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Understanding Sustainability

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Understanding Sustainability. Marian M. Brown, Special Assistant to the Provost. What is. Sustainability? Sustainable development is development that meets the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding Sustainability


1
Understanding Sustainability
Marian M. Brown, Special Assistant to the Provost
2
What isSustainability?
Sustainable development is development that meets
the social, economic, and environmental needs of
the present without compromising the abilityof
future generations to meet their needs.

Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future
3
Imagine, if you will, three overlapping circles
one representing economic needs, one representing
environmental needs, and one representing
community social needs. The area where the three
circles overlap is the area of sustainability,
the areas of livability the area where all the
threads of quality of life come together. If we
are to have it all, we must recognize that
these three circles are not separate, unrelated
entities. John
Kitzhaber, Governor, State of Oregon (2000)
Economy
Equity
Environment
4
The economy and society are wholly-owned
subsidiaries of the environment.
David Orr
Environment
Society
Economy
5
Katrina
6
Sustainability is motherhood and apple pie
7
Nobody really wants to
waste money
destroy the environment
hurt others
8
With sustainability, there is no there there
There is no end point .
9
Sustainability is not a what its a how.
Huh?
it is a decision-makingframework for
continuous improvement.
10
Ask and answer three questions

How will this action impact people? How will
this action impact the environment? How will
this action impact business?



Positive impact Neutral neither
positive nor negative impact Negative impact

11
Precautionary Principle
"Where there are reasonable grounds for concern
for the possibility of adverse effects, priority
will be given to human health and the
environment, without having to wait until the
reality and seriousness of those adverse effects
become fully apparent". Term first used in The
World Charter for Nature, adopted by the UN
General Assembly, 1982.
12
Precautionary Principle, re-interpreted
Do no har m. An ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure. You cant have your cake and eat
it, too. Better safe than sorry. Look before
you leap. A stitch in time saves nine. Think
ahead. Dont sh?t where you eat. Do unto
others as you would have others do unto you.
13
So why talk about sustainability?
Anything that can go on being done on an
indefinite basis is sustainable. Anything that
cannot go on being done indefinitely is
unsustainable.    
But so what?
14
Because it really IS this important
This is all that is at stake.
15
So . . .
We can't solve problems by using the same kind
of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
16
So . . .
Sustainability or sustainable development
offers us a better decision-making framework
than we used to get us where we are now.
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