Policy for a Circular Economy: Part 1

September 15, 2020 by  
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Policy for a Circular Economy: Part 1 How should diverse corporate stakeholders — such as brands and packaging producers — help shape the U.S. policy landscape around plastics, recycling and solid waste management? This two part policy session, organized in collaboration with the The Recycling Partnership, will focus on the role that brand and packaging producers can play in forging a stronger policy environment in the U.S. to create more circular outcomes. The steady growth of public attention around plastics and packaging has led to a revitalized policy focus in the U.S. on recycling and solid waste management in 2020. Historically, brands and packaging producers have played an antagonistic role in the U.S. packaging policy landscape. However, the emergence of a circular economy opportunity and the urgency of science-based action are creating the conditions for value chain engagement and collective participation in the policymaking process. Speakers Dylan de Thomas, TRP Nina Butler, More Recycling Sarah Peery, Office of Senator Rob Portman This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 20, August 25-27, 2020. Learn more about the event here: https://events.greenbiz.com/events/circularity/online/2020 Watch our other must-see talks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDIkTxibMLM&list=PLyVZcHL_zmn6pie1MKrS3… OUR LINKS Website: https://www.greenbiz.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenbiz LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/greenbiz-group Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenbiz_group Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenBiz Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 23:29 Featured Off

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Policy for a Circular Economy: Part 1

Shifting your Business Model: How to Rental

September 15, 2020 by  
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Shifting your Business Model: How to Rental How can your company implement a rental business model? While the concept of renting is anything but new, recent years have seen an expansion of products traditionally bought and kept by consumers now available for rent. From formal wear to scooters to furniture, rental products promote access over ownership, providing consumers with an often easier and cheaper alternative to purchasing something outright. In return, rental models allow companies to extend their customer relationship from one-off products to long term service. This paradigm shift requires businesses to evolve in numerous ways, shifting internal operations and financial models alongside external value propositions, communications strategies and sales tactics. Hear from companies at the forefront of the new and improved rental industry as they discuss the benefits, challenges and best-practices for building a successful rental business model. Speakers Hélène Smits, Initiator and Lead, Circle Textiles Program, Circle Economy Gustav Hedström, Business Developer, Houdini Sportswear Amy Kang, Director of Product Platform Systems, CaaStle Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 23:22 Featured Off

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Shifting your Business Model: How to Rental

Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life

August 31, 2020 by  
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Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life Holly Secon Mon, 08/31/2020 – 01:00 A circular economy is urgently required for the shift to a more sustainable planet. But it will take new, innovative ideas to build a global system that uses and reuses all of the resources within it and moves us away from the deeply entrenched extractive system under which the modern world functions. At Circularity 20, GreenBiz’s online circular economy event, five startups presented their potentially world-altering ideas during the Accelerate competition. This GreenBiz tradition began in 2012 at its VERGE events, offering a venue where startups make a 2.5-minute pitch of their technology to the audience. During last week’s event, the online audience voted on its favorite, and an expert panel of Taj Eldridge, senior director of investments at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), and Monique Mills, with the Startup Catalyst at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Institute of Technology, offered thoughts on the startups and their potential. Mills said that he considering new ideas, she looks to make sure that a startup will be able to establish itself and stay relevant in a changing business environment. “Our main focus is to make sure they’re able to become a sustainable business model, and one that can be supported into the future of how things will be done,” she said.  For Eldridge, one exciting thing about circular startups is that they’re working with communities that otherwise might not be thinking about environmental issues. “This is the opportunity to really get all the communities that have not been able to have the conversation about sustainability involved now,” he said. In order of presentation, here’s what the contenders had to offer. Borobabi Borobabi CEO Carolyn Butler took the virtual stage to pitch the sustainable children’s clothing rental startup. The early-stage company, based in New York, focuses on the $16 billion children’s clothing market, which, like the entire apparel space, suffers from a significant amount of waste. Children’s clothing, especially, often gets thrown away because children grow out of pants, shirts, shoes and other garments so quickly. Borobabi uses a circular model to serve as a platform where parents can rent clothes for children aged 0-6. The most unique feature is that the brand prices its clothes based on how durable they are. “We achieve true circularity by hitting on all three pillars of the circular economy. On the supply side, we only partner with ethical and sustainable brands who manufacture natural toxin-free clothing using organic agricultural practices, which regenerate natural systems,” Butler said. “We keep our products in circulation for as long as possible by renting only the highest-quality most durable items, ensuring they can be worn multiple times and retain like-new quality. Also, we helped design clothes with natural and monofibers that are recyclable. Our recycling partnerships are local here in the U.S. and help to keep our clothes out of landfills.” Infinity Goods The startup Infinity Goods has created a zero-waste grocery delivery service in Denver, Colorado, with plans to expand soon. CEO Ashwin Ramdas tried to go zero-waste — and then realized that he had to give up some of his favorite foods, such as ice cream and pasta, and lug around containers to stores every time he tried to shop. He realized that convenience and sacrifice was often a barrier, even for eco-conscious shoppers. So he founded Infinity Goods to connect those who want to go zero-waste but have found it too difficult. “It’s like the milkman, but now for a wide selection of food from fresh produce to tofu eggs pasta ice cream bread,” Ramdas explained. The company serves as a delivery service where groceries come in reusable containers, then get retrieved, cleaned and reused in future deliveries, cutting out the plastic packaging waste and relieving the customer of doing any work themselves. Infinity Goods has partnerships with local Colorado producers, which have agreed to reuse their packaging through the platform, fostering a local, waste-free circular economy. Salubata Salubata is a Nigerian startup that creates modular shoes from recycled plastic waste. The team of environmental scientists has figured out a way to knit together recycled plastic to create parts of a shoe that fit together — which then also can be taken apart at the end of life. The recycled plastic material also comes in different shapes and colors, which can be zipped into the same sole so consumers essentially can design their own low-carbon shoe. The global shoe market is valued at $264 billion per year, said CEO Fela Buyi. This product serves both shoe enthusiasts and eco-conscious shoppers. Mimica Mimica is a startup that aims to make the food system more sustainable with smart-design labels that extend the shelf life of fresh food. One major challenge for sustainable food systems is that there’s waste along every part of the food supply chain. Mimica’s labels are an intervention at the retail and consumer level to prevent edible food from being thrown out. “Expiration dates are set at the worst-case scenario, but the reality is that we keep our food much better than that. Dates are shortened to protect consumers in the rare case of problems in the supply chain or in our homes,” said Mimica CEO Solveiga Pakštait?. “And this actually hurts retailers’ bottom lines, because this hurts their ability to be able to sell produce in their stores. Add back just two days, and we can see food waste being cut in half in our stores, more than that in our homes, and sales go up when shelf life is extended. With products like juice and beef, the shelf life doubles.” The label, Mimica Touch, shows consumers exactly when food spoils. They just run their fingers over it, and if the label is smooth, the food is fresh. If it has bumps, it has spoiled. Resortecs Resortecs is a Belgium-based startup that provides a solution to the lack of apparel recycling. Only about 1 percent of garments are recycled — and one major reason is that garments aren’t designed to be recycled, because they have several components such as zippers or buttons that need to be separated. Resortecs has created a new material that can be used to sew together these components that breaks down at a high heat, allowing the components to separate easily and removing a major obstacle to reusing these parts. Plus, this heat-sensitive material only breaks down at extremely high temperatures, so it doesn’t affect the garment itself when people are wearing clothes.  “Garments made can be washed and ironed,” said Resortecs CEO Cédric Vanhoeck. “The material is not damaged in the process.” The audience voted on the online platform to ultimately select Mimica as the winner of this year’s Circularity Accelerate. Topics Circular Economy Innovation Circularity 20 Food Waste Fashion Food & Beverage Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off The Mimica label shows consumers exactly when food spoils. If there are bumps, the food has spoiled. Courtesy of Mimica Lab Close Authorship

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Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life

