Saturday, February 25, 2006

Building Blocks

Just as evolutionary biologists search for evidence of the primordial spark that catalyzed the reaction of methane, ammonia, and hydrogen to spit out the first amino acids leading to DNA, industrial engineers and sustainable business disciples must determine the makeup of manufacturing DNA. What is it made of? What core components of the millions of natural and man made compounds that end up in the manufactured products we buy and sell are reusable and harmless? Imagine if we completely eliminated thousands of chemicals that are harmful to the ecosystem (I include humans in the ecosystem) and focused on the materials, whether natural or synthetic, that are benign and reusable with low energy input. Would we have a menu of earth-friendly manufacturing ingredients to design and build every product we use? Would the warnings given to pregnant women to avoid eating some species of fish for fear of exposure to high mercury content be a thing of the past?

On a somewhat tangential but related note, I got to thinking about Corporate DNA as I picked up "The Sustainability Advantage" by Bob Willard again. I bought the book a few months ago in one of my intense moments of book buying. Of course, many of these books sit on a shelf or in a pile with other overlooked tomes awaiting my eyes' attention. As I started reading it again the section I left off with discussed the ingredients of a successful and sustainable businesses. The core ingredient is committed people. To create committed people, four elements are necessary in the person's perceptions; Clarity, Relevance, Meaning, and Involvement. From page 48 of "The Sustainability Advantage",
...visions inspire commitment by satisfying the Clarity, Relevance, and Meaning factors. A purpose is inspirational when it is clear, it relates to the success of the business, and it resonates with employees' personal values as a worthwhile goal. Corporations that adopt a sustainability goal as a higher purpose in their business mission will therefore create an energized workforce of people who only need the Involvement factor to be fully committed to the cause.
I found my thinking turning back to DNA's double helix. Companies are made up of people and ideas that are implemented through actions and the use of tools. Tools are computers, printers, fax machines, drill presses, lathes, vertical mills and so forth. The four factors listed above are required to unleash the creative talent of the people to use the tools. Where does sustainability come in? Mr. Willard's assertion is that a company with a high level goal to reduce its impact on the natural world or act as a restorative force for the environment provides the Clarity, Relevance, and Meaning people need. Would the researchers for a company seeking to eliminate all the potentially dangerous materials in their products be more engaged and therefore more effective in their work? Will the employees of these companies feel a heightened engagement in their companies? Will the companies' leadership help the employees understand the relevance of the companies' decision and what the employees can do to help?

Four Electric Power Companies in Midwest Agree to Disclose Climate Risks

In response to shareholder requests, four U.S. electric power companies in Missouri and Wisconsin have joined other utility companies by agreeing to assess and disclose the potential impacts from foreseeable regulations to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. All four companies - Great Plains Energy, Alliant Energy, WPS Resources, and MGE Energy - have proposed building new pulverized coal-fired power plants that could be especially vulnerable to policies limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Similar shareholder requests are still pending with Dominion Resources in Richmond, Va. and Peabody Energy in St. Louis, Mo. The companies are among more than two-dozen U.S. businesses - including seven electric power companies, four oil and gas companies, six real estate firms, four big-box retailers, two insurance companies, two banks and one auto company - with whom investors filed global warming shareholder resolutions as part of the 2006 proxy season.

Read CERES' press release.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Quantification

The sdEffect was mentioned in two places recently, the WBCSD and GreenBiz. The authors of the report worked to quantify sustainable development activities in the language of finance; company valuation. This is extremely important to continue the movement of sustainable business activities into the "mainstream" thoughts of our capitalist business leaders. I found this excerpt interesting in its assessment of what the future holds for these studies:
Several important trends are converging to help facilitate more of this type of analysis in the future. 

  • First, as more and more measurement of corporate SD and its impacts takes place, an increasing amount of data suitable for translation is becoming available (e.g. continuously improving sustainability reporting, Corporate Knights Corporate Citizenship Database, etc.). 

  • Second, as stakeholder pressure continues to build to better understand the actual quantitative financial impact of corporate SD practices, and to more fully engage the financial community on SD, additional support is being provided for innovative projects such as this one. 

