Do you have principles for sustainability?

There are hundreds of definitions of sustainability, and many people agree and disagree on what should be included. At the GMIC we follow the “Natural Step” Principles that define 4 conditions for developing sustainability.

 These were develop by an international network of scientists who have unanimously and publically concluded that human society is damaging nature and altering life-supporting natural structures and functions in three fundamental ways. Consequently, they were able to define three basic conditions that must be met if we want to maintain the essential natural resources, structures and functions that sustain human society. Further, acknowledging that human action is the primary cause of the rapid change we see in nature today, they included a fourth system condition that focuses on the social and economic considerations that drive those actions and the capacity of human beings to meet their basic needs . These four principles for sustainability state that: 

To become a sustainable society we must…

1. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust (for example, heavy metals and fossil fuels)
2. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of chemicals and compounds produced by society (for example, dioxins, PCBs, and DDT )
3. eliminate our contribution to the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes (for example, over harvesting forests and paving over critical wildlife habitat);
4. eliminate our contribution to conditions that undermine people’s capacity to meet their basic human needs (for example, unsafe working conditions and not enough pay to live on).

If you dont follow what i am saying then have a look at this video. In 2 mins our friends at Realeyes have put the theory into a very easy to understand cartoon. Its fun, relevant and simple. This is itself a lesson in how to communicate sustainability. Enjoy


1 Comment

  1. […] Michael and I often use the the Natural Step as a systematic approach to Sustainability. In this post my friend and GMIC board member Jan Peter Bergkvist wrote a nice article  which I think is worth sharing. It build on our earlier article. […]

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