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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How a New Grocery Store Concept Reduces Waste and Increases Profits

How a New Grocery Store Concept Reduces Waste and Increases Profits | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Think of your average supermarket -- it's a place of plenty, with piles of fresh vegetables bursting off the shelves, yard after yard of meats, cheeses, breads and every wholesome and unwholesome thing you could ever want to stuff in your face. But that illusion of abundance comes with an enormous cost.

 

The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that grocery stores toss out $15 billion worth of fruits and vegetables each year, and that the average supermarket dumps $2,300 worth of out-of-date products each day. (In fact, the entire U.S. food system wastes 40 percent of the goods it produces.) Then there are the hundreds of boxes the food is shipped in; the tons of plastic bags, pasteboard and cellophane the food is wrapped in; plus the paper and plastic bags customers use to carry it home.

 

When you take a good, hard look, a grocery store starts to seem less like a modern cornucopia and more like a national shame. At least, that's what Christian and Joseph Lane see when they look at a conventional supermarket. The brothers from Austin, who run a software-consulting firm, were kicking around ideas for a second business when they were struck by the concept of a zero-waste, packaging-free grocery store.

 

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226852#ixzz2Y5ei8bOS

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Alois Clemens's curator insight, July 5, 2013 4:12 AM

That's the spirit

 

 

Steve Kingsley's curator insight, August 25, 2013 2:26 PM

Why blame the "US food system" for the 40 some percent waste that's caused by us, not the "system?"

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How Money Actually Buys Happiness

How Money Actually Buys Happiness | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Warren Buffett's advice about money has been scrutinized — and implemented — by savvy investors all over the world. But while most people know they can benefit from expert help to make money, they think they already know how to spend money to reap the most happiness. As a result, they follow their intuitions, using their money to buy things they think will make them happy, from televisions to cars to houses to second houses and beyond.

 

The problem with this approach is that a decade of research — conducted by us and our colleagues — demonstrates that our intuitions about how to turn money into happiness are misguided at best and dead-wrong at worst. Those televisions, cars, and houses? They have almost no impact on our happiness. The good news is that we now know what kind of spending does enhance our happiness — insight that's valuable to consumers and companies alike.

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Philippines Makes 100% Renewable Electricity In 10 Years Plan

Philippines Makes 100% Renewable Electricity In 10 Years Plan | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy Director, Alexander Ochs, met with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and high-level representatives of the federal and provincial governments of the Philippines yesterday to lay groundwork for a Sustainable Energy Roadmap for the archipelago nation, which aims to shift its current electricity system to 100 percent renewable energy within a decade.


Climate Change Commissioner and former Senator Heherson Alvarez invited Ochs to present Worldwatch’s suggested methodology for a Sustainable Energy Roadmap, which takes an integrated approach to examining the technical, socioeconomic, financial and policy changes necessary for transitioning to a an energy system entirely based on energy efficiency, intelligent grid solutions and renewable supply.

 

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Flexible Glass Could Make Tablets Lighter and Solar Power Cheaper | MIT Technology Review

Flexible Glass Could Make Tablets Lighter and Solar Power Cheaper | MIT Technology Review | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Researchers at the U.S. government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have built flexible solar cells using a thin and pliable kind of glass from Corning, the company that makes the glass that covers iPhone screens. The new solar cells could make rooftop solar power far cheaper.

 

Based on tests by Corning, which makes a product called Gorilla glass for iPhone screens and which announced the flexible material, called Willow glass, last year, shingles made from such solar cells could last for decades on a roof—even weathering hail greater than three centimeters in diameter. Conventional solar panels are heavy, bulky, and breakable, which makes them expensive to transport and install.

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Robin Cook's comment, July 15, 2013 7:46 AM
Wow, sounds amazing!
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This is what global warming sounds like when converted to music

This is what global warming sounds like when converted to music | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

University of Minnesota student (and cello player) Daniel Crawford has come up with a clever way to demonstrate the warming trend in historical temperature data. He converted the average global temperature for each year to a note, with a higher pitch indicating hotter weather. When he plays the data, the notes go up and down a bit, as you’d expect from normal variation — but the pitch of the song unmistakably gets higher and higher on average. It’s not a very beautiful song, but it’s a beautiful bit of science communication.

