Sustainability

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Sustainability

  1. 1. Sustainability & Sustainable living CONE 5304 Class 1& 2
  2. 2. CONRE 3304 - 5304Sustainable development and Construction. Construction Engineering &ET
  3. 3. Lesson Learning Goals • Setting the stage – the debate – What defines the limits? – Sustainability, sustainable yield etc – rules for sustainability – Nine ways to achieve sustainability • Sustainable development – Definitions – Ecology – Three pillars of sustainability – links between unsustainable development, poverty, hunger, and disease – Green building
  4. 4. CONE5304 Sustainability is….  … providing for the NEEDS of ALL people alive today, without jeopardizing future generations. and we know that….
  5. 5. CONE -5304 ….we know that… …there is a difference between human wants and human needs. • Gandhi said that the world could surely provide for the needs of the many but not the greed of the few.
  6. 6. CONE -5304 Okay, But !….. How do I know if something is sustainable?
  7. 7. SUSTAINABILITY.… • …IS NOT ABOUT A DESTINATION • …IT IS SIMPLY A DIRECTION
  8. 8. Sustainability A. Top 10 Myths about Sustainability
  9. 9. Myth 1: Nobody knows what sustainability really means. • That‟s not even close to being true. • By all accounts, the modern sense of the word entered the lexicon in 1987 with the publication of Our Common Future, by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (also known as the Brundtland commission after its chair, Norwegian diplomat Gro Harlem Brundtland). That report defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
  10. 10. Myth 1: Nobody knows what sustainability really means. That is a Myth – What is sustainability? Write a sentence or two about what sustainability is.
  11. 11. Sustainability If you could give one word – what would that word be?
  12. 12. Myth 2: Sustainability is all about the environment.• ENVIRONMENT&ECONOMY!!!
  13. 13. Myth 3:Sustainability is too expensive. • Of course, recycling is important: reusing metals, paper, wood and plastics rather than tossing them reduces the need to extract raw materials from the ground, forests and fossil-fuel deposits. • More efficient use of pretty much anything is a step in the direction of sustainability. But it is just a piece of the
  14. 14. Myth 4:“Sustainable” is a synonym for “green.” • Although there‟s a fair amount of overlap between the terms, “green” usually suggests a preference for the natural over the artificial. With some six billion people on the planet today, and another three billion expected by the middle of the century, society cannot hope to give them a comfortable standard of living without a heavy dependence on technology. • It‟s probably more difficult to see nuclear power as sustainable. Unlike the other alternative energy sources, it has long been anathema to environmentalists, largely because of the problem of storing radioactive waste.
  15. 15. Sustainability Genetically modified foods – are they sustainable? Should we produce them? Pro & Con groups.
  16. 16. Gregor Mendel 1822-1884
  17. 17. Sustainability Genetically modified foods http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAP6ZtfP9ZQ GMF EU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8p7M0WF_7A
  18. 18. Sustainability Friend with Prius Our whole lives – Ecological Footprint Stuff The Story of Stuff http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gorqroigq M
  19. 19. Myth 5: It’s all about recycling. • If there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room of sustainability, this myth is it. • “It‟s only true in the short term • in certain circumstances!
  20. 20. Myth 6:Sustainability means lowering our standard of living. • Not at all true! It does mean that we have to do more with less. It does not mean that we have to go back to the Stone Age – Jeff Jacoby
  21. 21. Sustainability Once we start to organize ourselves and innovate, the breakthroughs are extraordinary. They will allow us to use resources more productivity, which in turn allow us to be prosperous, fed, entertained, secure. The innovation at the heart of sustainable living will be a powerful economic engine. Sustainable Italian town http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60TalY6bAT4
  22. 22. Myth 7:Consumer choices and grassroots activism, not government intervention, offer the fastest, most efficient routes to sustainability. • Pro & Cons!
  23. 23. Myth 8:New technology is always the answer. • Sometimes existing technology can make a huge difference. Sometimes it takes a creative business model. • “There‟s an Italian utility that‟s selling its customers hot water, not energy to heat water. It‟s a different way of measuring, and it gives the company an incentive to be more efficient so it can be more profitable.”
  24. 24. Myth 9:Sustainability is ultimately a population problem. • This is not a myth, but it represents a false solution. Every environmental problem is ultimately a population problem. If the world‟s population were only 100 million people, we would be hardpressed to generate enough waste to overwhelm nature‟s cleanup systems. We could dump all our trash in a landfill in some remote area, and nobody would notice.
