Gunter Pauli, an economist and multifaceted businessman, creator of the blue economy, proposes copying to nature to achieve efficiency. The hundred business projects already in place (included in “The Blue Economy”, Tusquets) and covering various sectors of the economy show that a sustainable and competitive business model with environmental, financial and social benefits is possible. 

                                                  Mr.Gunter Pauli                                          Creator of a pioneering ecological company considered world model “Ecover”, and defender during 35 years of his professional life of a green (economy) life. 

However, this Belgian economist and entrepreneur believes that the so-called green economy is only for the rich and is not sustainable.

 This new paradigm, of a BLUE economy, is inspired by the Earth. 

This is a holistic and innovative concept in the business approach: we only have to emulate natural ecosystems to be efficient in producing goods and services that citizens need to be happy, with shared responsibility and respect for future generations. 

As we have points of contact evident with the postulates of cradle to cradle and the foundations of Biomimesis.

We must forget to pursue a single benefit. We want to achieve all that the production process offers us. Specialization, or economies of scale, does not serve. It is a matter of taking advantage, with innovative attitude, multitude of sources of income throughout our productive process. 

That way we keep risks and lower costs. It does not make sense to try to evaluate the by-product or eliminate the residue. These become business opportunities and it takes entrepreneurs to take advantage of them. 

The blue economy rejects the elitist attitude of the green economy that aims to offer ecological products that respect the environment but are only accessible to a conservation elite with high purchasing power. All: entrepreneurs and consumers, we have access to the blue economy in a sustainable way. 

It is competitive, sustainable and innovative.

Going back to the author’s trajectory, in 1994 Pauli launched a Zero Emissions Research and Initiative (Zeri), a global network to extend his ideas. Since then, it has created 50,000 jobs and more than 1,500 companies, with projects such as the cultivation of high quality edible mushrooms with coffee scraps (also present in Spain), biodegradable detergents with orange peel debris or the transformation of gas stations into stations Recharging system for electric vehicles. 

Pauli believes that with this new vision, consumers will be able to regain their ability to decide what they want and change the current global mode of production, which generates large amounts of junk, unemployment and failed governments. 

He set up his first company in Tokyo in 1981 and was followed by twelve more, but at age 37 he sold everything to dedicate himself to the design of a new economic model: 

The Blue Economy or the Green Economy? Which is the difference? 

The green economy requires companies to invest more and consumers pay more to get the same in return for preserving the environment. The blue economy consists of understanding waste as resources and seeks solutions inspired by the design of nature. 

How was it born? 

In 1994 I was invited to Japan to design a new economic model without emissions or waste three years before the Kyoto Protocol, because I had just made the world’s first ecological factory in Belgium, a waste-free detergent factory. 

 Why did he sell it all? 

Visiting the supplier in Indonesia of my raw material, African Palm Fatty Acids, I saw that the farmers were destroying the jungle to plant large tracts of palm.

Destroyed orangutan habitat to keep Europe’s rivers clean
Exactly, that is why I wanted to demonstrate successfully that there are ways of applying physics, chemistry and biology to renewable materials and through sustainable practices, just as ecosystems do. 

The blue economy is based on regeneration. 

 For example?
I am responsible for the first self-sufficient hospital, in water, food and energy, in Colombia. I devised the first and largest ecological factory in the world with the roof of grass to control the temperature.

At the Hannover World Exposition (2000) he built a bamboo pavilion
4,500 bamboo sticks of nine meters to have a sample of that architectural wonder: the vegetable steel. There are a billion people living in bamboo houses, but they think it is a symbol of their poverty. In fact, it is a material of excellent quality, fully sustainable and resistant to earthquakes. What I want is to bring about change in society, and for that, models are needed.

Well, give me models
Instead of building your house you can cultivate it. With 100m2 you can plant bamboo and in three years you will have 65 sticks to make a To two-story house with balcony for 1,500 euros. In the south, where the largest volume of construction is needed, there are bamboo in more than 100 countries. 