 

The data, from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, covers 132 years (1880 to 2012). Crawford converted that information to notes covering three octaves, with the coldest year (1909) corresponding to the lowest note on the cello. For every 0.5 degrees warmer a year was, the note would rise half a step in pitch.

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Ad Campaign Uses Powerful Photographs to Explain that Facebook Likes Don't Help - PetaPixel

Ad Campaign Uses Powerful Photographs to Explain that Facebook Likes Don't Help - PetaPixel | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

When they were tasked with putting together a powerful advertising campaign for Crisis Relief Singapore, ad agency Publicis Singapore mixed heart-wrenching photos with a hard-to-swallow tagline to create something quite moving.

 

The campaign is based around the tag line: “Liking Isn’t Helping,” and it uses press photos of flood, earthquake and war victims surrounded by hands coming from outside the frame giving them a “thumbs up,” symbolizing the Facebook “like.”

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How Can Consumers Find Out If a Corporation Is "Greenwashing" Environmentally Unsavory Practices?: Scientific American

How Can Consumers Find Out If a Corporation Is "Greenwashing" Environmentally Unsavory Practices?: Scientific American | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

In essence, greenwashing involves falsely conveying to consumers that a given product, service, company or institution factors environmental responsibility into its offerings and/or operations. CorpWatch, a non-profit dedicated to keeping tabs on the social responsibility (or lack thereof) of U.S.-based companies, characterizes greenwashing as “the phenomena of socially and environmentally destructive corporations, attempting to preserve and expand their markets or power by posing as friends of the environment.”

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A Successful 21st-Century Brand Has To Help Create Meaningful Lives

Unless you’re making a conscious decision to live off the grid, the vast majority of your day involves interacting with brands and their products. Every decision you--and consumers everywhere from the developed world to the developing world--make in terms of what you buy, what you wear, what you eat, and countless other decisions, is a vote for or against a panoply of multinational companies all vying for your money and attention. A new global survey has identified a key weapon for brands in that battle: Make consumers’ lives better.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Scores As Ambassador of Mangrove Care Forum In Bali, Indonesia

Cristiano Ronaldo Scores As Ambassador of Mangrove Care Forum In Bali, Indonesia | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

We were live at the Mangrove Care Forum in Bali to witness football hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, along with President Bangbang Susilo Yudhyono and other important Indonesian ministers take actions to raise awareness for the negative impact that negligent business operations has had on the Mangroves of Indonesia and also to gain support in restoring these natural habitats.

 

The mangrove tree planting ceremony which took place on the 26th of June 2013, as said by Cristiano Ronaldo himself, was performed in a bid to inspire the youth in Indonesia to be more concerned about their natural ecosystems, and to be more aware of the damage that the neglect of doing so would cause to the future of the country along with the rest of the world.

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Economic success alone is not enough to improve our well being

Economic success alone is not enough to improve our well being | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Businesses have lost their way by focusing on profit maximisation at any cost instead of building strong societies

 

 

 

 

 

 


Via pdjmoo, Faith Attaguile, SustainOurEarth
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Jack and Kaden's curator insight, February 11, 2015 5:03 PM

This article is about peoples ideas on Europe's economy and how they could grow and Europe could be a stronger country in the near future.  There are many views from independent people, companies and other sources like news and papers.  Most these peoples input provides the idea that Europe can and will grow and the countries will be connected with their economies.

Brooke and Carina's curator insight, February 12, 2015 1:10 AM

Area/Geography- environment: Europe is mainly focused on the bettering of their people. Their main goal at the moment is to not only have economic success, but also support as a whole. The worth of their people is more important to them than any amount of money. The unity of the people is what keeps the Country growing strong. 