  25. 25. Myth 10:Once you understand the concept, living sustainably is a breeze to figure out. • You cannot really declare any practice “sustainable” until you have done a complete life-cycle analysis of its environmental costs. • Even then, technology and public policy keep evolving, and that evolution can lead to unforeseen and unintended consequences. The admirable goal of living sustainably requires plenty of thought on an ongoing basis.
  26. 26. Our Common Future aimed to discuss the environment & development as one single issue. We all understand “environment” Going Green! But what is meant by Development?
  27. 27. Sustainability When a word becomes so popular you begin hearing it everywhere, in all sorts of marginally related or even unrelated contexts, it means one of two things. Either the word has devolved into: 1. A meaningless cliché, or 2. It has real conceptual heft.
  28. 28. Sustainability “Green” (“going green”) falls squarely into the first category. Green Wash
  29. 29. One of the main points of the “Sustaining Our Common Future” report: “Many of the same causes of these environmental problems simultaneously underpin entrenched poverty and over consumption.”
  30. 30. Global equity
  31. 31. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Ni TN0chj0
  32. 32. Metabolism like a cow
  33. 33. Okay, But !….. How do I know if something is sustainable?
  34. 34. Sustainability What exactly does it mean to Go Green???
  35. 35. 08/29/2012 CONE 3304-5304 The Sustainability Triangle The quest for sustainability Economic Environmental Vitality Integrity Social Equity Perspective
  36. 36. Questions: • What are the basic concepts underlying sustainability? • What are the landmark events that have contributed to today‟s notion of sustainability? • Will sustainable development affect your likely career path?
  37. 37. Questions • What is sustainable development,” where does it come from, and why has it moved from a marginal to central position in today‟s world? • What are the roles and techniques used by the private sector (firms) and public sector (governments, international organizations, NGOs, etc.) to further sustainable development efforts in the
  38. 38. What is Sustainability? • Sustainability represents a balance that accommodates human needs without diminishing the health and productivity of natural systems. • The American Institute of Architects defines sustainability as “the ability of society to continue functioning into the future without being forced into decline through exhaustion or overloading of the key resources on which that system depends.
  39. 39. What is Sustainable Development? Sustainable development is maintaining a delicate balance between the human need to improve lifestyles and feeling of well-being on one hand, and preserving natural resources and ecosystems, on which we and future generations depend.
  40. 40. • There are over 100 definitions of sustainability and sustainable development, but the best known is the World Commission on Environment and Development's.
  41. 41. What is Sustainable Development? Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs [World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987; Our Common Future (Brundtland Report) SD calls for the careful balancing of three systems: natural, social, and economic. The primary focus is on protecting natural systems, the source of life and its sustenance.
  42. 42. More on SD Agenda 21: In order to meet the challenges of environment and development, States decided to engage in a new global partnership ... sustainable development should become a priority item on the agenda of the international community [UN Conf on Env Dev, Rio de Janeiro, June 1992] ... is nondeclining human well-being over time [David Pearce, Economics of Sustainable Development, 1994]
  43. 43. Even More on SD • A particular system that when considered in isolation has a positive balance in relation to its own costs and benefits (Ravetz 1992) • Improving the quality of life within the carrying capacity or supporting ecosystems (WCU 1991) • The use of energy and materials in an urban area in balance with what the region can supply continuously through natural processes such as photosynthesis, biological decomposition, and the biochemical processes which sustain life (Lyle 1994) • Something is 'sustainable' if it has the capacity to continue. (Sustainable London)
  44. 44. Lester Brown (Worldwatch Institute) • Over the long term for sustainability: – Species Extinction <= Species Evolution – Soil Erosion <= Soil Formation – Forest Destruction <= Forest Regeneration – Carbon Emissions <= Carbon Fixation – Fish Catches <= Regeneration Capacity of Fisheries – Human Births <= Human Deaths
  45. 45. General Sustainability Principles  Minimize: resource consumption, use of non- renewables, pollution, toxics, waste  Maximize: efficiency, reuse, recycling, renewable resource use,  Foster: conservation, understanding of natural systems functions, economic justice, stewardship
  46. 46. Rules for Sustainability • The guiding rules are that people must share with each other and care for the Earth. • Humanity must take no more from nature than nature can replenish. • This in turn means adopting lifestyles and development paths that respect and work within nature's limits. • It can be done without rejecting the many benefits that modern technology has brought, provided that technology also works within those limits (Source: Caring for the Earth, IUCN, p8.)
