What is The Circular Economy?

Circular Economy

Taking The Non-Linear Approach

The circular economy, much like Mad Max‘s Bartertown, represents a model by which waste is not viewed as waste, but rather a source of power or material for something else. It’s essentially a closed loop system. The circular economy currently describes a pretty amazing representation of our desire to strive for zero waste,  like the natural world itself. Rather than the conventional means of manufacturing, which is often devised for a single purpose, more attention is given to the product’s end of life, and assessed for further opportunities.

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Are Divestments Working?

Old Pump

What We’re Dealing With

Divestment is “the act of selling off a business/es, or of no longer investing money in something,” (Cambridge Dictionary). Basically pulling your money from organizations that you no longer believe to be of sound investment, or that you have come to disagree with as a result of their corporate actions and operations. In the context of climate change, the movement to divest represents the growing trend to withdraw investments from companies that deal in fossil fuels (such as coal & petroleum), and consequently endanger our future and that of the planet.

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The Lowdown on Sustainability Reporting

Downtown Toronto

The Toronto Sustainability Reporting Symposium

Last week I attended a conference on sustainability reporting. It was held in Toronto’s swanky financial district (this is where the TV show Suits is filmed btw – yours truly got to witness some of the action while there). Present at the event were leaders in sustainability reporting, subject matter experts, corporate sustainability chiefs, and academics. The symposium’s objective was to bring all these people together in order for them to share their knowledge and insights, as well as offer descriptions of current developments in the field of sustainability metrics. It was simultaneously an enlightening and disconcerting experience, but I certainly left the event with a greater awareness of the gains and challenges in sustainability reporting.

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The Corporate Paradox

Film Recommendation

The Corporation (2003)

Understanding its Purpose

A powerful documentary about the role of corporations in modern society. Although a few years old already (as reflected in the graphics), the content is nonetheless very relevant and highly potent. It highlights the origins of the modern corporation, describing the pros and cons of incorporation. These disadvantages are made apparent by the malfeasance of some of world’s largest companies.

The documentary raises the question (among others), that such misdeeds are not simply due to the actions of a few bad actors. In fact, many of these same companies are still around, and continue certain immoral and unethical activities even with different people at the helm. Rather, the filmmakers posit that it is the very nature of the corporation itself, as it is currently defined, that inclines industry to do bad.

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Questionable Ownership

Film Recommendation

Bottled Life (2012)

THE Corporate Take on Water

This admittedly disturbing documentary following the business practices of Nestle, the planet’s largest food and beverage company, with regards to how they pursue bottled water as a beverage product. As the documentary unfolds the viewer gets a glimpse of the manner in which this company exploits local environments, and corresponding governments, in the unquenchable pursuit of greater profits. While the realization of this corporate behavior can leave the viewer unsettled, it also encourages active involvement, as an informed citizenship (and consumer) can subsequently learn to make better choices. I encourage you to give it a view.

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