Jake & Ethan dragon slayers's curator insight, February 16, 2015 3:26 PM

I think that this article shows how The E.U. is growing strong and how Europe is starting to thrive by coming to gather and boosting the economy of all the counties that are in the E.U.

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Climate change could impact food output: World Bank report

Climate change could impact food output: World Bank report | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

A World Bank report stresses that the impact of climate change on food production could be severe, especially given that the benefits of carbon dioxide fertilisation, which is an increase in rate of plant growth due to increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, are still uncertain. The lower nutritional value of foodgrain would have "strong repercussions on food security and are likely to negatively influence economic growth and poverty reduction in the impacted regions", the report, titled "Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience", has said.

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Robin Cook's comment, July 15, 2013 7:49 AM
I suggest also reading about the importance of bees: http://finallygoodnews.net/2013/04/21/parliamentary-action-for-bees/
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NASA’s image of the day: Satellite picture of the #sghaze

NASA’s image of the day: Satellite picture of the #sghaze | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

NASA’s image of the day: Satellite picture of the #sghaze

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Michael Porter unveils new health and happiness index

Michael Porter unveils new health and happiness index | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Can Harvard professor Michael Porter do for wellbeing and happiness what others have so far failed to achieve?

 

The creator of the shared value concept, who has the ear of both big business and governments, has unveiled a "rigorous" new Social Progress Index (SPI) that hopes to put social and environmental considerations at the top of the policy and corporate agenda.

 

He believes that a strong foundation of knowledge and analysis is essential if government, business and civil society are going to be able to collaborate to create new measures that look beyond gross domestic product (GDP), which has dominated the post-war global economy.

 

Porter hopes that the SPI will become as prominent as the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness report in driving best practice and a race for the top.

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Nike to fashion industry: Just do it (with our app)

Nike to fashion industry: Just do it (with our app) | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Fashion designers can now benefit from years of Nike research into sustainable materials. The giant sportswear company is releasing a free mobile app called Making that offers feedback on fabrics they might be considering for a pair of pants, shoes, dress or other piece of apparel.

 

Making, available initially for Apple iOS, works by allowing designers to research fabrics or materials they'd like to use. The software publicly exposes information from an internal database amassed over the past eight years, the Nike Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), which has also been embraced by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition as part of its Higgs Index.

 

So, in theory, the app could also be used by consumers to check out the materials choices that their favorite apparel brands are making.
MSI was originally created for internal use, but decided to open the information to other designers to accelerate creation of sustainable products. "We hope Making will inspire new platforms for open data sharing," said a Nike spokesperson, in response to a question about future plans for the resource.

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Study Suggests 99.9 Percent Renewables Is Feasible and Cost-Effective

Study Suggests 99.9 Percent Renewables Is Feasible and Cost-Effective | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The Delaware researchers evaluated 28 billion combinations of renewable energy and storage, modeled out over a theoretical four-year period using historical weather and electricity load requirement data. "At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90 to 99.9 percent of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today's," the authors wrote. Senior author Willett Kempton has long pushed for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems in which plugged in electric vehicles can provide power back to the grid.

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Climate Change Is the Next $10 Trillion Opportunity

With a 20% shift in our annual infrastructure spending from 20th century technology to 21st century technology we can drive a new global $10 trillion economy by 2020.

 

That was an undercurrent in a powerful speech President Obama delivered last week, demanding EPA set new standards for climate change to reverse its effect on our health and the environment. That bold action will help set goals to meet the desire of many to clean the environment. The president also noted: “A low carbon clean energy economy could be an engine for growth for years to come,” asserting that deploying American innovation by using our natural resources more effectively help boost the economy.

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Productivity of Singapore’s waste management industry ‘abysmal’: Vivian Balakrishnan

Productivity of Singapore’s waste management industry ‘abysmal’: Vivian Balakrishnan | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said there is a big gap in Singapore’s current performance of waste management.

 

While the industry employs 12,000 workers, he said productivity figures are “abysmal”.

 

Speaking at the Waste Management Symposium today (July 2), Dr Balakrishnan said more could be done with fewer workers who should be paid more.

