A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
= Sustainable Economy Initiatives = -
This is a series of case studies of local economic sustainability
that I have written for the journal ‘Local
Economic Development’, published by I-Documentsystems,
based in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Bay Area Green Business Program
The Bay Area Green Business Program is a partnership of environmental agencies, professional associations, waste management agencies, utilities, and a concerned public that assists, recognizes and promotes businesses and government agencies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way.
Bolivia - A private, commercial bank which provides loans
to low-income micro-entrepreneurs in Bolivia. It started life
as an NGO, and incorporated as a fully-fledged bank in 1992 in
order to meet the growing demand for microloans on a self-financing
Calmeadow - A Canadian charitable foundation which specializes in microlending
to low-income entrepreneurs, both overseas and in Canada, where
it operates two microloan funds.
Ceres Principles - A
set of environmental principles designed to encourage greater
environmental responsibility in business. The Principles are administered
by the CERES Coalition, a not-for-profit organization comprised
of leading social investment professionals, environmental groups
and public interest groups in the USA. 81 companies have so far
endorsed the Principles, including the Sun Company, Polaroid and
Cleveland Urban EcoVillage - A
national demonstration project in Cleveland, Ohio, that seeks
to show that urban life can be both socially and ecologically
Co-operative Auto-Network, Vancouver - A highly successful non-profit membership-owned car-sharing
co-operative, whose 1,000+ members share 66 vehicles. www.cooperativeauto.net
Wind Turbine Guilds - Denmark, with a population of 5 million people, generates 1600
MW of its electricity by windpower, 10% of the nation's total.
79,000 Danes own shares in the country's 5,000 wind turbines,
mostly through community guilds or co-operatives, and 17,000 people
are employed in the wind energy sector. Since this sheet was written,
Denmark?s wind capacity has risen to 2500 MW, generating 15% of
the nation?s electricity.
- Willapa Bay - A non-profit organization committed to
realizing ecologically sustainable economic development in the
coastal temperate rainforest region of North West America. It
operates in four locations, including Willapa Bay, in Washington
Trade Coffee - TransFair USA is the certification agency
for Fair Trade coffee and tea in the US. It works to expand the
number of importers, roasters and retailers of fair trade certified
products, in order to guarantee a more secure and ecologically
sustainable livelihood for farming communities in developing nations.
Gaviotas - A self-sufficient ecological
village that has been built out of nothing in an impoverished
area of Colombia as a conscious demonstration of social idealism,
local economic development and ecological sustainability. www.friendsofgaviotas.org
Green Star, Anchorage - A non-profit
organization in Anchorage, Alaska, which works with businesses
and other organizations to make them more environmentally friendly. www.greenstarinc.org
Greenstone - A non-profit community development corporation, funded by the
Canadian federal government, which works to strengthen and diversify
the economy of a rural region of northwest Manitoba which is dominated
by a single industry economy.
And Water Fund Colorado - Since 1997, the Land and Water
Fund of the Rockies has spearheaded a grassroots marketing campaign
for renewable energy in Colorado which has resulted in a five
to ten-fold expansion of the local utility?s plans for wind-generated
Link-Up, King County, Seattle - An initiative by King County’s Solid Waste Division which
helps Puget Sound area manufacturers incorporate more recycled
materials into their products. www.dnr.metrokc.gov/linkup
Mid-Island Cooperative, Nanaimo, Vancouver
Island - A 22,000-strong consumer cooperative, with its
main activities in the retail food and gasoline sectors. www.midislandcoop.com
Dawn Enterprises, Canada - The oldest community development
corporation in Canada, based in the Cape Breton area of Nova Scotia,
which seeks to identify community needs, and then establishes
ventures that speak to those needs. It employs around 175 people,
and delivers services to 600 Cape Bretoners daily, in a region
where the unofficial unemployment rate is 45%.
Recycling Market Development Zone - Gives support and
assistance to manufacturing and processing companies which create
value-added production from re-used and recycled materials, encouraging
them to locate within the Zone, and assists existing companies
to expand. It is the most successful of 40 such zones in California.
Eco-Enterprise Center, Minneapolis, USA - A large eco-industrial
facility that was built as an alternative to a garbage transfer
station, after extensive community protest and involvement
Community Futures Development Corporation - A broadly-based,
non-profit community economic development organization which operates
in the small rural Canadian city of Revelstoke (population 8,800),
assisting individuals with employment, training and business development,
and engaging in a wide variety of community projects.
Francisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) - Since 1982, San Francisco has used a very progressive approach
to upgrade the energy efficiency of the city?s buildings, producing
an overall 15% increase in efficiency, while stimulating the city?s
ShoreBank Corporation is America’s first and leading community development and environmental banking corporation.
Shorecap International (microcredit)
ShoreCap International invests capital in local financial institutions that provide loans to micro and small businesses in developing and transitional economies.
Responsible Banking Fund - The Socially Responsible Banking
Fund of the Vermont National Bank/Chittenden Bank enables ordinary
depositors to lend their money to small businesses, farms, schools
and affordable housing initiatives which make a positive contribution
to their communities.
Computer Ownership for Neighbors - A project developed
by the Stockyard Area Development Association in Cleveland, Ohio,
to bring personal computer ownership to some 1,000 households
in an impoverished blue collar neighborhood whose economic culture
is stuck in the technologies of the 1950s.
Oaks Environmental Business Cluster - A nonprofit alliance
created to assist environmental start-ups by providing inexpensive
space, furnishings and management services in a collaborative
setting, based in the town of Thousand Oaks, just west of Los
VanCity Savings Credit Union - VanCity Savings is Canada’s largest credit union, committed to a triple bottom line that includes social and environmental responsibility.
Businesses for Social Responsibility - Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility is a non-profit association of businesses in Vermont whose owners share a dual commitment to business success and to social and environmental responsibility.
World Banking - A network of affiliate organizations in
40 countries, centered in New York, which works to train, assist,
and lend credit to low-income women entrepreneurs all around the
WomenVenture - One of Minnesota's leading non-profit agencies that helps women
find jobs, plan careers and start and grow businesses, with an
emphasis on low-income communities.