Short Circuit: Gaia Reports On
The True Cost Of Our Gadgets

The Houses of Parliament was a fitting venue for the launch of a new report called Short Circuit, which looks at the current lifecycle of our electronic gadgets and the true cost to the earth. It was released by The Gaia Foundation and allies; African Biodiversity Network; London Mining Network; Mining Watch Canada; OCMAL; Oilwatch Africa PIPLinks & Climate Revolution; and was supported by the EC.

The Gaia Foundation 'Illustration by Roanna Rahman

The Gaia Foundation
Illustration by Roanna Rahman

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Day 2:
The Responsible Business Summit

Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Here’s more from that great gathering – the highlights from the sessions we joined on Day 2:


In this session we learned how companies are driving sustainability into product design.

Kimberly Clark Tom Berry

Kimberly-Clark Tom Berry – Head of Sustainability, EMEA

Kimberly-Clark make health and hygiene products, such as Kleenex, Andrex and Huggies. They operate in around 175 countries, so they have a big footprint. They essentially use wood fibre and oil to make products and, in their production, use a lot of energy and water. Also many of their products are disposable, so there’s a lot of waste associated with them.


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Day 1:
The Responsible Business Summit

Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Talks were focused around how smart businesses can gain from being climate-conscious leaders, how to embed sustainability into company management and how to engage customers. Following are the highlights and insights from the sessions we joined on Day 1:

responsible business summit 2013


Greenpeace UK John Sauven – Executive Director
The Economist Daniel Franklin – Executive Editor
Janssen Pharmaceuticals Jane Griffiths – Company Group Chairman
RiiЯ Tom Vesey – Chief Executive Officer
London Business School Ioannis Ioannou – Assistant Professor of Strategy 

In this session the speakers were asked to consider what might society, governments and businesses working together be able to deliver for a greener sustainable recovery – and what are the challenges this idea throws up?


John Sauven (Greenpeace) talked about deforestation being the important issue; Jane Griffiths (Janssen) believes that, with an aging population, Alzheimers is one of the great focuses we have to have and that working with academic institutes will be important; Daniel Franklin (Economist) states collaborators must be clear what they are trying to achieve or problems may occur; and Tom Vesey (RiiЯ) says people should be thinking in the long-term, not just short-term.

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SustainRCA Talk On
Big Data & Our Digital Universe

The digital universe is set to grow to eight zettabytes by 2015, according to IBM (and just so you know, a zettabyte is approximately a million terabytes). We’re told the insights from this vast Big Data resource will drive new business models, products and services, and steer our future food, transport and energy systems. The intangibility of figures, however, means finding and communicating relevance and value is one of its greatest challenges.


As part of a series of talks to inspire students to embrace sustainability in their projects, SustainRCA invited three experts to discuss their work: Angela Morelli, Vin Sumner and Richard Gilbert are using data visualisation and gamification (which is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context) in order to solve problems and change the way we manufacture products, consume goods and supply energy.

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The Energy-Water-Food Nexus

The Royal Geographic Society, with IBG (Institute of British Geographers), hosted The Energy-Water-Food Stress Nexus, a continuation of their series of discussions of 21st Century Challenges.


21st Century Challenges aims to promote informed discussion of environmental, social, economic and educational issues that are of global interest and that affect our lives. The talk was held at the Society’s headquarters in South Kensington, London, 12 Dec 2012.


So, what’s a Nexus, you may ask? It simply means a connection, or series of connections, linking two or more things. The world’s energy, water and food systems are tightly interlinked – and the burning question is how will these vital resources cope in the coming decades, along with a growing and more prosperous global population? Take a look at the video below, by brewers SAB Miller, for a quick overview.

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More New Designers…


We had the enviable task of meeting as many of the exhibitors as possible during our visit to New Designers Part 2.  With so much talent and overwhelming enthusiasm from the designers it made it a jam-packed and exhilarating couple of days.

Having had an initial whizz round, so we didn’t miss anything, we went back to delve a little deeper and meet the exhibitors who stood out as having original sustainable solutions.

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