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What Is Sustainability


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Published in: Education, Technology

What Is Sustainability

  1. 1. What is Sustainability? How do businesses use sustainable practice?
  2. 2. Sustainable development <ul><li>Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs </li></ul><ul><li>Our Common Future (Bruntland Report), 1987 </li></ul><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 UK Forum for the Future </li></ul>
  3. 3. Defining sustainability Strong Sustainability Used under creative commons licence Environment Society Economy
  4. 4. Strong Sustainability <ul><li>Abundance of renewable energy </li></ul><ul><li>Embraced ‘technical nutrients’ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Waste is food” – C2C </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced by human activity </li></ul><ul><li>Equitable capability to meet needs </li></ul><ul><li>Equitable, incl. commonwealth of species </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity valued </li></ul><ul><li>Eco-system foundation produces resilience </li></ul>Eco-system-centric. Connect, re-design, enhance, circular, feedback, inspire, celebrate. Copyright © SANZ
  5. 5. A New Zealand definition Source: New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Cultural well-being and local government , Report 1, 2006 The Four Well-beings of Community Sustainability Local Govt Act 2002
  6. 6. Local Government Act 2002 <ul><li>The model was created in response to Local Government Act 2002 (Section 10), which states that local government is responsible for promoting “the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. There are many ways of communicating what sustainable practice is… However what is most important is to understand the connectedness of each of these areas.
  8. 8. Two key aspects <ul><li>The two most important points that need to be understood to practice strong sustainability are: </li></ul><ul><li>Systems thinking and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>A principled definition of sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>These two points and the process of ‘Backcasting’ are the cornerstone of the Framework for Sustainable Practice. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Lost in the details
  10. 10. We must work within the natural cycles
  11. 11. <ul><li>Nothing disappears! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>there is no “away” to throw your rubbish </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Everything spreads! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>all products break down eventually </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is the material structure and quality of matter that we consume </li></ul><ul><ul><li>energy and matter combined into useful / valuable forms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plants using solar energy are the only net producers of structure and quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>photosynthesis “pays the bills” and retains order </li></ul></ul>Sustainability Science
  12. 12. The System Conditions In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing … 1. concentrations of substances from the Earth’s crust 2. concentrations of substances produced by society 3. degradation by physical means and in that society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically … 4. undermine their capacity to meet their needs. Copyright © The Natural Step
  13. 13. Sustainability Principles <ul><li>We take what nature replaces. </li></ul><ul><li>We make what nature can process. </li></ul><ul><li>We avoid breaking nature. </li></ul><ul><li>We are equitable. </li></ul>
  14. 14. So what are human needs? <ul><li>Subsistence </li></ul><ul><li>Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Leisure </li></ul><ul><li>Affection </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Creation </li></ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul>Source: Manfred Max-Neef Max-Neef’s Fundamental Human Needs
  15. 15. Summary <ul><li>The point of these conditions is that if we break them there will be consequences! </li></ul><ul><li>However, what we are working towards is no longer violating the systems conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>This is not something that will happen overnight… but it can happen! </li></ul><ul><li>These principles allow for a common understanding of sustainability that can be used by any individual or organisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Within the Framework for Sustainable Practice they are the basis for forming a vision of success in the future. </li></ul>
  16. 16. From Weak to Strong Sustainability <ul><li>The principles can be used to decide if actions or products are mucking up natural and social systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The point being it helps you to weigh which product or action is better than another (shown in the design slide) </li></ul><ul><li>Use the framework for sustainable practice to help your business or organisation to plan for the future. </li></ul>Understand Vision Baseline Plan / do Measure