  • Third, global environmental issues such as climate change, which are now being commonly recognized as posing huge financial risks, are forcing unprecedented integration of considerations of sustainability in financial decision-making and in the operation of world capital markets (e.g. EU Emissions Trading Scheme).
Perhaps the largest opportunity lies in helping companies NOT on the leading edge of sustainability understand what they can do to maintain their competitiveness in their markets. These companies will need guidance to decipher the sustainable reporting methods available to them.

This Environmental Finance
article introduces the challenges facing large corporations seeking to report both the financial and social affects of their sustainability efforts. The importance of quantifying the financial impacts of sustainable activities, as demonstrated by the folks at sdEffect, will only grow as shareholders demand information.

An article from
The Christian Science Monitor's tackling "Bad Growth" (is the term "bad" used in a moral context?) contains an important piece of information from an energy company's senior executive. Carbon regulation is only a matter of time. The risks to a power generator investing in a power plant with a thirty year lifespan with regulatory uncertainty in the next 5-10 years is real and worrying. Do we start to see the need to quantify sustainable business activities financially?

Why should ethical investors worry about zoning battles?
Shapiro: As investors, we are concerned about the financial and reputational risk of the companies that we invest in. So if a big-box store is going to start encountering problems with placing their stores in an area ... this ends up being litigated, [or at least] slows their whole process down, at a great cost to the company and to its shareholders.

Are companies starting to change their growth strategies?

Shapiro: In
[Target's] 2004 sustainability report, they state that they, on average, are adding 100 new stores a year. And they delineate their decision processes for placement of those stores. So I think more and more companies are becoming cognizant of the concerns from the investment side as well as the public side. [And] a bank in North Carolina - BBandT - has recently issued a statement that it will not provide funding of private development of land that was acquired through eminent domain. It's the first bank to do so.

Are there other examples?

Seitchik: One area that investors are getting very focused on right now is the area of global warming and the risks that are associated with the potential regulation of global warming. The CEO of
Cinergy [a leading electric utility] has come out and said: "We know that greenhouse gases are a problem. We know they're going to be regulated in the future. And when we go to invest in a plant, it has a 30-year investment horizon. So there's a real risk to us - not only as managers of a company but also as investors - if we don't take into account the potential regulatory and litigation risks that come with that." So we're starting to see a lot more research in the area of risk-management around environmental issues.
John Elkington was interviewed recently, and I found some of his words most interesting and even reassuring. As the founder of SustainAbility Mr. Elkington feels that the challenges are numerous, varied, and complex, but there are many people working to overcome them.

I had lunch with a friend today. He helped me realize that the thoughts and ideas I have about career fulfillment and sustainable business are not irrational ideas to be stamped out by my inner critic, but were to be coddled and nurtured to help me find my clear way. As I continue to investigate sustainable business activities it is clear that it is an emerging discipline presenting many opportunities for learning and growth.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Live Green Go Yellow"

The cynic within immediately thinks that the only reason there is a connection between GM and ethanol is because in some way there is a corporate quid pro quo. I can see the memo among the GM and ADM executives, something along the lines of, "we at GM will support the ethanol market while you at ADM purchase GM vehicles, promote GM vehicles, and create an ethanol blend that just so happens to run just right in GM vehicles, OK?"

Is this a poor perspective? Perhaps, but I am sure there have been high level conversations about market potential, it just makes business sense.

I suppose the timing is just right, considering President Bush's comments in his
State of the Union Address January 31st,

"...America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research -- at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. (Applause.)

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We'll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. (Applause.)

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. (Applause.) By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. (Applause.)"


Capital just so happens to avoid risk. If the federal government provides generous subsidies for the production of corn-based ethanol, it will attract investment. Of course, the long-term risk is that the subsidies will go away before the industry stands on its own two feet, which could then scare off the investors. The wind power and photovoltaic industries have struggled with similar on again/off again government support. We shall see how long the money flows.

