Entropy, life-cycle accounting and the circular economy are terms and concepts indicative of how society looks at the world differently than previous generations. As the global population pushes toward 10 billion by the end of this century, thoughtful approaches to sustainability will become ever more essential to policymakers. Yet a coherent narrative remains elusive.
Industrialized countries continue to operate very far from a circular economy. Instead, they rely heavily on a linear economy, where the make-use-dispose product life cycle dominates. A circular economy, by contrast, encourages product reuse and longevity, not disposability and planned obsolescence. Efforts by communities and policymakers to develop circular economies and maintain the viability of natural ecosystems in the United States and other countries take many forms. Several cities around the U.S., including San Antonio, have made it a priority to implement policies aimed at long-term sustainability. For example, in August 2016, the city of San Antonio adopted its SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan intended to prepare the city for smart, sustainable growth in light of the prospect of an additional million residents by 2040. The plan is a fuller elaboration of past efforts such as Mission Verde and SA2020. For 14 months, the city of San Antonio engaged a broad range of stakeholders in a variety of venues to solicit input and develop the plan. Focus areas include energy, food systems, green buildings, infrastructure, land use, transportation, natural resources, public health and solid waste resources. Cross-cutting themes include air quality, economic vitality, equity, resilience and water resources. On a global basis, some of the most systematic research dealing with sustainability comes from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, which examines planetary boundaries affected by our waste outputs and attempts to gauge those most at risk. The boundaries include stratospheric ozone depletion, which filters out ultraviolet radiation; loss of biosphere integrity, which is necessary for biodiversity; chemical pollution; climate change; ocean acidification; the freshwater cycle; land system change, when forests, grasslands wetlands, coastal fisheries, savannas and other habitats that recycle are converted to municipal, industrial or agricultural use; the nitrogen-phosphorous cycle, or fertilizer runoff; and atmospheric aerosol loading.
Read the full article at: mahb.stanford.edu
After the coronavirus pandemic put most the UK in lockdown, with many having to remain indoors, the ‘vitally important’ logistics sector was put in the spotlight.
Now, the UK Space Agency, ESA and other government bodies want innovative firms to propose ways to use the latest technologies to make the industry more efficient.
As we return to a new normal, industrial innovation is accelerating. A renewed focus on sustainability, the circular economy, and climate change is sparking innovation and powering transformational and technological change throughout the industrial sector. Resilience has been prioritized in the supply chain and throughout production operations. Digital leaders have now validated their strategies against the real-world challenges brought on by the pandemic, and are accelerating their innovation and transformation initiatives. Many companies supported ‘connected’ remote and frontline workers far earlier than they anticipated, and will now do more. Having seen the power of disruptive technologies to transform business operations and competitive strategies, improve resilience, reduce costs, and better serve customers, it’s full speed ahead.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services exceed what the earth can regenerate in the given year. This year we reach our global limit on the 22nd of August.
Stainless steel parts manufacturer ACE Metal Crafts opened its books and invested in its employees when times were tough. It’s paid off.