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Sustainable Development


Title: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Author: Faculty of Management & Business Last modified by: MMU User Created Date: 9/13/1996 12:51:16 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Sustainability
  • References
  • Unit textbook DesJardins, Chapter 1
  • UNCED (1992) Agenda 21
  • Worldwatch Institute State of the World 2003 -
  • J. Porritt (2001) The only game in town Green
    Futures magazine

Overview of session
  • History of the concepts
  • Concepts
  • sustainable development sustainability
  • 3 pillars of sustainability/ triple bottom line
  • Natural capital
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Critiques of the concept

History / development of the concept
  • 1980 World Conservation Strategy
  • 1987 Our Common Future (Brundtland)
  • 1992 Rio Earth Summit
  • Agenda 21 global, national, local
  • 1996 Sustainability indicators
  • 1999 UK Strategy updated 2005
  • 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on
    Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development
  • Definitions
  • ......development that meets the needs of the
    present without compromising the ability of
    future generations to meet their own needs.
    WCED, 1987 (Brundtland)
  • .....improving the quality of human life
    while living within the carrying capacity of
    supporting ecosystems
  • Munro Holdgate,1991

Sustainable Development -
made up of 3 closely related issues
  • Environment must be valued not treated as a
    free good. Minimal use of non-renewable
    resources protect ecosystems
  • Equity for developing countries key issue of
    poverty has to be addressed
  • Futurity society, businesses and individuals
    must operate on a different timescale than
    currently operates - so that long-term,
    inter-generational considerations can be tackled.
  • Welford

  • Definition
  • Sustainability involves
  • only using resources at a rate which allows them
    to be replenished to ensure their long-term
    survival, and
  • not exceeding the environments ability to absorb
  • Peattie, 1992

Sustainable Yield Threshold
  • Analogy ( from Economics) - distinction between
    consuming interest and spending capital.
  • When the sustainable yield threshold is crossed,
    it signals a fundamental change between the
    consumer and what is being consumed.
  • The demands of our generation now exceed the
    income, the sustainable yield, of the earths
    ecological endowment.
  • Brown 1996

Sustainability - 3 pillars

Sustainability - 3 pillars
  • 3 Es - Economics, Ecology Ethics
    (DesJardins, 2007)
  • 3 Ps - Profits, People and Planet (Shell
  • Triple Bottom Line (Elkington, 1997)
  • ie. the simultaneous pursuit of
  • economic prosperity
  • environmental quality
  • social equity

One Planet Economy
  • UK governments vision and challenge
  • from a three-planet economy to one
  • A successful economy that grows within the
    capacity of the planets resources
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • (HM Government (2005) Securing the Future)

Concept of Natural Capital
(Hawken, Lovins Lovins, 1999)
  • Natural Capital is made up of-
  • Resources water, minerals, oil, trees, fish,
    soil, air, etc
  • Living Systems grasslands, savannas, oceans,
    rainforests, etc
  • Ecosystem Services exchange of carbon dioxide
    oxygen, water storage, flood management, waste
    processing, regeneration of the atmosphere, etc

Weak vs Strong Sustainability
  • Weak sustainability view no inherent difference
    between natural capital and other forms of
  • Strong sustainability view man-made or human
    capital cannot substitute for all environmental
    resources of all of the ecological services
    provided by nature so
  • these resources and services should be protected
    and not depleted

The Precautionary
  • Definition where there are threats of serious or
    irreversible damage, lack of full scientific
    certainty shall not be used as a reason for
    postponing cost-effective measures to prevent
    environmental degradation (Rio Declaration,

Defining Corporate Sustainability ..
  • meeting the needs of a firms direct and
    indirect stakeholders without compromising its
    ability to meet the needs of future stakeholders
    as well
  • Dyllick T Hockerts K (2002) Beyond the
    business case for corporate sustainability in
    the journal Business Strategy and the Environment
    , Issue 11

Critiques of the concept (Porritt, 2001)
  • utopian - idealistic?
  • Illusive concept, confusing
  • no consensus
  • problematic to operationalise
  • meaningless?
  • easier to recognise what is unsustainable
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