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Sustainability 101

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  • 1. Sustainability 101
  • 2. Content History of Sustainability Triple Bottom Line Dimensions of Sustainability Sustainability in Business Sustainability in Academics Sustainability at UNT      
  • 3. • Sustainability concerns emerged in the 1980s as a response to growing realizations about social, economic and environmental issues. • Timeline • Events leading up to the emergence of sustainability: • 1962 - Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” • 1970 - Clean Air Act • 1973 - Endangered Species Act • 1978 - Love Canal • 1983 - Brundtland Commission History of Sustainability
  • 4. Brundtland Commission • Origin of concept of sustainable development as a process • Academic, administrative and political effort put forth to define sustainability resulted in: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” History of Sustainability
  • 5. Holistic Approach  Incorporates a higher level of responsibility and generates returns in profits from three dimensions; social, environmental, and economic Three P’s of the Triple Bottom Line  People  Planet  Profit Triple Bottom Line
  • 6. In addition to expanding traditional accounting practices, the Triple Bottom Line also seeks to understand how the three dimensions of sustainability affect each other Triple Bottom Line
  • 7. Environmental Sustainability • Includes issues of environmental stewardship, natural resources, climate change, renewable energy and related fields • Seeks to promote the responsible use of natural resources to ensure a healthy life and longevity for future generations 3 Dimensions of Sustainability
  • 8. Social Sustainability • Addresses the ability of a social system to function over time • Incorporates issues of human rights, corporate responsibility, and resource access • Focuses on relating individuals’ behavior to attitudes, and well-being to create sustainable social systems 3 Dimensions of Sustainability
  • 9. Economic Sustainability • Encourages the responsible use of resources • Considers both environmental and social impacts of operational behavior • Focuses on increasing profitability from investing in long term sustainable practices, i.e. renewable energy 3 Dimensions of Sustainability
  • 10. Funding is available through local and federal government agencies, businesses and research institutions, some of which include:  EPA – Funds Sustainability research and projects  Department of Energy – Offers funding or private sector sustainability  NCTCOG (North Central Texas Council of Governments) – Sustainable Development Funding Program for private/public transportation improvement  Coca Cola – Offers 52 sustainability grants to countries around the world Funding for Sustainability Initiatives
  • 11. Businesses across the world are making use of Triple Bottom Line accounting to increase their sustainability  Pepsi Co. - Has committed to improve water efficiency by 20% by 2015  Nike - Incorporated a sustainable design initiative to use environmentally preferred materials and eliminate toxins in products  IKEA - Renewable energy makes up 34% of energy used Sustainability in Business
  • 12. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) • Along with the growth of global markets, concern for a broader concept of sustainability has developed in the business world. • The CSR and sustainable development agenda are becoming increasingly prominent for companies and governments. Marketing • Customers, whether in the private or public sectors, tend to favor organizations that are perceived to be more sustainable. Sustainability in Business
  • 13. Entrepreneurship • Focuses on identifying opportunities for creating valuable products and services and a profitable business • Promotes sustainable living and environmental improvements Sustainable entrepreneurship involves: • Searching for opportunities to alleviate social, environmental and economic conditions • More efficient use of energy and natural resources to create products and services Sustainability in Business
  • 14. Business Resources • In addition to tool and solutions provided by numerous sustainability consulting firms, businesses can improve their sustainability through various resources and programs to include: U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability in Business
  • 15. Sustainability in Campus Programs & Curriculum • Many colleges and universities use their capabilities of education and outreach to promote sustainability on- campus and in the surrounding community through: Recycling programs and contests (Recyclemania) Green funds for projects that will improve campus sustainability Development of a council or committees to plan and implement sustainability initiatives Collaborative research in sustainability topics Sustainability curriculum Sustainability in Academics
  • 16. Campus Sustainability Resources & Metrics • American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Effort to create a network of colleges and universities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions & boost sustainability initiatives • Clean Air, Cool Planet (CA-CP) Campus Carbon Calculator • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference presentations Case study database Publications Sustainability in Academics
  • 17. UNT Sustainability • Created in 2009 to uphold UNT’s sustainability commitment • Works with the Sustainability Council, UNT administration and other campus departments • Approaches sustainability through R.O.O.T.S. Research Outreach Operations Teaching Students Sustainability at UNT
  • 18. AASHE - http://www.aashe.org/ ACUPCC - http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/ USGBC North Texas - http://www.northtexasgreencouncil.org/ NCTCOG - http://www.nctcog.org/ EPA - http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/ Our Common Future (Brundtland Report) - http://www.un-documents.net/wced- ocf.htm • Goodland, Robert. “The Concept of Environmental Sustainability.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics , Vol. 26, (1995), pp. 1-24. • Goodland, Robert and Herman Daly. “Environmental Sustainability: Universal and Non-Negotiable.” Ecological Applications , Vol. 6, No. 4 (Nov., 1996), pp. 1002-1017. • Scoones, Ian. “Sustainability.” Development in Practice , Vol. 17, No. 4/5 (Aug., 2007), pp. 589-596. • Marrewijk, Marcel van and Marco Were. “Multiple levels of Corporate Sustainability.” Journal of Business Ethics , Vol. 44, No. 2/3, Corporate Sustainability Conference 2002: The Impact of CSR on Management Disciplines (May, 2003), pp. 107-119. Additional Resources & Suggested Readings
  • 19. For additional questions regarding sustainability, please contact Lauren Helixon at lauren.helixon@unt.edu.