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Be a Great Business with a Small Footprint


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A brief overview of how businesses can use The Natural Step to become more sustainable: energy & water conservation, land use, solid waste reduction, air quality, material sourcing, product stewardship, etc.

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Be a Great Business with a Small Footprint

  1. 1. Be a Great Business With a Small Footprint
  2. 2. Sustainability Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  3. 3. Three elements are necessary for sustainability: Economic Environmental Societal
  4. 4. A Sustainable Future
  5. 5. Developed by Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt in 1989, the TNS Framework builds on a basic understanding of what makes life possible, how our biosphere functions and how we are part of the earth’s natural systems.
  6. 6. Four System Conditions 1. Eliminate contribution to fossil fuel dependence and to wasteful use of scarce metals and minerals. Reduce mining and bringing into use substances from earth’s crust: • heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, • minerals such as phosphorus • fossil fuels These substances and their emissions (CO2 and NOx) are steadily increasing in human society and nature.
  7. 7. 2. Eliminate contribution to dependence upon persistent chemicals and wasteful use of synthetic substances. • Humans are manufacturing synthetic substances faster than they can be broken down. • EPA lists more than 70,000 chemicals that are in common use. • Every U.S. citizen’s fatty tissue contains at least 700 chemical contaminants, according to EPA.
  8. 8. 3. Eliminate contribution to encroachment upon nature – land, water, wildlife, forests, soil, ecosystems. • Human activity is breaking down natural systems faster than they can renew themselves. • Nearly one-half of the Earth’s original forest cover has been lost. • Demand for fresh water exceeds the world’s supply by 17 percent.
  9. 9. 4. Meet human needs fairly and efficiently. • If people around the world cannot meet their basic human needs (air, water, food, shelter), the first three system conditions will not be met. • Within our businesses & communities, our needs include: • a means of a livelihood • mobility • equal treatment • equal access • participation in decisions • safety • right to peaceful enjoyment of life • connection with nature
  10. 10. Three Steps to a Sustainable Business
  11. 11. Step One Backcast: Determine how your company will look when it’s completely sustainable. How are you going to get there? What will have to change?
  12. 12. Backcasting Create Awareness Develop Baseline Envision the Future Set and Manage Priorities
  13. 13. Priority Setting in D Search for measures that respond “yes” to these three questions: 1. Does this measure proceed in the right direction with respect to all system conditions? 2. Does this measure provide a stepping-stone for future improvements? 3. Is this measure likely to produce a sufficient return on investment to further catalyze the process?
  14. 14. Step Two Select an implementation structure/strategy for incorporating sustainable practices into your operations.
  15. 15. Step Three Create a measurement tool to track your sustainability initiatives.
  16. 16. Business Applications Energy Conservation Material Sourcing Land Use Transportation Water Conservation Solid Waste Reduction Air Quality Storm Water Impact Life Cycle/Cradle to Cradle
  17. 17. By Department Landscaping Facilities Maintenance Fleet Management Indoor/Outdoor Lighting Purchasing Heating/Cooling Shipping Toilets/Sinks Cafeteria Janitorial Human Resources Interiors Manufacturing Carpet, Paint, Furniture Upstream & Downstream Responsibility for Sustainable Materials
  18. 18. Questions? Lori De La Cruz, ABC Blue Marble Media, LLC & The Ecological Compass 817-233-4093