wallets with designs inspired by the coconut palms, ocean life, and people of Micronesia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSM_TYaT5Kg Related: Thai Building Facade Handmade From Natural Banana Fiber “Green Banana Paper wallets are not only ecofriendly; they are helping to provide a living wage to Kosraean families,” says the company. “Matt hopes to continue to scale up production, and get even more people on the island involved in this truly community-oriented business.” Green Banana Paper has launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for hiring more people and improving the quality of their products. Supporters of the project can also receive their own banana fiber wallet, which can be shipped around the world. + Green Banana Paper Kickstarter
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See how banana trees are recycled into vegan leather wallets in Micronesia
According to a new EcoVadis survey, companies that hopped early onto the sustainability bandwagon say it’s paying off financially.
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Why supply chain managers opt for sustainably produced material
The Oroville dam crisis inspired farmers to capture floodwater underground for use in warmer months.
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How California farmers are using floods to feed soil
The universal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by all the world’s nations marked a huge global milestone, something that many thousands of people had been working to achieve, over many years. This momentous breakthrough sparked AtKisson President and CEO Alan AtKisson to pen a song and spark a global movement, imbuing music, dance and simple human happiness into sustainable development and create our best hope for a bright future.
On Harmony and Hope
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune addresses the importance of climate action at every scale in the public and private sector, from global agreements to city pilot programs, from startups to multinational corporations.
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Inside the Climate Justice Movement
Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle shares his approach to “animal protection 2.0,” the role of corporate and consumer in tranforming the lives of animals worldwide, and how this disruption can actually be a driver of business value.
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Creating the Humane Economy
What does it mean when the world’s largest financial data, analytics and benchmarks provider, S&P Global, acquires sustainability experts, Trucost? The implications for companies and sustainability professionals are vast. S&P Global Head of Innovation Dmitri Sedov and Trucost CEO Richard Mattison explore how financial markets are responding to the transition to a low carbon economy and the strategic importance for corporations.
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Sustainability Meets Mainstream Financial Markets
The battle for Bears Ears National Monument is far from over. Weeks after Patagonia spurned the Outdoor Retailer Show trade show in Salt Lake City to protest Utah governor Gary Herbert’s quest to roll back nascent protections for the twin sandstone formations, the outdoor-apparel company has launched a campaign to inundate the gubernatorial office with calls demanding otherwise. Utahns are more than familiar with this song and dance: Locals, lawmakers, and environmentalists have long knocked heads over how the Bears Ears area, and its untapped reserves of gas and shale , should be developed. The 1.35 million-acre expanse of arches, buttes, and canyons, which several Native American tribes regard as sacred, isn’t the only public land under attack from Utah’s top politician. On February 17, Herbert signed a resolution urging President Donald Trump to narrow the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the south. “In passing two resolutions asking the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument and reduce the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, Governor Herbert and Utah’s state delegation have unleashed an all-out assault on the state’s protected public lands,” Patagonia wrote on a website powered by Phone2Action , which provides web and voice tools to help advocacy groups connect their supporters with elected officials. “This land grab would open wilderness and recreation areas to oil and gas development and could eliminate access to the diverse landscape that makes Utah unique.” Related: Patagonia boycotts huge Outdoor Retailer show to protest Utah Republicans The outdoor-recreation industry plays a major role in Utah’s economy, supporting some 122,000 jobs and bringing in $12 billion a year in consumer spending, according to Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia. For Patagonia, at least, boycotting the Outdoor Retail trade show was just a start. “Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah,” Marcario said. “And we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.” + Patagonia Via Outside Photos by Bureau of Land Management
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Patagonia launches campaign to protect Utah’s Bear Ears National Monument