GM Promotes E85 "Flex-Fuel" Vehicles

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development posted the news of GMs new campaign promoting the E85 vehicles. There are also numerous ads from companies like ExxonMobil, BP, Ford, Toyota, etc. promoting their commitment to reducing GHG emissions. These companies either supply petroleum products, a diminishing resource, or rely on their inexpensive and ready availability. It is in their economic best interest to change their message. In the case of the petroleum companies, they are rebranding themselves as energy companies, or at least emphasizing that small component of their businesses. They need new markets to develop and new products to manufacture and sell. Guess what? It's a good thing. They have the capital and the expertise. Take the hundreds of billions of R&D dollars and sink it into renewables and see how quickly there are solar cells dotting suburbia and and wind turbines dotting the landscape.

The domestic automobile companies are reacting to higher gasoline prices and competition from abroad. Efficiency matters.

Some news from the European Commission on biofuels,
Commission Urges New Drive to Boost Production of Biofuels

The Economist just so happens to have made a mention of ethanol, especially in the wake of President Bush's State of the Union Address.

Ethanol
Life after subsidies
Feb 9th 2006 - From The Economist print edition

A much-maligned alternative to oil comes of age


IT MUST rank as one of history's unlikelier conversions. President Bush is an oil man from Texas, and a reformed heavy drinker. But in his recent State-of-the-Union speech, the president declared that America is “addicted to oil”, and trumpeted the virtues of ethanol—an alcohol-based fuel. The virtue of ethanol is that it can power “flex-fuel” cars that can run on either petrol or alcohol. Mr Bush says he wants a vast expansion of the country's tiny ethanol industry. In particular, he wants “cellulosic ethanol”, prepared using an advanced technology, to become commercial within six years.

Will it happen? Ethanol will not replace oil anytime soon, but Mr Bush nevertheless has put his finger on something big. This once-sickly, over-subsidised industry is brimming with optimism.

America has traditionally made ethanol from corn. Alas, this is much less efficient than Brazil's sugar-cane ethanol or that using the cellulosic method. But the farm lobby's power means that America doles out billions in subsidies to corn ethanol—and imposes tariffs on imports of the greener, cheaper Brazilian variety.

High oil prices, government support and the promise of new technology have led to a veritable boom in production of American-style ethanol. Several billion dollars of investment led by agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are going into new production plants for corn ethanol. Daniel Kammen of the University of California at Berkeley argues that corn ethanol is not as bad as it seems: using it releases less greenhouse gas than burning petrol, he calculates, and its spread helps develop infrastructure for the much greener ethanol that should come onto the market in a few years' time.


But the biofuel to watch is cellulosic ethanol. It is made efficiently using powerful catalysts and enzymes to speed up natural processes. And it does not rely on valuable crops: it can use waste products such as straw, corn stalks or agricultural debris. Royal Dutch Shell has a joint venture with Canada's Iogen which plans to open a commercial plant by 2009. DuPont and Genencor, a biotechnology firm, are also busy developing better catalysts.

The best reason for optimism is the arrival of entrepreneurial capital. Paul Allen and Bill Gates, co-founders of Microsoft, have both made recent (but unrelated) investments in ethanol firms. Richard Branson, a British airline boss, has jumped into the fray with Virgin Fuels, a new firm that vows to invest $300m-400m in ethanol over three years. Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, has also put his own money into start-up firms developing cellulosic ethanol and speaks with the zeal of a convert: “Bush is too cautious, it can take off much sooner than six years!” Perhaps. But will that mean an end to subsidies? Don't count on it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Buzz About Blogs

Two articles appeared recently in The Economist about blogs. The texts of both of them are included in this posting. There is not much said that is new or outstanding, more analysis of the continued fragmentation of media. Savvy corporations must make the investment to monitor the blogosphere as they do other forms of media. What are customers saying? What must we do to keep our image spotless and clean? How do we take advantage of this media channel to increase brand loyalty and reach new customers? Are these the customers we want to appeal to in the first place?


