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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Is Smart Making Us Dumb?

Is Smart Making Us Dumb? | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

These two features are the essential ingredients of a new breed of so-called smart technologies, which are taking aim at their dumber alternatives. Some of these technologies are already catching on and seem relatively harmless, even if not particularly revolutionary: smart watches that pulsate when you get a new Facebook poke; smart scales that share your weight with your Twitter followers, helping you to stick to a diet; or smart pill bottles that ping you and your doctor to say how much of your prescribed medication remains.

 

But many smart technologies are heading in another, more disturbing direction. A number of thinkers in Silicon Valley see these technologies as a way not just to give consumers new products that they want but to push them to behave better. Sometimes this will be a nudge; sometimes it will be a shove. But the central idea is clear: social engineering disguised as product engineering.

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ESG Affects Investor Decisions Differently in Short and Long Term, Deloitte Says | Sustainable Brands

ESG Affects Investor Decisions Differently in Short and Long Term, Deloitte Says | Sustainable Brands | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Investor decisions can be influenced by a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure in the short-term but may not lead to higher stock returns over the long-term, Deloitte said in a recent report.

 

The study found short-term ESG issues and events, including human rights issues, product recalls, boycotts and protests often trigger the strongest and most immediate impact on stock prices. If the news media picks up an organization’s ESG crisis, the event can have an increased negative effect on shareholder confidence.

 

While positive ESG disclosures can increase stock value in the short run, there is little evidence it does so in the long run. This may be a result of only small incremental ESG program shifts or reporting that does not resonate directly with investors, who may not consider the information in their decisions, Deloitte says.

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“Bio-Concrete” Uses Bacteria to Heal Itself 

“Bio-Concrete” Uses Bacteria to Heal Itself
Olive Ventures's insight:

nuff said.

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The sustainability journey must begin with revenue, cost, brand and risk

The sustainability journey must begin with revenue, cost, brand and risk | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

To begin with, sustainability is not a formal standard with a guidebook for certification. It must be customised to fit each organisation. It has its own four horsemen - revenue, cost, brand, and risk – and that's where the journey must begin. This familiar quartet will help us understand what's inhibiting the conceptual leap from "important" to "critical" and help organisations start building their own game plan.

 

The goal of a corporate sustainability programme ought to be matching up environmental and social ambitions with corporate financial objectives in a relevant way, using the four horsemen to achieve a solid and balanced business case for a range of corporate activities. That's step one.

 

Step two means going deeper, and we've created a special scan to measure both strategic and operation sustainability initiatives in a more sophisticated way. Having run this scan many times, our research shows there are primarily two types of organisations: those that are focusing on strategy and those that concentrate on piecemeal operational initiatives. Sadly, we see a yawning gap between the two ends of the spectrum.

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www.choose.sg

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Cap and Trade Versus a Carbon Tax

Cap and Trade Versus a Carbon Tax | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Here’s a piece on cap and trade.  Like every person who hopes that civilization will find its way towards sustainability,  I’m rooting for success here.  But frankly, I can’t imagine how cap and trade will accomplish its aims, given all the thousands of lawyers and their clients who are profiting mightily by building work-arounds.


Via Hans De Keulenaer
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The Multipolar MBA

The Multipolar MBA | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

According to Harvard Business School professor Rakesh Khurana, U.S. business schools are fighting to be meaningful on multiple fronts. Khurana is known for his ongoing efforts to chronicle the changes in management education, most recently with his book From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession (Princeton University Press, 2007). But in 2013, his warnings about the decline of business schools have particular urgency. Most management schools are reporting a decline in the number of applicants for their two-year MBA programs; some students are flocking to one-year specialized degrees, and others are choosing to take courses online or on a part-time basis.

