ISDRS NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 1, 2011 201120112011
Welcome! Welcome to the first pre-conference issue of the ISDRS Newsletter for 2011, one of two issues that celebrate the forthcoming Conference, ISDRC 17, hosted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the International Sustainable Development Research Society, 8-10 May, 2011. (isdrc17.ei.columbia.edu)
ISDRS Chairman’s Report
ISDRS Secretary’s Report
ISDR Conference Co-Chairman’s Report
ISDRS Conference Liaison Officer’s Report
Innovation through low carbon-city design. Martina Keitsch
China’s transition to green energy systems: the economics of home solar water heaters and their popularization in Dezhou city. Wei Li; Guojun Song; Ben Ma
Governing the future Danish biogas development. Rikke Lybæk and Thomas Budde Christensen
Public Participation and Social Sustainability of High-rise Apartment Buildings of Dhaka City, Bangladesh Sheikh Rubaiya Sultana
Sustainability within the local public sector – An integrative approach. Harald Heinrichs and Carolin Oppenrieder
Renewable energy villages and regions in Germany: The Goettingen approach of sustainability science in action. André Wueste and Peter Schmuck
Business simulation for education and training on sustainability management. Rupert Baumgartner
Diverting design: the realities of zero waste UK style and the role of eco-design in achieving them. Pauline Deutz and Gareth Neighbour
Transitioning towards a low carbon economy? Andy Gouldson and Helen Harwatt
Sustainable urban design: Current trends in Europe and the United States. Martina Keitsch
Ideological Struggle: Sustainable Development in the Business Studies Curriculum. Delyse Springett
Sustainability in global commodity trade: successful responsible entrepreneurship or fallacious market capture? Walter Vermeulen
Sustainable development, ISO 26000 and corporate social responsibility Richard Welford
The ‘Limits of Natural Limits … Michael Redclift
Beyond the trodden path: Concepts for sustainability Joachim Spangenberg
Disclosing the trunk and roots of the sustainable development challenge Tommy Jensen and Johan Sandström
The Great Commandment, Tao and the Sustainability of Humanity Nicholas Beale and Robert Pollack
ISDRS Newsletter, Issue 2, 2011
Dr Delyse Springett Honorary Research Associate - Business and Sustainable Development Massey University Aotearoa/New Zealand firstname.lastname@example.org Kia ora, tatou. 2011 is an important year for the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS). It marks five years since the Society was founded at the Hong Kong Conference in 2006, as well as an important new partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The seventeenth International Sustainable Development Research Conference (ISDRC 17) has provided the opportunity for ISDRS members and colleagues at Columbia to work closely together, not only to organize the conference, but to share in other ISDRS activities, such as the preparation of this Newsletter. In particular, our thanks go to Conference Co-Chairman, Professor Peter Schlosser, Lauren Barredo and Pamela Vreelend, as well as to other Columbia staff who have contributed to the Newsletter with articles, abstracts and advice. With Rio+20 only twelve months away, the Conference represents an excellent forum for preparing submissions to the UN conference process and making a contribution to the international discourse about sustainability. This is a comprehensive issue of the Newsletter that gives a taste of the quality we can expect from the Conference Programme. A selection of Conference abstracts is provided, along with short articles that elaborate on key themes of the Conference. Authors in this issue focus on energy issues, sustainable urban design, public participation on planning for sustainability, public sector approaches, investment issues, education for sustainability, eco-design approaches to waste management, sustainable production, the transition to a low carbon economy and new ISO 26000 guidelines for social responsibility. In addition, we have articles that seek to stimulate a discourse about the broader context and conceptualisation of sustainability. In keeping with the democratic and inclusive goals of the Society, the Newsletter has been a joint effort that has engaged the Board members of the Society, our colleagues at Columbia, and long-term supporters of the Societyâ€™s goals. Our thanks go to all of our contributors with special thanks to Pontus Cerin for technical assistance.
ISDRS CHAIRMANâ€™S REPORT
Richard Welford Chairman, ISDRS Professor, Asian Institute of Technology email@example.com I am pleased to be able to introduce a new style of Newsletter for the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS), one of two that will be produced prior to our first ever conference in North America. The 17th annual conference, in partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, is going to be an exciting event with participants from around the world presenting cutting edge research on various aspects of sustainable development. We have come a long way since we first launched conferences in the UK 17 years ago to coincide with the then recently launched journal, Sustainable Development, which remains today the official journal of the ISDRS. That journal has an ISI listing and Impact Factor that puts it amongst the top 10 journals in its field and it continues to draw papers and special issues from the annual conference. Since forming the Society five years ago, we have tried hard to increase the attention given to sustainable development. Through the conference and the journal we encourage high quality academic research in this important field. We strive to ensure that both new and established scholars receive recognition for the quality research work that they are doing. We are now moving towards further developing the Society and will be introducing a membership scheme that is not solely linked to attendance at the annual conference. We have also introduced a new Charter for the Society and its members and this is discussed in an article in this newsletter. In order to strengthen the Society, we have also established an Executive Committee that will be elected annually at the annual conference. I am pleased to be chairing the Society and this five-person Committee that also comprises: Van Miller (USA) Secretary Peter Dobers (Sweden) Treasurer Walter Vermeulen (Netherlands) Conference Liaison Delyse Springett (New Zealand) Newsletter Editor At the same time as formalizing the management and governance of the Society we are trying hard to produce extra value added through an updated and improved website and this new newsletter. The newsletter is intended to create a less formal outlet for articles and opinion pieces about sustainable development, compared to the official journal. Delyse has pulled together a really exciting publication with a range of contributions that I hope you will find of interest. Since the conference in 2010 in Hong Kong, there have been some vital new developments in the Society. We are at a key turning point in the life of the ISDRS and I hope that you will join us on our continuing journey.
