Author(s): Gunter Pauli
"Zero Emissions" has become a definitive term in the debate on sustainable development. While considered a utopian target by some, the concept describes what business and industry of the future must aim to achieve: no pollution and no waste. This volume presents findings from the research work of over 2000 scientists undertaken under the banner of ZERI (Zero Emissions Research Initiative), a business foundation working jointly with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in a number of developing countries. Gunter Pauli feels that if we are serious about creating jobs, generating more income and eliminating pollution, we have to build on the assets we have instead of continuing to analyze the problems we face. The volume examines how the adoption of Zero Emissions concepts not only reduces pollution and waste but can contribute significantly to the generation of income and jobs - specifically for those who need them most - the rural poor in less developed countries.
"ZERI has demonstrated that it is possible to increase productivity while creating new jobs. ZERI's founder, Gunter Pauli, has observed that economists tend to focus on the productivity of labour and capital, and on producing more with less people and less risk capital. But by including the productivity of raw materials, ZERI can change that paradigm; for, by using waste and unused resources, we can generate more income as well as more jobs while also reducing levels of pollution...Africa should be proud of its leadership in this area. Indeed, the ZERI initiative has also become an important platform for North-South co-operation.' Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations. 'These are exciting concepts, which point towards a more holistic view of sustainable development than anything debated to date.' Paul Scott, Tomorrow Magazine. 'Zero Emissions, industrial clustering and the other concepts and practices associated with them represent a crucial link in the gradually emerging network of ideas that can lead us out of our crisis.' Fritjof Capra, Physicist, Systems theorist and author of The Web of Life. 'As we search for new ways to control our impact on the world's environment, it is important to set ourselves demanding targets. While at first sight the goal of Zero Emissions, which is examined in this book, may seem beyond our reach, I believe it has importance in focusing our quest for solutions to a complex problem.' Rodney Chase, Deputy Group Chief Executive, BP International Limited. 'The goal is zero: zero accidents, zero waste, zero emissions.' Edgar S. Woolard Jr, Former Chairman, DuPont. 'With early success stories from Fiji, Namibia and Colombia highlighted in this book, Gunter Pauli demonstrates that it is not anymore a question if Zero Emissions works or not, but rather when it will be implemented all around the world.' Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, Chair, UN Convention on Biodiversity, 1996. 'Zero Emissions will be the standard for industry in the 21st century.' 1996 White Book on The Environment, The Environment Agency, Japan. 'These are exciting concepts, which point towards a more holistic view of sustainable development than anything debated to date. The current case studies centre on projects in the tropics- important enough in view of the increasing environmental and social impacts in the developing world. More significantly, if they are shown to work they might help change the industrial mindset in the developed world.' Tomorrow magazine. 'Pauli's treatise is compelling ... [he] clearly knows his stuff, and serves up new concepts and terminology every few pages. But woven through are inspiring stories of enterprises in a variety of countries that have prospered by creating closed loop systems.' The Green Business Letter. 'The discussed cases show that not only can pollution and waste be reduced to zero, but at the same time income and amount of jobs can be increased. The whole of society will benefit from it.' International Journal of Environment and Pollution."
Gunter Pauli, formerly the President of Ecover, was responsible for the construction of Europe's first ecological factory. In 1994, he founded and now directs the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI). He lectures regularly to business executives and governments on competitive strategies. He has written a number of books and is published in 12 languages.