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For those who weren't able to watch live our event #22, we had the privilege of extending our session with our guests to cover more topics inside the huge issue of our food system and how its redesign should translate into our diets.
Marc Buckey - Global food reformist, UN SDG Advocate, World Economic Forum Agriculture & Innovation Expert
Dr. Jasmol Sardana - Internal Medicine Phyisician at the Barnard Medical Center (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)
Prof. Alain Peeters - Co-Founder and Secretary General of Agroecology Europe, Agroecology Researcher at Natural Resources, Human Environment and Agronomy (RHEA)
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On 12th August, sustainavistas hosted our 20th event in support of the Call to Action launched by Business For Nature coalition. During the webinar, Martin Sneary, Project Director at Business For Nature, and sustainavista Marina Repina, shared insights around the Nature is Everyone’s Business campaign in support of the Call to Action.
The key aim of Business For Nature is to unify businesses in supporting policy makers in their efforts to reverse nature loss by 2030. This is being done through a number of events and notably a call to action that businesses of all sizes and in all industries are invited to sign up to. The pledge is a simple statement of support by the signatory but does not imply any commitment by the company to change their ways. According to Martin Sneary, this is an easy starting point for businesses to become aware of the plight of nature and to show their concern.
The list of signatories will be presented to the United Nations at the UN summit at the end of September 2020, and already more than 250 companies including some very well-known names (Unilever, Danone, Nestlé, AXA to name just a few) have signed up.
Sustainavistas is an action-driven International network connecting 340+ professionals coming from 30+ countries, alumni from Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, change agents in motion to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
With this joint campaign, Business for Nature and sustainavistas send out and urgent call to protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources. To make the first step, it only requires to sign the Call to Action.
Every voice counts.
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Featuring as a guest speaker Prof Jeroen van Erp, co-founder of Fabrique, and our guest facilitators Anna Itkin, Joachim Jake Layes, Marisa Agrasut and Claudia Hutten. What an amazing way of putting a sustainability strategy in place, using an approach that is inspired in the design field.
Below is the link to the summary of the session, that includes workshop outcomes, links to the relevant texts to deepen your understanding of the material and introduction to the relevance of design as a discipline to sustainability.
The webinar and the workshop were based on Chapter 3, “Designing Transitions: Pivoting Complex Innovation” - co-authored by our guest Jeroen van Erp - in the book Strategic Design - 8 Essential Practices Every Strategic Designer Must Master.
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Check out the finest moments of our event How to communicate and ‘sell’ sustainability, featuring Virginia Cinquemani from Green Gorilla. Virginia has brought our game up to a new level when communicating the sustainability message and bringing stakeholders together to act with us on the sustainability journey. From this moment on, we start all our meetings by opening our chest and taking as much space as possible, like gorillas!
>> WATCH HERE <<
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Benchmarking, Disclosure & True Pricing webinar highlights. Looking into the practical implementation of benchmarking tools for businesses looking to measure and report of their emissions reductions
Vicky Sins - World Benchmarking Alliance
Meine van de Graff - MVO Netherlands & FutureProof Coffee Collective
Nathan Cable - World Benchmarking Alliance
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Notes from the session. Written by Lisa Codo. Thank you Lisa.
Michael Kind - ShareAction:
ShareAction is a UK NGO that encourages/supports investors to take action against the companies they are invested in.
“We make conscious consumer choices but our pension funds are invested in areas we might not support and simply wouldn’t want to fund”.
Of all the money invested in the UK 50% comes from pensions
£2.6 trillion invested in UK pensions
Its an important part of the economy, pensions aim to grow in value and are often invested in the biggest companies. Those companies usually run projects and it’s the investment income they receive that funds those projects. Eg. Funding of ITV programs, BT’s pension plan funded the Kings Cross expansion.
Individual call to action:
Asset allocation – select where to invest money
Stewardship – you have a seat at the table with voting rights at AGM.
ShareAction can file shareholder resolutions enabling shareholders (like us that have a pension invested in a company), to put forward an idea on which all other shareholders can vote on.
All shareholders are legally allowed to submit a question at the company’s AGM. Technically your shares are owned by your pension provider. Most pension providers are not good at engaging with the companies they are investing in.
Currently ShareAction have been working on the Barclays Resolution as their AGM is in May. They want to push the campaign that Barclays lending should align with the Paris Agreement aims.
Check out ShareAction website on how to take part in Barclays resolution.
