Business

  1. Better Brands
  2. Better Business
  3. Business
  4. Profit

Modern consumers understand sustainable business. They know the difference between authentic commitments and vague marketing attempts to boost "natural" and "green" beauty products.

As more shoppers incorporate sustainability into their habits, more businesses adapt operations and communications strategies to meet demand. But real change takes time. And the beauty industry, for example, emits loads of waste.

One beauty brand, The Harmonist, wants to make sustainability an integral part of its business.

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Climate mitigation is a multi-lateral issue. There is no one-size fits all band-aid solution to solve Earth's problems. But corporations in particular wield considerable influence over the state of global affairs. Can corporations lead the charge on climate?

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Bloomberg Businessweek published a report this week outlining the problem with ESG investing. It’s a lengthy analysis with lots of facts and figures, so I thought it would be worthwhile to summarize its major findings.

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Meet MSCI: the ESG matchmaker

MSCI is the world’s premier ratings company for environmental, social and governance (ESG) designations. It’s the ESG equivalent of Moody’s for insurance ratings.

MSCI has become the de-facto standard for smacking “sustainable” on any investment fund. The impact of sustainable investing has suffered as a result.

What’s the problem with MSCI ESG ratings?

According to Bloomberg’s report, MSCI ratings don’t accurately measure the impact of a company on the Earth. Rather, their ratings measure the impact of the Earth on a company.

It’s a powerful distinction that has damning effects on the real-world impact of ESG ratings. And it’s a method that MSCI openly boasts as a logical indication for relevant stakeholders.… Read the rest

  1. Better Business
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  3. Doing
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This week, we sat down with Closed Loop Partners CEO Ron Gonen. Closed Loop Partners is a New York based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity and project finance as well as an innovation center focused on building the circular economy.

During our conversation, we covered pressing topics like social entrepreneurship, sustainable investing, and climate optimism.

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In a literal sense, sustainability is about creating a system of permanence. When determining if something is sustainable, you're asking: is this project, product or service a replicable component of a system that can last forever? Sustainable cryptocurrencies do not exist within that framework.

But most things are not sustainable. In this period of growth centered around sustainable systems, it is more worthwhile to focus on what projects are building the future and how they are framing themselves to fit within the mold of a more sustainable future.

Here are 10 cryptocurrencies I think are trying to be more sustainable.

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  1. Better Markets
  2. Business
  3. Profit

If you want to decarbonize the economy, carbon offsets don't work. Here's why.

Despite doubling in price the last 18 months, carbon offset prices are cheap (relative to the cost of reducing emissions). Carbon offsets should and will be much more expensive. For now, because they're so cheap, carbon credits act more like a marketing tool than a social good.

The little secret?

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  1. Better Business
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  3. Profit

This week, I had the chance to sit down with Madison Rifkin, founder of Mount. Mount is a SaaS platform that enables private property (think airbnb) to launch, track and monetize their guest amenities. Those amenities can include things like bikes and e-scooters.

Mount allows travelers to use more sustainable modes of short distance travel in place of ubers or car rentals. And it accomplishes this without causing a scooter-frenzied-tourist headache for city administrators, because all of the equipment is completely owned and controlled by the host.

If you'd like to learn more about Mount and how they're disrupting the hospitality industry, check out the full Q&A below.

Check out our full interview.

  1. Better Brands
  2. Better Business
  3. Business
  4. Profit
Busy? Try the speed read.

Big picture: GM announced plans to release an electric Hummer in 2023. It got me thinking, is it time to make the switch to electric vehicles?

Benefit of electric vehicles:

  1. Lower carbon footprint... social impact ✓
  2. Lower maintenance costs... convenience factor ✓
  3. Tax credits... financial incentive ✓

Cost of electric vehicles:

  1. EVs require minerals like cobalt and lithium to function. Mineral mining is a tough industry with poor standards in developing countries like Bolivia and Chile. Organizations are working to change that.
  2. Electric vehicles have a limited driving range compared to their gas cousins. You may find yourself charging up more than usual.
  3. High sticker prices: The average price of a new electric vehicle is almost double the price of a gas car.
  4. Limited amount of charging stations: this is a tricky one, because there are still more charging stations per EV on the road than there are gas stations for gas cars. Unless you go on a road trip, most of your charging will probably be at home anyway.

Bottom line: With billions of dollars flowing in, electric vehicles are not only here to stay, they are booming.

If you 1) need a car in your life 2) want to be a part of a cleaner future and 3) can afford the extra monthly cost (for now), then making a switch to electric vehicles is the right thing to do.

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  1. Better Markets
  2. People
  3. Politics and Policy
Busy? Try the speed read.

The scoop: Overpopulation is a myth... because Jack Ma and Elon Musk said so. On a more serious note, a population collapse is more likely than an overpopulated planet.

Some talking points for the dinner table:

  1. Overcrowded cities ≠ overcrowded planet. The entire world population can fit in the state of Texas with the same population density as Manhattan.
  2. Lopsided populations will inevitably occur in modern advanced nations. That means young workers will be unable to support aging populations, causing natural population declines.
  3. 'Malthusian traps' refer to inevitable food shortages as populations grow. Either Malthus was right and some of us go hungry (as in we don't need to artificially halt population growth), or he's wrong and the population keeps growing sustainably through innovation.

Bottom line: The Earth has plenty to offer for 9 billion mouths. And a sustained population decline due to lower fertility rates is already becoming a realistic outcome. We just need to spread out more.

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Better Business
  2. Business
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Busy? Try the speed read.

The scoop: Food takeout and delivery accounts for considerable waste. About 29% of all greenhouse emissions come from packaging. And food takeout uses a lot of packaging.

Takeout packaging: You want a burrito? Let me wrap that in foil for you. Here's some plastic utensils and paper napkins wrapped in plastic to go along with your hand-held meal. Ok, now here are three packs of ketchup and hot sauce you didn't ask for because you have condiments at home. Let me put that in a paper bag placed in a plastic bag for you... even though you are about to eat it.

Sustainable solutions: Reduce and reuse. Buy in bulk. Use bulk alternatives when on the go. Shop at restaurants that use sustainable alternatives like plant fibers for their packaging. If you have a good relationship with your local food business, talk to them about affordable options.

Dig deeper → 3 min

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