ISDRS SECRETARYâ€™S REPORT: The ISDRS and Its Charter
Van V. Miller Central Michigan University, USA firstname.lastname@example.org The International Sustainable Development Research Society has its roots in the 1990s when scholars and practitioners interested in sustainable development met at various locations across middle England. Each of these small annual conferences drew approximately 100 participants. As the sustainable development concept gained in recognition, the decision was made to organize an annual international conference, with the first being held in 2005 in Helsinki, Finland. In 2006, the success of the conference in Hong Kong convinced the driving forces in the Society to register legally a new entity, known as the International Sustainable Development Research Society, and to establish a Board of Directors to oversee it. This simple form of governance sufficed until 2010 when the Directors unanimously decided to formalize the Society structurally and procedurally through a charter form of governance that is now being drafted and will be ready for dissemination at ISDRC 17 in May 2011. As we work to finalize the charter draft, its basic framework can now be described in general terms. It consists of nine sections that cover the elements essential for a well functioning research society. The first section names the Hong Kong-registered Society and stipulates that it be housed for administrative purposes where the secretary is located. In the second section, the multiple objectives of the ISDRS are spelled out and define its role in the generation and dissemination of knowledge pertaining to sustainable development. The third section describes the different kinds of membership categories that the ISDRS expects to maintain. This is a break from the past when only one type of membership was available, directly linked to registration for and participation in the annual conference. In these first three sections, the location, the goals, and the members of the Society are made clear in order to differentiate the ISDRS from other sustainability organizations. In the fourth section of the Charter, the venue and decision for where and when the Society meets receives attention and obligates the Board to make decisions about the annual meeting. The fifth section stipulates how the Society will govern itself. It specifies the roles and duties of the Board, the Executive Committee and the officers who will direct the ISDRS from year-to-year. In addition, this section details how these roles will be filled through an election process that involves the permanent members of the ISDRS. In the sixth section, there is recognition of the need for permanent research tracks in the ISDRS, and a process is enacted that will allow the membership to participate in the establishment and evolution of the research tracks. The final three sections of the Charter offer additional insight into how the Society views itself. Section seven drives it into collaboration with publishers who provide sustainability journals. Section eight acknowledges the role of volunteers in the Societyâ€™s dealings and authorizes the Board to establish a system that recognizes the achievements of the volunteers who have served it well. Finally, section nine permits the membership to amend the Charter when such a need arises.
In summary, the nine sections of the Charter now being finalized will allow the Society to move forward and govern itself in a consistent, transparent and accountable manner. In so doing, the current Board members believe they are setting the ISDRS on a much firmer foundation that will serve both the membership and society well into the future.
Board Members and Interim Executive Committee of the ISDRS President - Dr Richard Welford, ERPEnvironment, Professor, Asian Institute of Technology Secretary - Dr Van Miller, Central Michigan University Conference Liaison Officer - Associate Professor Dr Walter Vermeulen, Utrecht University Treasurer - Professor Peter Dobers, Mälardalen University Newsletter Editor - Dr Delyse Springett, Massey University Professor Rupert Baumgartner, University of Graz Dr Pontus Cerin, University of Umeå Dr Pauline Deutz, University of Hull Professor Andy Gouldson, University of Leeds Dr Martina Maria Keitsch, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design Emeritus Professor Shobhana Madhaven, University of Westminster Professor Peter Strachan, Aberdeen Business School Professor Arun Sahay, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India Associate Professor Arnim Wiek, Arizona State University
ISDRC CO-CHAIRMANS’ REPORT
17th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference New York, USA, May 2011 Peter Schlosser, Conference Co-Chair Vinton Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Associate Director and Director of Research, The Earth Institute, Columbia University Chair, Earth Institute Faculty email@example.com The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) will hold its 17th annual conference in New York, United States of America, between May 8 and 10, 2011. The 17th annual conference of the International Sustainable Development Research Society is hosted by the Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA in partnership with the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development. Conference theme The conference theme is ‘Moving towards a sustainable future: opportunities and challenges’. Within this theme the 17th International Sustainable Development Research Conference will explore the fundamental question of whether the aspirations of global society to continued growth can be harmonized with the existing limits imposed by Earth’s resource base including mineral reserves, capacity for renewable 6
resources, and ecosystems. ISDRC 17 will explore how progress in the field of sustainable development that can be translated into political action in preparation of the Rio plus 20 conference to be held in 2012. To address this question the conference will explore what it would take to master the challenge of Sustainable Development in a future with increasing constraints under the assumption that developing countries will continue to strive for improvements in their standard of living. At the same time the conference will examine opportunities and mechanisms through which global society can move away from a non-sustainable path towards a sustainable future. Topics of the conference will include discussion of existing and future constraints to population growth and economic development, pathways towards elimination of poverty traps and reduction in gaps of human wellbeing between developing and developed nations, adequacy of political instruments and institutions to meet the challenge of global Sustainable Development, and the capability of global society to change from present value systems and consumption patterns towards life styles that are better synchronized with the available resource base. These discussions will be embedded into a normative and quantitative framework of Sustainable Development that will be explored during the conference. New concepts such as Gross National Happiness and other metrics of long-term sustainable development will be explored. We invite contributions on the nature of the global sustainable development challenge ranging from investigations of fundamental pressures on the natural and socioeconomic systems in a developing world, limits of Earth to support further development, to solutions to the problems created by continuing development of a growing global population. The conference will serve as forum for open and diverse intellectual discourse on these topics with focus on identifying practicable steps towards a sustainable future that are ready for implementation on the local, regional, and global scale. The major themes of the conference are: (1) Pressures on Earth's natural and socioeconomic systems imposed by continued development and their interactions (2) Limits of Earth to support future development (3) Solutions to the problems created by continued development of a growing world population (4) Adequacy of existing local, regional, and global institutions and governing structures to implement policies for a sustainable future (5) Assessment of existing (pilot) programs aimed at moving society towards a sustainable future The theme leaders of the Scientific Committee will organize submissions under these topics into appropriate sessions. Publication of Contributions Contributions to the 17th Annual ISDR Conference will be peer reviewed. Abstracts will be reviewed and the authors will be informed about acceptance as either oral or poster presentation. Papers from the conference will be considered for publication in special issues of international scientific peer reviewed journals organized by the theme leaders and session chairs. 7
Venue of the Conference Morningside Campus, Columbia University, New York, United States of America Expected number of participants: 400-500 Organization Conference Chairs Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University, Earth Institute) Prof. Peter Schlosser (Columbia University, Earth Institute) Scientific Committee Tariq Banuri, United Nations Division for Sustainable Development Pontus Cerin, UmeĂĽ University Robert Chen, Center for International Earth Science Information Network Patricia Culligan, Columbia University Sir Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge Masahiro Kawai, Asian Development Bank Institute Nora Lustig, The Elliott School of International Affairs Rajendra Pachauri, TERI Joanna Rubinstein, The Earth Institute, Columbia University Jeffrey Sachs, The Earth Institute, Columbia University Peter Schlosser, The Earth Institute, Columbia University Delyse Springett, Massey University Mark Swilling, Stellenbosch University Klaus TĂśpfer, Institute of Advanced Studies on Sustainability Laurence Tubiana, Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations Walter Vermeulen, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development Martin Visbeck, Leibniz-Intitute for Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR Richard Welford, ERP Environment Contact Contact by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org For all information http://isdrc2011.columbia.edu Sponsoring developing countries PhD-students PhD-students from developing countries are encouraged to participate and present their research. They may receive sponsorship if their submitted extended abstract has been accepted for presentation at the conference (see conference website for conditions). Program May 8, 2011, Registration, Opening session and theme sessions May 9, 2011 Plenary session and theme sessions May 10, 2011 Plenary session, policy forum and concluding session
ISDRS CONFERENCE LIAISON OFFICER: Science’s Contribution to the Process for Rio+20
Dr Walter J.V. Vermeulen Associate Professor Sustainable Production & Consumption Faculty of Geosciences | Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development Utrecht University email@example.com The ISDRS’s world wide research community has been focusing on the translation of the sustainability challenge into practical action by governments, civil society and front running actors in the market and has built a strong tradition of critically assessing the progress made in these practices. The ISDRS and the Earth Institute at Columbia University are honoured to make our contribution to this scientific enquiry and to the preparatory debates for Rio+20. The preparatory process has already taken off. Find your link into this global debate on the UN CSD website: www.uncsd2012.org. Main themes will include a green economy in the context of sustainable development, poverty eradication and the strengthening of the institutional frameworks for sustainable development. Mr. Sha Zukang, UN Secretary-General of Rio+20, has called 2011 “The Critical Year in the Preparation of Rio+20”. The debates of this year will provide the input to the political agenda in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. As ISDRC 17 delegates, we are gathering in New York at the same time as the UN Commission for Sustainable Development, providing the opportunity for our direct feedback from science to global policy makers. At the 2009 ISDR Conference Tariq Banuri, Director of the Division of Sustainable Development, UNDESA, invited us as members of the global sustainable development research community to bring the most recent knowledge into this process and provide guidance for global policy makers from our research findings: this is our opportunity to do so. We look forward to seeing you in New York, May 8-10, 2011, where this is going to happen.
