Circular Economy, Cities, Cities and sustainability reporting, Sustainability

Resilient Cities and the Circular Economy

This post on Resilient Cities and the Circular Economy is the third in my series on the Resilient Cities 2018 conference.

I participated in a discussion about Resilient Cities and the Circular Economy at Resilient Cities 2018 – Cities in transition: From waste management to circular city economies.

Panelists- Sunandan Tiwari, Gwen White, Catherine Allinson, Johannes Paul, Lisa Junghans, Keith Weitz

My presentation focused on circular economy activities in the city of Bloomington, Indiana.

Sunandan Tiwari, Gwen White, Catherine Allinson

Where is Bloomington?

Facts about Bloomington

Waste Management

There appears to be a lot of circular economy activity going on in cities, but it may under reported. How and where the waste data is reported depends a great deal on a city’s waste management system. Waste collection can be done by a private contractor or a public utility or a combination. This is the case in the city of Bloomington, Indiana, which is home to Indiana University. The city’s population is 85,000 people; half of these residents are students. The university, the city, and private collection companies collect waste. The city and the university track recycling. At present, private collectors track by regions not by cities.

Are there other waste disposal options in Bloomington?

There are several NGOs involved with the circular economy that report annually on their work. For example, the Monroe County Habitat for Humanity Restore collects donated used building materials and appliances to resell to the public at discounted prices. In 2017, 1.1 million pounds were diverted from the landfill. This does not include all the construction waste from the demolition of buildings. Collection of this data would be a complex endeavor, but lessons could be learned from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It has plans to create a circular city that in part organizes the building chain to incorporate the reuse of building materials in new construction. It is a new program that will require considerable coordination from setting up a storage facility to measuring and monitoring the materials. It will involve a multi-year effort, but Amsterdam is on the cutting edge of becoming a circular city.

Another example of the circular economy in Bloomington is a local NGO foodbank, Hoosier Hills Foodbank (HHFB). HHFB coordinates food collection with local grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants. It in turn makes food donations available to over 100 nonprofit organizations including emergency food pantries, daycare centers serving low-income children, youth programs, shelters, residential homes and soup kitchens.

 

Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H), an annual event that diverts reusable items from the landfill during Indiana University’s student move-out at the end of each spring semester, illustrates the reuse of post consumer goods. This program prevents new resource consumption by selling collected items to students and community members at the beginning of each fall semester. The funds raised are donated to local charities and other organizations. H2H is a partnership between the city of Bloomington Sustainability, Indiana University Office of Sustainability, and Cutters Soccer Club. In 2016, it successfully diverted 60 tons and collected $45,000 from its sales.

 

Yard waste collection in Bloomington is another example of the circular economy. Each fall the city collects residential yard leaves with trucks equipped with vacuum hoses. The leaves are delivered to Green Earth Recycling and Compost, a private company, which charges the city a dumping fee per load. The company processes the leaves into compost for sale to the public.

Conclusion

There may be many more examples that are not widely publicized so an assessment of progress in Bloomington is incomplete. Collecting data on other examples needs to be made a priority if we are to assess progress and make decisions about new initiatives for the city. One issue for better assessment of progress is getting all the information together in one place. This could be accomplished on the city government website. Having the information in a central location could provide more opportunities for partnerships across the city.

 

CDP, Cities, Cities and sustainability reporting, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), ISO 37120, Sustainability

Resilient Cities Conference 2018 #2

It was my pleasure to make this presentation on how the City of Bloomington, Indiana tracks its progress on resilience and sustainability during the session entitled Measuring urban resilience and evaluating impacts at the Resilient Cities Conference 2018.

Measuring urban resilience and evaluating impacts

I represented the City of Bloomington at the Resilient Cities Conference 2018 in Bonn, Germany in my role as Chair of the City of Bloomington Commission on Sustainability.  The commission has as part of its mission to measure, monitor, and report on the community’s progress toward sustainability.

See my slide presentation and comments below.

 

This slide represents a list of reporting frameworks that all cities could use to report on their sustainability progress.

The city prepared its first Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Report in 2012. You can access Bloomington’s full GRI report here.

Bloomington was involved in the STAR Community Index Leading Indicators Program.

You can read about how Bloomington reduced its GHG emissions in its latest GHG inventory here.

As the City of Bloomington considers its long range plan for land use and development, it completed its 2018 Comprehensive Plan. The plan is a set of goals, policies, maps, illustrations, and implementation strategies that state how the City of Bloomington should address development: physically, socially, and economically.

The city is engaged currently in preparing a Sustainability Action Plan, which will address transportation, energy, food, and the built environment.

In an earlier blog post, I discussed how ISO 37120 Sustainable development of communities — Indicators for city services and quality of life would be useful to a city.

As we look at our next steps in reporting, there are numerous things to do to monitor the city’s progress. The metrics set out in the Comprehensive Plan and the Sustainability Action Plan will provide information about how well the city is adhering to its plans. In addition, other standardized reporting frameworks can be used to monitor Bloomington’s progress in its sustainable development.

To help understand all of our metrics, I recommend that a summary of all the reports be prepared to get a picture of what the city is doing. A summary report should be written each year to determine our strengths, weaknesses, and progress. This report could be presented to the City Council and Mayor as part of a formal annual reporting by the Commission on Sustainability.

