Natural Capitalism is a philosophy that advocates for an economic system that values and sustains the environment. The crux of this system is radical resource productivity, which entails using natural resources more productively and sustainably. Factor 10 and Factor 4 strategies are crucial elements in the system, aimed at reducing energy and material intensity by 90% and 75% respectively. This strategy seeks to achieve the same utility or work with fewer materials and less energy, thereby reducing waste and inefficiency. The service and flow economy, investing in natural capital, biomimicry, and shared goods that enhance social welfare are other vital components of the Natural Capitalism philosophy.
The Blue Economy and Regenerative Design are open-source movements that advocate for solutions based on local environments and physical characteristics. Regenerative Design seeks to create a circular economy that is characterized by material selection, standardized components, design-to-last, easy end-of-life sorting, and reuse of products and materials. The new business models leverage scale and vertical integration to achieve circular economy innovation, while reverse cycles, collection, and treatment are essential for the success of the model.
However, the success of these models is often hindered by opposition from corporations, trade associations, conservative think tanks, and politicians with private interests in the fossil-fuel-based economy. These entities have formed opposition coalitions, front groups, PR firms, astroturf groups, and contrarian scientists, among others, to promote a free-market ideology and create uncertainty about climate change. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that society has become receptive to misinformation, leading to a ‘post-truth’ society. Therefore, there is an urgent need to address these challenges and create a sustainable economic system that values and protects the environment.