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What is Sustainable Development


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Published in: Business, Technology

What is Sustainable Development

  1. 1. MGS 560 AA and BBBusiness Sustainability Dr.Suneel Sethi
  2. 2. Sustainable Development
  3. 3. What is Sustainability? What is Sustainable Development? What is Biodiversity? What is ‘GreenEconomy’ or ‘Ecological Economics’?
  4. 4. Sustainable Development "…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"
  5. 5. What is Sustainable Development?By combining the concept of Sustainability withEconomic Development, the term SustainableDevelopment (SD) is derived.“Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. SD is not a fixed state of harmony, but rather a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investment, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present needs.”- World Commission on Environment and Development,1987
  6. 6. Definitions of Sustainable Development
  7. 7. A more operational definition of Sustainable Development is that provided by UNDP (1994) which describes it as a process for realizing human development “… in an inclusive, connected, equitable, prudent and secure manner.”Where Connectivity embraces ecological, social and economic interdependence Equity suggests fairness within and across generations and species Prudence connotes care and prevention, technologically, scientifically and politically Security demands safety from chronic threats and protection from harmful disruption
  8. 8. The critical objectives which the WCED pinpointed from the concept of SustainableDevelopment are :1) Reviving growth2) Changing the quality of growth3) Meeting essential needs for jobs, food, water, energy and sanitation4) Ensuring a sustainable level of population5) Conserving and enhancing the resource base6) Re-orienting technology and managing risk7) Merging environment and economics in decision-making8) Re-orienting international economic relations9) Making development more participatory
  9. 9. Sustainable development is development thatmeets the needs of the present withoutcompromising the ability of future generations tomeet their own needs.It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the worlds poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environments ability to meet present and future needs.
  10. 10. Basic Tenets of Sustainable Development• The goals of economic and social development must be defined in terms of sustainability in all countries• Incorporates time: “implies a concern for social equity between generations, a concern that must logically be extended to equity within each generation”
  11. 11. The Importance of Participation“A political system that secures effective citizen participation in decision making”“The law alone cannot enforce the common interest. It principally needscommunity knowledge and support, which entails greater public participationin the decisions which affect the environment. This is best secured bydecentralising the management of resources upon which local communitiesdepend, and giving these communities an effective say over the use of theresources. It will also require promoting citizens initiatives, empoweringpeoples organisations, and strengthening local democracy ” - Brundtland Commission
  12. 12. The Importance of Participation“The broadest public participation ... should also be encouraged” -Agenda21, 1.3“Focus on the empowerment of local and community groups through theprinciple of delegating authority, accountability and resources” - Agenda21, 3.5“Governments, in co-operation with appropriate international and non-governmental organisations, should support a community-driven approachto sustainability” - Agenda 21, 3.7“The public must be informed about the issue and means for protecting theenvironment and, crucially, involved in the process” - EC 5th EnvironmentalAction Programme
  13. 13. What Is Different About Sustainable Development?First, the concept of sustainable development is based on theidea that there is no such thing as a purely environmentalproblem. There are always political, social and economicimplications as well.Second, sustainable development is based on the idea that development is essential, but that it must be a different qualityof development, organised differently, that takes environmentinto account - conserving or enhancing the environment is notthe sole purpose.
  14. 14. What Are The Key Themes To Sustainable Development Today? Meeting Human Needs Equity Environmental Constraints / Limits Futurity Democracy Local To Global
  15. 15. Objectives of Sustainable Development Economic Objective (Increased Efficiency and Growth) Income Distribution Environmental assessment Employment Valuation Targeted Assistance InternationalismSocial Objective Popular Participation Ecological Objective(Reduced Poverty/Increased Equity) Consultation (Management of Natural Pluralism Resources) _______________________________________________________________ Source : Mohan Munasinghe , World Bank Environmental Paper No.3 ,1993
