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From Reframe

To reframe is a verb with meaning on the physical plane, as in the frame of a building, on the financial plane, as in the redefinition of categories of risk, cost and revenue, and in the psychological and political plane, as a new mindset.

This wiki explores all of these meanings as they relate to green building, green mortgages and green utility networks, and grid computing - all of which are combined in the wise grid franchising concept.


[edit] reframing economics

"To reframe economic choices to profit from the shift to a sustainable economic path requires a more careful accounting of what we say we value, how we create value and report value, and also in how we price, sell, buy and pay."

"The way we talk about business, accounting, economics, marketing, finance and insurance is actually preventing us from adapting successfully. People who speak without these biases will see opportunities that we don't, and will successfully beat us at sustainable service provision. If we attempt to compete by increasing pressure on natural capital, we'll be paying more for it as demand increases and supply dwindles, and we'll also diminish the natural services that presently subsidize us. Further, we'll be excluded from foreign markets as people whose individual buying criteria shy away from waste and such damage begin to dominate those markets. The institutional and especially government criteria are already changing fast - moving to favour telework, to zero e-waste, to green buildings and LED lighting and use of solar, body motion energy and other sustainable energy. All companies that have engaged in energy savings programs have reported that there were a surprisingly high number of opportunities to cut waste, and the process of doing so exposed other organization protocol problems that cost money. It was, ultimately, profitable to save energy and materials, move around less and work more." - Craig Hubley

[edit] reframing business

The Natural Capitalism framework reframes business' relation to natural capital:

  1. . radical resource productivity — dramatically increase the productivity of natural resources ...getting more product out of each ton of natural material extracted... stretch natural resources 5, 10, even 100 times further... save money and increase profits.
  2. ecological re-design — shift to biologically inspired models [and] "closed loop" production systems — recycling, re-manufacturing, and industrial ecology [to eliminate] waste [and] emulate nature, where waste from any system is food for another...
  3. service and flow economy — Move to solutions-based business models...shift from producing and selling goods, which customers aim to acquire, to flows of services meeting customers' real needs [and] the producer maintains ownership of goods produced [to] "take back" when the productive life is over [to] support closed loop production and consumption models...moving to leasing models shifts emphasis to providing satisfaction with as little material throughput and waste as possible...
  4. investment in natural capital - businesses must restore, sustain, and expand the planet’s ecosystems" themselves to avoid shortages and catastrophes that will bring more heavy-handed interventions.

[edit] reframing marketing: sustainability as profitability

"Consider also that in an age of transparency, every company enters the market stark naked: how you extract resources, outsource labour, is all visible to your customers. You have no hope whatsoever to hide it. Accordingly you must make it a selling point. In this millenium, profit margin is a function of sustainability. That's a bold statement, but consider that to compete via price is to suffer ever-decreasing profit margins, and come up directly against the largest players. Almost all companies that succeed have to do so by offering a provably superior product. For that desirable market segment that wants the greener or more sustainable product, they'll pay for that, but only for that - excuses and packaging and advertising won't do. If you're 'greenwashing' they'll know. If you doubt it, watch what happens to the price of tuna when word gets out that dolphins were caught in the same nets, or to the price of cell phones when word gets out that some of the coltane used in making them was mined illegally in a forest full of gorillas. At your age, you've already seen more than one good example of companies caught offside and scrambling to recover. The Internet accelerates that. Unsustainable is now unprofitable. Only a very few industries that profit directly from waste and have not yet been held to account, like the oil business, are for now still exempt from this logic."

[edit] reframing recruiting: sustainability as talent magnet

"But not all the benefits of a sincere sustainable shift show up so easily and obviously. Consider recruiting. A bright young engineer goes to apply to interview at a new company. When they arrive, imagine they see a flat dead parking lot full of SUVs and even maybe a Hummer. No bicycle rack. The building is not convenient to mass transit, and surrounded by a golf-green-like lawn that has obviously been kept free of dandelions using poisons. The building has windows the same size facing in all directions, and no attempt is made to capture ground heat or passive solar in its halls. Heat may even be steaming out of that building in the winter. The dumpster is full, even has electronics in it, and there's no recycling bins nor composters. In this millenium, to almost anyone raised in Europe or North America in the last twenty years, that company already looks wasteful and possibly dishonest. It's willing to dump obvious problems on future generations and its neighbours. It's unconcerned with frugality and therefore likely sloppy in all its work. A lot of sincere bright young people are going to disappear. It's not how they see their own interaction with the world."

"Now, imagine that same engineer who steps off a bus or a bicycle to a curb beside public parking, because the building has no parking and doesn't charge stockholders to park cars. Any land around the building is xeriscaped - native plants only. Under an overhang is a bicycle rack outside a large sunlit lobby with a concrete floor that sucks up heat. This is obvious from the outside, as maybe also are the doors to the employee showers just within. There are small garbage, recycling, paper, compost, e-waste and 'junk: help yourself' containers beside the building, along with directions to the nearest freecycling depot. Solar panels are visible on the building's flat roof, and a few plants hang over - it's got a roof garden and maybe a green roof. A few cars parked on the street have company logos - hybrids. When the engineer goes in, she sees the shower sign beside the washroom signs. As she changes, she notices a small laminated explanation of the water and drain system in the building: rain catch with UV filtering, solar preheat or flash heating, low-flow shower heads, drain heat recovery, and grey water recovery onsite. By the time she's dressed in her business clothes and heading upstairs, she's already sold." - Craig Hubley

[edit] reframing waste: it's a resource you're throwing away

"This is not a matter of individual preference. It's not a trend that can change. Cheap oil in the 1980s and 1990s was a consequence of one-time events that won't be repeated - weak Asian economies, flexible Mideast supplies. Now that China and India are becoming industrial giants, efficiency is a matter of career success and of cultural survival. Realistically, the markets of this millenium are in Asia: India, China, Indonesia, and in Africa. Those customers can't afford to waste anything. Whatever you design or make in that building, if it's wasting power or water or heat, most of the planet won't buy it. They won't buy it in any sense: not as a story, not as a product, and not as an excuse." - Craig Hubley

[edit] becoming the customer

"So there are four obvious and specific benefits that you get from reframing your view of economics to the sustainable view:

  1. By heightening your awareness of energy and material waste, you improve internal processes and efficiency and reduce costs
  2. By marketing specifically to those who care how products are made or services delivered, you improve your profit margins
  3. By sustainable practices in your operations and offices, you send strong signals to anyone who wants to partner or work with you, that you are sincere, effective, efficient
  4. By moving early in your industry, you are far less likely to become the target of actions by government or citizen groups, or exposes by journalists, while competitors remain so"

"There is also a fifth less obvious benefit - to reframe is to be more like your customers:

  • By changing your mindset to be more like the customers of this millenium, who waste not want not, and live in China, India, Africa or Latin America, you are more likely to produce products that they can use, that are smaller, better, cheaper, and more durable or modular - do you really think people driving Hummers can design utility trucks for China?" - Craig Hubley
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