Introducing the Blue Economy Book:
The Blue Economy goes beyond the Green Economy.It stands for a different way of designing business by using the resources available in cascading systems, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow. It aims at creating jobs, building up social capital and rising income while saving the environment. An international community of companies, innovators and scientists support the concept, providing open source access to develop, implement and share prosperous business models which targets to improve natural ecosystems and quality of life
The present employment crisis, especially amongst the young does not permit us to pursue a business model that aims to cut costs by cutting employment, a model that offers the best for everyone's health and the environment as the most expensive. Time has come to shift towards a competitive business model that allows producers to offer the best at the lowest prices by introducing innovations that generate multiple benefits, not just increased profits. This economic philosophy was first introduced in 1994 by Prof. Gunter Pauli when asked by the United Nations to reflect on the business models of the future. Now, substantiated by over 180 concrete cases, it is increasingly clear that it is possible to generate more revenue, while generating more jobs and still compete on the global market.
The key to this dramatic shift is to evolve from a core business based on a core competence to a portfolio of businesses that generate multiple benefits for business and society. As long as corporate executives wish to pursue economies of scale, based on standardized products, secured worldwide through just-in-time deliveries and outsourcing where labor productivity is the key to success, jobless rate will continue to soar. However, if companies evolve towards the full use of all its available resources, clusters activities and cascades to higher levels of efficiency, then a new model emerges. A coffee company can generate income from the coffee, its core business, and now can also generate revenue from the mushrooms farmed on the waste, and whatever is left over after harvesting the protein rich fungi is excellent animal feed. One revenue model is now transformed in a three revenue model.
Companies have focused excessively on cutting costs and therefore pursued a global strategy looking for the cheapest and most flexible place of manufacturing or service delivery. However, the drive towards ever cheaper products has resulted in an increased deprivation of cash in local economies, which have less employment but also less purchasing power, thus leading to less money circulating in the communities and this results in an economic contraction as is being experienced in numerous economies, not the least in Spain and Greece countries that suffered also from excessive government expenditure.
The power of the Blue Economy is that it injects money back into the local economy, and contrary to traditional belief, it offers high quality products at a lower cost price. The healthy mushrooms before beyond reach of the majority of the consumers is now available fresh and abundantly requiring much less transportation. When the global supply chain of food implies that up to 90 percent of all the value added generated in the supermarkets is spent on transportation, now hardly any transportation is required, costs are reduced, margins are improved and prices to the consumer are lowered.
The Blue Economy applies to any business sector and in addition to the reinjection of cash into the local economy, and the use of locally available resources it is dedicated to eliminate whatever is not needed. A battery is not replaced by a green battery, it is simply substituted by an energy system for mobile electronic devices that does not rely on a battery. This represents massive savings in material and costs, while reducing the ecological footprint on the environment and the health risks to the citizens of this world.
The Blue Economy is not tailored to the large corporations, which have an established business model that will be hard to change. The Blue Economy rather inspires the young and the entrepreneurial minds and offers a broad platform of innovative ideas that have been implemented somewhere in the world to demonstrate that the future is bright, provided we go beyond the known and the obvious.
Professor Gunter Pauli:
Gunter Pauli was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in March 1956. In 1979 he graduated as “Licencié en Sciences Economiques” from Loyola's University (today University of Antwerp) in Belgium and obtained his masters in business administration from INSEAD in 1982 at Fontainebleau, France thanks to a scholarship from the Rotary International Foundation. During the time he was studying, he held the most diverse jobs in order “to sustain family, education and to save money, which permitted extensive traveling during the summer holidays". In 1978 he was elected as national president of the students’ union AIESEC.
He was the founder and Chairman of PPA Holding and of more than 10 other companies, founder and CEO of the European Service Industries Forum (ESIF), Secretary General of the European Business Press Federation (UPEFE), founder and president of the Foundation “Mozarteum Belgicum“, Chairman and President of Ecover, and advisor to the Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo (Japan).
His entrepreneurial activities span business, culture, science, politics and the environment. Under his leadership, Ecover pioneered an ecological factory in 1992, featured on CNN Prime Time News. He founded the "Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives" (ZERI) at the United Nations University in Tokyo, and subsequently established The Global ZERI Network as a foundation, redesigning production and consumption into clusters of industries inspired by natural systems.
He is dedicated to design and implement a society and industries, which respond to people’s needs using what is locally available. His visionary approach supported by dozens of projects on the ground landed him an invitation to present his cases at the World Expo 2000 in Germany. There he constructed the largest bamboo pavilion in modern days presenting 7 breakthrough initiatives. It became the most popular pavilion with 6.4 million visitors. Unfortunately, the pavilion was destroyed after the Expo. However the original built in Manizales, Colombia still stands as a symbol for the Coffee Region. His latest initiatives include the redesign of mining operations and the development of a novel concept of transparent investment banking.
He has been visiting lecturer and professor at universities in on all continents, and Member of the Board of NGOs and private companies in Asia, USA and Latin America. Since 2009 he has taken responsibility for the design of an economic development concept based on GNH (Gross National Happiness) principles and values as part of his advisory role in designing an economic development strategy for Bhutan.
He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (San Francisco, USA), a creative Member of the Club of Budapest (Hungary), Member of the Club of Rome, moderated the Roundtable of Nobel Science Laureates hosted by HM King of Jordan State and obtained a Doctorate from the Italian Government in systems design. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Pécs, Hungary.
Gunter has published 19 books (written 15 - edited 4), which have been printed in +30 languages and 36 fables bringing science and emotions to children. Over 17 million copies have been distributed worldwide. One of his fables “The Strongest Tree” is available in over 100 languages. His next book "The End of Globalization" will be forthcoming in 2012. He is father of four sons, one daughter (adopted) and married to Katherina Bach. Fluent in seven languages and having resided on 4 continents, he is a world citizen.
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