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Definitions of sustainability


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Definitions of sustainability

  1. 1. Definitions of sustainability
  2. 2. “ Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Our Common Future, (Brundtland Report), 1987
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ A dynamic process which enables all people to realise their potential and improve their quality of life in ways which simultaneously protect and enhance the Earth’s support systems.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forum for the Future </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Four System Conditions for Sustainability – The Natural Step Framework <ul><li>In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing… </li></ul><ul><li>… concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust </li></ul><ul><li>… concentrations of substances produced by society </li></ul><ul><li>… degradation by physical means </li></ul><ul><li>And people are not subject to conditions that systematically… </li></ul><ul><li>4. …undermine their capacity to meet their needs </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased” </li></ul><ul><li>National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (1992) </li></ul>1.39 Ecologically Sustainable Development:
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ in scientific terms, it means a system state that can endure indefinitely” </li></ul><ul><li>(AtKisson, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>“… has come to mean long-term survival and well-being in general, both for human civilization and the rest of nature” </li></ul><ul><li>(AtKisson, 2001) </li></ul>1.40 Sustainability:
  7. 7. 1.42 Strong Sustainability: Eco-Efficiency & Environ. Economics Social Sustainability Economics
  8. 8. Interrelationship between social, environmental and economic aspects. 1.43 Source: National Centre for Sustainability, Swinburne University of Technology
  9. 9. <ul><li>growth = “the increase in human population, resource use, and the emission of waste” </li></ul><ul><li>development = “improvements in human technology and advances in the human condition, including health, education, intelligence, wisdom, freedom, and the capacity to love” (AtKisson, 1999) </li></ul>1.44 Sustainable Growth vs Sustainable Development:
  10. 10. Concepts Relating to Sustainability
  11. 11. <ul><li>“ The triple bottom line focuses corporations not just on the economic value they add, but also on the environmental and social value they add – and destroy. At its narrowest, the term ‘triple bottom line’ is used as a framework for measuring and reporting corporate performance against economic, social and environmental parameters.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Elkington, 1980 ) </li></ul>1.49 Triple Bottom Line:
  12. 12. 1.50 Ecological Footprint
  13. 13. Footprint Basics - Overview <ul><li>Humanity needs what nature provides, but how do we know how much we’re using and how much we have to use? </li></ul><ul><li>The Ecological Footprint has emerged as the world’s premier measure of humanity’s demand on nature. It measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resource it consumes and to absorb its wastes, using prevailing technology. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Calculating your Footprint: <ul><li>There are two options for calculating your footprint. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one of the following: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>A German concept defined by the European Environment Agency (1999) as: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The material input of a product (service) minus the weight of the product itself. The material input is defined as the life cycle wide total quantity (in kg) of natural material moved (physically displaced) by humans in order to generate a good.” </li></ul><ul><li>A semiconductor chip generates over 100,000 times its weight in waste during production </li></ul><ul><li>A laptop computer generates close to 4,000 times its weight in waste </li></ul>1.52 Ecological Rucksack:
  16. 17. <ul><li>“… an overall approach to business management to reduce the use of energy, water and material resources and to minimise waste and pollution. It involves a shift in environmental protection from an ‘end-of-pipe’ approach where pollution is managed after it is created, to a ‘front-of-process’ approach where the creation of pollution is avoided or minimised at the source…[it] involves changing attitudes and rethinking products and processes. However, cleaner production is not only about manufacturing and production. It covers all processes, products and services and their impacts, including planning and design” </li></ul><ul><li>(former NSW Environment Protection Authority) </li></ul>1.53 Cleaner Production:
  17. 18. <ul><li>Sometimes called life cycle analysis </li></ul><ul><li>A tool that assesses a range of environmental impacts of a product or material across its whole life cycle – that is from the extraction of raw materials through to manufacturing, transportation, use and eventual disposal </li></ul><ul><li>Useful in making more informed decisions about appropriate choices of products and materials </li></ul>1.54 Life Cycle Analysis:
  18. 19. <ul><li>States that the manufacturer of a particular product should be responsible for that product during its use and at the time of disposal </li></ul><ul><li>The rationale is that this will encourage manufacturers to design products that are less hazardous, easier to dismantle and recycle, and so forth </li></ul><ul><li>This concept has been most explored in Europe, where it has been considered for example for adoption by white goods and automobile manufacturers </li></ul>1.55 Extended Producer Responsibility:
  19. 20. <ul><li>A means of rating a product or service in terms of its environmental credentials according to agreed sets of guidelines and products. Most eco-labelling schemes require the use of a third-party to verify claims prior to certain labels being used </li></ul><ul><li>The energy-rating scheme for white goods is a form of eco-labelling </li></ul><ul><li>For more information see the Eco labelling website </li></ul>1.56 Eco Labelling:
  20. 21. <ul><li>The term given to a claim that a product or service is environmentally-friendly or otherwise superior to its competitors, when in fact this is not the case </li></ul><ul><li>Greenwash hurts organisations that are legitimately trying to do the right thing, by making it harder for consumers to differentiate, while potentially also increasing consumer cynicism </li></ul><ul><li>It is hoped that as eco-labelling of products and services is increasingly adopted and refined, greenwash will be less of a problem </li></ul>1.57 Greenwash!