The Blue Economy® is a new way of designing business: using the resources available in cascading systems, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow. In this way, jobs are created, social capital is built and income rises – while the environment that provides the basis for our lives is no longer strained and polluted.

The Blue Economy® is a new way of designing business: responding to the basic needs of all with the resources available. In a system, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow (=cascading nutrients and energy), the good becomes cheap and generates jobs, builds social capital and increases income – for everyone.

From an economy where the good is expensive, and the bad is cheap to an economy where the good and innovative is affordable

The vision

The vision of  the Blue Economy® is to strive for a (blue) zero emissions world by 2050 and to create 100 million sustainable jobs by 2020.

Short and long term milestones

  • Create The Blue Economy® Centers to allow visitors to experience “blue reality” – commencing with the first in Berlin by 2012.
  • Implement a pavilion for Milan EXPO 2015.
  • Create 100 million jobs by 2020.

The Principles of The Blue Economy®

  1. Solutions are first and foremost based on physics. Deciding factors are Pressure and Temperature as found on site.
  2. Substitute something with Nothing – question any ressource regarding its necessity for production.
  3. Natural systems cascade nutrients, matter and energy – waste does not exist. Any by-product is the source for a new product.
  4. Nature evolved from few species to a rich biodiversity. Wealth means diversity. Industrial standardization is the contrary.
  5. Nature provides room for entrepreneurs who do more with less. Nature is contrary to monopolization.
  6. Gravity is main source of energy, solar energy is the second renewable fuel.
  7. Water is the primary solvent (no complex, chemical, toxic catalysts).
  8. In nature the constant is change. Innovations take place in every moment.
  9. Nature only works with what is locally available. Sustainable business evolves with respect not only for local ressources, but also for culture and tradition.
  10. Nature responds to basic needs and then evolves from sufficiency to abundance. The present economic model relies on scarcity as a basis for production and consumption.
  11. Natural systems are non-linear.
  12. In Nature everything is biodegradable – it is just a matter of time.
  13. In natural systems everything is connected and evolving towards symbiosis.
  14. In Nature water, air, and soil are the commons, free and abundant.
  15. In Nature one process generates multiple benefits.
  16. Natural systems share risks. Any risk is a motivator for innovations.
  17. Nature is efficient. So sustainable business maximizes use of available material and energy, which reduces the unit price for the consumer.
  18. Nature searches for the optimum for all involucrated elements.
  19. In Nature negatives are converted into positives. Problems are opportunities.
  20. Nature searches for economies of scope. One natural innovation carries various benefits for all.
  21. Respond to basic needs with what you have, introducing innovations inspired by nature, generating multiple benefits, including jobs and social capital, offering more with less: This is the Blue Economy®.

Where is it headquartered?

The Blue Economy®  is a research field at the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance in Berlin, which focusses mainly on the following aspects:

  • To investigate the fundamentals of the systemic design of business models
  • To study the implementation of Blue Economy principles and their consequences for the three pillars of sustainability
  • To create life cycle analyses for a comparison of products
  • To further develop teaching models within mathematics, natural and engineering sciences in primary and secondary education (Blue Education)

To achieve this vision, thousands of innovations were screened by the Blue Economy team and hundreds identified which imitate natural ecosystems and their efficiency. 100 of those innovations were presented as a Report to the Club of Rome in 2009. About one third of those 100 innovations has already been implemented in companies around the globe, one third is in prototyping status and one third has been scientifically proven but requires further research to create market-ready products.

Since February 22, 2010, the Blue Economy has presented one innovation per week including market data and indications of the potential and actual revenue streams. These business cases are distributed via newsletter and can also be found by registering to the Blue Economy community. The Blue Economy aims is to inspire hundreds, thousands and even millions of entrepreneurs and the Blue Economy community acts as a platform for information and exchange.

What is The Blue Economy® Alliance?

The Blue Economy® Alliance is an international network of companies, innovators, scientists and like-minded practitioners, experienced in implementing visions in reality. The Blue Economy® Alliance provides open source access to develop, share and implement prosperous business models that strive to improve natural ecosystems and the quality of life for all.

Sustainability Reports

1: The Power of the Vortex
02: Maggots – Nature’s Nurses
03: Coffee – Waste to Protein
04: Electricity without Batteries
05: Glass as Building Material
06: Fuel from the Forest
07: Smooth as Silk
08: Color without Pigment
09: Metals without Mining
10: Fresh Air Without Filters
11: Wind Energy without …
12: Wind Energy without turbines
13: Control Bacteria without …
14: Black to Stay Cool
15: Warm Water for 25 Years
16: Control Fire and Flames…
17: Preserving Food and …
18: Clean Water without Sewers
19: Dry and Separating Toilets
20: Biodegradable Plastics …
21: The Biorefinery
22: Clean Soap
23: Cleaning without Soap
24: Eliminating Friction
25: Propulsion without Gas
26: Greenhouses without …
27: Food Packaging without …
28: An Electric Car Model …
29: Exporting Wind 
30: Aquaculture with Chinese Medicine
31: A new Life Cycle Assessment
32: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility
33: Simple and Cheap Refrigeration
34: New Sugars
35: Weed Control without Chemicals
36: Innovations in Paper
37: Insulation Paint
38: Painless Needles
39: Water from Air
40: Electricity from Osmosis
41: Electricity from Sea Currents
42: Electricity from the Tap
43: Self-powered Dechlorination
44: Building with Bamboo
45: Charcoal to Preserve Wood
46: Next Life for Cement Kilns
47: Farming Fish without Feed
48: Chicken Eggs with Cheap Feed
49: Steel and Slag
50: Manufacturing without Molds
51: Biogas x Four – Revenue x Six
52: Branding waste
53: Solar without Subsidies
54: Packaging with Fungi
55: Nuclear’s Exit with consensus and cash
56: Clean Air without Filters
57: Health as a System
58: Floating Electricity
59: Direct Current as a Standard
60: Batteries Made of Water
61: Jewelry Made of Rice
62: Worms Cutting Costs
63: Shoes from Nettles and Cocoons
64: Water and Electricity from Wind and Air
65: Zero Emissions Hydrogen
66: Eggs for Personal Care
67: Trees in the Desert
68: Turbines Reshaped by Physics
69: Plow without a Plow 
70: The Local Smart Grid 
71: Gravity Power Electricity Storage
72: Power from Containers
73: Motion Sensors
74: Printing for Free
75: Porous Asphalt
76: Cellulose as Insulation
77: Fibers from Algae
78: Shoes with a Gym
79: Self-Powered Edutainment
80: Cargo by Airship
81: Franchising Public Toilets
82: Edible Forests
83: Upcycling versus Recycling
84: The Magic of Beer
85: Fishing Sailboat
86: From Reforestation to Hangers
87: Plastics from Pollution
88: USB-Power from Fire Wood
89: Crab Shells to Clean Mine Water
90: Health beyond Medicine
91: CO2 to Food and Fuel

Founder: Gunter Pauli (born 1956)

In 1994 Gunter Pauli initiated the Zero Emission Research Initiative with the support of the Japanese government and the UNU (Tokyo). He developed a business model that supports less waste and emissions and that has already been established as a standard in Japan. The theoretical deliberations, supported by almost one hundred professors, were later amended by pilot projects that demonstrated the usefulness of every single proposal.

Most recently, Gunter Pauli concentrated on the identification of innovations that could change the prevailing economical business models. Due to a variety of entrepreneurial initiatives Pauli believes that society can develop a new economical macro model over the next ten years that creates employment positions, establishes social funds and guides economy and society in the direction of sustainability.