  16. 16. In order to achieve Sustainable Development there needs to be a trade – off orinteraction between all the 3 objectives, i.e , Economic , Social and EcologicalThe interaction between social and economic objective (growth and socialobjectives ) has stimulated economic activities aimed at bringing relief such asmore employment and income redistribution.The interaction between growth and ecological objective identifies new ways ofvaluing and analyzing environmental resources. The interaction between socialand the ecological objective gives rise to issues such as public participation .The principles of SD can create a sustainability bias or a preference towards oneobjective. For example environmentalist may be solely concerned with ecologicalobjectives (stabilizing the ecology), while government with social objectives(stabilize social and cultural systems) and economist with economic objectives(increase economic asset base).The need is to have an interactive approach towards Sustainable Development .(Sustainable Development objectives seen in isolation would mean there isabsence or lack of Sustainable Development )
  17. 17. Economic Indicators of Sustainable Development (Nick Hanley) Nick Hanley from the University of Stirling presents a seminar on the general topic of operationally measuring sustainable development. . The seminar introduces the main ways economists think about the ideas of "sustainability", Nick explains how economists ideas of substitutability between various measures of capital (physical, resource endowments broadly conceived, human capital, and social capital) used to generate long run consumption lead to conflict with ecological notions of capital where substitutability isnt a key idea, but where boundary and threshold notions...and their impact on consumption possibilities...does make a big difference. The empirical part of the seminar shows that trying to operationalize meaningful measures of sustainability is (1) difficult and (2) leads to differences from theoretical predictions.
  18. 18. WHAT CAN WE DO AS KEY PLAYERS?‘’ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has.’’- Margaret Mead
  19. 19. Be Aware of Issues and Impacts Step Back from “Business as Usual” Inherently Includes Well-being of Find Ways to Work with NatureEnvironment Lessen Environmental Impact Comply and Go Beyond Minimum Save Energy, ResourcesRequirement Build on Small Successes – Piloting Involve Public and Communities in Spread the Word - Market YourDecision-making Capabilities to Both Existing and New Set Our Mindset to Doing What is Right Clients Even When Appears to Be a MoreDifficult Process - It Is a Step in the RightDirection The Challenge… Goes Beyond Just theMust Change the Way People Think Money !about Sustainability !
  20. 20. What Professionals Can Do, in Projects ?Design Projects to : Consider All Costs Beyond $, including : Reduce Material and Energy Use Use Renewable Energy Resources Maximize Lifespan of Structure Energy Reduce Construction Waste Generated Reduce/Eliminate Hazardous Waste Water/SewageGeneration Minimize Maintenance and Services Chemical/MaterialsRequired Maintenance andMost Importantly, Design Projects to Operationeither Reduce or Eliminate : Life Span and Greenhouse Gas Emission Replacement Cost Use of Ozone Depleting Substances Key Air Pollutants Indoor Air Pollutants
  21. 21. What Professionals Can Do, in Projects ?Sewage Treatment Plant Transportation Digester Gas for Energy Public Transit Emphasis Heat Exchanger on Sewage Pedestrian, Bicycle Friendly Effluent Animal/Bird Crossing Culverts Heat Recirculation from Reuse Of Materials Transformers, Blowers Irrigation Using Plant Architectural and Building Systems Effluent Consider Sun, Wind and Daylight Maximize Reuse of Structures andUrban Development Materials Redevelopment of Use Natural Ventilation Brownfield Sites Consider Low Flow Toilets and Urinals Pervious Pavement in Consider Solar Systems to Power Parking Lots Outdoor Lighting, Parking Lots, Residential Cisterns Walkways Constructed Wetlands and Use Automatic Lighting Controls that Ponds Respond to Available Daylight
  22. 22. Sustainable Development Glossary Selected Important Terms, Concepts and International Agreements Researched and Compiled by Thomas C. Esakin (March 2008) TABLE OF CONTENTSSection 1: Historical Chronology - Sustainable Development as a Concept and thenin Practice . Meetings and publications, and United Nations (UN) conferences,conventions, treaties, protocols and documents; all important to the developmentof Sustainable Development.Section 2: Prominent International Organisations Working in SustainableDevelopment(In addition to the Section 1, above-referenced, United Nations Organisations).Section 3: Prominent North American Organisation Working in SustainabilitySection 4: Alphabetical Listing of Selected Important Terms and Concepts inSustainable Development