NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NiSE)

While the planet’s population has grown more than 30 percent since 1990, consumption has increased even faster. Global production and consumption systems are expected to quadruple in the coming decades as the “consuming class” transitions from 1.8 billion people in 2009 to nearly 4.9 billion by 2030. Simply put, consuming less is unlikely; producing and consuming better is paramount.

The business community and the innovative power of markets are core to any successful transition to a sustainable economy. In 2011, the Global Fortune 500 reported revenues of over $26 trillion, roughly equivalent to the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, China, and Japan combined. The power and desire to significantly reduce the impacts of these systems can and must be found in this community.

Through the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NiSE), the Institute on the Environment is working with the private sector – both for-profit and nonprofit – to understand the systemic sustainability challenges of rapidly expanding production and consumption systems, develop the decision tools necessary to navigate these complex systems, and accelerate innovation beyond marginal greening efforts to more meaningful change.

The NiSE Network is currently focused on three initiatives:

  • Sustainable Procurement Initiative
  • Materials Cycling Initiative
  • Global Initiative on Financing Sustainability

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