Over the years companies have been trying to cut costs by looking at the cheapest way to produce products and services. This has created a vicious circle where the search to cheaper products, resulted in fewer jobs, which again resulted in fewer purchasing power. Jobs moved overseas where labor is cheaper, putting local economies into jeopardy. The search for cheaper products also resulted in less sustainable products. Although not always correct, the green economy is associated with expensive products.Therefore Pauli Gunter introduced the economic philosophy ‘The blue economy’ in 1994 (Pauli, 2012).
The blue economy strives towards local production and consumption by making use of what is locally available. This also eliminates transport in contrast with the green economy. Local production and consumption is not only more sustainable, but also generates a local economic boost. It creates jobs, which again leads to more purchasing power. The blue economy eliminates everything that is not needed and requires a new way of thinking. For example instead of replacing a battery with a green battery, devices are designed to function without a battery. The blue economy is not focussed on eliminating costs, but is focussed on generating as much value as possible. For example, coffee production can not only lead to revenue of selling the coffee, but its waste can also be used for mushroom farming and animal feeding. The one revenue model is transformed into a three revenue model, generating more value in the end. This new way of thinking requires young and entrepreneurial minds that are open for innovative ideas and dare to go beyond the obvious. The blue economy is about opening your eyes on what is locally available and only use that to create a more stable local economy (Pauli, 2012).
Texel wants to become self-supportive in energy. Pursuing the blue economy can take this a step further with local production and consumption to make Texel self-supportive on other aspects besides energy as well. This not only leads to a more sustainable island, but a more stable economic island as well, eliminating risks of being dependent of the mainland. Transforming the island to a blue economy principle requires time, since blue economy requires a different way of thinking and knowledge of what is available on the island. This is difficult since this information may still be unknown. For this project, our group has the following vision for Texel:
‘In 2065 Texel must be as self-supportive as possible by closing the nutrient biocycle by implementing the principles of blue economy. Materials of the technocycle will be reused, until an alternative solution is found which eliminates usage of the technocycle.’