Trends in Sustainability
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Trends in Sustainability
An observation of sustainable trends, thinking, solutions and opinions.
Curated by Olive Ventures
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Nadya's I Will If You Will

WWF Singapore/Earth Hour ambassador and host of Asia’s Next Top Model, Nadya Hutagalung will plant 100 baby trees if 20 shopping centres in Singapore switch their air conditioning up by 1 degree. Accept her challenge now!

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Can gaming teach us to live more sustainable lives?

Can gaming teach us to live more sustainable lives? | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The sustainability sector is cottoning on to the fact that games are incredibly powerful tool to educate and engage the wider world in the issues that are so dear to its heart. Gaming is already being implemented in the health and fitness, medical research and finance sectors.

 

A recent report by the global research company Gartner suggests that gaming with purpose increases user interaction, helps with behavioural change, and stimulates innovative thinking and the generation of new ideas. It is a breath of fresh air blowing into the increasingly stale world of employee engagement initiatives and environmental improvement programmes.

 

At its heart, 'gamification' is the simple concept of taking the ideas behind good games design and games mechanics and applying them to non-gaming environments. By utilising principles that make both traditional games and online social media games appealing and compelling – ie encapsulating a sense of fun, competition, achievement, gratification, improvement and rewards. Businesses are beginning to sit up and take notice of the potential of gaming.

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Climate Change - Carbon Markets of the Future are Forming Where You Might Not Expect

Climate Change - Carbon Markets of the Future are Forming Where You Might Not Expect | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

In China, Chile, and more than a dozen other countries around the world, the carbon markets of the future are beginning to take root.

 

Five Chinese cities and two provinces are in the process of piloting emissions trading systems, expected to start by 2014, with the goal of a building a national carbon market. The government has integrated its climate change strategy into its economic development planning, and it has committed to reducing its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by at least 40 percent by 2020 compared with 2005.

 

Australia introduced a carbon price in July 2012 to support its transition a low-carbon economy. Its biggest polluters now have to report on their emissions and pay $23 per metric tonne for carbon pollution, creating an incentive to reduce their greenhouse gases.

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Troy Schmidt's comment, March 16, 2013 12:41 PM
So, carbon is the building block, but it needs energy. I would think that a great way to get more fuels for the future is to use our carbon as an algae farm, although I understand carbon fibers usefulness. I wonder if anyone can direct me to where I might read about re-converting waste carbon into fuels?
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UK Task Force Report Explains Why Businesses, Government Should Prioritize Environmental Preservation | Sustainable Brands

UK Task Force Report Explains Why Businesses, Government Should Prioritize Environmental Preservation | Sustainable Brands | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

In its report, the Task Force makes recommendations for both government and business where interventions would assist in the creation and development of new markets, enhancing opportunities for growth that also benefiting the environment. The report asserts that business is often unaware of its true reliance on nature, and that a new approach is needed to maximize opportunities and manage future risks.

 

“Many businesses know that the world’s natural resources are being used up more quickly than they can be replaced, but don’t realize their direct or indirect dependence on them,” said Cheshire. “With this report we set out to raise awareness of both the risks of doing nothing about it and the opportunities to be had from thinking differently about the value of nature to business.”

 

Unilever CEO Paul Polman said, “The old model of consumption at any cost is dead. We need sustainable solutions which recognize and account for the true value of nature in a totally transparent and holistic way.”

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Let’s start to recognize this: we are all interconnected. | Jeffrey Hollender

Let’s start to recognize this: we are all interconnected. | Jeffrey Hollender | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

You may be asking, how can a faceless multi-national corporation display signs of empathy for their fellow humans. Good question, and it starts with deeply engraining a sense of society into the work and family culture as well as the educational system. The Nordic Countries of Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have consistently ranked the highest in the field of corporate citizenship mainly due to the integration of social and environments concerns that are at the core of the Nordic culture into the company culture.

