Cars, Jeans & Beer, to Muck: ‘Future of Water’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another couple of pieces published in The Times newspaper today, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Water.

The Overview article which opens the report discusses how 21st-century businesses and brand are tackling the challenges of water stewardship with success, but also with focus, vigour and rigour, plus investment of time and money. The discussion includes insights and info from global names such as Levi’s, Ford and M&S:

‘Taking steps to cut global water consumption’.

My second piece on Page 10 argues for rethinkng wastewater as resource, embracing the innovation of the circular economy and saving liquid assets and money literally going down the drain:

‘Why the value of wastewater is vital for a sustainable future’.

The full 16-page Future of Water report is available to view/download here.

Regeneration, Plastic and Fish in The Sunday Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had a further trio of pieces published in The Sunday Times newspaper this week, as part of a special Raconteur report on Project Management.

The first is a story of simple truths applied at scale and looks at how collaboration  is critical to the success of a multi-stakeholder regeneration scheme such as Nine Elms. This mega-project on London’s South Bank is transforming a wasteland of vacant industrial sheds, derelict warehouses and a long-defunct power station, into the home of Apple in the UK, the new US embassy and a ‘mini-Manhattan’ of des-res skyscrapers:

‘Nine Elms: how to deliver a mega-project’.

My second piece explores the innovative feat of social entrepreneurship that is The Plastic Bank, tackling environmental pollution caused by ocean plastic and simultaneously helping alleviate poverty in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the world. As the name suggests the ‘bank’ is leveraging the benefits of blockchain digital currency to turn plastic waste into profit for people in need, not through charity, but opportunity:

‘Fighting poverty with plastic’.

The third article also investigates issues at sea, but this time looking at the illegal trawler operations exacerbating the problem of overfishing. Launched by none other than Hollywood star and committed eco-activist Leo DiCaprio, Global Fishing Watch uses the Google digital platform to map incidences of criminal activity. It also enlists the power of the people to help crowdsource data – we are now eco-crime-fighting citizen gamekeepers:

‘All eyes on the sea to net illegal trawler activity’.

The full 16-page Project Management report is available to view/download here.

From Re-use and Repair, to Sensors and Smart Tech


New writing Two more of my recent pieces for Guardian Sustainable Business are now live. Running in their paid-content section on Sustainable Electricals, sponsored by WRAP, the articles explore the business case for adoption and promotion of circular economy models in the sector, with particular reference to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE):

The full Guardian series on Sustainable Electricals with WRAP can be viewed here.

‘Future of Packaging’ in The Times

img_3250New writing… Pleased to say I have had a centrespread article for Raconteur published in The Times newspaper, exploring packaging market trends, plus, in particular, prospects for mainstreaming of sustainability:

‘Discovering a business case for sustainability’.

The full 16-page Future of Packaging report is available to view/download here.

The Future in 5 Words… #3: ‘Loopy’

Why Innovation will be… ‘Loopy’ 

At the back end of last year, the new Circular Economy Package from the European Commission came out to a cacophony of mismanaged expectations, eliciting cries of disbelief and sighs of relief, in almost equal measure. It was both lauded and lamented for the sake of a few percentage points either way. In one sense, of course the details matter; however, in another, they really do not. Even as the landfill and recycling targets were published, the game had already moved on.

The emphasis for the Commission and the market at large is now shifting towards engagement of the design community – in everything from consumer packaging and household products, to building projects and industrial plant. This is not about Europe, per se; it is about closing loops and tying up the loose ends of linear thinking and doing. We are on a worldwide creative and intellectual quest for resource alchemy, of which the EU steer will prove part-symptom, part-cause. Why? Well, for starters, commodity costs and constraints are already driving the food-energy-water nexus almost to breaking point in some parts of the planet. Secondly, there is money to be lost and made.

The Circular Economy concept holds real bottom-line and pocket-warming promise, whether by way of global savings revenue of $1tr by 2025, or delivering maybe 205,000 jobs in the UK alone by 2030. Any talk of a resource revolution, though, means seeing waste as more than merely system inefficiency. Smart, sustainable design cannot just be about removal and reduction, but becomes regenerative and restorative. We can only cut so far; we still need to create. This is why, in the future, innovation must get ‘loopy’.

Tomorrow: Why Work will be… ‘Inclusive’

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For a global Who’s Who on Social Media in the Circular Economy, please see our new @SustMeme Top 500 ranking, published weekly with Enevo.

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‘Sustainability: Say the Words!’ is a series of aphoristic ‘thoughts and shorts’ appearing regularly throughout 2016 – feedback welcome via Email, or Twitter: @SustMeme.

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