Why Closed Loop?

by JD Capuano on April 2, 2012 , No comments

Credit: (Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli. Enhancements by Robert Simmon .

The Earth is a closed loop system. As vast and wondrous as its resources are, the planet’s capacity is finite. Unlike the Federal Reserve, nature cannot create virtually unlimited resources when natural capital is suffering. Humanity’s growing global population that demands and consumes more resources every year has put precarious pressure on the planet.

We must be smart with the life-sustaining ecological assets this closed loop system provides. And let’s face it; nature’s systems leave little if nothing to waste, whereas our human designed systems are excessively wasteful.

Humanity faces some sobering environmental problems: collapsing fisheries, shortages of potable water, increasing industrial pollution, biodiversity loss and species extinction, and the list goes on. But along with these dilemmas also comes hope and opportunity.

Since the 1970’s when countries began to enact environmental protections, many ecologically damaged areas have shown positive signs of recovery. In recent years, more and more businesses have begun to realize that environmental sustainability isn’t contrary to profitability, but can help both bottom and top line growth.

While the actions of businesses alone won’t solve all our environmental problems, they are an essential part of the solution. The benefits abound. Companies can start with waste reduction and efficiency improvements that cut costs. Such measures may lead to competitive advantage through increased loyalty from both customers and employees. Once enough competitors have caught up, the next frontier to start evaluating is product and service design. Today’s cutting edge companies are upending the wasteful cradle-to-grave approach to instead create offerings that fit a cradle-to-cradle philosophy. These companies are not only achieving another level of competitive advantage, but also abandoning a way of production that has been the root cause of so many environmental problems.

We started this company to guide small and mid-sized organizations through the planning and implementation of environmental sustainability solutions. We understand sustainability management as it’s being practiced today and have ideas for the directions in which it needs to move. To learn more about what we offer, visit our services or our projects pages.

Capitalism is opportunistic, but so is nature. It’s time for us capitalists to operate in ways that continue to seize opportunities while acting responsibly towards nature and all the benefits it provides.


JD is a sustainability strategy and data expert. He is a Closed Loop Advisors Co-Founder and Co-CEO.

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