Green Economy

Urban Green Lab

Urban Green Lab aims to improve Nashville’s health and well-being by inspiring residents to incorporate sustainability in their daily lives, including their homes, neighborhoods, and businesses.  To do so, the nonprofit offers a range of workshops focused on sustainability practices that save money, improve health, and conserve resources.  It also has a Mobile Lab that enables the nonprofit to bring its programs to local schools and diverse, underserved populations.  In 2014, Urban Green Lab conducted 60 workshops involving 1,858 people.

Turnip Green Creative Reuse

Founded in 2010, Turnip Green Creative Reuse is a nonprofit reuse store that aims to foster creativity and sustainability.  The store accepts a wide range of donations, including paper, craft items, natural materials, art supplies, office supplies, fabrics, plastics, and metals, diverting over 125 tons of materials from the landfill.  To ensure items are accessible to all area residents, shoppers are asked to pay what they can.  The nonprofit also includes a “green gallery,” where artists can share works that reuse industrial and household materials, and open studio space.

Cooperative Energy Recycling and Organics (CERO)

Launched in 2012, Cooperative Energy Recycling and Organics (CERO) is a worker-owned commercial composting cooperative aiming to keep food waste out of landfills, help its customers save money, and provide good, green jobs to Boston residents.  To date, CERO has diverted more than 3.3 million pounds of food waste from area landfills.

New Report on Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership

Green Money
Green Money

Green Money reposts the Democracy Collaborative press release on Impact Investing

A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership.

Read about it in Green Money 

The Shape of a New Economy

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader Radio Hour

Gar Alperovitz is an historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official.  In addition to a distinguished career in academia, he is also the a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.  His latest project is called the “Pluralist Commonwealth,” which is an economic model that is neither traditional corporate capitalism nor traditional state socialism.

Listen to Gar's interview with Ralph Nader here

Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities

Andy Gouldson, Sarah Colenbrander, Andrew Sudmant, Nick Godfrey, Joel Millward-Hopkins, Wanli Fang and Xiao Zhao

Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities

Andy Gouldson, Sarah Colenbrander, Andrew Sudmant, Nick Godfrey, Joel Millward-Hopkins, Wanli Fang and Xiao Zhao

Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities

Andy Gouldson, Sarah Colenbrander, Andrew Sudmant, Nick Godfrey, Joel Millward-Hopkins, Wanli Fang and Xiao Zhao

Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities

Andy Gouldson, Sarah Colenbrander, Andrew Sudmant, Nick Godfrey, Joel Millward-Hopkins, Wanli Fang and Xiao Zhao

Time to Buy Out Fossil Fuel Corporations - Gar Alperovitz on Reality Asserts Itself (1/2)

Paul Jay
Real News Network
The Next System Project's Gar Alperovitz tells Paul Jay that the Federal Reserve should use quantitive easing, i.e. create money, to take Big Oil companies out of the equation and finance a massive green infrastructure the video here 

Using the STAR Community Rating System to Integrate Sustainability into Community Planning Efforts

Lacey Shaver and David Abell

One of the top reasons that U.S. cities and counties come to STAR Communities is because they are looking for ways to strengthen and support local planning efforts. This document is designed for local government staff and planners and provides guidance on how to use the STAR Community Rating System to integrate sustainability into comprehensive, strategic, and sustainability plans. 

Fossil-Free Investment for a Just Appalachian Transition: Obstacles and Opportunities

Joshua Humphreys, Becky Johnson, Kristin Lang, David Roswell and Sandra Korn

This paper, commissioned by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), explores the relevance of divestment for the Appalachian Transition. The paper provides background on divestment trends as well as insights into the diverse ways that various kinds of investors are approaching fossil-fuel divestment and fossil-free reinvestment. Over the course of this inquiry, which began in late January 2014, we have reached out to nearly three dozen different investors and their advisers, interviewing investment decision-makers from 18 institutions and firms that are grappling with fossil-fuel divestment and are interested in the idea of reinvesting in Appalachia. We focused our outreach primarily on foundations, faith-based investors, financial advisers working with individual clients, and investment consultants and impact investment firms working with institutional investors. Based on this research and outreach, we analyze the potential opportunity that divestment presents for place-based reinvestment into frontline communities in the region. While we found considerable interest in investing in the region to support the transition, numerous obstacles stand in investors’ way. We therefore identify many of the leading obstacles and make several recommendations for overcoming them. 


Innovative Approaches to Low-Carbon Urban Systems: A Case Study of Vancouver's Neighbourhood Energy Utility

Marc Lee
Economics for Equity and the Environment Network

The City of Vancouver's Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) is a low-carbon urban system that hits a sweet spot of clean energy, local control, and stable prices at competitive rates. The NEU has environmental and economic attributes that could be replicated in other cities (and it is already having an influence in other parts of Metro Vancouver). A key challenge is upfront capital costs, which could be ameliorated by senior government support and through the development of green bonds. But the NEU case also shows how a public utility model can be developed for low-carbon district energy, even in the absence of subsidies. 

Verde and Living Cully: A Venture in Placemaking

Noah Enelow and Taylor Hesselgrave
Economics for Equity and the Environment Network

This case study profiles Verde, an innovative nonprofit organization based in the highly diverse, low- income Cully neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Verde’s mission is to pursue environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach, and advocacy. It fulfills its mission through operating three social enterprises, developing Living Cully, a neighborhood-wide coalition to fight displacement of low-income residents and residents of color due to gentrification, and advocating for preferential hiring and contracting policies for low-income people and people of color, across public and private sectors.