 

“Today, one-third of the waste we discard at home is estimated to be packaging waste and each person discards about 100 kilogrammes of packaging waste in a year. The packaging waste is almost entirely recyclable and yet most of that packing waste does not end up being recycled,” he said.

 

Using the haze in Singapore as an example, Dr Balakrishnan also said air quality is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

 

“It was agricultural waste. It was incinerated not in an incinerator but out in the open and all that smog ended up in the air which we were all forced to breathe without any choice two weeks ago. What we experienced was a clear example of waste disposal gone wrong.”

 

The Singapore Packaging Agreement may offer a solution to that.

Since 2007, companies have reduced a total of 14,900 tons of packaging waste. Sixteen companies were also recognised for their efforts in reducing packaging waste at the 3R Packaging Awards.

 

A new Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) drawn up yesterday will see companies reduce packaging waste by another 6,500 tons by 2015 through a series of initiatives that include reducing the size of product packaging and switching to reusable packaging.

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Amount of food waste here hits record high

Amount of food waste here hits record high | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

"Last year, only about 12 per cent of the total output in food waste was recycled. NEA says it is studying more recycling methods, taking into account cost-effectiveness, practicality and sustainability."

 

From the factory right down to the dining table, more food is being dumped in Singapore.

 

A new record was set for food wastage last year as 703,200 tonnes were generated - a 26 per cent spike from the 558,900 tonnes produced in 2007.

This far outpaced the 15.8 per cent growth in the local population over the same period.

 

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said that besides population growth, a rise in tourist arrivals and increasing affluence had contributed to the problem.

 

GONE TO WASTE

 

There has been a huge increase in food wastage in Singapore.

 

2007 - 558,900 tonnes

2012 - 703,200 tonnes

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Why Making Money Is Not Enough | MIT Sloan Management Review

Why Making Money Is Not Enough | MIT Sloan Management Review | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

The problem with industrial capitalism today is not the profit motive; the problem is how the profit motive is usually framed. There is a persistent myth in the contemporary business world that the ultimate purpose of a business is to maximize profit for the company’s investors. However, the maximization of profit is not a purpose; instead, it is an outcome. We argue that the best way to maximize profits over the long term is to not make them the primary goal.

 

Profits are like happiness in that they are a byproduct of other things. Happiness, for example, can stem from having a strong sense of purpose, meaningful work and deep relationships. Those who focus obsessively on their own happiness are usually narcissists — and end up miserable. Similarly, companies need a purpose that transcends making money; they need sustainability strategies that recognize that you can make money by doing good things rather than the other way around.

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The Architect Of Trickle Down Economics Finally Put In His Place -

The Architect Of Trickle Down Economics Finally Put In His Place - | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

For those who continue to push for trickle down economics, September 13, 1970 is a date which lives in history. It was on that day which the New York Times published “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits” by Milton Friedman. This piece has been held up by so-called “free market” advocates as the foundation of their beliefs. Of course, their belief falls apart when presented with reality.

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Wilmar to Cut Off Palm Suppliers Caught Burning in Indonesia

Wilmar to Cut Off Palm Suppliers Caught Burning in Indonesia | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Wilmar International Ltd. (WIL), the world’s largest palm oil trader, plans to cut ties with Indonesian suppliers that clear land with illegal fires after blazes engulfed Singapore in a record haze.

 

Wilmar, which bans burning on its own plantations, relies on third parties for more than 90 percent of the crude palm oil for its refineries. Sime Darby Bhd. (SIME), the biggest publicly traded palm oil producer, also prohibits burning at its own plantations and relies on other sources for supplies, buying as much as half the commodity for its plants from others.

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WRI Releases Updated Data on the Fires in Indonesia | WRI Insights

WRI Releases Updated Data on the Fires in Indonesia | WRI Insights | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Last Friday, the World Resources Institute (WRI) published detailed data on the location of forest and land fires on Sumatra, which have spread a noxious and harmful haze across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and caused widespread public concern. Governments from all three nations, many companies, and news outlets are seeking data to help understand the origin and spread of the fires, and determine who should be held accountable.