A small selection of Conference Abstracts is presented here with further Abstracts to be included in Issue 2 (April).
(i) Innovation Through Low Carbon-city Design Dr. Martina Maria Keitsch Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway Martina.Keitsch@adm.aho.no Prof. Geng Yong Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang, China Global warming is a world-wide environmental issue and requires international efforts to abating the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Currently, over half of the population in the world lives in urban areas, and human activities in these areas emit about 75% of CO2 from anthropogenic sources. Cities are the key to the establishment of the low-carbon society. Therefore, creating a “low-carbon city” has become a critical mission for both theoretical research and practical management (Jacobs 1985). While European eco-town projects have shown that industrial and urban metabolism and symbiosis are able to improve resource efficiency by exchanges of wastes and by-products generated from various enterprises, industrial parks, and urban areas, many cities in China are still suffering from resource scarcity and lower resource efficiency. Improving the overall eco-efficiency of Chinese cities through urban symbiosis (regional 3R: reduce-reuse-recycle strategies) and responding to global climate change through creating low carbon cities is essential, and greenhouse gases emission can be reduced by 3R activities. During this process, because of the complexity of urban systems, appropriate evaluation methods and planning proposals for establishing a low-carbon city have to be raised. Starting in the 1970s, the concept of energy and material symbiosis in human society was widely applied to describe the interaction of socioeconomic systems with their environment (e.g., Odum, 1971; Costanza, 1998; Ayres, 2007; Fischer-Kowalski, 1998). This concept also called urban metabolism (UM) can be applied to cities, since they “transform raw materials, fuel, and water into the built environment, human biomass and waste” (Decker et al. 2000). UM provides a means of understanding the sustainable development of cities by drawing analogy with the metabolic processes of organisms. Munda (2008) explored urban sustainability as a multi-dimensional concept, for which he suggests the use of various methods and multi-criteria evaluation as a framework for the assessment of urban sustainability, recognizing that human-dominated systems are special ecological systems, where renewable and nonrenewable resource flows support the growth of complexity under human control (see also Odum, 1996). Urban symbiosis means the use of byproducts (waste) from cities (or urban areas) as alternative raw materials or energy sources for industrial operations. Based on the synergistic opportunity arising from the geographic proximity through the transfer of physical resources (waste materials) for environmental and economic benefit, urban symbiosis is an extension of industrial symbiosis, i.e. to engage traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to exchange materials, energy, water, and/or byproducts (van Berkel, Fujita 2009). Urban symbiosis can improve the overall eco10
efficiency of the whole city through various 3R activities. This is of particular relevance in Chinese cities where the proximity principle, namely, management of waste close to source, is popular (Geng et al., 2010). The other benefit of urban symbiosis is that through regional 3R efforts, more natural resources can be replaced by recyclables and more wastes can be reduced so as to minimize the total wastes to the landfill. Since the extraction of natural resources always consumes a lot of energy, especially fossil fuel based energy in developing cities, such efforts can also reduce the total greenhouse gas emission, helping achieve the target of low carbon cities and promoting local sustainable development. The aim of the presentation is to discuss strategies towards low carbon-city innovation by presenting and evaluating existing methodologies and practices. Innovation has here to two interrelated goals: reducing the urban ecological footprint and designing and maintaining low-carbon infrastructures. We analyze urban metabolism and urban symbiosis approaches in Norway and China and present correlated examples from architecture and site construction. Further, we discuss user involvement methods that focus on infrastructure maintenance in form of citizensâ€™ participation in low-carbon ways of living. The presentation concludes with a summary on what concepts and values low carbon-city innovation entail, and which methods and practices work to achieve it. The presentation provides examples for low carbon-city innovation in Oslo, Norway and Shenyang, China. Norway and China are countries, where economic development and a socio-political focus on the citizensâ€™ consumption behavior are challenged by limited resource availability and ecological carrying capacity. By the same time, both countries are leading in creating low carbon-city innovation. The choice for combining modeling, planning and participatory tools in the presentation is not only to illustrate comprehensive methodologies for complex questions but also to trigger the interest of the participating conference experts for interdisciplinary research and development activities within industrial ecology and sustainable development. For these reasons, this presentation of low carbon-city innovation goes beyond the traditional combination of scientific disciplines, and explores interface and cooperation possibilities between architecture, engineering, industrial design, urbanism and the social sciences.
