Posts Tagged ‘Addressing Urgency & Taking Action’

Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy – March 10th

Envisioning a Circular Economy

As humans we’ve adapted a linear approach to economics; we take, we make, we dispose. Yet, does this activity benefit our living system? Does it benefit you? Or your business? Probably not. We need to redefine growth, focus on positive society-wide benefits and build economic, natural, and social capital. How is this possible? The Circular Economy. The circular economy is based upon three principles; design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. It’s a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design, according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.

At the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter (USGBC-MGC), we challenge the St. Louis region to be an innovative part of the solution, generating sustainable solutions that address the current needs and challenges we face, without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Sustainable development plays a significant role in shaping the future of our environment and society. So that we might learn from another community taking innovative action, we’ve invited speaker Amy Aussieker, the Executive Director of Envision Charlotte, to share the successes and challenges Charlotte, North Carolina has had since launching their circular economy plan.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Aussieker will speak at Alberici Headquarters in St. Louis, MO about Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy. This evening program aligns with the USGBC-MGC’s 2020 educational theme, Climate Solutions: Addressing Urgency & Taking Action. We are excited to welcome Aussieker and discuss how Charlotte’s local government, utilities, universities and businesses are addressing the four environmental pillars of energy, air, water, and waste.

Charlotte's Transition to a Circular EconomyA circular economy is all about energy, all the interconnecting companies that form our infrastructure and economy and how that energy is extracted, used, reused, and returned to the Earth and the people; building economic, natural, and social capital. For example, Envision Charlotte’s inaugural project tackled “Smart Energy,” helping 61 of the largest commercial buildings reduce their energy use by 19%, equivalent to 26 million dollars in savings and taking 11,000 cars off the road (Forbes, 2019). What about waste?

How can our waste build capital, rather than reduce it? What if the goods of today became the resources of tomorrow? Instead of the throw away and replace culture, we accept a new method of return and renew (Re-thinking Progress video, Ellen Macarthur Foundation). Charlotte came up with an action plan to make the city more circular, tying in with their sustainable energy goals to reduce carbon dioxide, they have begun to harness valuable materials, that would have been headed to the landfill like plastics, textiles, concrete and organics. REthinking the operating system and REdesigning the way Charlotte’s economy works – REpresenting a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and social benefits.

Please be sure to join us March 10th, 2020 5:30 – 7:30 pm for Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy and learn about the short and long-term strategies, community participation, and benefits of developing a circular economy. Follow us @usgbcMOgateway and register at www.usgbc-mogateway.org/events!