 

The empathetic values of gender equality, equality and fair usage of natural resources are engrained into the Nordic corporation’s business model.
The problem isn’t just the corporation – it’s the society that we live in that has allowed most corporations to take over the destiny of our planet and to disregard the humanness of doing business. The first step in reversing this trend starts with ourselves, recognizing that we are all interconnected and we all suffer when there is suffering. We all pay when one doesn’t pay. The second step is more practical, and that entails and overhaul of the traditional business model: putting an end to the unaccounted and unsustainable usage of natural resources by which corporations are undermining the health of our planet.

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ADB: In Asia, wealth buys access to clean water | Asia News – Politics, Media, Education | Asian Correspondent

ADB: In Asia, wealth buys access to clean water | Asia News – Politics, Media, Education | Asian Correspondent | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Developed nations like Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Japan top the list of nations best prepared to cope with floods, droughts, hurricanes, storm surges and landslides, while Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Tajikistan, the Pacific nation of Vanuatu and Bangladesh are the least prepared.

 

No country in the Asia-Pacific region is a model for its management of water services and resources, according to the Manila-based lending and development institution, whose aim is cutting poverty. Thirty-eight developing countries have low levels of water security or have barely begun to improve, and only 11 have set up infrastructure and management systems.

 

“While the Asia-Pacific region has become an economic powerhouse, it is alarming that no developing country in the region can be considered ‘water-secure,’” said ADB Vice President Bindu Lohani.

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The Solarball

The Solarball | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The Solarball, developed as Mr Jonathan Liow’s final year project during his Bachelor of Industrial Design, can produce up to three litres of clean water every day. The spherical unit absorbs sunlight and causes dirty water contained inside to evaporate. As evaporation occurs, contaminants are separated from the water, generating drinkable condensation. The condensation is collected and stored, ready for drinking.

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The rise of the sharing economy

The rise of the sharing economy | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Just as peer-to-peer businesses like eBay allow anyone to become a retailer, sharing sites let individuals act as an ad hoc taxi service, car-hire firm or boutique hotel as and when it suits them. Just go online or download an app. The model works for items that are expensive to buy and are widely owned by people who do not make full use of them. Bedrooms and cars are the most obvious examples, but you can also rent camping spaces in Sweden, fields in Australia and washing machines in France. As proponents of the sharing economy like to put it, access trumps ownership.

 

Rachel Botsman, the author of a book on the subject, says the consumer peer-to-peer rental market alone is worth $26 billion. Broader definitions of the sharing economy include peer-to-peer lending (though cash is hardly a spare fixed asset) or putting a solar panel on your roof and selling power back to the grid (though that looks a bit like becoming a utility). And it is not just individuals: the web makes it easier for companies to rent out spare offices and idle machines, too. But the core of the sharing economy is people renting things from each other.

Olive Ventures's insight:

We're seeing more P2P Car Sharing platforms here in Singapore too.

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Sustainability is the new space race (Wired UK)

Sustainability is the new space race (Wired UK) | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The next golden age of growth will depend on whether we are able to innovate sufficiently to face environmental challenges, according to Carlota Perez, Visiting Scholar, London School of Economics.

 

"The planet is no longer a place to store our waste. It must be protected to guarantee healthy lives if we want to be able to incorporate hundreds of millions of new consumers. That is the new space race. Growth will depend on whether we are able to stretch the frontiers of knowledge to successfully face the environmental limits," she said, speaking at the Economist's Technology Frontiers conference.

 

This means we need to increase the productivity of all resources "enormously", eliminate waste and pollution, build closed-loop systems, design for durability and rethink our built environment. "This will be essential for healthy lives and economic development," she added.

 

Perez argues that we need "bold and imaginative institutional innovation" to drive that "green growth", just as we had after the Second World War. "The truth is technology has been so impressive that we have become convinced that it's disruptive innovation that brings growth and success. It does and yet it doesn't. History can teach us a lot. Innovation has always been the driver of growth and the main source of productivity and wealth. But bubble prosperities polarise incomes."

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Troy Schmidt's comment, March 16, 2013 12:47 PM
WOW, I didn't read the article, just the title, but it's always been this way. When we figure out how to get maximum efficiency from our energy sources, we'll be able to use less energy to get all the way to space!
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Will A Climate Disaster Destroy Our Global Economy?