(ii) China’s transition to green energy systems: the economics of home solar water heaters and their popularization in Dezhou city. Wei Li, Macquarie University Guojun Song, Renmin University of China Ben Ma, Renmin University of China Melanie Beresford, Macquarie University. firstname.lastname@example.org While China is the leading country using solar thermal power, the national installation rate of solar water heaters (SWHs) is estimated at just above 10 per cent. What’s more, SWH popularization progress has grown unevenly in the recent years, characterized by highly successful adoptions in a few regions yet low installation rates across most areas of the country. The central government, however, does little in response to the deployment disparity. Its determination and efforts to promote SWHs are small compared to other top-down centralized projects, such as wind and photovoltaic power generation stations. Under increasing signs of energy shortages, we need to ask what factors contribute to the success of SWH adoption in some regions and what role should the central government play with decentralized bottomup green technology adoptions. The answers are crucial for the analysis of China’s transition to green energy systems. China’s deployment of SWHs shows peculiar elaborations. Concerning environmental protection and energy security, many countries have introduced national regulatory systems to increase green technological innovations and adaptive capacity in the last decades. In this context, current studies mainly focus on investigating the technical, economical and behavioural barriers to SWH deployments, in order to find the most cost-effective policy instruments. China’s case, however, seems to be developing along a different track. Without national regulatory system, several local governments are actively promoting SWH for reasons other than environmental protection or energy security. As these regions have achieved high installation rates without national intervention, some suggest national regulatory system is unnecessary. Other scholars argues more national support should be given to other centralized renewable energy projects, which are easier to manage and can achieve targets more effectively. These policy discussions reflect the optimistic attitude towards China’s future SWH deployments. While SWH have gained considerable success in some regions, what lessons can be learnt and whether their experience can be duplicated by other regions remains unclear. Using Dezhou as a case study, this paper presents new angles on analyzing China’s SWH deployments by addressing both the economical potentiality and the institutional capacity. Dezhou’s case is worth studying for at least two reasons. First, Dezhou has been one of China’s leading cities in adopting home SWHs, with staggering urban and rural installation rates of 75.4 and 15 per cent, respectively. High installation rates provide a unique opportunity to study the economics of SWHs and the transition to renewable energy in urban China. Second, in contrast to widely recognized views that low solar endowments and high capital costs of solar technologies are among the main non-technical barriers to solar energy, Dezhou managed to popularize SWHs when both solar radiation and per capita income were 12
around China’s national average. Thus, analyzing Dezhou’s SWH popularization can provide more insights and lessons for both researchers and policy makers. Our research was facilitated by Dezhou municipal government’s commissioning the Institute of Environmental Policy and Planning (Renmin University) to draft Dezhou’s low carbon economy development plan. Thus, we gained support and cooperation from various bureaus in Dezhou. Having understood our intention, they not only supplied us with all possible documentary materials, but also made very valuable suggestions and explanations available to facilitate our research. We visited Dezhou four times, conducting site observations and over 20 semi-structured face-toface interviews with governmental officials. In addition, we conducted 67 surveys in urban Dezhou and 25 surveys in rural Dezhou. Although the total quantity is not high, every survey was conducted face-to-face, consisting of multiple choice and openended questions, in order to investigate the domestic usage of SWHs in detail. Based on the combination of statistical data and first-hand hot water usage data collected from interviews, we calculate that, considering the current domestic electricity rate, the annual electricity savings for a typical three-person household to install a SWH is around 304 yuan, and the accumulated total costs of electrical water heaters will exceed SWHs from the fourth year after installation. In addition, we estimate that a 1 m2 collector area of SWH will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 199.6 kg. In sum, it makes economic sense for households to install SWHs. Expanding the analysis beyond economics, this paper then focuses on the institutional dimension of SWH adoptions. This angle has received little attention in the literature, despite its importance. By taking an distinctly institutionalist approach, the evolving roles of five actors, including the central government, solar industry, Dezhou municipal government, end users, and SWH dealers, in establishing and maintaining a robust SWH policy regime are carefully studied. It is found that Dezhou’s high installation rate is driven by an urge to develop business and the local economy and a result of the main actors forming positive interrelationships with each other. In particular, there are certain unique factors lying in Dezhou’s success: the timing of Dezhou’s SWH industries development, the big manufacturers’ market leadership in SWH innovations, local government’s increased support for SWH industries after the economic restructuring period, a tight private enterprise and local government relation, a geographical location within the SWH industrial belt, the adaptive attitude of Dezhou’s households towards resource scarcity, and a strong network of maintenance services. These institutional arrangements, which might be difficult to duplicate, have consequently increased the ability and intent of local officials to enacted local SWH popularization policies and implement them effectively, enhanced solar industry’s competiveness, and influenced the adaptive capacity of the general public. Finally, we suggest that, although SWH deployment requires a bottom-up decentralized approach, it does not mean central interventions should be abandoned. During the transition to greener energy systems, central government should have diversified its roles as an administrator in centralized top-down technology deployment to an initiator and regulator of frameworks wherein sectors can function properly in the market with decentralized bottom-up green technology adoptions. This has also called for more determination from the central government towards decentralized green technologies.
(iii) Governing the future: Danish biogas development Rikke LybĂŚk & Thomas Budde Christensen, Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change (ENSPAC), University of Roskilde (RUC), Denmark email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org The political goals for the biogas sector in Denmark are, according to the Danish Governmentâ€™s Green Growth Strategy from 2009, that 50% of animal manure must be digested in 2020, contributing to 20 peta joules (PJ). Another political goal is formulated in the Danish Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) from 2010, and aim to achieve a 30 % renewable energy implementation by 2020, with 12 PJ being biogas relative to 4 PJ in 2009. This paper thus discusses the options for speeding up the development of the biogas technology, to move towards the political targets set forth. It outlines the technology and process optimizations required, the plant feasibility needed and the organizational and market enhancements that are necessary to develop in the future to reach the political goals for the biogas sector in Denmark. The paper deduces the need for enhancing the business concept of biogas plants to reduce the capital costs, as for instance technical turn-key solutions instead of expensive customized solutions. It also points to future process and technical improvements required to operate the plants on manure only, caused by the lack of industrial biomass waste. Thus, new types of gas boosters (enzymes, biomass etc.) must be developed, just as higher focus on methane losses in stables, more optimal operation temperatures and longer retention time in reactor tanks will be required to digest the biomass resources more efficient in the future. New organizational models for implementing the technology are likewise addressed, e.g. piping of manure from smaller plants to a larger centralized plant, or upgrading the biogas to natural gas standards to supply the energy through the natural gas pipelines, etc. A larger systemintegration with the agricultural sector are also a necessity, in order to secure the supply of biomass and to fully exploit these multi-functional plants; not only handling a waste problem (manure) but producing renewable energy, fertilizer and other byproducts while at the same time creating economic and environmental benefits for the local community.
