The Blue Economy - the most ethical and sustainable ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and WEALTH CREATION opportunity of our time!
The Blue Economy is shaping a new way to do business.
It's creating jobs (millions of them), solving problems, teaching us to be more entrepreneurial and collaborative working with what we have, opening the door to innovation led by physics, inspired by nature - building on the green economy - but doing it in a systemic way, with new business models and innovation, where there is zero waste, multiple new revenue streams and multiple benefits including building capital in all it's forms.
Through a systemic approach, the Blue Economy provides us the principles, methodologies, business models and technologies to deliver win:win solutions to a changing economic landscape in which resource depletion and social costs are untenable and unsustainable.
Whether you are a farmer, manufacturer, miner, government, utility provider, small business or a multinational company - the blue economy can help you achieve your goals in a way that reduces costs, builds resilience and generates value rather than cuts jobs.
I recently attended the Blue Economy Summer School hosted by the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Pecs in Hungary, providing me with substantial knowledge about the methodology and principles of the Blue Economy, social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, systems design, regional development and sustainable technologies. I am honored to now be certified as a Blue Economy Expert and delighted to be able to start to share knowledge and help build capacity across the Asia Pacific Region.
The Blue Economy solutions are open source and free to share. But for most, it's not about the innovation, but how to get started and apply Blue Economy principles.
In an effort to help you understand the Blue Economy and get started, I'm running a series of one day workshop across the country in October and am dedicating this newsletter to the Blue Economy. And with August 19 being World Overshoot Day - the day we exhaust Nature's Ecological Budget for the year, it's appropriate that the Blue Economy reminds us not to demand more of the Earth - but to do more with what the earth provides!
| So if you are responsible for or have an interest in regional and economic development, sustainable development, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, disaster management, education, R&D, innovation, entrepreneurship, business/industry and or advisory services - then take heed. This is for you! |
MOSS Founder & CEO and Blue Economy Expert
About the Blue Economy
It all started April 6, 1994 when Prof Gunter Pauli arrived in Tokyo and meet Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, then Rector of the United Nations University who with the support of the Japanese Government decided to create a think tank which was to imagine a competitive business model in a world guided by the Kyoto Protocol.
Twenty years later, the philosophy of zero emissions, where waste is converted to revenues, and unused yet widely available resources cascade into a chain of value generation, they can look back at around 200 implemented projects, the generation of $4 billion in investments and an impact as a concept that created an estimated 3 million jobs.
|The most widely copied project is the farming of mushrooms on coffee (+1,000), the most advanced is the bio-refinery processing thistles - producing Elastomers (rubber) and Esters. Global revenues for rubbers are forecast to rise to US$56 billion by 2020. The applications of esters include lubricants, cosmetics, plastics, resins, explosives, bio-fuel, surfactants and synthesis of various industrial chemicals.|
Led by Prof Gunter Pauli, 3,500 scientists worldwide through the Zero Emissions Institute (ZERI), the Club of Rome, and now a small army of Blue Economy Experts (about 50 of us worldwide) plus thousands of interested followers, the Blue Economy to set to generate 100 million jobs through 100 new innovations led by physics, inspired by nature all with zero waste in the next 10 years.
The book The Blue Economy as presented to the Club of Rome by Gunter Pauli is translated into 35 languages, and is the subject of animated movies, and several documentaries. It is endorsed by Presidents, Prime Ministers and Policy Makers through to global thought leaders, Founders and CEO's of the world's most ethical corporations, Leaders of the Scientific Community, the UN, Investment Agencies, Nobel Peace Laureates and leading NGO's.
The Blue Economy is the Zero Emissions Research Institute (ZERI) philosophy in action.
|Blue Economy is where the best for health and the environment is cheapest and the necessities for life are free thanks to a local system of production and consumption that works with what you have.|
Blue Economy "innovative business models" are capable of bringing competitive products and services to the market responding to basic needs while building social capital and enhance mindful living in harmony with nature's evolutionary path.
Blue Economy "competitiveness" harnesses and optimises innate virtues and values connecting untapped local potential.
The Blue Economy aims to:
- Turn scarcity into abundance through systems thinking and entrepreneurship.
- Create long-term value so as not to burden future generations due to the careless creation of products, processes or standards.
- Eliminate the concept of waste by evaluating and optimising the full life-cycle of products and processes inspired by the state of natural systems, in which there is no waste.
- Rely on natural energy flows and the sun (as free energy sources).
- Understand the limitations of design nature as a model and mentor, not as an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
- Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between all stakeholders from workers to customers and suppliers to link long term sustainable considerations with ethical sourcing and re-establishing the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.
- Use Global Progress Indicators (GPI) rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of economic growth. Among the indicators factored into GPI are resource depletion, pollution, and long-term environmental damage
- Better understand and work with the 5 kingdoms of nature of Algae, Bacteria, Fungi, Animals and Plants.
