Introductory resources and reference materials to help acquaint you with the issue of materials and waste.
With the best of intentions, companies experiment with isolated efforts to improve sustainability up and down their supply chain, only to encounter a long string of unanticipated consequences. These can be in the form of financial, social, or environmental costs. In this article, author Hau L. Lee explains that it’s more effective to take a wholistic approach to sustainability and make broader structural changes. Lee draws on examples of the shirt manufacturer, Esquel, and steelmaker, Posco, to further explain how this approach can be effective.
This is an open-source set of assessment tools from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition developed for apparel and footwear companies to assess the sustainability of their value chain. It is intended to enable companies to standardize how they assess their sustainability performance. The tools were originally released in 2012, but were revised and released as the Higg Index 2.0 in 2013.
If you are looking for resources that will help you to build a business case for pursuing circular economy strategies, this resource is a good place to start. This white paper explains how circular economy strategies can reduce the risk of investments and drive superior risk-adjusted returns for investors and financial institutions. By decoupling economic growth from resource consumption, diversifying business models, and allowing your business to better anticipate stricter regulations and customer behaviour, circular economy principles can reduce exposure to supply chain disruptions, resource price volatility, and more.
Kate Raworth's “Doughnut” model is a key framework for understanding sustainability context. Building on the planetary boundaries framework as a 'ceiling', it adds social foundations as a 'floor' and underlines the need to operate in the space between. The social foundation is made up of 11 boundaries that draw attention to communities needing access to basic resources to fulfill their human needs. This access needs to be achieved in a way that does not place undue stress on the earth's resources. The framework is based on the premise that we should be striving to build and maintain social foundations while staying within planetary boundaries.
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