(iv) Public Participation and Social Sustainability of High-rise Apartment Buildings of Dhaka City, Bangladesh Sheikh Rubaiya Sultana Department of ArchitectureBRAC University, 66 Mohakhali C/A Dhaka â€“ 1212, Bangladesh email@example.com For two decades, the burgeoning high-rise residential culture has changed the tradition of urbanization and urban dwellings in Dhaka city. It is, to all intents and purposes, a new dimension in our urban life. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh has a long history and tradition of urbanization and urban dwellings. The high-rise residential development is very much the outcome of rapid urbanization and fast population-growth. The transformation of space from low-rise to high-rise has had a 14
tremendous impact on the form and structure of today’s Dhaka city. This high-rise urban dwelling style has ushered in a new socio-cultural era in Dhaka, which is significantly different from that of the past. Some high-rise residential buildings are just for living with little scope for social interactions and social gatherings. This scenario is not compatible with our traditional culture. It ignores our social values such as sense of community, neighborliness and friendliness. We need to understand the quality of community space and strive constantly to pursue it. Maintaining traditional socio-spatial pattern helps retain our legacy of social harmony and social bond. Socially sustainable community requires good social and physical space as a means to social interaction, active community participation and co-operation through community based social organization. Like many other countries, in Dhaka city, the scarcity of land has turned space from horizontal to vertical direction. Traditional open space is now in a built form. Having no other alternative, people are trying to get themselves accustomed with the new approach of life by forgetting about the old practices and culture in this respect. The high-rise apartment buildings are now considered as a community within the community. However, the question is whether the community space is enough for making the community socially sustainable and harmonious with the Bengali culture. So it is important to figure out the essentials, which can make these high-rise apartment buildings more sustainable and more harmonious with the people’s culture. An initiative is essential. A community based social organization can be a driving force for making the community more socially sustainable. ‘Eastern Point’ and ‘Karnophuli Garden City’ are two high-rise residential apartment buildings in Dhaka with this spirit and modus operandi. They have space and social organization named “co-operative society”. These two buildings are the case studies to analyze the spatial and social positions and to examine whether quality community space and strong social organization can help promote socially sustainable community within high-rise apartment buildings in Bangladesh. The main focus is to analyze the spatial organization of the community space of high-rise apartment buildings in relation to the high-rise community based organization that are responsible for managing, maintaining and keeping the social harmony through various active performances. With these assumptions, a conceptual framework has been developed based on relevant theories and concepts. The paper will try to analyze the socio-spatial context of high-rise apartment buildings and evaluate the findings regarding the issue of social sustainability. Two high-rise apartment buildings in Dhaka city have been chosen (one with quality community space and active social organization and the other with community space but without active social organization). The paper will try to show how quality community space and active social organization can maintain and promote social sustainability within high-rise apartment buildings in Dhaka city of Bangladesh.
(v) Sustainability within the local public sector – An integrative approach Prof. Dr. Harald Heinrichs and Carolin Oppenrieder, MA Leuphana University Lüneburg Institute of Sustainability Governance & Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Communication firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com There is a striking imbalance between private and public sector organisations regarding both respective research and the implementation of measures that support sustainable development. Meanwhile, 85% of the fortune 500 companies are implementing sustainability management strategies and programs and report on sustainability issues according to the indicators of the Global Reporting Initiative, the systematic institutionalization of sustainability approaches in the public sector is still in its infancy. Even though some countries have developed national sustainability strategies, programs and realized some institutional innovations over the past years, a consistent institutional framework for sustainable development, which goes beyond environmental sustainability towards an integrative model aiming at the cooptimization of economic, social and ecological developments has not been realized on the different policy levels from subnational to international. In order to facilitate the institutionalisation of sustainability policies, scientists and practitioners often advocate for a „bottom up sustainability“ emphasizing the relevance of the local level. Three generally unconnected developments at the local level, in Germany as well as in other countries, can be observed: 1. Efforts to foster sustainability focus on social and environmental aspects and are characterised by LA21 programmes and environmental management instruments. 2. Endeavours to modernise the public sector aim at improving its efficiency, effectiveness, professionalism, representativity and its democratic character. 3. Reacting to massive financial distress and the lack of transparency in local budgets, the German interior ministers decided to switch the accounting method of the public sector to double entry accounting. So far there is no concept of integrated sustainability governance in municipalities that accounts for environmental protection, community well-being and economic prosperity equally and that focuses on administrative functions as well as on intraorganisational aspects of sustainable public sector organisations. Within a problemoriented, inter- and transdisciplinary study, involving local administrations, we currently explore the development of such an integrative concept of local administrative sustainability governance, achieved through the conjunction of insights from corporate sustainability management, administrative modernisation and public sector accounting within its local political contexts. In our presentation we will focus on our conceptual-analytical framework and we will discuss the technical, political and organisational-sociological requirements for the successful implementation of the concept of integrated sustainability governance for local administrations within the context of multilevel governance for sustainable development.
(vi) Renewable energy villages and regions in Germany: The Goettingen approach of sustainability science in action Dipl.-Geogr. André Wueste, Prof. Dr. Peter Schmuck Interdisciplinary Centre of Sustainable Development, University of Goettingen, Germany Andre.Wueste@geo.uni-goettingen.de Regarding a safe and sustainable energy supply, an increasing use of renewable energy is necessary. In addition to the fluctuating energy of wind, sun and water, bioenergy may contribute a stable offer of heat and electricity. Therefore, it is actually a very important part in the renewable energy mix of Germany. Currently there are about 5000 biogas plants in the rural areas of Germany. Consequently a growing number of people feel affected directly or indirectly by this increasing development of bioenergy utilisation. In many cases, however, bioenergy plants are built mainly under economic aspects, without involving the local population and other stakeholders. Increasing fears caused by a lack of information’s to the local population often lead to conflicts, resistance and a declining acceptance with regard to bioenergy projects. An important element of a socially acceptable usage of bioenergy is the involvement of the local population and other local stakeholders during the implementation of a bioenergy project. In this context a very successful and sustainable opportunity to convert the energy supply from fossil fuels to biomass of a small town or village by involving the residents in planning, funding and implementation is the “bioenergy village" concept. In 2000 the first bioenergy village has been initiated as an action research project by a scientist team from the University of Goettingen and was realized by the residents of the village Juehnde in southern Lower Saxony. Meanwhile there are about 50 established bioenergy villages in Germany. In the context of the ongoing interdisciplinary research project “Sustainable use of bioenergy – Bridging conflicting demands of climate stabilization, resource conservation, society and economy”, funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (from 2009-2012), we analyze the social acceptance for bioenergy utilization and the success factors for the establishment of decentralized, communal bioenergy projects like bioenergy villages with the goal of applying these factors in own action research. The Goettingen approach of sustainability science is based on a multi-step procedure, generally starting with a problem analysis, formulating a sustainable solution, implementing that solution in a pilot project, transferring the solution and analyzing the consequences of the new alternative as compare to traditional paths. Here we focus on some of these steps: 1. A qualitative interview study analyzes the success factors for the establishment of decentralized, communal bioenergy projects. The interviews were accomplished with initiators or participants in 25 bioenergy villages in Germany. This study focuses the question how to convince people to participate in a communal bioenergy project and the changes of individual and 17
social well-being during the process of planning a bioenergy village. The interview study was analyzed using the Grounded Theory method. The results of the interviews show, that there are different ways to achieve a selfsustaining village or town with complete supply of electricity and heat based on local renewable energy. 2. A quantitative study using a standardized questionnaire focuses on the attitudes of 800 inhabitants in the rural area of Germany and Austria concerning bioenergy. In the second part, a transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary action research project will realize the development of three counties of Lower Saxony (Hannover, Goslar and Wolfenbuettel) to integrative bioenergy regions by supporting sustainable bioenergy projects in cooperation with all local participants. In moderated â€œplanningworkshopsâ€? the scientists team is discussing the opportunities of a sustainable usage of bioenergy and other renewable energies in this three counties with all important stakeholders, e.g. the county administration, conservationists, farmers, local politicians, citizensâ€™ initiatives, tourism organizations etc. The stakeholders are formulating their own goals, developing new projects and discussing the way to realize these ideas, supported by the scientists with specific information. In the finishing phase of the action research, interviews with the stakeholders in this regions will focus on success factors and problems of the action research procedure itself to enable the transfer of the positive aspects of the procedural know how to other regions in Germany and worldwide. Results from the interview study, the questionnaire study and the action research activities will be reported at the conference.