China are one of the first countries to truly embrace the Blue Economy, and it's no wonder as it is one of the few that has a long-term sustainable development plan. It has translated and printed all the Blue Economy Childrens Fables and are giving them out free to all schools so future generations are inspired by nature, taught at an early age how to think systemically and create zero waste.
|China have also established a stone paper production facility. Yes paper that can be recycled forever made without water or tree fibers, re-using mining waste. The opportunity is not just the single production of paper. Stone paper can be recycled quasi indefinitely, thus institutionalising a high material efficiency. Indeed, since stone paper is made from mineral sources, it cannot be destroyed, only reconditioned. However, the opportunity is more than a chance to substitute fibres and water with stones, it is an opportunity to generate more cash flow, and to strengthen the balance sheet by converting provisions to assets. (THIS IS WHAT I LOVE THE MOST - application of the Blue Economy JUST KEEP ADDING VALUE).|
Indeed, tailing dams represent an important investment cost and an operational expense, for which provisions are made so that at the time of the closing of a mine a rehabilitation of the site can be implemented. More important yet: all tailings still contain small amounts of gold which could not be extracted since the cost of pulverizing ore even finer would be too high. However if now the stones are turned into 3 to 5 micron (μ) size particles then all gold and valuable minerals can be extracted while generating the ideal size of mineral material for paper. South Africa are wanting to get a stone paper manufacturing plant up. Any takers for Australia or the Asia Pacific Region? If you are a mining company looking for additional revenues streams (especially based on waste), or an ethical investment fund looking for a game changing technology with a global market - we should talk!
|On the other end of the spectrum, we are seeing very good application of waste from the second highest commodity on earth - Coffee! When most people think about sustainability in the coffee industry, they usually think about living standards of coffee producers, cultivation and processing practices, storage, transportation and marketing. But what about its waste!|
Did you know that in the harvesting, processing, roasting and brewing of coffee an estimated 99.8 percent of the biomass is discarded. While only 0.2% acquires value on the market, the remainder - rich in caffeine - is wasted.
Based on this, much investigation has been undertaken in recent years to learn how to use the coffee waste - and discovered coffee grounds can be used for just about anything from clothing to batteries and biofuel. Plants such as rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreen and camellias that prefer acidic soils all benefit from a layer of coffee grounds. Coffee is high in nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium and other trace minerals, so spreading around a thin layer of coffee grounds on your soil will allow a slow release of these minerals into your plants. Be aware however of which plants like acidic soil (roses), and tomatoes, which plants don't! Coffee can also be a natural insect repellant. Coffee has a very strong odour which many insects and animals do not like. In addition, it's been suggested that mosquitoes, ants, slugs and maggots all dislike the acidity of coffee and will stay away from areas where there is high concentration of acidic soil.
|Possibly one of the more common practices however is growing mushrooms on coffee waste - the most copied (1000+) of the Blue Economy innovations providing food security, reducing emissions, and generating employment where the bi-product is a high quality livestock feed.|
We're told in Europe, some mushroom entrepreneurs are making EUR240,000 per annum from growing mushrooms on waste in an old shipping container. We've heard similar numbers from an Australian growing them in an old garage in Sydney.
Anne Hidalgo the newly elected Mayor of Paris is pushing to grow mushrooms across Paris to generate employment and provide local restaurants, supermarkets and food markets with fresh oyster and shitake mushrooms, instead of shipping them in from Asia. We should be doing the same here in Australia!
BLUE ECONOMY TRAINING EVENTS
And if you missed it earlier, we are also rolling out a series of one day workshops across the country to introduce in more detail the opportunities, innovations, philosophies and benefits of the Blue Economy - PERTH Oct 21, MELBOURNE Oct 24, SYDNEY Oct 30 and BRISBANE Nov 10.
|Join us for a mind-blowing insight into NEW business models and innovation that's creating jobs and building business and community resilience. View sustainability through a new set of lenses, see economic development in ways you could not have imagined possible and discover new business models and innovation that's reshaping how we do business in this one day Introduction to the Blue Economy Workshop lead by International Blue Economy Expert Anne-Maree Huxley. For full details DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE HERE.|
BLUE ECONOMY PRINCIPLES and INNOVATION IN ACTION
There's literally thousands of innovations that would be considered blue. Some tried and tested, some emerging. Here's a few innovations to wet your appetite in terms of what's possible, and an interview with the man behind the Blue Economy - Gunter Pauli.
|Discover the Game Changing Water Vortex. The availability of clean water is increasingly under pressure as population increases and consumption per capita rises incessantly. The introduction of the water vortex as a platform technology is seeing great advancements in agriculture and cost reduction in water treatment especially for potable water. This natural phenomenon is replacing chemicals and membranes in water purification and has the capacity to dramatically increase efficiency and cost of water treatment, cutting costs while generating local jobs. Learn more at our upcoming one day workshop!|
|Do tilapia and mangroves hold the key to improved water desalination? Danish company, Aquaporin, employs a bio-inspired method that has desalination potential. The company makes filters of many types that mimic the bilipid membranes in your body. These bio-inspired processes however may eventually have to compete with or include a relatively new material development in graphene, which a team at MIT successfully has punctured with holes at nano-scale to produce an effective filter that can pass water at many times the rate of conventional filters More... |
|Coffee industry use coffee waterwaste to produce energy and save prescious water resources. UTZ Certified's Energy from Coffee Wastewater project has proven that it is possible to generate energy, tackle climate change and protect water resources by treating discharges from coffee mills. Tailor-made coffee wastewater treatment systems and solid-waste treatment mechanisms were installed at 19 coffee farms - eight in Nicaragua, 10 in Honduras and one in Guatemala. More...|
|Company unlocks secret to making plastic out of air.