 

Read WRI’s “Peering Through the Haze: What Data Can Tell Us About the Fires in Indonesia”

WRI now has an updated assessment of fire alerts in Sumatra, showing the progression of alerts through time and location in relation to company concessions. The new analysis incorporates two important data updates:

New fire alerts from NASA’s Active Fire Data, which shows the most recent fire alerts for the period of June 20-23 (previous analysis was for June 12-20).

More recent concession and land use maps from the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, dated 2013.

The new version of our Interactive Map overlays NASA’s Active Fire Data and the updated 2013 concession data.


NOTE: The visualizations below are based on publicly available data from NASA and the Government of Indonesia. WRI experts have done their best to verify this information, but cannot confirm the accuracy of the original information.


- See more at: http://insights.wri.org/news/2013/06/wri-releases-updated-data-fires-indonesia#sthash.05KUNMJv.dpuf

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Singapore, Malaysia face economic hit from prolonged smog

Singapore, Malaysia face economic hit from prolonged smog | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Singapore and Malaysia could face a bigger economic impact than from their worst air pollution crisis 16 years ago if slash-and-burn fires in Indonesia continue to rage in the coming weeks, turning off tourists and raising business costs.

 

Restaurants, tourist attractions and some other businesses are already feeling the pain as haze envelopes the Southeast Asian neighbours, from Singapore's upscale shopping districts to Malaysia's popular beach resorts.

The haze crisis in 1997 lasted about three months and cost Southeast Asia an estimated $9 billion from disruptions to air travel, health expenses and other business impacts. Economists and businesses say the costs are already mounting about a week since air pollution levels in the countries shot up to unhealthy and sometimes hazardous levels.

 

"The haze has definitely affected our business. Our sales fell around 40 percent in the past week," said Goo Wai Chien, who sells pizza and pasta at a hawker centre in Singapore's business district. "But hopefully the situation is improving."

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Green Drinks Singapore June 2013 - LET'S TALK

Green Drinks Singapore June 2013 - LET'S TALK | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

June witnessed many environmental events occupied the front page in the media. Haze, dengue, Green Singapore Sale, New York composting, the list goes on. Where do you take these issues in your personal lives? How do you make plans for your future? What is the industry opinion? What actions can we take? How far would you inconvenience your lifestyle for the future generation’s food supplies?

 

These are all valid questions! Mingle around like-minded people helps to affirm our steps towards environmental sustainability.


Supported by Artery Bar, let’s talk over Green Drinks on Thursday, 27 June 2013 from 6:30PM onwards.

 

Artery Bar is located on 28 Maxwell Rd, #01-04 Red Dot Traffic Building, Singapore 069120

 

Best part yet: Happy Hour applies from 6:30 – 8PM. So bring your friends! We hope to see you there!

 

Pls RSVP at: greendrinkssingapore@gmail.com or Join our Facebook Event here!

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How climate change climbed up the business agenda

How climate change climbed up the business agenda | Trends in Sustainability | Scoop.it

Climate change, deforestation, sustainable sourcing. Voices of concern over these issues – and more – aren't only those of activists or the environmental community. Increasingly, disparate stakeholders and investors are chiming in. What was once a murmur is now a chorus, often built into business plans and integrated into corporate agendas.

 

In a recent preview of the 2013 proxy season, Ernst & Young reported that 45% of shareholder proposals focus on environmental and social topics. Interestingly, nearly one third of climate change and other sustainability proposals were withdrawn, indicating dialogue between corporations and shareholders on these issues that has satisfied both parties.

 

Shareholder expectations have historically pushed the corporate agenda, but why the growing interest in greener topics? Environmental and social issues – in other words sustainability issues – interest shareholders because they are strategic risk-management issues. Leading companies are taking their cue accordingly, renewing their focus on the need for resource efficiency and scenario planning. This response spans large industrial sectors including oil and gas, agriculture, food and beverage, manufacturing and utilities.

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