Short articles on a broad range of themes associated with sustainable development were invited from ISDRS Board members and other friends and supporters of the Society. The first of these are published here, with others to appear in Issue 2.
(i) Business simulation for education and training on sustainability management Prof. Dr. Rupert J. Baumgartner Institute for Systems Science, Innovation and Sustainability Research University of Graz, Austria firstname.lastname@example.org If a sustainable society is to be realized, we have to rely on capabilities and actions from the business sector, too. Corporations have cognitive resources, technologies and skills which can be used to contribute positively to a sustainable transition. Some corporations engage directly in sustainability related activities, many others will need regulations and incentives. Regardless of its motivation a corporation has to organize, structure and to embed sustainability related actions into its activities, strategies and routines, i.e. into its management systems. An important aspect of any management initiative is to train and to educate employees. One possible way to do this is to use management games and simulation as they allow the learning and training of new competencies (Hoffmann (2009)). An advantage compared to classical leaning approaches is the possibility to repeat the learning content easily and the possibility to learn and test new competences virtually; this virtual learning and testing allows also failing without facing real problems. Sustainability management has special challenges: to integrate externalities, avoid/reduce negative social and environmental impacts and identify opportunities caused by a (more) sustainable behavior are central aspects for sustainability management. These aspects have to be regarded in any sustainability oriented business training. To enable education and to train on sustainability management, a management game called “sustainability manager” was developed in an interdisciplinary team of researcher, consultants and practitioners. This paper summaries the key features of this business simulation and reflects the experiences of the application of this management game in several training situations in masters courses at Universities and in executive manager education. This management game is based on a business simulation, i.e. a virtual company is modeled using web technology and soft computing approaches. The business simulation includes strategic aspects, organizational structure of the company, and material, energy and cost data. The virtual company in this business simulation produces small light-weight cars and has 150 employees. The player is asked to make all relevant and necessary management decisions (like to decide upon the price of cars, number of cars produced, purchasing of raw materials, hiring of employees, …) and to choose other management actions (like implementing a management system, training of employees, …). The consequences of these decision and actions are made 19
visible with indicators; the indicators are grouped according to Sustainable Development in economic, environmental and social indicators. The relation between decisions, actions and their impacts is modeled in the enterprise model. This enterprise model is structured according to Porters value chain framework (Porter, 1995)). An important step in the development of this management game was to concretize sustainability management. Starting point were experiences of the development team in numerous consulting projects regarding sustainability and an extensive literature review regarding corporate sustainability management and CSR, especially using the principles for sustainability from the framework for strategic sustainable development (RobĂ¨rt, 2002). We incorporated economic, environmental and social sustainability aspects into the management game. Examples for the economic dimensions are innovation and technology management, collaboration with stakeholder and partners, knowledge management, processes, purchase or sustainability reporting. Examples for the environmental aspects are the use of resources (materials, energy) including use of recycled resources, emissions into the air, water or ground, waste and hazardous waste, biodiversity and environmental issues of the product. Social aspects are divided into internal social aspects like corporate governance, motivation and incentives, health and safety, and human capital development; external social aspects are ethical behavior and human rights, avoidance of controversial activities, avoidance of corruption and cartel and corporate citizenship (Baumgartner, R.J., Ebner, D., 2010; GRI, 2006; Labuschagne, C. et al., 2005; Labuschagne, C. et al., 2006). The goal for the player is to run the virtual company in the best sustainable way. The enterprise model of this game simulates the effects of the decisions in one game period (e.g. one month), calculates sustainability indicators and shows the development of the company in the dimensions of economy, environmental and social aspects. After reviewing this feedback the player has to take decisions for the next period. So in fast motion the long term effects of decisions and their impact on sustainability performance are demonstrated. So the player learns to understand the essential aspects of sustainable management and is enabled to develop strategies for his or her (future) company. Using this management game can be compared to solving a case study with a realistic background of a company, in which the player has to take all relevant decision regarding strategy, eco-efficient process design, selection of raw materials, or organization of work, products and prices. Playing this management game, key qualifications like responsibility, team work, communication, creativity and flexibility are trained and improved (usually teams of 2-3 people are playing with the sustainability manager). Factual as well as strategic learning is addressed and the participants are trained to think in sustainable alternatives. References Baumgartner, Rupert J.; Ebner, Daniela (2010): Corporpate sustainability strategies: profiles and maturity system. In: Sustainable Development, Vol. 18, Nr. 2, pp. 76-89
GRI (2006): Sustainability Reporting Guidelines - G3, Amsterdam: GRI. URL: http://www.globalreporting.org/NR/rdonlyres/ED9E9B36-AB54-4DE1-BFF25F735235CA44/0/G3_GuidelinesENU.pdf [01/28/2011]. Hoffmann, L. (2009): Learning Through Games. In: Communications of the ACM, Vol. 52, No. 8 Labuschagne, C.; Brent, A.C. (2006): Social Indicators for Sustainable Project and Technology Life Cycle Management in the Process Industry. In: International Journal of Life-Cycle Assessment, Vol. 11, Nr. 1, pp. 3-15. Labuschagne, C.; Brent, A.C.; van Erck, R. (2005): Assessing the sustainability performance of industries. In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 13, Nr. 4, pp. 373-385. Porter, M.E. (1985): Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. New York: Free Press Robèrt, K.-H. et al. (2002): Strategic sustainable development - selection, design and synergies of applied tools. In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 10, Nr. 3, S. 197-214
(ii) Diverting design: the realities of zero waste UK style and the role of eco-design in achieving them Dr Pauline Deutz Department of Geography Dr Gareth Neighbour Department of Engineering University of Hull Hull HU6 7RX email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ever since the EU Commission became interested in waste management in the 1970s, the guiding principle of European Union (EU) waste policy has been diverting waste from landfill. In a world predating eco-tax, when externalities were just that, landfills were to the waste stream as the sea is to a river. Designed both for environmental protection on an operational temporal-spatial scale and to limit climate change culpable methane emissions from decomposing organic matter, the principle of waste diversion was arguably ahead of its time. Even then, however, it was recognised that the most sustainable option for waste would be to produce less of it. The by now almost clichéd waste hierarchy (which first appeared in 1975) has waste reduction at its pinnacle. Nonetheless, attention has been focused on the recycling and recovery stratum in the hierarchy (Price and Joseph, 2000). Recycling does of course require public participation, but not a fundamental change in lifestyle – a modest change in disposal practices in an unconscious exchange for maintaining consumption practices. Apparently a sign of progress towards a more sustainability aware future, however, UK policy makers have begun to speak of zero waste. We will first examine what is meant by zero waste in this context, and will then look at the role that eco-design can play in promoting it.