  47. 47. Paradigm Shifts NOW FUTURE Consumption Conservation Depletion Stewardship Divided Integrated Centralized Local Artificial Natural Unhealthy Healthy Linear Circular Impersonal Community Bland Aesthetic Rights Responsibilities
  48. 48. The Systems Natural (N) Social (S) Economic (E)
  49. 49. Proto-Sustainable Systems N E S
  50. 50. Truly Sustainable Systems NE S
  51. 51. Three Pillars of sustainability.!
  52. 52. Alternatively… • Risk • Ethics • Economics
  53. 53. Some New Vocabulary • Sustainability • Sustainable Development • Systems Thinking • Sustainable Construction • Substitutability • Deep Ecology • Factor 4 and Factor 10 • Carrying Capacity • Ecological Footprint • Ecological Rucksack • Ecological Economics • Externalities • Internalization • Environmental Ethics • Clean Production • Industrial and Construction Ecology • Industrial Metabolism • Eco-efficiency • MIPS • NZEB
  54. 54. Even more… • LCA • LCC • Ecological Design • Green Construction • Green Building Materials • TND • NU • USGBC • Green Building Initiative • LEED, BREEAM, Green Globes • Emergy, Exergy, Entropy, Enthalpy • Rainwater Harvesting • Greywater, Reclaimed Water, Black water
  55. 55. CONE -5304 Sustainable Living….. So, what is the problem?
  56. 56. CONE -5304 Two problems…. •Too many people •Impact per person
  57. 57. Main Points • Our current resource consumption and destruction of natural systems is unsustainable. • Humankind can live sustainably if and only if it controls its population, lives within nature’s resources, and extensively protects natural systems. • “There is no inherent conflict between protecting the environment and a strong human economy because the environment is the support system for all human activity.” Anthony Cortese, Earth Day
  58. 58. Sustainable Development and 62 What do we Mean by „The Environment‟?
  59. 59. Environment Air Water Land Minerals Solar Energy Plants Animals Organisms Humans
  60. 60. What is an Ecosystem? • Interactions between biological (living) organisms in a defined area, and with their physical environment (air, water, land), and the associated flow and transformation of energy
  61. 61. Average Global Water Renewal Rates Groundwater 1,400 years Atmospheric moisture 8 days Stream/river water 16 days Soil moisture 1 year Swamp water 5 years Lake water 17 years
  62. 62. World Population Growth
  63. 63. Water Shortages Major global problem areas
  64. 64. Exhaustion of Natural Resources • Rainforest loss: 1 acre per second • Annual temperate forest loss: 4 million hectares (Siberia), 1 million hectares (Canada) • Forests: 40% (1,000 years ago) 30% (1900) 20% (today) • Loss of 20% of all species by 2030 • Movement of more material than natural forces • Loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil annually
  65. 65. Services Provided by Natural Systems • Air quality enhancement • Soils for food, wood, paper production • Ambient temperature enhancement • Dampening flood peaks • Filtering/recharging groundwater • Erosion control • Renewable energy • Pollination • Evaportranspiration • Food and water for wildlife • Pest control • Recreation and tourism • Grazing for domesticated animals • Noise barriers and separation • Natural fires • Carbon, energy, water storage • Hazard reduction
  66. 66. Worth of Ecosystem • Costanza et al 1997, “The value of the world‟s ecosytem goods and services,” Nature, 387:253-260. – Pollination, Raw Materials Production, Water Supply, Waste Recycling & Pollution Control, Recreation & Education, Climate and Atmosphere Regulation, Soil Formation and Erosion Control, Control of Pests & Diseases • Value of services: US$16 to $US54 trillion • World GNP: US$18 trillion
  67. 67. Resource Consumption Patterns
  68. 68. 08/29/2012 CONE 3304-5304 And the big one! • Humankind expends in one year an amount of fossil fuel that it took nature roughly a million years to produce.
  69. 69. Hubbert‟s Pimple - Oil Consumption
  70. 70. 08/29/2012 CONE3304-5304 What do we do with all the stuff?