NEST? Not all ethical funds are as ethical as consumers may think.
ShareAction is UK only but, Ceres is similar in the US, ERIN is the European Responsible Investment Network
Debated often whether its better to pull out of investing in companies like BP, Shell vs staying in and having a voice to campaign and push them into better directions.
Book from audience suggested – The Fairshare Model – a performance based capital structure…..
Tridos Bank – Ellen Harrison
Aim of Tridos to make money work for a positive change.. 25years old. Protects and promtes quality of life and human dignity.
Lending has to be for positive needs otherwise will be refused. Works like a normal bank with individual and corporate accounts
Work with other groups such as:
Global Alliance for banking – 62 institutions, 12 partners worldwide.
UN Principles for responsible banking - UNEP Financial Initiative, All banks involved have to commit to sustainability.
Idea to make banks accountable for their positive and negative social & env. Impacts
PCAF – carbon accounting financials – disclosure emissions – 59 institutes signed up
Examples of successful projects with Triodos:
1. Berwickshire Housing Assoc – invested in green energy windmills and with profits plough them into housing for local community
2. Riverford Orgs – LT relationship with founder, supported from start up.
3. Uni of Winchester – tackling climate chg from building funded by bank
4. Whitely Village – development of care home with new facilities
Now in pandemic they have helped struggling charities with flexible financing arrangements
On earth day they initiated Earth Switch Campaign to switch to their bank.
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It's the year 2045 and organizations from around the world are working together to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5oC.
In this presentation, we look at how animal agriculture, and the dairy industry in particular, has embraced natural solutions and new technologies over the previous 25 years.
We look at the negative impacts from the dairy industry at the beginning of the 21st century, with a focus on GHG emissions, pollution, water usage and biodiversity, with an assessment of how we arrived at this point.
Next is a review of the triggers for change and how we reached the tipping point in 2020, as well as who the key actors were, who enabled the transition to more sustainable practices.
Finally, we look at the interventions and innovations that is bringing the dairy industry close to net zero.
This back casting approach provides an opportunity to imagine what might be possible and to stimulate discussion on this critical topic.
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By Greta Pons on behalf of Sustainavistas
The YouthMundus Festival Initiative is a global youth driven festival centered around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 1st edition of the festival took place in Rome, from the 14 - 17th of November.
The festival was a pilot event developed with an innovative formula containing the most universal and powerful mediums of arts, including film, music, art exhibitions and interactive installations.
The overall feedback received from participants was the amusement of how the subject was tackle and the delivery of the message getting into the reflection and values of the individuals. I particular the connection with different cultures and how their activism experiences have been shared all around the world.
The opening ceremony and the night concerts were indeed the most success insights.
The most inspiring part was when the 11 Global Youth Ambassadors, all aged between 11 & 19 years old and coming from all over the world, shared, with a contagious passion, their stories with local young people.
The presence of institutions and local organizations contributed greater to appeal people’s participation during the opening ceremony.
The key learning is to work very hard on involving organization and institutions on the ground and to leverage their audience and communication tools.
The evening concerts were as well the highest success, were the bands were all from Italy and achieved to involve and communicate the message through their lyrics to the local young audiences.
A piece of learning is to work on the schedule in a smarter way and mix panels with musical entertainment in order to get some of the more “escapist” public to engage with the parts of the festival that were focusing on delivering a deeper message around climate change, sustainable lifestyle, mental health, LGBTQ+ and women's rights.
The most challenging part right now is to capitalize on this event and keep people engaged and involved.
Heading up on the 2nd edition of YouthMundus we are contacting with different hosting country, in order to rise the interest of local partners and the local community to deliver again a success festival for next year.
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TerraCycle is a global company that operates 4 business streams developing various waste solutions around the world, while the TerraCycle Foundation is active in emerging regions.
The company’s activities are based on examining 4 questions about any type of waste:
1. Is the item locally recyclable? The answer to this question produces a linear stream solution – diverting waste from burn or bury to recycling.
2. Can a (particular) packaging be made from waste? The solution here is a product that is either partially or completely made from recycled material.
3. The 3rd stream is going one layer deeper, aiming at eliminating the idea of waste entirely. This is where The Loop initiative was born – solving the waste problem at the root cause.
4. The 4th and the most recent development is based on the recognition that certain waste streams contain diagnosable samples (e.g. diapers, pets’ excretions, etc.). Collecting and analyzing the data that can be acquired from them has the potential of improving people’s lives. This is where TerraCycle has entered into the business of Big Data in healthcare.