Will A Climate Disaster Destroy Our Global Economy? | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Trade as we have known it is endangered. Clear trends in demographics, urbanization, water quality and availability, climate stability, resource scarcity and ecosystem health represent risks to the continuation of trade as usual.

 

There is no point preserving the rights of private enterprise when the very viability of the market itself is threatened by risks that are being largely ignored by trade law, economic rules and governmental policy.

 

A growing number of companies have made commitments to ambitious sustainability goals which derive from a clear eyed and rational interpretation of observable environmental and social trends. Unilever, Nike, and GE, recognizing that their longevity relies upon the health and vitality of natural capital and the continuing stable functioning of natural systems, have developed plans to transform their production activities to become sustainable.

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The New SimCity Is Totally Addictive and Crazily Comprehensive

The New SimCity Is Totally Addictive and Crazily Comprehensive | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

SimCity has been lying to you. For decades, the legendary city-simulation game has given players the sense that they possessed real power over virtual people. When you played SimCity—whether you got hooked by the original game, created by Will Wright and released in 1989, or its many wonderful sequels—you imagined yourself as a city-planning savant who had the power to make life awesome or awful for thousands of hapless simulated citizens.

 

Sure, they weren’t real people, but the genius of SimCity was the way it elicited empathy for your digital constituents. When you hiked taxes or shut down a fire station or plopped a coal power plant in a residential neighborhood, you imagined, if only briefly, the tragic consequences of your callous reign. Somewhere deep down in the game engine, a simulated salaryman was losing his job, someone’s sim apartment was burning down, and little sim boys and girls were coughing in their sleep. And it was your fault.

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What Twitter Reveals About What Makes Us Sick

“A researcher at the University of Rochester, Sadilek recently analyzed the content and location of a month’s tweets in New York City. He was looking at factors such as how often people go to the gym or take the subway, and how that might affect their health. Not surprisingly, people who visited venues with high concentrations of people were more likely to get the flu. And people living in polluted areas were more at risk than those who living elsewhere.”

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We Are Entering a New Era of Fossil Fuels

We Are Entering a New Era of Fossil Fuels | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

FOR CENTURIES, THE EVER-SHIFTING MAP of where energy comes from has defined much of the character of our world. When people used whale oil for indoor lighting, Nantucket was a bustling center of commerce. Coal drove the rise of places like Newcastle upon Tyne in England and Centralia in Pennsylvania—and then powered the industrial and geographic expansion of the United States. Oil helped fund the creation of Texas and California. Since then, fossil fuels have shaped the development of countries around the world, especially in the Middle East.


Right now, the map of who sells and who buys oil and natural gas is being radically redrawn. Just a few years ago, imported oil made up nearly two-thirds of the United States’ annual consumption; now it’s less than half. Within a decade, the U.S. is expected to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to regain its title as the world’s top energy producer. Countries that have never had an energy industry worth mentioning are on the brink of becoming major players, while established fossil fuel powerhouses are facing challenges to their dominance. We are witnessing a shift that heralds major new opportunities—and dangers—for individual nations, international politics and economics, and the planet.

 

Oil is perhaps the only commodity used, in one way or another, by almost everyone on earth. We depend on it for much more than just gasoline. Oil and natural gas provide the raw materials for asphalt, plastics, and chemicals and fertilizers without which modern agriculture would collapse. To say that we’re “addicted” to oil, as though it were a bad habit we could kick through force of will, is to drastically understate the degree of our dependence. In short: no petroleum, no modern civilization.

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Reforming sustainability reporting: for and against

Reforming sustainability reporting: for and against | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

A furious debate has started over whether the burden of sustainability reporting is in danger of reaching unbearable proportions. This comes ahead of the release of the Global Reporting Initiative's new G4 guidelines in May and the IIRC framework consultation draft due in April.

 

Remarkably, this discussion is largely dominated by the defenders of the status quo, rather than by those who have a vision of what the scope and purpose of reporting has to be in relation to the global challenges in front of us.