The plastics industry creates 1.8 trillion pounds of carbon emissions every year, but now one company has figured out a way to take the pollution and turn it into plastic you can hold in your hand. Discover more... MOSS are also working with HK based Innovasians with a product when added to plastics make it bio-degradable!|
| Pee Power. How going to the loo can recharge a smartphone. Scientists in Britain, are hoping to profit from working with urine and faeces. They have developed a new technique to turn urine into electrical power-or urine-tricity as they call it. Some may think this is very yellow - but it's actually is VERY blue! Human waste is also now a very common source of nutrient in compost, especially since discovering a worm to digest unwanted pharmaceuticals. More about that later! |
| Eco cleaning product manufacturer Ecover aim to only use waste derived from locally-available agricultural activity in the products. Gunter Pauli built the Ecover Business many years back and sold it once he realised he was contributing to the destruction of the rainforests and demise of the orangutans. So it's great to see Ecover finally take the step to use only waste in manufacturer - rather than be the waste creator they used to be! Discover how... MOSS are also working with a team upcycling waste agriculture into beautiful tablewear and disposable food containers! Want to know more -call us!|
| Mushroom now a building material. A few years ago, mushrooms were something that accompanied beans and hash browns for breakfast, and even comprised the meat-free substitute in your veggie sausage. Now, you'll still find mushrooms on your dinner plate, but you'll also find its derivatives lining your walls and packaging products. Ecovative are using waste (like stalks and seed husks ) and fungal mycelium (a natural, self-assembling glue) as a building material. Read more... |
|Expensive, toxic and carcinogenic cadmium used in solar can be replaced with tofu.
Scientists from Liverpool have discovered that toxic cadmium chloride can be replaced using an ingredient which is cheap and innocuous enough to be employed in the manufacture of food products such as soy milk and tofu. Magnesium chloride is an ideal fit, is extremely safe and a mere three-hundredth the cost of cadmium chloride! Learn more...|
|Seven fabrics inspired by nature: from the lotus leaf to butterflies and sharks.
With technology poised to change the way we dress in the future, here are seven examples of innovative fabrics that take their cue from the natural world. |
| || American Eagle, H&M, Nike and Puma take action utilizing hand-me-down clothes, shoes etc. There's only so far that community or family hand-me-downs can go to address the booming issue of textile waste, so I:Collect (aka I:CO) created a global collection network to keep discarded clothing and shoes out of landfills. This is the blue economy in action where one mans waste is the input for a new business venture seeing valuable resources see new life rather than end up in landfill. |
| ||Companies Invest in Sustainable Packaging.
As waste continues to pile up in our landfills, a growing number of companies are taking a second look at product packaging and devising creative ways to cut back. From mushrooms and potatoes to the quest for a recyclable toothpaste tube, triple pundit share how seven companies are leading the charge in sustainable packaging design. Lets hope however it's all waste product like corn husks and potato skins that they use!|
| ||Fashion meets renewable energy - clothes that charge your smartphone.
From fibres that convert sunlight into electrical energy, to uploading your kinetic energy to a green energy bank, the worlds of fashion and technology are merging
|5 Things Every Social Entrepreneur Should Know Before Hitting the Launch Button.
At a recent Idea People: Thinking for Good event curated by Five Thot (a forward thinking design and event organization that encourages people to imagine the world as it could be, rather than as it is today) leading social entrepreneurs shared five themes they believe will help other big thinkers and dreamers get their ideas off the ground. |
| Defy the rules and change the world. Imagine a business model in response to the principles of the Kyoto Protocol? Discover the Blue Economy through the eyes of its founder Gunter Pauli who's attitude has always been defy the rules -its the only way were going to make the change. It's a fitting way to end our Blue Economy Newsletter Special. |
Einstein reminds us: "We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." We need a new set of lenses to view our challenges so we can devise holistic systemic solutions that work with not against nature to build capital in all its forms. The Blue Economy provides that lens.
With in excess of $40 trillion to be spent on cities across the globe on technologies such as energy generation, grids, water, waste and transport over the next 25 years and $1 trillion of waste per year begging to be utilised, there's never been a more important time to discover the Blue Economy.
I look forward to seeing you in your local area at one of our Blue Economy Workshops as well help transition from Green to Blue! And if your region is not currently represented and you'd like to host a Blue Economy Workshop, just call us, we'll be happy to add new dates especially in regional areas.