Economic progress has been uneven to say the least. People and the environment are still experiencing stresses even in countries with higher living standards. Could re-focussing the local economy be part of the answer? A regenerative local economy includes all citizens, recirculates money to ensure thriving local businesses and it works to ensure a sustainable use of resources.
But there is a lot to learn. You could organise presentations and lectures from experts. Another way to explore the potential of revitalizing the local economy is to simply simulate the experience to see how far a group of people can come. Read More…
Understanding the circular economy needs you to have a grounding in physics, biology, economics supply chain and several other disciplines.
To help you apply circular economy thinking in your work we have developed a series of guides, presentations, videos and workshops that gives you the essentials without having to study these disciplines.
First presented at the Caux Foundation conference on Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy (TIGE), a 40-minute overview of the absolute essentials explains:
- Two main cycles – and the absolutely essential crossover points that should always be monitored.
- Three elements of the circular economy, their cycles, their essential differences and why understanding them will help you grasp circularity.
- Four spheres, their interaction points essential to pinpoint in all supply chain and economic activity.
Most of the energy used in the world economy comes from non-renewable sources. Analysts fear that the expanding extraction of energy will not keep up with the expanding economy and …well… the the economy will deflate like a balloon and everyone will be worse off. Worst for the poor who have very little already. Or they fear that the climate will collapse because we are pouring too much carbon dioxide into it just to stay alive. Either way, the economy is so dependent on energy, they say, that we will go into a period of recessions and undermine peace is many ways. Not strictly true in my opinion that there is too little energy: there is enough energy to keep everyone fed and housed within planetary boundaries. It’s just that there is not enough to keep capitalism going. And it is the failings of capitalism that we need to address if we are to make this peace project real, not energy supplies. Read More…
We often hear about how hard it is to change the course of large ships, and as an analogy our current economic system seems to be hard to turn away from its course of counter-sustainability. However, large tankers DO make it into port. I would like to offer the idea that our economy can change course too. As with large ships, we need to understand and master the controls. Very few talk about accounting and sustainability. That is a shame, as several built-in features (and some easy to build in) could offer a way to turn the economy around. It’s not rocket science and it would be a big leap forward!
As part of the EU project Ground Truth, to set up citizen observatories, the municipality where the eco-village I am engaged in is the site for a campaign to explore how citizen involvement can improve understanding and decision making around the water cycle.
Citizen science is on the increase. Using their own observations and mobile devices, citizens can provide a new data stream of local information about their environment, complementing existing systems and data sources.
Ground Truth 2.0 is a 3-year EC funded project that is setting up and validating six citizen observatories in real conditions, in four European and two African demonstration cases. The project is demonstrating that such observatories are technologically feasible, can be implemented sustainably and that they have many societal and economic benefits. The ultimate objective is the global market uptake of the concept and the enabling technologies.
Reblogged from Dr Curry’s Climate etc. Excellent analysis of climate change and our own change from hunter gathering to agriculture.
The Commons finance Canvas is a tool to help intentional communities like eco-villages or CSA food projects to plan their finances. The canvas helps groups produce a prospectus and business plan. This free online training is coming soon so do sign up if you’d like to know the moment it is released!
We can envisage a balance sheet from which it is possible to glean the current state of the firm’s investment in circularity. A worked example is given below. Note that by circular infrastructure we mean infrastructure that:
- runs (or can run) on renewable energy
- uses recycled materials and recycles materials
|THE TRANSITIONAL COMPANY|
|PERIOD ENDED 31/12/2016|
|CURRENT ASSETS||CURRENT LIABILITIES|
|Cash||200 000 €||Accounts payable||0 €|
|Accounts receivable||0 €||Accrued Expenses||0 €|
|Inventory||0 €||Taxes owed||0 €|
|TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS||200 000 €||Long term debt||0 €|
|TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS||0 €|
|PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT|
|*Circular Infrastructure||100 000 €||LONG TERM DEBT|
|*Non-circular Infrastructure||50 000 €||*Loans for Circular investment||100 000 €|
|Less depreciation||-4 000 €||*Loans for other infrastructure investment||30 000 €|
|NET FIXED ASSETS||146 000 €||Other loans|
|TOTAL LIABILITIES||130 000 €|
|OTHER ASSETS||STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY|
|Licence||0 €||Paid in Capital||0 €|
|Goodwill||0 €||Retained Earnings||0 €|
|TOTAL OTHER ASSETS||0 €||TOTAL NET WORTH||0 €|
|TOTAL ASSETS||346 000 €||TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET WORTH|
|*Percentage circular infrastructure value||67%||*Percentage investment loans for circular infrastructure||77%|
As the example above shows, the infrastructure is 67% circular. In terms of loans the 77% invested in circularity gives a degree of transparency for investors. For example, if investors think that regulations will become stricter in future, then the investment is sound.
Extended Profit and Loss Statement
An extended profit and loss statement can also be created as shown below.
From this you can derive measures like % of sales of circular products, cost of circular technology, circular vs non-circular expenses and trends over time. This again creates transparency for the capability of the firm to operate in an environmental way.
|PERIOD ENDED 31/12/2016|
|*Circular product sales||50 000 €|
|*Non-circular sales||100 000 €|
|Net sales||150 000 €|
|*Renewable energy||2 000 €|
|*Non-renewable energy||2 000 €|
|*Non-circular materials purchase||2 500 €|
|*Circular materials purchase||2 500 €|
|Other costs of good sold||100 €|
|GROSS INCOME||140 900 €|
|*Renewable energy||2 000 €|
|*Non-renewable energy||4 000 €|
|*Non-circular materials purchase||3 000 €|
|*Circular materials purchase||10 000 €|
|*Repairs and maintenance on linear infrastructure||20 000 €|
|*Repairs and maintenance on circular infrastructure||30 000 €|
|*Costs for waste elimination, non-recycled||2 000 €|
|TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES||71 000 €|
|Other income||0 €|
|Other expenses||0 €|
|NET INCOME BEFORE TAXES||69 900 €|
|TAXES||25 000 €|
|NET INCOME||44 900 €|
|Circular products 50/150 75%
Renewable energy 2/6 50%
Circular materials 10/13 77%
Circularity lost to waste 15%
costs 30/50 60%