In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science

August 31, 2020 by  
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In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science Mindy S. Lubber Mon, 08/31/2020 – 00:45 With Congress gearing up for another trillion-dollar round of economic relief that will set the strategic direction of the U.S. economy for years to come, it’s time for corporate America to stand up and be clear about the economy it wants and needs to prosper.  That means getting serious about advocating for a recovery plan that helps us build back better from the current pandemic, while tackling another global systemic threat: climate change.  The climate crisis is worsening, and it is playing out in real time as we grapple with COVID-19. Despite the temporary decline in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit an all-time high in May. Triple-digit temperatures in June in the Arctic Circle led to another warmest month on record, tying with June 2019. The dry spring and hot summer has unleashed more raging fires in California this month, while residents across the American West are bracing for the worst megadrought in 1,200 years.  Climate change is a systemic risk , and its impacts are felt across corporate America. In a survey last year , 215 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies reported nearly $1 trillion at risk from climate impacts — most of it in the next five years. The severity of these intensifying risks requires a response of proportional ambition.  You may have heard of science-based targets. Today, we are calling for science-based climate advocacy. This moment calls for bold leadership. Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science.  So what does science-based climate advocacy mean?  Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science. A new blueprint from Ceres, the Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change , lays out a science-based action agenda for companies in the U.S. that comes down to two basic steps.  First, advocate for science-based climate policy. Business voices are influential in policy debates, and companies must use their voices to advocate for targets and policies that will limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and ensure we reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.  Right now is a prime opportunity. We can build back better. Other countries are already opting for climate-smart recoveries, seeing their pandemic aid as a chance to gain competitive advantage and economic stability. Through our actions to tackle one crisis, we can avert another. We can invest in a resilient and inclusive economy that builds jobs, infrastructure, growth and stability for the long term. More companies are speaking up. In May , executives from 330 companies, including Microsoft, Mars Inc. and Nike, descended virtually on Capitol Hill, dialing into video calls with congressional leaders to ask for climate-smart policies as a part of the economic recovery. Globally, more than 1,200 companies have called on governments to ensure recovery efforts address COVID-19 and climate together.  Second, ensure that indirect advocacy and influence is also aligned with science. This includes ensuring trade associations a company may belong to are not promoting policies that are not based on science. While large trade associations represent companies on a number of issues, many have had a poor record in advocating for science-based climate policy.  Companies must keep in mind the risk they face from a fractured policy environment that exacerbates risk. They should ask themselves: “Is my association engaging in my best interest?” Often, the answer is “no.” Mars, Nestle and Unilever helped put a stake in the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the food industry’s largest lobbying group, after they left over differences on climate change to form the new Sustainable Food Policy Alliance . Meanwhile, UPS disclosed that it doesn’t support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and joined one of the Chamber’s committees to assert its position on climate. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Why do more companies need to step up on science-based climate advocacy? New research shows that the oil and gas sector’s lobbying has dominated climate-related policy battles during the pandemic, notching twice as many wins as climate advocates.  Even if many fossil fuel companies struggled financially for years before the pandemic, they are getting billions in federal aid. Supported by strong lobbying, oil companies reaped a stealth bailout of more than $1.9 billion inserted into the CARES Act. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Taxpayer money should be invested in the future economy, one that is powered by renewable energy — one that creates more jobs, one that makes our economies more resilient.  Companies are recognizing the strategic imperative to take action on the climate crisis. In the face of COVID-19, corporations’ commitment to climate action has not waivered — it has increased. Their actions are reducing emissions, reducing costs and driving job creation, innovation and competitiveness.  However, to enable change at the pace and scale required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the whole economy must shift, and the economic stimulus, which represents some of the largest government spending in a generation, must support that shift. If it doesn’t, we risk further damaging the economy and public health rather than improving them — and making the climate crisis even worse.  It’s time for the rest of corporate America to be bold about its ambitions and demonstrate the science-based climate leadership that this time demands.  Pull Quote Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Contributors Maria Mendiluce Topics Climate Change COVID-19 Policy & Politics Finance Policy & Politics Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science

Vegan organization receives post-hurricane windfall

April 19, 2019 by  
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The Million Dollar Vegan campaign gave $100,000 to vegan humanitarian aid organization  Chilis on Wheels  to help survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. As reported here in February, 12-year-old activist Genesis Butler made an intriguing proposition to Pope Francis: go vegan for Lent, and Butler and her Million Dollar Vegan campaign would donate a million dollars to the charity of Francis’ choice. Unfortunately, the pope did not accept the offer. With Easter upon us, the project decided to pick a charity and donate $100,000 from the Blue Horizon International Foundation . Puerto Ricans are still recovering from the September 2017 hurricane , which took a death toll of 3,000 people and displaced thousands more. Chilis on Wheels hurried in to serve vegan meals and provide water filters, groceries, hygiene products and solar lanterns. Then, the organization set up a permanent community center in San Juan that has continued to serve vegan food. Butler visited Puerto Rico and attended a Chilis on Wheels cooking workshop for local families. Related: Will the pope go vegan for Lent? “It was very humbling and inspiring to meet people in Puerto Rico who are helping to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Maria,” Butler said of her visit. “It was wonderful to see how vegan food — as a sustainable food choice — can help hurricane survivors in a country where many people have been forced to go hungry.” Butler’s letter to Pope Francis appeared in major newspapers worldwide. In response, Butler received a letter from a Vatican official assuring her that the pope got her letter and was praying for her, but he made no comment about her proposal. Cattle, pigs and chickens around the world let out a collective sigh of disappointment. Still, Butler remains optimistic. “Even though the Pope didn’t agree to go vegan for Lent, I’m really happy that many people in need will still benefit from this campaign, and that we were able to encourage thousands of people to try a vegan diet — to help animals, our planet and our health .” + Million Dollar Vegan + Chilis on Wheels Image via Million Dollar Vegan

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Vegan organization receives post-hurricane windfall

RBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags

April 19, 2019 by  
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The North Face and British designer Christopher Raeburn of RÆBURN  have recently collaborated to launch a new line of accessories handcrafted from recycled tents. Introduced late last month, the unique collection consists of three distinct items—a tote bag, drawstring bag, and Rae Bag—that all feature RÆBURN’s iconic “REMADE, REDUCED, RECYCLED, RÆBURN” tagline. The partnership marks the iconic outdoors brand’s first sustainable collaboration and is part of both brands’ commitment to reducing waste without compromising quality. British designer Christopher Raeburn built his reputation on developing stylish streetwear with an environmental focus . From fashioning garments out of parachutes to breathing new life into unwanted military surplus items, Raeburn works his craft with unusual materials that raise awareness about the staggering amounts of global textile waste and creative upcycling. The RÆBURN brand has since collaborated with many leading brands to produce environmentally conscious apparel, including Disney and Timberland. “The North Face has been inspiring a global movement of exploration and conservation for over fifty years, and we couldn’t be prouder to be collaborating on this special project, applying our RÆMADE ethos to transform surplus tents into unique bags,” says Christopher Raeburn. “At RÆBURN we’re motivated to work with brands, other designers and individuals to drive positive change in our industry and it’s been fantastic to work alongside the talented team at The North Face to bring this project to fruition.” Related: H&M releases sustainable fashion line made from fruit and algae In The North Face collaboration, RÆBURN designers recycled different parts of the bright yellow, polyester-and-nylon tents so that every bag would be unique and vary in color and tent parts. Each bag also features the British brand’s iconic 4R’s tape used as straps and an internal pocket for additional storage. All items are extremely lightweight and packable. The limited edition collaboration launched March 26 and is currently out of stock online. + The North Face x RÆBURN Images via RÆBURN

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RBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags

Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

March 14, 2019 by  
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It is rare when a social media trend actually results in a physical change to the environment, especially when it comes to picking up plastic waste . But a new viral challenge has thousands of people from around the world coming together to clean up places that have become overrun with plastic. The new challenge, #trashtag, encourages people to clean up litter and share photos from before and after the clean-up job is over. So far, tens of thousands of individuals have participated in the social media challenge. These participants have cleaned up roads, parks, beaches and wilderness areas. The challenge has also increased awareness of important environmental issues, like how much plastic waste ends up in the trash. Related: China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports While the challenge only recently went viral, it actually started a few years ago. A company called UCO Gear came up with the idea in 2015 to help with its wilderness protection program. The challenge did not catch on until this year, after a post on Facebook tagged “tired teens” in the photo. Since then, there have been well over 25,000 posts with #trashtag tagged, although it has a few other variations, such as #trashchallenge and #trashtagchallenge. Although it is great to see people cleaning up the environment in their free time, conservationists hope it will eventually lead to bigger changes. According to BBC , the director of Canada’s Ecology Action Centre (EAC), Mark Butler, hopes the hashtag gets people to understand why we need to eliminate single-use plastics altogether. “Getting plastic out of the environment is important,” Butler shared. “We need to do more than go behind the people that are littering and clean it up. We need to turn off the plastic tap.” Butler argued that if we do not start curbing our plastic use, then the clean-up job will never end. Given all of the photos we’ve seen from the trash challenge, Butler has a point. Hopefully, viral challenges like #trashtag will help initiate more lasting changes as we continue to deal with the problem of plastic pollution. Via BBC Image via Pacific Southwest Region 5

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Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

The ‘uncommon collaboration’ mindsets of Procter & Gamble and International Paper

May 29, 2018 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: Heads of sustainability departments Andy Butler and Tom Cleves on how to create actionable change, individually and together.

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The ‘uncommon collaboration’ mindsets of Procter & Gamble and International Paper

Fructose is Fructose and Sugar is Sugar, And No Better Than HFCS.

March 22, 2011 by  
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In High Fructose Corn Syrup to be Rebranded as “Corn Sugar” , Brian wrote ” the mounting pile of evidence that high fructose corn syrup is unhealthier than ordinary table sugar continues to grow.” The problem is that people start thinking that sugar is actually healthy. Kiera Butler at Mother Jones answers the question “Is Sugar Really Healthier Than Corn Syrup?” and comes up with a pretty unequivocal no…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Fructose is Fructose and Sugar is Sugar, And No Better Than HFCS.

Andrew Maynard Busts Through The Roof With Butler House

October 26, 2010 by  
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There are so much to love about Andrew Maynard Architects . As I wrote when we gave him our Best Young Architect Award in the Best of Green 2010 , “as his body of built work grows, it shows every sign of the humour, talent and environmental concern of his conceptual work.” Now he demonstrates it again with the Butler House renovation….

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Andrew Maynard Busts Through The Roof With Butler House

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