How to Create a Sustainable Circular Economy

How to Create a Sustainable Circular Economy

In my lifetime, the world’s population will increase from 5 billion to nearly 10 billion people. More importantly, we have an opportunity to build sustainable cities that will house this increase in population. According to the United Nations, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in a city by 2050. In sum, many cities will need to experience a phase of redevelopment and new construction to keep up with this growth.

How to Create a Sustainable Circular Economy

Undoubtedly, we should take this opportunity to build infrastructure that will serve us well into the future. Instead of constructing buildings that will lock us into inefficient fossil fuel consumption, let’s build homes, offices, and downtown areas that are well insulated, use solar energy and are constructed with rainwater (run-off) management best practices. If investors, companies, and consumers could all come together to meet the climate challenge, we can make a huge difference.

 

Conscious Consumerism: Increases the Demand for Sustainable Products

 

You can make an impact by purchasing products that are made from post-consumer recycled content. First and foremost, re-using items already in circulation is the best way to reduce new raw material use. Upcycling and reusing items support a circular economy. More importantly, upcycling typically bolsters a local economy and helps small business owners.

Reuse, raw material source reduction, and recycling help us divert waste; that would otherwise have been sent to a landfill. The question is, how are you helping to reduce your carbon footprint? Is a friend’s birthday coming up? Give the gift of sustainability with this beautiful and unique upcycled canvas tote.

Myra’s Bags are made from upcycled canvas tarps and tents. The bags measure 11″ W x 13″ H and has a 22″ adjustable strap.

Each bag is truly original since they are made from upcycled materials.  This bag is a perfect blend of earth-friendly fashion. The tarps that these bags are made from have literally traveled the world. Each bag will sport its own unique marks of wear and tear. Slight variations, including stitch marks and minor staining on the canvas, are possible. These are the hallmarks of an up-cycled item!

 

 

An Ever-Increasing Population Paired with Limited Resources

 

We cannot deny the population growth numbers. In short, the numbers say that we must build homes to house our families and friends. With so much redevelopment and new development that will need to occur, let’s take this opportunity to create a new sustainable circular global economy.

In fact, we should look at this opportunity as a way to innovate alternative sustainable products. If we don’t, we will end-up locking ourselves into an unsustainable infrastructure system that will last us 50+ years.

So how do we build a more sustainable future?

We can extend our planet’s natural resources by constructing buildings that can engage in demand response programs, employ alternative energy resources, and install water-saving appliances. More importantly, properties that do not have a high R-rating (are well insulated), require more energy. This leads to an unstable grid and a need to build more energy-producing facilities.

Scarcity can be scary, but we have an opportunity to plan for a future where we can do more will fewer resources as our world’s population increases.

 

Sustainable Practices: Pressure From Investors

 

On one hand, we can put pressure on companies to produce sustainable products through conscious consumerism. On the other hand, investing in ESG ETFs puts pressure on companies from investors who are only wanting to invest in triple bottom line businesses.  We all have an impact and can help shape the future we live in. Moreover, change can come from any number of paths.

In last week’s article, I talked about how large investment funds are ​shifting their investment portfolio strategies to support sustainable economic practices. Blackrock is the world’s largest asset manager, with $7 trillion of assets under management. The company has stated that in 2020, it will divest its portfolios of most of the fossil fuel and coal-related businesses it owns stock in. Below you can watch an interview by CNBC and Mr. Fink. In the video, he discusses the company’s new portfolio strategy.

 

 

Additionally, a private equity giant called Blackstone has just invested $850 million into its commercial and industrial solar assets portfolio. As major investors, these companies are creating change from the top. As consumers, we can create change from the bottom. Hopefully, somewhere in the middle, companies will be incentivized to produce sustainable products.

Eco Economics was created to help you learn about personal finance while creating a more sustainable future. To learn more about the company visit Eco Economic’s website.

Support sustainable businesses by buying products from and investing in companies that put the people and the planet first.