The main question that the company is asking and that will help to shift from solutions within the linear system paradigm to solutions in the circular system paradigm is: “Where did the idea of waste come from?”
Tom shared that he had identified that the idea that “waste is great” had emerged on the public radar in 1950s where through advertisement people were encouraged to stop wasting their time and energy washing and returning containers through deposit systems. Instead, they were prompted to start throwing away packaging made from aluminium and plastic that were lighter, cheaper and designed to be disposable. All the important parameters to instigate behavioural change were accounted for: convenience and affordability. The only thing that was not accounted for was waste. Massive amounts of it.
Now, in trying to solve the challenge that waste had become, one must answer this question: “How to make the economics work? What makes something recyclable?” Tom shared that there is a simple equation to follow: cost of logistics + cost of processing < material value = recyclable. As long as the cost of processing and logistics is lower than the material value of the final product, recycling the waste stream is viable. If costs are higher than the material value of the final product, then it is not viable to recycle the waste stream. Following this equation, TerraCycle unlocks the funding potential through partnerships and programs in such a way that the economics work in favour of recycling for almost anything one can find in waste streams today. This only means one thing – if there is a will there is a way!
The second stream of work in TerraCycle is creation of products from recycled materials. The key factor here is construction of unique supply chains, e.g. ocean plastic collected from around the world, sorted at TerraCycle facilities, processed by partners and purchased by brands to manufacture their products.
So far sounds great! But TerraCycle didn’t stop there. Instead they asked: “Is recycling the answer?” “It’s the answer to a symptom, but not to the root cause of the waste problem” – says Tom Szaky.
With the emergence of disposable packaging, companies no longer saw durable packaging as an asset, were no longer the owners of the packaging and were no longer responsible for the waste. Users became the “owners” and the packaging became a “cost of goods sold” to manufacturers, i.e. cost being fully allocated per fill. It was then in the manufacturers’ interest to make the packaging cheaper, lowering the cost per fill.
Over time companies had gradually reduced the amount of material used in packaging, reducing the associated costs and the environmental impact. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, recycling rates had declined - when the packaging became lighter, there was less value to be recovered, hence no financial incentive for recycling. Furthermore, an additional unintended consequence was that consumer delight had deteriorated - it is much nicer to drink from a glass bottle than from a multi-layered pouch, for example.
How to solve the unintended consequences of disposability while maintaining its virtues? Moving on from a linear to a circular system, solving the waste problem in its roots – disposability. The Loop solution redesigned the relationships customers have with products. There is a change in ownership. Companies are now again owning their packaging and therefore responsible for the use and its end of life.
Durable design enabled a number of exciting positive outcomes:
1. In the single-use container, the price of the packaging is embedded in the product itself, while in the multiple-use container only the use is embedded in the price. The more durable the container is, the more use cycles it can serve, which lowers the cost of the packaging, making it cheaper over time than the single-use packaging.
2. Reusability is better for the environment, reducing the amount of generated waste.
3. New elevated design: futuristic or the heritage look, e.g. Coca-Cola bringing back its original bottles.
4. New features: opportunity to innovate with new materials and better properties.
So, for decades companies avoided ownership. What pushed them to partner with TerraCycle in The Loop initiative? “Of course public pressure to eliminate waste is very helpful” – shared Tom. But beyond that, The Loop enabled the creation of a single holistic sustainability solution as well as stimulation of massive innovation and definition of future trends.
In the future, The Loop will be a solution that will not only expand geographically and will add more products, but will also expand into other sectors. For example, take away food packaging, baby and children products, clothing, etc. TerraCycle is intended to be a B2B, not only a B2C company. It is envisioned to become an engine, not a retailer and manufacturer of its own products. TerraCycle creates ideas and systems and uses partnerships as well as existing platforms to achieve its goals. No to competition, yes to collaboration!
Tom Szaky from Terracycle and well known from Loop & Sustainavistas speaker from our 3 July 2019 Webinar - Effective circularity solutions
TerraCycle reuses, upcycles, and recycles waste instead of incinerating or land filling it. This moves waste from a linear system to a circular one, allowing it to keep cycling in our economy.
Some of the questions covered: However, asking questions like: "Where does the idea of waste come from?" and "How to solve the root cause of waste?" reveals that there is more to waste and TerraCycle than recycling.
#waste #sustainability #circular #effectivesustainabilitysolutions #sustainavistas #recycling