The blog in the corporate machine
Feb 9th 2006 CHICAGO From The Economist print edition

Bloggers can be vicious, but they can also help companies avert disaster

THEY have always had their critics, but corporations are having an especially hard time making friends of late. Scandals at Enron and WorldCom destroyed thousands of employees' livelihoods, raised hackles about bosses' pay and cast doubt on the reliability of companies' accounts; labour groups and environmental activists are finding new ways to co-ordinate their attacks on business; and big companies such as McDonald's and Wal-Mart have found themselves the targets of scathing films. But those are just the enemies that companies can see. Even more troubling for many managers is dealing with their critics online—because, in the ether, they have little idea who the attackers are.

The spread of “social media” across the internet—such as online discussion groups, e-mailing lists and blogs—has brought forth a new breed of brand assassin, who can materialise from nowhere and savage a firm's reputation. Often the assault is warranted; sometimes it is not. But accuracy is not necessarily the issue. One of the main reasons that executives find bloggers so very challenging is because, unlike other “stakeholders”, they rarely belong to well-organised groups. That makes them harder to identify, appease and control.

When a company is dealing directly with a labour union or an environmental outfit, its top brass often take the easy route, by co-opting the leaders or paying some sort of Danegeld. Until a couple of decades ago, that meant doling out generous union contracts and sticking shareholders, taxpayers or consumers with the bill. More recently, the fashion has been for “corporate social responsibility”. This might involve spending money on a pressure group's pet project; or recruiting prominent activists to a joint committee, dedicated to doing good works.
In the blogosphere, however, a corporation's next big critic could be anyone. He might be an angry customer or a disgruntled employee—though that sort of tie to the company is not essential; nor does he need lots of industry experience or lengthy credentials to be a threat. All a blogger really needs to devastate a company is a bit of information and plausibility, a complaint that catches the imagination and a knack for making others care about his gripe.

Mike Kaltschnee's site, HackingNetflix.com, became a force to be reckoned with for Netflix, a video-rental outfit that delivers to people's homes. When Netflix said it was not interested in Mr Kaltschnee passing on questions from consumers, he posted the exchange online, hurting the firm's reputation among loyal customers. The company now treats him much more respectfully and his site has gained a large following.

Increasingly, companies are learning that the best defense against these attacks is to take blogs seriously and fix rapidly whatever problems they turn up.

One firm that could have saved itself a lot of trouble is Diebold, an Ohio-based firm that makes automated cash machines. After America's presidential election in 2000, which featured a vote-counting fiasco in Florida, the firm decided to expand a part of its business that made electronic voting machines by acquiring Global Election Systems (GES) in early 2002. The deal turned into a disaster when computer scientists and voting-rights groups educated the public about problems with machines such as those made by GES. The critics complained that GES's voting devices could not leave an audit trail because, among other flaws, they did not print paper ballots. By 2004 the mainstream print and broadcast media were also hammering away on this issue, leading several states, including Ohio, to reject GES's machines.

Evolve24, a consultancy which analyses corporate reputations and watches online trends closely, has used its blog-sniffing software to find out what was available on the internet before Diebold bought GES. It discovered that not only were a couple of voting-rights activists calling attention to the machines' drawbacks on their blogs well before the acquisition, but also that research papers highlighting the problems were available on technical websites. Diebold did traditional forms of due diligence before buying GES, such as verifying its financial health. But by ignoring the blogosphere, it failed to spot some crucial risks.

Although its response was much quicker than Diebold's, Kryptonite, a firm that makes high-priced bicycle locks, also learned the hard way how important blogs can be. In September 2004 word spread quickly through the blogosphere that U-shaped locks by Kryptonite and other firms could be picked, quickly and easily, using only the plastic casing of a Bic pen. Then somebody made a video showing how to do it, and posted it on the Engadget blog site, one of the most popular on the internet. After Kryptonite discovered the problem, it came up with a plan to take care of its customers and improve its locks. But Donna Tocci, Kryptonite's media chief, says that she now checks 30-40 blogs every day.

Not all company interactions with bloggers involve damaging criticism. Sometimes a careful look at what is happening online can help managers to avoid over-reacting. After the invasion of Iraq, when American consumers turned against all things French, a big French drinks company noticed that its brand names were popping up on boycott lists. But an analysis by BuzzMetrics, which specialises in scrutinising blogs and other online forums for corporate marketers, revealed that those who were pushing hard for a boycott tended to be “Budweiser drinkers”, who would not have been natural customers for the firm's wines and spirits anyway.

