Slingfing uses solar powered machines and hand-labor to take discarded vintage fabrics and turn them into some pretty funky wares (official website here). Additionally, the company is working with Climate Friendly, to make production a completely carbon-neutral affair.
Hunter Lovins, co-author of the seminal book “Natural Capitalism” will deliver a talk entitled Progressive and Profitable Too: Building a Sustainable Shadow Economy:
working to make the concept of sustainable development and Natural Capitalism central operating principles of organizations around the globe by promoting resource efficiency, biomimicry and sustainable business practices.
You can wait for the podcast to come out, or participate via telephone on Monday. Details here.
One of the most interesting and important aspects to environmental economics is assessing the full cost of externalities that previously went uncounted. In the case of gasoline, for example, the added costs would be associated with the health effects of pollution, among other things, such as military spending. It’s not easy to come up with an exact number for the “real price” of a gallon of gas, though I’ve seen it estimated as high as $15. Here is a pretty good list of factors that one might have to consider to do the math. Check it out.
Recycle for US is a new, industry funded group that will pay cash for old cell phones. Phones that are still usable are sold to organizations and secondary markets (much in the spirit of Retro Box) and those that cannot be reused are recycled. Consumers ditch an amazing 10 million phones per year representing an incredible amount of waste, and an incredible business opportunity.
British supermarket chain Marks & Spencer, along with Shell Oil will invest $1 Million in fruit and flower growing enterprised in South Africa. The investors claim that 3,000 people will directly benefit as well as the local ecosystem. The idea is part of a philosophy that says that aid alone can’t alleviate Africa’s economic troubles, rather, private investment is a key part of the bargin to eradicate poverty on the continent. More on WBCSD.
Is it possible to maximize profits and find deep spiritual meaning in our work at the same time? A new book written by Peter and Monika Mitchell Ressler, a husband and wife from New York called Spiritual Capitalism: What the FDNY Taught Wall Street About Money, offers answers to that question with bold new voices from the dog-eat-world of Wall Street itself.
As Co-Chief Executive Officers of a premier Wall Street headhunting firm, they make the surprising claim that the new practice of “Capitalism with a Conscience” is taking the business world by storm. From the depths of the cutthroat world of Wall Street high finance comes these refreshing words of wisdom.
The ECOSA Institute in Prescott, AZ is one of the best places in the world to learn about green building and other principals of sustainable design. Their one-semester programs are geared toward architecture students and those considering a career in other design disciplines.
Although slightly outside the usual scope of a 3P posting, I wanted to mention them here because they’ve got extra space in their fall program this year and are looking for a few more people to fill it. I should also mention that I attended the program a couple years back, and it was fantastic – in fact, it’s the reason I chose to move forward with a career in sustainability. Please pass on this post if you know anyone for whom the program might be appropriate. More in Metropolis Magazine.
A company called Green Techno 21 has devised a product line called “Shell Walls” which gives homeowners a way to plaster their walls with a paste made mostly from waste eggshells. The substance has a pleasant, dare I say it, off-white eggshell coloration, and is fireproof and humidity resistant. It’s another example of someone thinking up innovative new ways to deal with waste and address other problems at the same time. More on Japan for Sustainability.
City Weekend (Beijing) reports that there is a slowly growing movement to grow and sell organic and otherwise healthier produce in the Chinese Capital (article here). In fact the ministry of health has laid down what looks like a fairly comprehensive set of guidelines for farmers and labling requirements for food on the shelves.
Outside observers may be sceptical about the role of organic farming in a country where the number one priority has to be to ensure that everyone has enough to eat. But with the touted obvious incentive of “huge profits to be made,” according to a recent China Food Industry news bulletin, increasing numbers of small-time farmers will be trying to make it big.
An excellent new online news resource for non profit directors and social entrepreneurs – the Social Enterprise Reporter – recently launched. If you’re interested in that area, you can subscribe to their newsletter or get more on their website. Either way, the site offers some great original articles.
Fast Company published a report a while ago about an “innovation scorecard” they developed with the Monitor Group to commend companies on high levels of innovation. The report highlights four companies with reading more about: A company that accelerates decomposition of wastes, better fuel cells, and more powerful solar cells.
Surprisingly, academic campuses are not as much at the forefront of “greenness” as one might expect. But, according to the Washington Post, that’s quickly changing. Berea college in Kentucky now boasts an “ecological village” for student housing, and the likes of Yale and Harvard are quickly reducing their ecological footprints as well. The innovation is not just led by student activists, but by looking at the bottom-line costs of resource consumption as well.
In conjunction with the discussions of climate change at the G8 meetings, socially responsible investment (SRI) research firm KLD Research & Analytics announced their launch of the KLD Global Climate 100(GC100) Index in collaboration with the Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), a research nonprofit whose mission is “to accelerate the attainment of optimal, ecologically sustainable energy solutions in the shortest possible time for the peace, health, and prosperity of all.”
The GC100 is a benchmark of companies deemed to be proactively addressing climate change. Read full story along with evaluation criteria in CSRwire.
It’s a blog-a-thon! Starting this Monday, July 11th at 10am, Jeff Strassburg at Sustainablog will be blogging around the clock to support the Earthways Home in St. Louis. The home is a remodeled St. Louis classic that serves as a demonstration for various green building technologies and techniques. It’s a project of the Missouri Botanical Garden and is in need of some support.
As a former St. Louis resident, I can say the Botanical Garden is truly world-class and their various educational projects are most definitley worth supporting. So head on over to Sustainablog and throw a little change in the hat!