Driven by the firm hand of EU regulations, extraordinary progress has been made in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill in the UK (from 84 % of municipal solid waste in 1998 to 55 % in 20081. Achieving this has been challenging for local authorities, to whom was passed the responsibility for meeting the national targets. The public are faced now with a rainbow of recyclables and residual receptacles and in many parts of the country have adjusted to a halving of the frequency of, dare we say, rubbish collection. The UK has gone from having one of the highest landfill dependencies in the EU to a relatively unexceptional one (the average for the EU being estimated currently at 40 %2). Building on this success, the Government announced a waste consultation on 15th June 2010 with the ambitious aim of achieving a “zero waste economy”3. Sadly, a fairly cursory inspection of the terms of reference reveals that whilst waste prevention is considered, the “zero” refers only to the amount of waste to be sent to landfill – not, in fact, a society with no waste. The proposals speak of ensuring that resources are “fully valued”4, a consideration in incentivising material recovery and recycling. A truly “zero waste” society would be the nirvana of sustainable development. But substantially reducing, let alone eliminating, waste would imply reducing, and/or rationalising, consumption. How awkward this would be in an economy founded on selling goods and services for profit! Nevertheless, the “zero waste” policy is an ambitious one. The softer options for increasing recycling and recovery rates are likely to have been attempted already. For example, many local authorities have introduced green waste collections and set up (likely via their waste contractor) a composting scheme. This directly helps with meeting targets to divert biodegradable waste from landfill, and enables the overall recovery rate to increase without a comparable increase in collection rates for non-biodegradable waste streams. It is testament to the efforts of local authorities and waste management companies that zero waste (to landfill) seems a lofty, but not ludicrous, goal (give or take the acknowledged issue of residue from other waste disposal/treatment options). Ultimately, the problem for collection and disposal organisations (be they public or privately owned) is that they have no control of the composition and quality of the waste stream presented to them (Deutz et al., 2010). Even within the constraints of a capitalist economy, a more far sighted approach than hitherto attempted is needed to make significant progress in diverting waste from landfill. In a rather more sustainable society than we have at present, the value of a good would be closely tied to its usefulness in supporting a comfortable, healthy, environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Presently perceived use value is influenced strongly by the dictates of fashion, in a broad sense, entwined with the constant drive for growth and innovation. Thus, considering also the packaging requirements of often global scale trade, for many goods design with a sustainable disposal strategy in mind would be the most effective contribution to promoting sustainability. In keeping with the existing 1
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/waste/data/sectors/municipal_waste last updated 11/03/2010 accessed 2 February 2011 2
http://engage.defra.gov.uk/waste-review/disposal/ accessed 2 February 2011.
http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/news/2010/06/15/waste-policy-review/ accessed 2 February 2011.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/waste-review/100729-waste-review-background.pdf accessed 2 February 2011
priorities of EU waste policy, and the climate change imperative, a low carbon disposal option is likely to be the favoured one. Eco-design has been recognised as a potential point of policy intervention in product life cycles. To date, however, notwithstanding lip service to eco-design in waste strategy documents (e.g., DEFRA, 2007), the regulatory drivers are weak and restricted to specific waste streams. And eco-design in practice appears seldom to go beyond requirements (e.g., Boks, 2011). A fundamental shift in practice is required which makes sustainability considerations central to design and accepted as an unquestioned norm. This likely requires regulations which tackles not just environmental considerations, but which also engage with, and promote the use of, best practice in design (Deutz et al., 2010). Conceptually, product design should occupy a broad design space, which is to say that the number of options considered should be as large as possible, in order to increase the possibility of finding a design outcome that balances the requirements of the product in question (Dym and Little, 2004). Sustainability considerations, often likely synonymous with a low carbon disposal strategy, should be a core requirement. For example, material selection could include consideration of potential energy recovery from thermal treatment options, or ease of separation of materials suitable for treatments such as anaerobic digestion. Waste management in the UK and many other countries has undergone a great change in the last generation. Alongside improvements to disposal practices, a remarkable shift has occurred in both policy and public opinion in favour of alternatives to landfill. Further progress is likely to be increasingly difficult, ultimately requiring a fundamental change in approach from the present one, which acknowledges the potential for eco-design to make a contribution, whilst focusing on dealing with waste arising. A regulatory backed requirement for design to incorporate sustainable (e.g., low carbon) disposal, could greatly enhance the potential financial and environmental benefits from non-landfill disposal options. This design shift should be of benefit not just to (post-) industrial countries with reasonable well defined waste management systems, but also to industrialising countries needing to devise sustainable waste management strategies with extremely tightly constrained budgets. References Boks C. 2006. The soft side of eco-design. Journal of Cleaner Production 14: 1346â€“ 1356. DEFRA. 2007. Waste Strategy for England 2007. DEFRA: London. Deutz P, Neighbour, G, McGuire M. 2010 Integrating Sustainable Waste Management into Product Design: Sustainability as a Functional Requirement. Sustainable Development 18 229-239 Dym CL, Little P 2004 Engineering Design (2nd ed). Wiley: London Price J, Joseph J. 2000 Demand management â€” a basis for waste policy, a critical review of the applicability of the waste hierarchy in terms of achieving sustainable waste management. Sustainable Development 8 96-106.