 

A closer look at the arguments used reveal support for incremental progress, a misunderstanding of how to use the guidelines, and a lack of consciousness of what will be needed to collectively thrive in a one earth economy:

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BMW Will Lend Electric-Car Buyers Gas Models for Long Trips

BMW Will Lend Electric-Car Buyers Gas Models for Long Trips | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

While they wait for cheaper batteries that can store more energy, carmakers are trying a range of strategies to compensate for the shortcomings of existing batteries. One of the latest, coming from BMW for the electric i3 slated to come out this year, is to offer customers loaner cars for long trips (see “BMW Shifts into Electric Gear”).

 

To compensate for the limitations of current batteries, GM added a gasoline motor—and a complex transmission—to its electric Volt, to allow drivers to take long trips. Tesla, meanwhile, offers very large and expensive battery packs to allow a range more than twice that of the electric Nissan Leaf, and it’s installing a network of fast charging stations that can recharge the batteries most of the way in about an hour. The Tesla Model S with a 265-mile range sells for $80,000.

 

BMW’s approach is based on several years of field testing with customers of prototype electric vehicles with a range per charge of about 100 miles. The automaker found that range was only a problem with about 10 percent of daily trips. It plans to provide a gas-powered loaner vehicle for these infrequent trips. “We offer you a fallback solution in case you purchase this car and then need to go on a 500-mile trip,” says Rolf Stromberger, BMW’s vice president of business environment and public affairs strategy.

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Vertical Farming Is Key to the Smart Cities of the Future

Vertical Farming Is Key to the Smart Cities of the Future | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Smart cities could look very different from today’s urban centers. Streetlights could be communicating with bus stops, and subway trains could be solar powered. Population growth will force local government leaders to rethink more than just transportation and housing. As the population increases, the real estate needed to grow the food we eat will become increasingly scarce. Some experts have suggested that a new agricultural approach called vertical farming, also known as urban farming, could solve this problem. In a model that is already being tested in Singapore, crops are grown indoors in tall buildings. The benefits are extensive, the technology is powerful and the results are delicious.

 

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Troy Schmidt's comment, March 16, 2013 12:50 PM
and they store waste heat!
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Why Saving the Planet Means Saving the Economy, Too

Why Saving the Planet Means Saving the Economy, Too | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Washington is obsessed with the deficit, and fixated on austerity. Boehner, McConnell and a chorus of know-nothing fear-mongers raise the issues of debt and deficits as if they were an imminent and substantial danger. Obama is sabotaging the social safety net in order to get a “grand bargain” so we can shrink the deficit. The press can talk about nothing else. As a nation, we’re being held hostage to a series of “hold-our-breath-until-we-turn-blue” ultimatums, all because of the deficit.

Let’s be clear: the deficit is not our biggest problem right now. Climate change is. It isn’t even our biggest economic problem. A stagnating economy is. And—as the majority of economists have pointed out, and as the European experience clearly shows—austerity will only make our economy worse.


Via SustainOurEarth
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Troy Schmidt's comment, March 16, 2013 12:44 PM
we're building technology, and that's the economy. HOWEVER, our companies can't afford to profit by building the whole technology, only what they can sell. So, we end up just burning through our fuels, and we didn't finish the project, and we can't afford to. The technology of energy is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, and so it might be that to fix both the economy and the environment is the same thing. recouping carbon, using urban wind farms to recoup waste heat, etc. are expensive and require the re-development of our entire cities, but the end result is that what we put in we get out, rather than putting in so much more than we get out as we do now.
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Cristiano Ronaldo To Champion Mangrove Conservation In Indonesia

Cristiano Ronaldo To Champion Mangrove Conservation In Indonesia | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Real Madrid’s soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to champion the conservation of mangroves in Indonesia, the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation announced today.

 

The Foundation named Ronaldo, Ambassador for the Bali – based Forum Peduli Mangrove (Mangrove Care Forum).

 

The Forum Peduli Mangrove is supported by five Community Empowerment Organisations from regencies at the southern part of Benoa Bay in Bali. The Forum, to be launched in the next two months, aims to raise public awareness of the importance of conserving mangrove forests, encourage community action to clean and preserve them, and restore the biodiversity of the mangrove ecosystem.

