How can the circular economy add social value? | Knowledge Hub 3.0 | Finance saving our planet | The fingerprint of human influence on our… Read More »Insights #28 – transforming social value
Social benefits from circular approaches, including regeneration of local resources, creating jobs for disadvantaged or excluded groups, social enterprises, and so on.
Joanna Bingham, the founding CEO of Footprints Africa, is focussed on using the circular economy to support sustainable, scalable and inclusive approaches to development of local African economies.
Joanna is also a founding partner of the CE360 Alliance, and leads the Ghana chapter for the African CE Network. She studied at Bradford University, the first degree-level circular economy course, supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Through Footprints Africa, Joanna runs a 6 month B-Corp programme to support SMEs who are positive about improving their environmental and social impact. Having worked in the investment industry for 9yrs, Joanna says “she is schooled in critical analysis and scepticism and is passionate about embedding social purpose in everyday activity.”
We talk about how the circular economy has huge potential to uplift people from poverty and to create meaning, how there are two ways of engaging with the circular economy – out of necessity, and to innovate – and how Footprints Africa’s B Corp programme supports entrepreneurs.
Brian Bauer explores how we can use circular approaches for plastic packaging, so we get the benefits of plastic, without the impacts of mismanaged plastic waste. Brian works with Algramo, a Chilean startup that refills product by the gram from vending machines. These refills provide better value for money as well as offering convenience and reducing waste. Algramo is working with Unilever, Colgate Palmolive and other brands, and is expanding to the US and Europe.
With Algramo, Brian focuses on connecting stakeholders to help catalyze reusable packaging systems on a globally significant scale.
Welcome to the latest round-up of what we’ve shared, and what’s inspired us. In this issue:
• Off the Page – webinar Wed 25 November
• Circular Economy Podcast #40 – Sharing data and values
• What we’ve been reading – Fixation by Sandra Goldmark
Thank you letters – to UNSSC
Build Back Better
A Circular Economy Handbook! |Odyssey Innovations: kayaks with purpose |Oceans & climate | Unilever doubling down on sustainability | Future-fit taxes | Reviving shoes
We talk to Greg Lavery of Rype Office, which remanufactures high quality office furniture. We hear why Greg decided that office furniture is ideal for a circular business, how Rype’s customer base is evolving and why people are switching to remade furniture.
A civil engineer by training, Greg has focused his career on improving the sustainability of the built environment. He began by working for Arup and Greg was awarded a PhD in sustainable building design in the 1990s.
He built, from startup, what is now Australia’s largest solar business, Origin Solar, and as a consultant, assisted organisations with innovative sustainable business models, including Masdar City, Interface, Shell and ClimateWorks Australia.
Christian van Maaren is co-founder of Excess Materials Exchange, based in the Netherlands. Excess Materials Exchange is saving the planet by running a dating site, which at first sounds improbable, and then sounds intriguing!
Christian believes the circular economy is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to achieve the Paris climate goals, and we hear how Excess Materials Exchange helps customers measure the value of their exchange options, in financial, environmental and social impacts.
Christian tells us about the kinds of companies and materials they match up, using a combination of blockchain and AI, and how they actively match supply & demand for materials to ensure high value re-use.
We review the last 9 episodes, exploring key themes & summarising what we’ve learned. Plus, we hear from Geoff van Sonsbeeck, on womenswear brand Baukjen’s packaging approach.
The wonders of online communication mean we’ve been to the United States, Jordan, Uganda, Canada and Ghana in the last nine episodes. We’ve talked to a start-up looking for funding, two social enterprises, two charities, a community cooperative, and several businesses that have been growing for 15-20 years.
If we look at the circular economy strategies of these organisations: five are helping to ‘Close the Loop and Regenerate’, two are ‘Slowing the Flow’ of materials through more durable, circular designs, and two are ‘Intensifying the Flow’ through sharing services.
We’ll also look at how these different organisations are creating value for different groups – for their customers, suppliers, employees, communities – and for our planet.
A purpose beyond profit
Dignified Wear in Ghana | The Thingery| ikigai for business purpose | Terracycle: doing the right thing for people and planet | Digital platforms for fashion supply chains | Fashion’s reset?|HP and Circular Computing |
In this episode, we’re talking to Mabel Suglo, the founder of Dignified Wear, a social enterprise in Ghana. It aims to economically empower people with disabilities and rural women through decent jobs. It trains and then employs them to handcraft durable, versatile and fashionable shoes, handbags, locally woven fabrics, clothing and traditional jewellery.