Rod Oram on Carbon Positive Business Opportunities, Hillary Symposium June 09

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These are the slides from Rod Oram's presentation at The Hillary Symposium in Christchurch, New Zealand, June 2009.

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Rod Oram on Carbon Positive Business Opportunities, Hillary Symposium June 09

  1. 1. Rod Oram provokes the Second Annual Hillary Symposium Christchurch, June 4th, 2009 Re-conceiving Business Global crises… …carbon positive opportunities © 2009, Rod Oram / Email. oram@clear.net.nz / Phone. +64 21 444 839 Agenda • Crises • Crux • Response • Revolution 1
  2. 2. Universe ‘n’ us • One man’s view : • Mikhail Zlatkovsky, Russian political cartoonist Agenda • Crises • Crux • Response • Revolution 2
  3. 3. Agriculture: game over Increase over Year 1900 1925 1950 1975 2000 the century Harvested area (Gha) 1.10 1.20 1.25 1.46 1.53 39% Annual harvest (EJ) 6 9 12 25 40 567% Annual yield (GJ/ha) 5.5 7.5 9.6 17.1 26.1 379% Annual energy subsidies (EJ) 0.1 0.5 1.5 8.0 12.8 12700% Energy subsidy density (GJ/ha) 0.1 0.4 1.2 5.5 8.4 9103% Population (billion people) 1.7 2.0 2.5 4.0 6.1 259% People per harvested hectare 1.5 1.7 2.0 2.7 4.0 158% Per capita harvest (MJ/day) 9.7 12.3 13.2 17.1 18.0 86% Andrew West, AgResearch, NZ - from: Smil, V. (2008) Energy in Nature and Society: general energetics of complex systems, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA. page 396 New Zealand • We’re #2 in the OECD, measured by greenhouse gases relative to GDP 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. Our solution • Less methane would mean healthier, higher yielding animals • We are leading a global research consortium to reduce methane • It will generate high value at home, scientific & other revenues overseas Our opportunity • 1 litre of milk = 940 gm of CO2 equivalent 16,000,000,000 litres = 15,040,000,000 kg of CO2 eq • 15.04m tonnes of CO2 eq per year is not a waste product, a liability It is a brilliant business opportunity… ..healthier cows and soil …more food 5
  6. 6. Our “wingprint” • NZ: 7th in the world by departures per 1,000 people per year We’re stuffed • The world’s most competitive tourism destinations: • …says the World Economic Forum • # 1 : Switzerland • # 2 : Austria • #3 : Germany • #4 : Australia • ? • ? • ? • ? • ? • ? • ? • ? • #19 : New Zealand • And 2007? • 15th 6
  7. 7. Sustainability is the key factor in competitiveness • The World Economic Forum ranks us lowly New Zealand Our opportunity • 1 person, 1 return flight London to Christchurch = 5.5 tonnes of CO2 • (Only approx 30% of our tourisms travel so far…so this is purely illustrative. The carbon footprint of the entire tourism sector will be a very complex calculation…one we need to make as soon as possible) 2.4m tourists = 13.2m tonnes of CO2 • 13.2m tonnes of CO2 per year is not a waste product, a liability It is a brilliant business opportunity… ...healthier people …healthier planet 7
  8. 8. Agenda • Crises • Crux • Response • Revolution Re-conceiving…business • “A new economic order is rising from the ashes” • …says John Elkington and colleagues at Volans • The Phoenix Economy… www.volans.com 8
  9. 9. From weathering…to delivering 50 Phoenix companies 9
  10. 10. 5-stage ‘Pathways to scale’ Re-conceiving…footprints • Positive footprints • …the insight of Michael Braungart • www.braungart.com • If we change our technology so our resource use benefits the ecosystem • Then the more we consume… …the richer the environment • Waste = food • Four positive footprints: • Fabric of Airbus aircraft seats becomes compost for growing food • Formway’s bio-plastic chair • Carbon positive farming • Ants vs. Humans • Positive role in ecosystem vs.negative…how do we make it positive? 10
  11. 11. Re-conceiving…biomimicry • Imitating nature • …the technology discipline pioneered by Janine Benyus • www.biomimicry.net • Fans, propellers like nautilus shells • Wire ropes as strong as spider webs… • …made in cold biochemical processes Biomimicry in New Zealand • Synthetic chlorophyll… • …dyes devised at Massey by Wayne Campbell and colleagues • ‘Green’ solar cells • Very low energy to make cf silicon solar cells • Far more versatile… • E.g. generate power in diffuse, cloudy light • Potential to be an abundant, natural… boundless source of energy • E.g. incorporated into windows and roofing materials 11
  12. 12. Agenda • Crises • Crux • Response • Revolution Some provocations • Do we believe our upside is so great? • …or our downside so dire? • How can we build grassroots support? • …so business and government will act? • What new business models will take us out to the world? • …and bring the world to us? • What technology and policies can we pioneer? • …adapt from elsewhere? • What is our distinctive contribution to the world? • …the essence of our ingenuity? 12
  13. 13. As Will says… Hamlet: “What a piece of work is man, How noble in reason, How infinite in faculties, In form and and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an angel, In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals…” “…and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me -- nor woman neither.” If we lose our faith in humankind, we’re doomed But if we believe our ingenuity is infinite… …we can start a revolution • Previous one - Economic reform • Next one - Sustainability reform • 1984 -1994 • 2007- 2037 (?) • Triggered by sudden collapse • Triggered by gradual awareness • Theory clear - markets rule • Theory very unclear - big new areas • Practice less clear • Practice even less clear • Outcomes • Outcomes • Economy more efficient • Radical change in economy • But we didn’t change our model • Radical change in our model • Same commodity exports • Shift from commodities • Low value, low pay • High value, higher pay • Became less engaged with world • Become more engaged with world 13
  14. 14. Our next revolution… …will be harder, deeper, longer …more beneficial, more rewarding …reinventing Paradise 14

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