Entries by Rachel Owen

Designing out waste

The business world is starting to recognise that recovery and reuse of resources in efficient circular business models, as an alternative to the using-up of virgin resources, is a major opportunity. Whether it is the flow of materials, component parts or entire products, circular principles allows us to make and do more with less, and […]

Circular thinking is crucial for effective climate change action

According to the Circularity Gap Report 2019 published at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, only 9% of the materials we use globally is reused. That means more than 90% is wasted. How crazy is that?! We are using up the world’s resources faster than ever. The global use of materials tripled from 26.7 […]

Realising the value of waste

Worldwide, waste generation is rising fast. We created 1.8bn tonnes of solid waste in 2013. By 2016 it was 2bn tonnes. There is an urgent need to decouple waste production from economic growth and rising living standards. According to a report last week (The Economist 20 Sep 2018) politicians around the world are increasingly aware […]

The future belongs to the optimists

Christina Figueres, ex-Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC delivered the keynote speech at the Ashden Awards last night. She described the cohort of winning entrepreneurs, chosen for their potential to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems, as ‘stubborn optimists’. Ashden is a charitable trust with a mission to influence real-world change and help us […]

Why everyone is talking about the Circular Economy

Transition to a circular economy demands a systemic shift of mainstream production and consumption away from traditional, fundamentally wasteful processes to a new way of thinking. It is not a tinkering with the edges, a movement for do-gooders or an edgy branding exercise for the benefit of middle-class consumers. It is the most exciting business […]

On the intangibility of reputation

Every organisation understands the importance of a good reputation. Even though it isn’t something you can buy off the shelf or sell on when you decide you want a change, reputation is fundamental to operation and growth. Reputation is what economists refer to as an intangible asset. Unlike machinery, offices, vehicles or stock, the assets of today’s […]

CSR is about how you make your money, not how you spend it.

The brightest and best of the next generation are challenging traditional corporates to live up to their values and demonstrate a positive contribution beyond the bottom line. Research by YouGov and GT Nexus reported recently in Enterprise Times tells us that CSR figures highly in the buying decisions of young people. According to the report, millennials surveyed in the […]

On economics, business and reputation

They say money makes the world go round but I don’t think that is true. Money is the oil that facilitates transactions, not the fuel that drives the engine, nor the destination. No business can operate without the support of the people it needs to do its thing. People make the world go round, not […]

Make it positive!

Businesses often struggle to articulate what it is they mean by sustainability. In some cases, that is because they don’t really understand what they mean themselves. Good communication requires clarity of message.  You can’t tell a strong sustainability story unless you have a strong sustainability strategy. That is why concepts like Net Positiveare so powerful. […]