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Entries in planet (9)

Friday
Feb272015

Book recommendation: Frugal Innovation

Navi Radjou, an innovation and leadership strategist and friend of Catalyst, has co-written a new book that we recommend wholeheartedly.

Frugal Innovation proposes a breakthrough approach to solving some of the most complex issues of our global economy as it empowers human beings to use their creativity to generate economic and social value while preserving the environment.

In this work, the authors set out to explain:

  • How to achieve mass customization, using low-cost robotics, inexpensive product design and virtual prototyping software.
  • How consumers and other external partners can help develop products

  • How to implement sustainable practices, such as the production of waste-free products

  • How to change the corporate culture to become more frugal

In my view, this is must read for thought leaders and practitioners worldwide.

 

-- Bruno Roche

Tuesday
Jan272015

The State of Natural Capital -- Natural Capital Committee's third annual report 

As we noted earlier this year, The Natural Capital Committee is an independent advisory body set up to advise the government on sustainable use of England's forests, rivers, atmosphere, land, wildlife, oceans, and other natural resources. Colin Mayer from Oxford University's Said Business School, who is leading our mutuality partnership there, is a committee member.

The NCC has released it's third annual report on the State of Natural Capital, which you can read in its entirety here. This year the report "recommends that the Government, working closely with the private sector and NGOs, should develop a comprehensive strategy to protect and improve natural capital. The report presents a series of potential environmental investments that offer good economic returns as well as a new framework for organisations to take account of natural capital."

-- Jay Jakub

Monday
Jan262015

Patagonia's approach to values

Outdoor apparel company Patagonia appears to break the rules of how consumer goods companies approach marketing, profit, and consumer communications. Despite this--or because of it--the company is a success story, tripling its profitability and doubling in size over the past few years.

Some examples of Patagonia's unorthodox approach include:

  • Running Black Friday advertising saying "don't buy this jacket"
  • Sharing (certain) innovations with competitors
  • Using company funds to support (potentially polarizing) issues the company believes in

Rose Marcario, Patagonia's CEO, was interviewed by Fast Company this month and the conversation turned to these apparent paradoxes. Marcario's response centered on the companies values: since its founding, Patagonia has placed value on the quality and durability of its products and a respect for the planet and the environment. By making a durable product, backed by a full guarantee, customers don't need to buy as much, reducing the overall environmental impact. Mercario believes that customers seek out Patagonia because they know what the company stands for. She also notes that the company has more freedom to express its values due to its private ownership.

Being a private company really gives you a lot of ability to express yourself and not be confined by this mentality that profit has primacy over all things."

Of course, Patagonia is not the largest (or most affordable) outdoor apparel brand, but we find Ms. Marcario's perspective interesting in that she seems to be describing her company's take on quality, responsibility, freedom, and mutuality. What do you think?

-- Clara Shen

Image source: Urbantimes.co

Wednesday
Dec172014

Accounting for natural capital

Colin Mayer from Oxford University's Said Business School, who is leading our mutuality partnership there, has written a working paper for the Natural Captial Committee. The paper outlines the NCC's innovative new Corporate Natural Capital Accounting framework that is designed to enable organisations to properly account for the natural capital they own, for which they are responsible or on which they are dependent.

We like that the NCC is moving beyond theory to test the framework:

Having developed the framework, the NCC evaluated the methodology by piloting it with the National Trust, The Crown Estate, United Utilities and Lafarge Tarmac....Undertaking the pilots and responding to comments from various stakeholders, the NCC has been able to produce a generic account and a set of guidelines which other organisations should be able to use in undertaking their own CNCA.

The NCC is and independent advisory body set up to advise the government on sustainable use of England's forests, rivers, atmosphere, land, wildlife, oceans, and other natural resources.  You can read the full working paper following the link above.

-- Jay Jakub

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