 

Want to Learn About How to Support CSR Companies? Read the Following:

 

 

How Big Investors are Coming Together to Create a More Sustainable Planet

The sustainability crisis is finally starting to make headlines, especially in company boardrooms. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with nearly $7 Trillion of assets under management. Each year, Laurence D. Fink (the founder and CEO of BlackRock), writes a letter called the “Letter to CEOs”. The letter is written from his company (representing the interest of investors) to the CEOs of the companies Blackrock holds stock in. Mr. Fink states that the “climate crisis” will reshape the world of finance.

 

This year, Mr. Fink announced that the firm would make investment decisions with “environmental sustainability” as a core goal. This move will fundamentally shift its investing policy. In sum, the old “profit over everything” is being traded in for a “Triple Bottom Line” mentality.

The consequence, this new mentality could reshape how corporate America does business. Moves toward sustainability, by large players in the market, put pressure on other money managers to follow suit.

This year, BlackRock will begin to exit investments that it perceives as having “a high sustainability-related risk.” The company will begin to divest its portfolio of companies in coal and other fossil fuel-related industries.  The intent is to encourage every company to rethink its carbon footprint. BlackRock has said that it will move aggressively to vote against management teams that are not making progress on sustainability. In fact, BlackRock could use its voting power as a shareholder to vote down executive pay increases. 

This top-down pressure is just the kind of climate action we need more of. If investors, companies, and consumers could all come together to meet the climate challenge, we can make a huge difference.

The question is, are you doing your part to help reduce your carbon footprint? Is a friend’s birthday coming up? Give the gift of sustainability with this Zero Waste Gift Box Set!

 

Carlyle Group Invests $100 Million in US Solar:

 

It’s not just large asset management companies that are making the shit towards supporting a sustainable agenda. Carlyle Group, a private equity company, is jumping on the sustainability bandwagon. The group intends to invest $100 million in developing, acquiring, financing and operating US solar projects through a new partnership with Alchemy Renewables.

Alchemy Renewables’ existing portfolio includes 38 projects in eight states. The Carlyle Group said that equity capital for the transaction comes from its ‘Renewable & Sustainable Energy Fund’. If you want to learn about how you can invest your money and have it support sustainable companies while earning you a healthy return, read “Saving for Retirement by Investing in Sustainable Companies”.

The Carlyle Group isn’t the only private equity giant making headlines by investing in solar. Blackstone announced in mid-January that it would make an $850 million investment in Solar as well.  Yes, Blackstone and BlackRock sound like very similar names…But they are different companies. 

 

Blackstone Invests $850 Million into Commercial Solar Projects:

 

According to PV-Tech, Altus Power America has raised $850 million in funding from Blackstone to build its commercial and industrial (C&I) portfolio. More importantly, the portfolio will concentrate on exclusively C&I solar generation assets.

It is my hope, that real estate developers will build homes and offices that will fit our needs into the future. With more than 7,000 Opportunity Zones nationwide, developers have an opportunity to change the way we live. If we continue to build properties without sustainability in mind and invest in the fossil fuel industry, we will lock ourselves into obsolete infrastructure that will not serve our needs properly. 

More importantly, a grass-roots movement starts with your voice. If you know a construction engineer, an architect, a construction worker or developer, talk to them about what sustainability features their current projects are implementing. If they aren’t implementing any, it will remind them that consumers care about our climate challenge and are demanding products that are built with a triple bottom line in mind.

 

What You Can Do To Make A Difference:

 

Every time I use a reusable product, it serves as a reminder to help me be more aware of my other actions throughout the day. By gifting sustainable products to your friends and family, it will help them become more aware of their daily habits. Not to mention, it will save them money by reducing the amount they spend on purchasing one-time use products. You may think that a bottle of water doesn’t cost much, but the bottled water industry is expected to reach $334 billion by 2023.

Sustainability kit

Purchasing single-use-items is the equivalent of a “death by 1,000 cuts” for your wallet and the earth. Make a difference today and check out the Sustainability Shop to see how you can save money, water, and the planet.

It is encouraging to watch the top-down pressure investors are putting on companies. I know that if we all work together, companies, investors, and consumers can create a more sustainable world for a better future.

 

Interested in learning about how you can fund companies with a triple bottom line? Read the following articles:

 

Do you invest in an ESG company? If so, which one? Feedback is always welcome, so feel free to comment below!