 

The reason has to do with diminishing relevance, argues Khurana. It is driven in part by the impact of globalization on business success. Aside from the sheer cost of earning a two-year MBA (tuition at Harvard Business School is US$53,500 per year), management school graduates are finding that their skills and training are not ideally matched to the needs of global corporations that have undergone rapid changes. Many of these companies are looking for business leaders who can help them expand in developing markets where the rules of engagement are quite different from what they might be at headquarters. They need leaders who can build coalitions with governments, nongovernmental organizations, and social activists.

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Your ESG performance does affect your market valuation, says Deloitte

Your ESG performance does affect your market valuation, says Deloitte | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The Deloitte report, called Finding the Value in Environmental, Social and Governance Performance, suggests that ESG performance will continue to be a consideration in financial valuation and offers a number of reasons risks may play an increasingly important role on performance. These include:

The average investor is paying more attention to ESG information, especially related to downside risks;Volatility in the global business environment due to financial risks, regulatory uncertainty, extreme weather and social unrest are all more critical and persistent than previously thought;Today’s lean supply chains are often brittle and vulnerable to disruption because supply chain managers may be too focused on efficiency; andThe rise of social media rivals the impact of public politics and regulatory processes.

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Capitalism vs. Planet Earth – an Irreconcilable Conflict?

Capitalism vs. Planet Earth – an Irreconcilable Conflict? | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Back in 2000, scientists Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer challenged the world to face up to the transformation of the planet by human activity, arguing that we now live in a new geological epoch. They traced the start of the new epoch to the Industrial Revolution and called it the Anthropocene, or new era of man, in which our activity has determined the geological future of our planet.

 

However, it is not ‘human activity’ per se that is responsible for the these ecological changes; after all, human activity before the Industrial Revolution did not have anything like the impact it had once the market economy was in full swing. Neither is it the much-talked about ‘population explosion.’ As Erle Ellis of the University of Maryland so succinctly put it: ‘Even with a population of seven billion, Homo sapiens is not an entirely novel force. But human systems are’. It is ‘human systems’ that change the environment, and the overriding human system of the Anthropocene is the market economy.

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Beware the Big Errors of 'Big Data' | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

Beware the Big Errors of 'Big Data' | Wired Opinion | Wired.com | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

We’re more fooled by noise than ever before, and it’s because of a nasty phenomenon called “big data.” With big data, researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level.

 

Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information.

In other words: Big data may mean more information, but it also means more false information.

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The Benefits of Using LED Lighting [Infographic] | Olive Ventures Blog

The Benefits of Using LED Lighting [Infographic] | Olive Ventures Blog | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

We seem to be on the topic of lighting lately. Good Information for anyone who's considering switching to energy efficient lighting. 

Olive Ventures's insight:

BTW: We do Green Retrofitting (LED, Solar, Green Walls etc)

 

Get in touch with us to find out more: www.oliveventures.com.sg

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A vision of the urban building of the future

A vision of the urban building of the future | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

In 2050 the urban dweller and the city ar in a state of constant flux- changing and evolving in reaction to emerging contexts and conditions. The urban building of the future fosters this innate quality, essentially functioning as a living organism in its own right- reacting to the local environment and engaging with the users within.

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Innovation: New CO2-Based Plastics | The Energy Collective

Innovation: New CO2-Based Plastics | The Energy Collective | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it
A milestone announcement from Novomer, which has developed polypropylene carbonate material made from carbon dioxide and propylene oxide, as well as polyethylene carbonate made from CO2 and ethylene oxide.
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Financial markets inherently biased against clean energy, warn analysts

Financial markets inherently biased against clean energy, warn analysts | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Clean energy firms might be lobbying the wrong ministers when they seek market reforms to help drive green investment. Rather than focusing on energy policies, they should be seeking to reform the "institutionally fossilist" financial markets.


That is the stark message contained in a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which uncovered a litany of biases in financial regulation that tilt markets in favour of conventional energy and could potentially hold back the flow of investment into renewable energy technologies.