 

 

Cities, Cities and sustainability reporting, Sustainability

Resilient Cities Conference 2018

I just returned from the Resilient Cities Conference 2018  where I was invited to make two presentations.  I represented the City of Bloomington, Indiana in my role as Chair of the City of Bloomington Commission on Sustainability. This conference is held annually in Bonn, Germany.

Started in 2010, the Resilient Cities Conference was conceived as a way to connect local government leaders and climate change adaptation experts. The goal was to create discussion about adaptation challenges facing urban environments and to encourage partnerships that could benefit cities.

What is a resilient city?

“A ‘Resilient City’ is prepared to absorb and recover from any shock or stress while maintaining its essential functions, structures, and identity as well as adapting and thriving in the face of continual change. Building resilience requires identifying and assessing hazard risks, reducing vulnerability and exposure, and lastly, increasing resistance, adaptive capacity, and emergency preparedness.”

The Resilient Cities Conference 2018 featured speakers from all over the globe, which included Australia, North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, Pacific Islands, and Asia. I was one of three U.S. city/state representatives. The program was packed with sessions about challenges and strategies for cities as they adapt to climate change.

The First Plenary set the tone for the need for action with speakers from the UN, ICLEI, City of Bonn, and experts on climate adaptation. Ashok Sridharan, the Mayor of Bonn, welcomed us all.

 

Ashok Sridharan, Mayor, City of Bonn, Germany

 

Speakers and attendees at first Plenary Session

 

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

I was invited to the Mayors Lunch.

Mayors Lunch

At the Mayors Lunch, we were given Rubik’s cubes to symbolize how one’s perception of progress can be deceptive. In trying to solving the puzzle, although progress may be occurring, things often look much worse before they look better.

Mayors Lunch

In addition, I was invited to the Talanoa Dialogue and Dinner.

“This year’s conference has been confirmed as a Talanoa Dialogue. Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji to describe an inclusive and transparent dialogue and decision-making process. The Talanoa Dialogue was launched by the COP23 Presidency of Fiji and is designed to take stock of and strengthen national climate plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs. In order to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, greater ambition and more effective implementation involving all levels of government is critical.”

Talanoa Dialogue and Dinner at Town Hall, Bonn

Great conversations occurred between the sessions.

Gwen White and Anthony Socci, Sr. Lead on International Resilience and Adaptation Policy at U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

 

Monika Zimmermann, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and Sunandan Tiwari, Senior Program Manager, Global Projects, ICLEI World Secretariat, Bonn, Germany

 

Steve Gawler, Regional Director, ICLEI Oceania, Melbourne, Australia, Geoffrey Rutledge, Deputy Director-General, Sustainability and the Built Environment, Australian Capital Territory Government, Canberra, Australia, Stephanie Ziersch, Director, Communities and Climate Change, Sustainability Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, and Gwen White

It was a great conference that I hope to attend in the future. In my next posts, I will talk about my two presentations at the Resilient Cities Conference 2018.

SDGs, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals

SDG Recap of all the SDGs

This post, SDG Recap, is a summary of all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are in my previous posts on the SDGs.

 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
SDG Recap of all the goals is part of SWR’s support for the SDGs.

 

The Sustainable Development Goals contain 17 goals and 169 targets. At this point, an SDG Recap seems in order. There is a great deal to remember and consider as individuals, companies, NGOs, and governments ponder how they fit together. It is important to remember that they affect individuals that make up societies. It is easier to remember these goals if you think of how an individual can be affected.

This story is about Roberta who is concerned about being in Poverty. If she lives in poverty, then she will likely experience Hunger. Longterm periods of hunger will have an adverse effect on her Good Health and Well-being. Roberta needs her good health to pursue Quality Education. But without Gender Equality in work and education, she might remain in poverty where Clean Water and Sanitation are limited. If Roberta has access to education, she needs Affordable and Renewable Energy to be able to cook her food and complete her school work.

Once she has completed her education, she will have more opportunities to obtain Decent Work and contribute to Economic Growth. With equal access to quality education, Roberta could become an engineer who works in Industry, contributes to Innovation, and builds Infrastructure. As part of a diverse workforce, she can participate in a society that has Reduced Inequalities.

Roberta will want to live in Sustainable Cities and Communities that reinforce a high quality of life where people engage in Responsible Consumption and Production. Sustainable cities take Climate Action seriously by protecting Life Below Water and Life on Land. Roberta’s personal goals to have a good life are supported in places, institutions and companies that promote Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions and where Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals are plentiful.

The Sustainable Development Goals provide governments, NGOs, companies, and individuals with the opportunity to work toward a better world for all. In my previous posts, I gave numerous examples of how companies are already supporting the SDGs. They have found many opportunities to do good things for the world and prosper at the same time.

 

   SWR is powered by the sun!

 

SDGs, Sustainability, Sustainability Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals is part of my series on the SDGs.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 17
SWR supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Finance

  • Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
  • Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries
  • Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
  • Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress
  • Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries

Technology

  • Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
  • Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
  • Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

Capacity building

  • Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation

Trade

  • Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda
  • Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020
  • Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access

Systemic issues

Policy and institutional coherence

  • Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development

  • Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

Multi-stakeholder partnerships

  • Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability

  • By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

 

ANZ supports SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals by describing their employee volunteering participation.

 

Ericsson provides support for SDG 17 in several ways. One was the launch of a report discussing how business can play a role in achieving the SDGs.

 

Another example for Ericsson is how the company is involved in humanitarian responses during major disasters.

 

We have come to the end of the 17 SDGs. My next post will be a recap of all 17.