 Much better than brick and uralite.

 In 2005 I created the first offices inspired by the zebra: the game of black and white improves the temperature of buildings, refreshes in summer (lowers the temperature five degrees) and conserves the heat in winter. It is the symbol of energy efficiency. Like this there are a hundred ideas more applied to very different fields and put into practice

And where did you get them from? 

I spent three years with 82 scientists. So I got the designs of integrated systems that allowed me to have neither trash nor emissions. From there I founded Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives in 1994, a global network of creative minds with more than 3,000 scientists. I take care of the business model. 

 Competitive and ecological? 

Based on innovation we have shown that the best is often the cheapest. I can not stand the logic that junk food is the most economical and the healthy one is the most expensive. All my projects are economic, sustainable and social.

Give me more examples
Of the coffee capsules we ingest 2%, the rest is waste, tons, and coffee is the second product exchanged in the world after the oil. 15 years ago we started a program of cultivation of tropical mushrooms (which are very healthy) of high quality coffee wastes at a super competitive price. Today we have 15,000 people growing them. Further…

There is more?
… Coffee waste is very rich in essential amino acids, excellent for chickens and for feed of cats and dogs.

My philosophy is to work with what we have: 

We already have the coffee scrap (they pay me to keep it) and we grow a fungus that, in theory is very expensive, much cheaper and also faster thanks to caffeine.

In cities we have two problems: the need to purify the water, which costs money, and garbage dumps, which also cost money. With organic waste we treat water and produce biogas by converting two costs into an income. Taking advantage of a structure that already exists we generate drinking water, biogas and compost. In Seoul we are going to get 400 million cubic meters a year of biogas and we are also launching it in Sweden. 

Can we get rid of nuclear weapons? 

That is what we intend to do in Germany and Japan, thanks to innovations that make solar energy, wind turbines and water purification much more effective, producing electricity at less than a euro cent, while nuclear plants are selling at 5.6 kilowatt. This will give us more energy than Germany is producing today. 

The principles of Blue Economy 

 The solutions are based primarily on the laws of physics. The decisive factors are the pressure and the temperature as they are in the site.
Replaces “something” with “nothing” – For each resource, check if it really is indispensable for production.
In nature, nutrients, materials and energy are always reused – Garbage does not exist. Each side product is the basis for a new product.
Nature has evolved from a few species to a rich biodiversity. Wealth means diversity. Industrial standards are the opposite. 

Nature gives rise to entrepreneurs who make more of less.

Nature is opposed to monopolization.
The force of gravity is the main source of energy, the second renewable resource is solar energy.
Water is the main soluble (instead of complex, chemical and toxic catalysts). 

Nature is subject to constant change. 

Innovations are continuous.
Nature works only with what is available on the same site. The sustainable economy not only respects the natural resources, but also the culture and the tradition.
Nature is oriented towards basic needs and then develops from mere satisfaction towards overproduction. The present economic model is based on scarcity as a starting point for production and consumption.
Natural systems do not develop in linear processes. 

In nature everything is degradable – depending only on time. 

In nature, everything is connected and developed in a symbiotic way.
In nature, water, air and soil are common goods, freely accessible and available in abundance.
In nature a process has multiple uses. 

  • Natural systems have risks.
  • Every risk is a motivator for innovations.
  • Nature is efficient.
  • That is why the sustainable economy makes the most of available materials and energy, which makes the price low for the consumer.
  •  Nature seeks the best it can for all involved. 
  • In nature the disadvantages become advantages.
  •  Problems are opportunities. 
  • Nature pursues the advantages of diversification. 
  • A natural innovation A multitude of advantages for all. 
  • Respond to basic needs with what you have, develop innovations inspired by nature, create multiple benefits as well as employment and social capital, offers more with less: This is the Blue Economy … Blue Economy

I leave some links with subtitles for those interested. And those who want to be part of this quality of life, send me a message.


We read Us in my next article.Stay strong.Be safe. 

** CG **

Publicado en Verde