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Episode 328: Industrial Origami; Is It an EV or a ZEV?

Claudia Baldwin

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This week’s run time is 37:52.

WEEK IN REVIEW (3:30)
FEATURES
Industrial origami (19:10)

A chat with Tue Beijer, founder and CTO of STILFOLD, which is bending recycled and green steel into products such as an e-scooter. It’s a localized approach to manufacturing that could dramatically cut emissions, according to Beijer.

*Music in this episode: Lee Rosevere: “And So Then,” “More On That Later,” “Start the Day,” “Southside.”

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Business Model Innovation Accelerates Circularity

Claudia Baldwin

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This article is an excerpt from GreenBiz Group’s 16th annual State of Green Business, which explores sustainable business trends to watch in 2023. Download the report here.

Supply chain shortages, a hunger for critical minerals and a planet stretched to its breaking point. These macro trends have kneecapped whole industries over the past few years. That’s leading companies to rethink how we make, sell and interact with products.

Enter the vast opportunity of business models that can decouple growth from extraction.

Some of these models have been profitable for decades. Examples of remanufacturing in practice are Davies Office (furniture), John Deere (farm equipment) and Caterpillar (construction equipment). Others, such as clothing resale, have been a small part of their sector for ages (such as thrift shops), but are growing quickly through both independent platforms and directly through brands. Pilots and experiments abound in this space, but there’s still plenty of room for innovation.

One business model innovation could be called “redesign and rethink.” It’s a combination of product design and business model innovation working hand-in-hand. If products are redesigned for circularity, the concept goes, then offered through subscription services or with takeback programs, they can be recovered and put back into productive use or recycled.

A recent example is the On CloudNeo shoe made from a single material and offered only through subscription. Look for growth in this space as more companies experiment. The difficulty will come as companies such as On try to scale, which requires cooperation and reverse logistics hubs.

Another innovation is a return to the past; call it the “milk bottle method.” New brands and old stalwarts alike are working to scale up refill and return models to reduce packaging and deliver only what’s needed to customers. Still another shift in business models includes grocery store chains increasing space devoted to bulk items and partnering with brands to deliver new refill options for shoppers. In both cases, the biggest challenge may be overcoming the customer’s desire for the convenience they’ve grown accustomed to with packaged and (heretofore) disposable products.

A third model might be called the “Ouroboros.” This option, where a company becomes its own supplier, could be a game-changer in spaces where there is no next life for products. One example is the investment major roofing companies such as GAF and Owens Corning are putting into recycling asphalt shingles. While work is still to be done to improve the processes, these investments hold promise to bring new value to an entire waste stream. Similar opportunities exist for electronics, apparel and a number of other industries where reliable recycling infrastructure is lacking.

For a circular future to become a reality, companies must redesign products and embrace new relationships with customers. That’s particularly true in apparel and electronics due to the increased public awareness about the massive waste in both sectors. Transitions toward refill and reuse in food packaging and household items, while much needed, may come more slowly due to the challenge of overcoming convenience biases among users. The question of how to get from here to there is an open one, but we are looking forward to progress.

[Interested in learning more about the circular economy? Subscribe to our free Circularity Weekly newsletter.]

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Article: greenbiz.com

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Younger Job Seekers Drive ‘climate Quitting’

Claudia Baldwin

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A third of 18- to 24-year-olds have rejected a job offer based on the prospective employers’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance in favor of more environmentally friendly roles — fueling a growing trend dubbed “climate quitting” by KPMG.

The consultancy giant published the results of a survey of 6,000 U.K. adult office workers, students, apprentices and those who have left higher education in the past six months, which found that almost half — 46 percent — of those quizzed want the company they work for to demonstrate green credentials.

KMPG found that “climate quitting” is being driven by millennial and Gen Z job seekers who are attaching increased weight to the environmental performance of potential employers when considering new roles.

Overall, one-in five-respondents to the survey revealed they had turned down an offer from a firm whose ESG commitments were not consistent with their values, but the share of those rejecting jobs from companies with weak ESG credentials rose to one-in-three for 18- to 24-year-olds.

However, the survey revealed significant numbers of employees are assessing employers’ ESG performance when considering new roles, regardless of age.

It is the younger generations that will see the greater impacts if we fail to reach [global climate] targets, so it is unsurprising that this, and other interrelated ESG considerations, are front of mind for many.

Over half of 18- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds said they valued ESG commitments from their employer, while 48 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds said the same.

Moreover, 30 percent of respondents said they had researched a company’s ESG credentials when job hunting, rising to 45 percent among 18- to 24-year-olds.

A company’s environmental impact and living wage policies were key areas researched by over 45 percent of job seekers. Younger workers tended to be most interested in fair pay commitments, while those ages 35 to 44 were more likely to be interested in the environmental impact of a potential employer.

John McCalla-Leacy, head of ESG at KPMG, said it was little surprise that younger workers were prioritizing firms’ climate credentials.

“It is the younger generations that will see the greater impacts if we fail to reach [global climate] targets, so it is unsurprising that this, and other interrelated ESG considerations, are front of mind for many when choosing who they will work for,” he said.

“For businesses the direction of travel is clear. By 2025, 75 percent of the working population will be millennials, meaning they will need to have credible plans to address ESG if they want to continue to attract and retain this growing pool of talent.”

The results are likely to be welcomed by green businesses, which are facing significant recruitment challenges as they look to hire more people with sustainability and clean tech skills to support the delivery of their net zero targets.

The recent Salary and Recruiting Trends guide from recruitment consultancy firm Hays found that almost two-thirds of young jobseekers are on the hunt for roles in a sustainability sector that is crying out for new talent.

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Source: greenbiz.com

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Environment

Episode 348: How Shopify Shops for Carbon Removal Tech

Claudia Baldwin

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This week’s run time is 45:18. To download the free 2023 State of Green Business, referenced in this week’s chit-chat, click here.

WEEK IN REVIEW (8:45)
Why Shopify is paying a premium for carbon removal (21:00)

Stacy Kauk, head of sustainability for Shopify, chats about net-zero goals, the Scope 3 challenge and optimizing carbon removal investments for maximum impact. GreenBiz Senior Editor Jesse Klein reports.

Music in this episode

Coma Media: “Chill Abstract (Intention).”Dayfox: “Sweet Love.”Ashot-Damielyan-Composer: “Relaxed Vlog.”Lee Rosevere: “Introducing the Pre-Roll,” “Let That Sink In.”

STAY CONNECTED

To make sure you don’t miss the newest episode of GreenBiz 350, subscribe on iTunes or Spotify. Have a question or suggestion for a future segment? Email us at [email protected].

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Original Article: greenbiz.com

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