Sustainable Development 101

A short sustainable development (sustainability) video animation explaining what it is, how to define it and how to apply solutions to move towards it. Please see below for the video's script. For further information about how we can help you and your organisation unleash the opportunities of sustainable visit and Twitter: simontgoldsmith Sustainability Slides Script: Slide 1 Hello, this short presentation explains key themes to help you understand Sustainable Development. During this presentation you will learn how it can benefit you, your organisation and how it can help protect our future. This video seeks to add to your basic sustainability knowledge and explains a great framework to help address it in ways that are attractive, positive and attainable. We hear the word sustainability frequently used, but often people don't accurately understand its meaning. The problem is if we don't properly understand its meaning then it will be difficult, if not impossible, to make decisions to attain it. So why is it important? Slide 2 OK, here we have three systems -- the economy, society and the environment. Often in decision-making we treat each of these as separate systems, however, if we look closer we realise that there are significant interrelationships and reliance's between each system and their long term success and health. Slide 3 We will begin with the economy which is dependent on society for its labour, markets and key social systems for it to function. Slide 4 Both the economy and society are dependent on the environment that provides them with the raw materials, food, clean air and water and many systems we rely upon. Increasingly these interrelationships are becoming visible as impacts, in terms of climate change, water scarcity, pollution, health issues and so on. As our planet is finite we need to recognise that our current 'business as usual' model will need to adapt to work within the environmental systems whilst ensuring we are not undermining fundamental human needs. Slide 5 Our growing population is consuming ever more goods and services produced by our businesses, in turn depleting resources whilst increasing pollution. At the same time we are undermining the capacity of the environment to provide the resources and natural systems upon which we ultimately depend. So our goal should be to ensure our economy and society can function effectively within scientifically defined boundaries, moving us towards becoming a sustainable society. Slide 6 Fortunately a clear set of 4 guiding principles have been developed, and are part of a peer reviewed, rigorously tested framework by the Swedish NGO The Natural Step. These 4 principles that help us define how to attain a vision of becoming a sustainable society enabling us to make decisions that will get us there. If you would like to read through these then pause the presentation now, otherwise we can continue. Slide 7 With these principles in mind we can set our vision to become a sustainable society. Using a strategic planning approach called 'backcasting' we know what our vision is and then consider our current reality, understanding the impacts and actions we make today. To be sustainable we have to plan to reduce and eliminate activities that are unsustainable according to the 4 principles. This won't happen overnight and have to be based on an ongoing ability to obtain a return on investment whilst providing a flexible platform that will take us in the direction of our vision. Slide 8 Sustainability is a positive strategic process and the sooner we act the easier the transition will be, maximising opportunities and meeting our own individual and collective needs illustrated on this frame. Please press pause if you need time to read this. By looking at sustainability strategically we can prepare for the future using a long term vision to align decision making whilst also generating short term benefits. Slide 9 I hope this short presentation has helped you better understand what sustainability is, how crucial it is and how it relates to you and your success. By applying a clear approach to help us strategically move towards it. For more information please contact us.

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