Nearly half the CO2 emissions per capita in Denmark arises not from energy use but from our ongoing purchase of personal possessions.*
These emissions comes from two problems; the materials we are using, and the way we are using them.
But planet earth is not the only stock of resources. The most sustainable materials are the ones we have most of; the ones already in circulation, all man-made; base plastics, batteries, advanced components and circuitry. We will emit less net CO2 and make more money making all these unused treasures useful again. We can pool and recirculate, build man-made lakes and loops to support new use, new consumption – and generate new business.
Whenever not in use, we can release stuff for next-use. At end-of-use, instead of trashing, we can return to feed man-made stock. These are the two key business insights for the future.
Producers must construct the new system before consumers can buy into it. The incentive is money.
In the future, currency is material, and producer’s main assets will be their material. Companies will keep hold of them, control them and rent them out as products or services. A shift in mindset, morals and ethics isn’t creating change fast enough. Let us instead exploit the speed and scale of capitalism but alter its mechanisms from within.
*Green Think-Tank, CONCITO’s report from 2010 attributing carbon per capita in Denmark as a result of; 1. public sector / collective infrastructure (6t)2. personal possessions (5t)3. food& drink (3.2t)4. electricity& heat (2.1t)5. fuel to car (1.1t)6. flights (900kg)7. service / communication (700kg)