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Amber Qureshi's curator insight, March 13, 2013 1:31 PM

Love you ronaldo you're one of us =') 

Azka Sohail 's comment, April 1, 2013 8:35 AM
=D
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Startup d.light brings solar power to the poor

Startup d.light brings solar power to the poor | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

About three decades ago, Donn Tice was an MBA student at the University of Michigan, studying with the late C.K. Prahalad, who was developing his argument that companies can make money and do good by creating products and services for the world’s poorest people. It’s an exciting notion, popularized in Prahalad’s influential 2004 book, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid."


Today, Tice is the CEO of d.light, which sells solar-powered lanterns to the poor. He’s trying to prove that his teacher was right — a fortune awaits those who can create and sell life-changing products that help the very poor.

 

For now, this remains an unproven hope. Dozens of startups have ventured into the global south, selling everything from $100 laptops, cheap bikes, clean cook stoves and solar panels to the poor. Some have enjoyed success (See, for example, my blog post, "Clean Star Mozambique: Food, fuel and forests at the bottom of the pyramid"), but few have achieved meaningful scale. Or made anything approaching a fortune.

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Sustainable Events Management at Earth Hour 2013

Sustainable Events Management at Earth Hour 2013 | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

We are pleased to announce that Olive Ventures is partnering with Earth Hour 2013 in Singapore to deliver our Sustainable Events Management Program for Dance 2 Power Earth Hour!

 

We look forward to continuing the push sustainability in events management, and spreading awareness about carbon conservation. Watch this space, we’ve got more news on this front coming up!


For more information about this initiative, sustainability for events (ISO 20121), and carbon footprinting (ISO 14064), get in touch with us.

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Can Advertising Change the World?

Can Advertising Change the World? | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Ask anyone in consumer goods why their industry is not more committed to sustainability and you'll hear the same thing: because the marketplace doesn't reward us for being so. Sadly, most "socially responsible" goods cost more to produce than alternatives that leave the world worse off, and those costs translate into higher prices. Regarding the merits of passing up the greater bargain for the greater good, most shoppers remain unpersuaded.

 

But persuading people is what advertising is designed to do. So as marketers become more authentically committed to corporate responsibility goals, expect to see more for-profit companies investing in social marketing — that is, using their messaging powers to change consumer attitudes and behavior.

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How to Win Any Climate Change Argument Flowchart

How to Win Any Climate Change Argument Flowchart | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

OK, admittedly this is more for people in the US, but it details the 3 primary arguments against climate change:

 

“It’s not happening”
“There’s no academic consensus”
“It’s not anthropological (as in, human caused)”

 

So… could come in handy some day!

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Michael Wolf - Tokyo Compression Photoset

Michael Wolf - Tokyo Compression Photoset | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Michael Wolf - Tokyo Compression (2012)

 

Tokyo is world-famous for its urban density. Wolf’s candid series captures the daily grind, the exhaustion, discomfort, overcrowding and annoyance of city life.

Olive Ventures's insight:

Click through to see more of this interesting work.

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Elon Musk on the future of the future

Elon Musk on the future of the future | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Musk said he believes it's an imperative. “It’s extremely important that we have sustainable transport and sustainable engine production,” Musk said. Our society, Musk argued, will continue to be dependent on electricity for the foreseeable future, and however that electricity is generated, it only makes sense to build our transportation system around it. Even though an increase in electric usage might mean more coal and natural gas burning at the electric company, Musk told the crowd that the efficiencies achievable at scale at the power plant are more environmentally friendly than the combustion engine alternatives.

 

Musk also believes that electric cars are now practical for many customers. “There are far more charging stations than people realize,” he said. California and Nevada are covered, and the eastern seaboard from Boston to Washington, DC is already covered. Ultimately, Musk wants to get the grid spread out across the country to support three-hour drives with 20-minute stops, which he says is a natural and comfortable break. “That’s the natural cadence of a trip,” he said.

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