A hair of the blog
Many big companies have been looking eagerly for ways to tailor their advertising to specific groups of consumers. They have found that web logs and internet discussion groups, which bring together people of similar interests, can help them turn hot links into cold cash. But besides trying to get out their message, companies are also learning that blogs can provide early warning signs of potential problems.

They are increasingly turning to firms that can help them sort through the blogorrhea to find what they need. There is a lot to sift, considering that some 27m blogs are online. Last month, responding to growing interest in their services, BuzzMetrics agreed to merge with Intelliseek, another firm that specialises in analysing blogs for business. BuzzMetrics has ties to Nielsen, a media-research firm; Intelliseek has a clutch of former executives from Procter & Gamble, a consumer-goods giant.

Max Kalehoff, vice-president of marketing at BuzzMetrics, says that many of the firm's clients want it to analyse blogs so as to gauge the seriousness of bad news. Drugs firms, for example, want to know what questions are on patients' minds when they hear about problems with a medication. Car companies are looking for better ways to spot defects and work out what to do about them.

Steve Rubel, of CooperKatz, a public-relations firm, reckons that companies should also have a ready-made plan for influencing bloggers if a crisis does occur. Mr Rubel runs the firm's Micro Persuasion practice, which helps companies improve their marketing by using blogs and other conversational media. He recommends setting up a “lockbox blog” that is hidden behind an internet firewall, but can be made visible to the public at short notice. Any websites or video clips that companies might want to direct the public to in an emergency, for example, could be prepared in advance. Then, he likes to tell clients: “in case of emergency, break glass and blog.”



From blogs to brands
Jonathan Fenby
From The World in 2006 print edition

Out of chaos, a new order

The democratization of information unleashed by the internet—now increasingly connected to mobile phones and other portable devices—has been gloriously chaotic. According to one count, 80,000 new blogs (online journals) are now created each day. But in 2006 more big companies will muscle in, and rules of sorts will start to spread.

Participatory information sites and channels will blossom, with “citizen-reporters” busying themselves not only in writing and in sound through podcasting, but also with images using digital cameras and phones. As well as supplying leads and feeds for conventional media (witness the remarkable video images of the aftermath of last July’s London bombings captured by surviving passengers on their mobile phones), these will develop their own mass through their range of reporting. And as corporations follow the example of Microsoft and others in buying into the blogosphere, sites will emerge with resources far beyond those of the original individual exponents of the genre. These mega-blogs will become part of an interconnected information universe that will increasingly move editing from the traditional newsroom to the recipient’s computer.

The essence of the original blogs was that they were individual expressions of information and opinion, however eccentric or extreme. This raised an obvious credibility question. Some blogs may have been accurate, but many more clearly come off the wall. For every dissection of the CBS report on President Bush and the National Guard, we had 1,000 rants and 100,000 accounts of daily activities of interest to nobody except the author. The limits of the free-for-all were well demonstrated by the chaos that resulted when the Los Angeles Times opened its online editorial page to unrestricted contributions.

Such problems will encourage the growth of a more responsible online-information system that exploits the mediumÂ’s possibilities, but which also adheres to self-imposed standards that would have been seen as unacceptably restrictive by the original bloggers. The idea that the internet meant complete freedom will have to die in at least a part of the forest if the medium is to realise its potential as an information tool. Serious providers will have to accept that they are not free from responsibility.

This will not come about primarily through any legal constraints, which remain cloudy in the blogosphere. Rather, a group of information websites will emerge from the world of blogs—small in relative number, but weighty in impact—which accept that the internet is not just a licence to peddle prejudices and pursue individual interests. The hierarchy of links pioneered by Google will become a key factor, discriminating in the good sense between the reliable and the dross, and creating a virtuous online circle. Thus can brands be built.

