Gunter Pauli --

Gunter Pauli founded and directs ZERI, the "Zero Emissions Research Initiative" of the United Nations University in Tokyo, redesigning manufacturing processes into non-polluting clusters of industries. He has written eight books which have been published in twelve languages. Among his long term ambitions, Gunter Pauli wishes "to contribute to sustainable social, economic and humane development worldwide, in which entrepreneurship plays a critical role not only for business, but also at a cultural, social, political and ethical level".

The purpose of ZERI is to design corporate strategies and policies based on the principle of sustainable, social and economic development. ZERI aims to produce all the goods society needs without any form of waste; no liquid waste, no gaseous waste and no solid waste. Zero Emissions envisages all inputs being used in the final product or services, or converted into value-added inputs for other businesses or processes.

Pauli, in the early 1990's began and was CEO of Ecover in Belgium. Ecover produce ecological detergents. Ecover was and still is today a very successful detergent manufacturer, able to compete on quality, price and values in a market of over supply. Gunter believes this was made possible by incorporating education and entertainment into the product. Although Ecover, as an isolated factory in Belgium, is very close to being Zero Emissions, on the wider scale it most certainly is not. Ecover, like so many over companies around the world, achieves less than 10% use of its basic raw material produced in countries like Malaysia.

It was this that Gunter Pauli found intolerable as an economist and as an environmentalist. The competitive advantage from focusing on the opportunities of utilising 100% of the raw materials provides organisations hidden opportunities. Given what we achieve from 10%, imagine what we could do with the other 90%!!

Gunter Pauli set up ZERI to address this gap and to provide organisations and governments with a framework to make it possible. This framework included:

  • Shifting from our old industrial mindset to one more appropriate to achieving Total Utilisation of Raw Materials
  • A simple but effective methodology which will take people through stages of enquiry to reach new and innovative solutions to what we currently consider waste to be
  • A network of researchers to help provide solutions to difficult questions
  • Case studies to give evidence to the theory
  • A Charter to guide organisations in their commitment to Zero Emissions
Jon Bøhmer --
Jon Bøhmer is a Norwegian inventor, entrepreneur and businessman living in Kenya.


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