 

A white paper, published this week, identified seven major financial regulations which appeared to be dissuading investors from backing clean energy investments that tend to require high upfront investment

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Economics of an energy efficient home

Economics of an energy efficient home | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Behold the IKAROS house. Built in Germany by the University of Applied Sciences (Rosenheim), this house aims to be completely self-sustainable. The build uses a wealth of green technology like natural ventilation, solar panels and vacuum insulation panels, as well as efficient mechanical systems. “Yeah, yeah,” I hear all you inspired economists saying. “But what’s it cost and what’s the ROI?”

 

The IKAROS house reportedly costs €275,000 (£239,027, $362,800) to build but will save a family of four around €4,600 (£4,000, $6,000) in energy costs every year. According to Inhabitat, that makes the house a net money producer, since it generates more energy than it uses.

 

The IKAROS house was unveiled in 2010 during the European Solar Decathlon. While it is still not commercially available, the lessons learned from IKAROS can help you to get a ‘green’ home without breaking the bank.

Research has shown that homebuyers are willing to pay upwards of an extra £24,500 ($37,500) for a green home with the promise to save money in the longer term.  So if you’re looking to buy a home or you’re a homebuilder looking to create homes people really want, how do you go about creating the ultimate energy-efficient home?

 

Olive Ventures's insight:

Click through to read the tips if you live in a temperate climate,

 

or Get in touch with us (www.oliveventures.com.sg) if you live in the tropics (Like Singapore)

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15 Important Global Warming Facts - The Good Human

15 Important Global Warming Facts - The Good Human | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

I am so tired of the “global warming is a hoax” argument that many try to pass off as an educated opinion.

 

Somehow, a handful of companies making solar panels and wind turbines have convinced over 90 percent of scientists – along with the majority of humans – that our climate is changing, all in an effort to make money. Right. Boy, that’s some control they have over the climate if they can make it change so much! It would be amazing if anyone that that kind of control.

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E-Waste by the Numbers: Infographic

E-Waste by the Numbers: Infographic | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Infographic Source: www.Fonebank.com

 

Tech enthusiasts like ourselves tend to spend more on electronics and upgrade more often than the average consumer, but as tech has grown more mainstream than ever, and with product cycles accelerated on the mobile market, electronic waste is becoming an equally expanding issue.

 

There is a lack of consensus as to whether the term (e-waste) should apply to resale, reuse, and refurbishing industries, or only to product that cannot be used for its intended purpose. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countries may cause serious health and pollution problems, though these countries are also most likely to reuse and repair electronics.

All electronic scrap components may contain contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants. Even in developed countries recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes.

 

This infographic puts e-waste figures in perspective...

Olive Ventures's insight:

If you're from Singapore and need to recycle your e-waste: http://oliveventures.com.sg/act/2012/08/29/e-waste-recycling-in-singapore/

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Eduardo Pinilla Gil's curator insight, May 31, 2014 12:04 PM

Una infografía sobre la basura electrónica, una fuente de contaminación creciente

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10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities

10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Getting the right city density – generally expressed in the US as people per square mile or homes per acre – to support sustainable and pleasant living is one of the trickiest problems we face as we address the future of our communities. 


The typically low densities of suburban sprawl built in the last half of the 20th century, despite their popularity at the time with a considerable share of the market, have been shown by a voluminous body of research to produce unsustainable rates of driving, carbon emissions, pollution. stormwater runoff, and adverse health impacts. ..


Via Lauren Moss
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Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 23, 2015 8:08 PM

This article shows the implications of high density areas. The solutions that the author discussed make a good point but sound kinda difficult. For example , its not that easy to bring nature into the cities because of the pollution which makes it hard to sustain the sort of growth we need. 

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Healthier Communities Through Design | Metropolis POV | Metropolis Magazine

Healthier Communities Through Design | Metropolis POV | Metropolis Magazine | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

In this context, the consideration of health through the tactics of design is a critical area to consider. Design interventions can help create healthier communities and make an enormous difference in health outcomes. Public policy decisions matter and our Local Leaders report documents the initiatives and policy choices being made by cities across the country.