  71. 71. CONE 3304-5304 Here‟s a mental model... Natural Resources Goods and Services Pollution, Waste and Environmental Disturbances The world is organized as a linear “throughput” of material
  72. 72. 08/29/2012 CONE 3304-5304 Water bottles that we use once and will last for a thousand years Non-sustainable action
  73. 73. Like lots of water bottles! Non-sustainable patterns
  74. 74. CONE-5304 Create NS Structures Non-sustainable Action Non-sustainable Pattern S Non-sustainable Structures S
  75. 75. Which creates a Reinforcing Feedback Loop Non-sustainable Action Non-sustainable Pattern S Non-sustainable Structures S Non-sustainable Mental Models S S R
  76. 76. Uranium Production, France
  77. 77. Reasonably assured (RAR), inferred (IR) and already produced uranium resources
  78. 78. What do the scientists say? • 1972 – Limits to Growth is published by D. Meadows et al. MIT systems modelers take a look at the future resulting in lots of debate
  79. 79. The Coldest Areas Warm the Most
  80. 80. Florida +5meter, very likely unavoidable. Expected sea level increase 21st Century: + 1.2 meter Courtesy: PBS
  81. 81. The Four System Conditions In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing: 1. concentrations of substances extracted from the earth's crust; 2. concentrations of substances produced by society; 3. degradation by physical means; and, in that society. . . 4. human needs are met worldwide
  82. 82. 1.THE NATURAL STEP'S FOUR SYSTEM CONDITIONS • SUBSTANCES FROM THE EARTH'S CRUST MUST NOT SYSTEMATICALLY INCREASE IN NATURE. • In a sustainable society, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, and the mining of metals and minerals will not occur at a rate that causes them to systematically increase in the ecosphere. • There are thresholds beyond which living organisms and ecosystems are adversely affected by increases in substances from the earth's crust. • Problems may include an increase in greenhouse gases leading to global warming, contamination of surface and ground water, and metal toxicity which can cause functional disturbances in animals. In practical terms, the first condition requires society to implement comprehensive metal and mineral recycling programs, and decrease economic dependence on fossil fuels.
  83. 83. 2.SUBSTANCES PRODUCED BY SOCIETY MUST NOT SYSTEMATICALLY INCREASE IN NATURE. • In a sustainable society, humans will avoid generating systematic increases in persistent substances such as DDT, PCBs, and Freon. • Synthetic organic compounds such as DDT and PCBs can remain in the environment for many years, bioaccumulating in the tissue of organisms, causing profound deleterious effects on predators in the upper levels of the food chain. • Freon, and other ozone depleting compounds, may increase risk of cancer due to added UV radiation in the troposphere. Society needs to find ways to reduce economic dependence on persistent human- made substances.
  84. 84. 3. THE PHYSICAL BASIS FOR THE PRODUCTIVITY AND DIVERSITY OF NATURE MUST NOT SYSTEMATICALLY BE DIMINISHED • In a sustainable society, humans will avoid taking more from the biosphere than can be replenished by natural systems. In addition, people will avoid systematically encroaching upon nature by destroying the habitat of other species. • Biodiversity, which includes the great variety of animals and plants found in nature, provides the foundation for ecosystem services which are necessary to sustain life on this planet. • Society's health and prosperity depends on the enduring capacity of nature to renew itself and rebuild waste into resources
  85. 85. . . 4. WE MUST BE FAIR AND EFFICIENT IN MEETING BASIC HUMAN NEEDS • Meeting the fourth system condition is a way to avoid violating the first three system conditions for sustainability. Considering the human enterprise as a whole, we need to be efficient with regard to resource use and waste generation in order to be sustainable. • If one billion people lack adequate nutrition while another billion have more than they need, there is a lack of fairness with regard to meeting basic human needs. • Achieving greater fairness is essential for social stability and the cooperation needed for making large-scale changes within the framework laid out by the first three conditions.
  86. 86. . Cont. • To achieve this fourth condition, humanity must strive to improve technical and organizational efficiency around the world, and to live using fewer resources, especially in affluent areas. • System condition number four implies an improved means of addressing human population growth. • If the total resource throughput of the global human population continues to increase, it will be increasingly difficult to meet basic human needs as human-driven processes intended to fulfill human needs and wants are systematically degrading the collective capacity of the Earth's ecosystems to meet these demands.
  87. 87. Backcasting • One method for changing the way people think about sustainability is something people at The Natural Step call backcasting. • Backcasting is framing goals with regard to a future desired outcome, and determining short- term decisions and investments needed to achieve that future.
  88. 88. Sustainable Development “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" Brundtland Commission “Our common future” 1987
  89. 89. BREAK!!

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