Get informed – Explore – Act

If you’re interested in the fun opportunity side of environmental sustainability, then get started today with these simple steps: Get informed about today’s solutions (much more fun than doom and gloom) Explore your local business ecosystem for opportunities Act – connect, collaborate, experiment, repeat. 1. Get informed Check these 2 knowledge bases off  – if you’re not across them then …

Key concepts driving the regenerative business space

To most people getting on with their lives and listening to the mass media debates about climate change, ocean plastics and deforestation, “this sustainability thing” can seem overwhelming, frustrating and hopeless. But concern about climate change and environmental damage has been growing for decades (if not centuries – the problem of climate change was identified back in the 19th century). …

Flowers, oysters and regenerative thinking in action

There have been some fascinating examples of regenerative thinking in action through my Inbox recently. Here are a few that illustrate the great ways that rethinking systems and technologies delivers profit, community benefit and environmental benefit. Innovators are applying physics and biology, not just engineering Native oyster beds are being regenerated in South Australia, not only improving the coastal ecosystem, …

How best to read "Drawdown"?

I’m loving the recently released book “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming” – but friends have found it a bit overwhelming. So now when I give it to them to look at, I guide them through it this way: I open it at the back, starting them with the section “What do the numbers tell …

Drawdown is coming

Update 28 April 2017:  Well worth the investment, just for a cogent explanation of key issues and options.  Biggest surprise (so far): How high up the list Refrigerant Management sits. I’ve loved Paul Hawken’s work ever since I read both Natural Capitalism and The Ecology of Commerce alongside Ray Anderson’s Mid Course Correction. (In sustainability units of a Graduate Diploma.) …

what specifically

What does “government action on climate change” look like?

Last week I read yet another social media post bemoaning “the lack of government action” on sustainability and wondered: What government specifically the writer was wanting to act?  (From context, it was probably Australia’s federal government) What magic bullet solution he thought that a change in government action might deliver? Was his complaint going to perpetuate the myth that federal …

What happens when we explore beyond politicians fixing climate change?

What can we do differently when we realise that climate change solutions don’t REQUIRE government policy action? What else is possible when we recognise that expensive consumer frugality isn’t “the big answer”? (NOTE: I’m not saying that these aren’t useful – I’m asking “is this the only powerful source of innovation?“) I listened to the same old conversation on my …

We have the technology…

… to design regenerative supply chains. Back in the 20th century, “sustainable” products, processes and services were expensive, difficult and unreliable. But that was then….

What do geckos have to do with carpet tiles?

For years I tried to ignore my environmental concerns. I was worried but felt powerless.  Then I was introduced to “Natural Capitalism” and I got interested – almost in spite of myself. The story of a mid-course correction Then I read entrepreneur Ray Anderson’s first book “MidCourse Correction” – and that got me INSPIRED. 

Water > Carrots > Water

“A watery by-product of fruit and vegetable processing, which used to end up in the sewerage system, is now being served at restaurants as premium drinking water.” Yes, this article is about bottled water – but it’s also about a fundamental shift in how entrepreneurs are thinking differently and turning “waste” back in to high-value resources.   You may not value …

Who says climate requires government action?

Are your personal emissions toxic?

A 6 point check for “toxic seriosity” It’s easy to get passionate about sustainability – but is your message EFFECTIVE? How do you know whether you’re creating action – or whether you’re teaching helplessness? Here’s a quick check on what you’re messaging and how you’re pushing it.

What the bleep is biomimicry?

Biomimicry is a label for a design process that’s been developing over the past few decades – it’s a design process that happens where technology meets biology and physics. It challenges our traditional approaches of mechanical and chemical engineering with elegant new solutions. Biomimicry has been happening since Leonardo sketched designs based on nature, but it has been named and …

Sapiens, sustainability and the power of fiction

Yuval Noah Harari’s recent book “Sapiens” is a fascinating insight into human history and how humans use language. “…the truly unique feature of our language is … the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist at all. As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched …

6 ways to screw up any sustainability message

Not getting the results you want?  Maybe there’s a reason.  I’m repeatedly amazed at how little many (extremely smart) sustainability advocates seem know about the art and craft of influencing. Poorly crafted sustainability messages are as destructive as any other form of junk mail.  How many of these screw-ups have you seen recently? 1. Only talk about the bad news …

You know the world is changing when…

When leading brands start turning regenerative thinking into business innovation, you know there’s a fundamental mindset shift underway. Here are a few big brand indicators that particularly caught my eye: Adidas  collaborates with Sea Shepherd to make running shoes out of ocean plastics: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3048033/adidas-knit-these-sneakers-entirely-from-ocean-plastic-trash McDonalds hooks up with Rocky Mountain Institute to design a Net Zero Energy fast food outlet:  …

Macca’s is aiming for zero net energy!

You know the world is changing when the Golden Arches crowd hooks up with the Rocky Mountain Institute to design a net zero energy fast food outlet – largely achievable with today’s technology! In this case, Net Zero Energy means that a store must offset its energy consumption with on-site renewable energy generation on an annual basis.   It’s not a …

What hooked Naomi Klein into sustainability?

A good friend loaned me the book “This Changes Everything” by social activist Naomi Klein.  It’s a massive book and I’m still processing a lot of its content. One thing that I’m always on the lookout for in sustainability is to understand the triggers that enable people to engage with something so potentially overwhelming.  So the bit of the book …