This will present newspapers, already hit by declining circulations, with an extra challenge, and the growth of video and audio feeds from citizen-reporters will drive at least the smaller broadcasters to try to co-opt them as contributors. Conventional media enterprises will have to find creative ways of drawing on the proliferating sources of content and channels of distribution to satisfy their customers. If they do not adapt, fast, they may all too easily find themselves overshadowed as new media come of age, taking their responsibilities seriously and exploiting new ways of connecting with consumers.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Industrial Nutrient Content

Joel Makower's recent article posted on GreenBiz about Timberland's new "nutritional label" started my thoughts spinning back to my readings on sustainable manufacturing methods. In fact, the concept of Industrial Nutrients first came to my attention as I read "Cradle to Cradle" by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart a few years ago.

Timberland, perhaps better known in some circles as the outfitter of trendy urban teens, is also well-known for its efforts at social responsibility. The program, revealed in another GreenBiz article, Timberland Introduces New Packaging Initiative, as well as the Timberland website, is anothe step in providing production information to consumers. Consumers that have a strong desire to support a company that strives to minimize its impact will no doubt benefit by such labeling.

The problem, as Joel points out in his article, is that few people will understand what the measures of energy used to manufacture the product means. To make an embodied energy measure make sense, one would have to relate it to something people understand on a daily basis. Perhaps equating the energy in the shoe to how long you could run your refrigerator, or television, or hair dryer on that amount of energy. On the other hand, the fact that they are providing this information may motivate some consumers to look into energy use and renewable energy. It also puts them ahead of the game, assuming more companies feel the need to provide this information and reduce their energy use.

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a coworker some time ago as we solved the world's problem of the day. What he suggested was a global currency based on energy. Instead of paying with Andrew Jackson or George Washington, we would have an electronic card that linked to an account that stored "watts" of currency. It makes sense. Every good or service requires energy in its manufacture and delivery. The computer I am typing on contains components built from raw materials sourced from all over the world. As the product comes together, the costs and prices of the components are inherently valued with an energy component, though it is monetized in a different form of currency. To make the system more complete and accurate, the valuation would also incorporate any impacts on the environment that add a social cost or reduce the value of natural capital. Perhaps the carbon trading schemes that have been proposed over the past twenty years would mesh nicely with a currency based upon energy.

As I am not an environmental economist, I am unfamiliar with how the harvest of wood or the mining of iron ore would be valued as a "cost" to the natural world. Since I am also not an international currency trader, I have no foundation for how "watts" would be valued across borders. Would goods produced with energy from Nigeria have a different value than the same goods produced with energy from Canada? I suppose the country of production would not be so important as how the energy was produced and how it impacted the ecosphere. Have I just developed a thesis?

My thoughts also turned back to my involvement with the AltWheels Transportation Festival. One of the ideas we had was to provide the same form of label for the cars, trucks, and bicycles that were on display at the event, with a relative comparison of emissions between the vehicles. When people see the difference in the amount of "something" and they know the "something" is bad (in this case carbon emissions), they may have a stronger understanding and potentially a reaction.

Monday, February 06, 2006

From The Economist

"This doesn't mean that managers will junk all their BlackBerries, Palm Pilots and mobile phones. They will still love them and buy the latest models that come out. But they won't be in the briefcase. That is partly because the most fashionable business people will not have briefcases. They will have sleek black bicycle panniers to go with the most fashionable management accessory of 2006, the bicycle.

Managers will arrive at work in cycling shorts, having ridden on a very expensive machine that is greatly over-engineered for a commute to work. They will boast in the bike shed that the frame is from Japan, the gears from Canada: they will be riding the ultimate granular bicycle."


The manager of the future will be armed with the latest in micro-mobile technologies. Employees will take advantage of technologies that promote productivity anywhere and anytime. The best part of this scenario is that each electronic gizmo will be built in a zero waste or "cradle-to-cradle" production system. The producer will ultimately be responsible for the life cycle of the product, including its disposal. It will not just be thrown away. Rather, it will be in the economic best interest of companies to design and manufacture products that are nearly 100% reusable to capture the valuable resources that would normally be added to a landfill."

Zero waste; what will that mean to life?

Article here