Joining a number of large corporations and furthering its own recent efforts, Google is making major preparations for the zero-waste, circular economy. Partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the firm intends to embed principles of the circular economy into all aspects of its operations. Beyond being a good corporate citizen, the approach can pay financial dividends, saving Google money and creating new market opportunities for circular economy solutions.
Green building awareness, construction and data collection efforts have led to impressive data-driven opportunities to reduce resource consumption in buildings. However the voluntary approach, focusing on (mainly new and high end) buildings, have had only limited impacts on overall efficiency. Jeff Ranson, executive director of the Toronto 2030 District, argues that urban systems modelling can help drive community-scale resource efficiency. He identifies several programs that are doing so in Europe and proposes Toronto 2030 District for a pilot effort in North America.