 

Look for examples in our cities, from New York to Nashville to Seattle and places in-between. Active design is being integrated into the urban fabric of New York City and innovative policies are activating and promoting healthy living. Nashville is committed to becoming the “Healthiest City in the South” by creating an active culture and committing resources to promote walking, biking, and transit. Seattle is envisioning the future through the creation of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict with healthier buildings, better mobility, improved access to fresh foods, and more social equity. These policies provide templates for other cities looking for design solutions to create healthier communities.

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Is the World on the Brink of a Currency War?

Is the World on the Brink of a Currency War? | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The latest hot topic among economic talking heads is the coming currency war. According to conventional wisdom, there’s a risk that major countries will – simultaneously – try to revive their sluggish economies by pushing down the value of their currencies. That strategy could backfire, according to this line of thought, stifling international trade, tipping economies back into recession, and possibly causing Depression-style hyperinflation to boot. Get ready to sell apples on the nearest street corner and buy your morning coffee with a wheelbarrow full of paper money. It all sounds very unpleasant.

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Singapore Got Wildlife, Meh?

A community project based on the contributions of Singapore’s naturalist community, this documentary explores a simple question that Singaporeans often ask - “Singapore got wildlife, meh?” and sheds some light on the amazing animals found in Singapore, from the elusive common palm civet to the elegant blue-spotted fantail ray.

 

This is also Singapore’s first ever crowd-sourced nature documentary, bringing together the photos and video footage volunteered by nature enthusiasts from all over Singapore to tell the story of Singapore’s surprisingly rich natural heritage.

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Sustainable Events Management

Sustainable Events Management | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

ISEP clients benefit by providing a credible way to report their event’s sustainability efforts to their stakeholders, via the verification and quantification of key environmental impact areas such as carbon footprint, energy use, water consumption and waste output.

 

They gain a competitive advantage via cost saving, good publicity, risk mitigation, compliance and in tenders where good environmental practices are a requirement.

 

 

Olive Ventures's insight:

Please see our brochure for more details, and get in touch with us for more information: http://oliveventures.com.sg/act/2013/01/02/instep-sustainable-events-programmes-2013/

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Images, Instagram, and City Planning

Images, Instagram, and City Planning | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

You may be wondering, what is the connection between Instagram and city planning?  Even though I have only been an “Instagrammer” for a few months, I can see how the application can aid planners and even advance city planning.  Specifically, it can accomplish this by doing exactly what Polak argued: capturing our imaginations with a vast array of images, helping us to visualize what is possible, and then doing what is necessary to bring forth positive changes to our communities.  As an example, I can go on Instagram to find pictures of different cities and see how different urban design ideas have been implemented in real life.  Of course, further research via the internet and other means would be necessary, but Instagram is a good place to start because it allows users to easily and visually identify locations and projects of relevance and interest through a search using hashtags.

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Designing the Packaging-Free Future

Designing the Packaging-Free Future | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Designer Aaron Mickelson wants to solve the problem of excess packaging, by creating products that have no packaging at all.

 

Every year, Americans generate a lot of solid waste. In 2010, 250 million tons, according to the EPA. A full 30 percent of that (about 76 million tons) comes from packaging — it’s the biggest culprit.

 

As awareness grows about this problem, many companies and designers are looking for solutions to green their packaging by either making it more recyclable, or reducing the amount. Mickelson wants to take that initiative all the way to its furthest extent and eliminate packaging waste entirely. His Pratt University master’s thesis, called The Disappearing Package, is a proposal for how that might happen. “On a whim, I started thinking about applying the functions of packaging to the product itself,” says Mickelson. “I was immediately struck by the green potential for an idea like this, if it could be applied across several product types.”

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