(iii) Transitioning towards a low carbon economy? Professor Andy Gouldson Director - Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy Sustainability Research Institute School of Earth and Environment University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. E-mail: email@example.com Dr Helen Harwatt Sustainability Research Institute University of Leeds Associate of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Introduction There is a lot of technological and economic optimism in many assessments of the prospects for a low carbon economy. A common theme in the IPCC’s 4th assessment report, in the Stern Review, in the International Energy Agency’s scenario planning exercises, and in numerous other analyses is that it is both possible and desirable to manage energy demand and to shift supply as we make the transition to a low carbon economy. At least in some settings, these analyses and the optimism that they have created have been influential. In the UK, for example, they underpinned the adoption of the 2008 Climate Change Act that commits the country to 34% reductions on 1990 levels of greenhouse emissions by 2020 and to 80% reductions by 2050 (the EU and numerous other countries have subsequently adopted similar targets). With modest levels of economic growth, this implies a near total decarbonisation of every unit of GDP produced (or at least consumed) within 40 years. It is probably fair to say that beyond the numerous scenario planning exercises that are currently underway, the full implications of this have yet to sink in. Groundtruthing Whilst technological and economic optimism have played a critically important role in enabling political action on climate change, the assumptions that underpin them are not always fully debated. There is therefore a need to ‘groundtruth’ the models, the predictions that they make and the policies that they inform. The research discussed in this article – which is currently underway - aims to do just this, focusing particularly on business-level perspectives on energy and the transition to a low carbon economy. How much faith do businesses have in climate science, how committed are they to managing energy and reducing carbon footprints, how willing and able to invest are they at present, and where do they think they’ll get to by 2020 and beyond? As part of the Centre for Low Carbon Futures (www.clcf.org) and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (www.cccep.ac.uk), we have been running an on-line survey and an associated choice experiment to examine these issues. Both have been designed to measure how much of a reduction in energy use/carbon footprint businesses realistically expect to secure between now and 2020, through
what forms of change these savings are anticipated and what the main barriers and drivers are regarding their expectations. The research is ongoing, however this article reports preliminary findings from surveys completed between September and November 2010. Preliminary results Rather surprisingly, given recent controversies, the majority of those sampled so far showed high or very high levels of confidence in climate science. However, the credibility of the government’s 34% carbon reduction target for 2020 was an issue, and many organisations lacked confidence in the 2050 carbon reduction target of 80%. Whilst recognising that credibility takes time to emerge, Stern (2006) warned of the potential impacts of a lack of confidence in climate policies – particularly through overinvestment in high carbon options, which would make subsequent carbon reductions much more difficult and expensive to secure. Encouragingly, energy management was given a fairly high priority at board level with lots of confidence in the economic opportunities related to carbon reduction options. However, for the majority of the sample, access to capital and management time was a barrier to exploring the potential posed by such opportunities. The IPCC recognise that whilst carbon reduction technologies can provide attractive rates of return, the up-front capital costs of investments can be a significant barrier to uptake. The IPCC state that governments have a crucial role in supporting the transition towards a low carbon economy by providing appropriate and enabling institutional, policy, legal and regulatory frameworks to sustain investment flows. This is particularly evident in the capitally constrained post-financial crisis world – but whether the current UK government is willing to play this enabling role is far from clear. Awareness of low carbon technology options was high or very high amongst the majority of the sample, as was the willingness to adopt them. Whilst the prospects for incremental change were good, it appears that there are potentially many missed opportunities to implement cost effective carbon reduction options with an estimated uptake of only 59% of the technologically and economically viable options by 2020. This is some way short of the targets for up-take assumed in the ‘success scenarios’ of some models – and we have to acknowledge both that the survey respondents are likely to be from the more engaged organisations and that expectations do not always translate into reality. The prospects for radical change were perceived to be much lower than those for operational change. This reflects the view that whilst many organisations are reasonably clear about what will get them to 20 or 30% levels of decarbonisation, they have very little idea of what an 80% decarbonised business will look like. There seems to be a real danger then that organisations will make some progress by exploiting the easier options that may be available through to 2020 but will then grind to a halt when asked to make deeper and more challenging changes. A key question then is what can be done now to build capacities for deeper change later on – for example by strengthening the social consensus that underpins the targets or by articulating clearer visions of radically decarbonised businesses, economies and societies.
Conclusions Although the research is at a relatively preliminary stage, so far the results suggest that businesses are engaged with carbon reduction options and have the foundations for change to some extent. However, there are significant barriers to maximising adoption – even over the next ten-year period when progress ought to be relatively easy. Such barriers to change are significant. Although their significance was recognised by the Stern Review, it is often overlooked in models and in many more technical analyses and in many policy frameworks. This raises some critical questions about policies for the low carbon economy – if behaviour is embedded and barriers to change are significant, then the regulations and the incentives needed to change behaviour have to be much higher, and higher than it is often politically possible to secure. But if capacities are built, then gentler regulations and weaker incentives will still be effective, as well as being much more politically and socially acceptable. We see then a key role for new forms of capacity building in the policy mix – and this is an area that we are actively exploring as the research unfolds. References Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007a) Bernstein, L., J. Roy, K. C. Delhotal, J. Harnisch, R. Matsuhashi, L. Price, K. Tanaka, E. Worrell, F. Yamba, Z. Fengqi: Industry. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007b) Summary for Policymakers. In Climate change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave, L. A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. International Energy Agency (IEA) (2008) Energy Technology Perspectives. Strategies and Scenarios to 2050. Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) (2008) Climate Change Act 2008. Stern (2006) Stern review on the economics of climate change.
(iv) Sustainable urban design: Current trends in Europe and the United States Dr. Martina Maria Keitsch Oslo School of Architecture and Design Norway Martina.Keitsch@adm.aho.no Sustainability is one of the main challenges for urban design and planning in the 21st century. Sustainable development in urban planning is defined among others as "…development that improves the long-term social and ecological health of cities and towns" (Wheeler, 1998). Features of sustainable urban design and planning include among others: efficient resource use; less pollution and waste; efficient land use; the restoration of natural systems; good housing and living environments; a healthy social ecology; community participation and involvement; and preservation of local culture and knowledge. Two important trends in current sustainable urban design activities are urban symbiosis and citizens’ involvement. Urban symbiosis5 is natural science and technology oriented and aims to improve the overall eco-efficiency of a city through various 3R (reduce-reuse-recycle) activities. Through regional 3R efforts, natural resources can be replaced by recyclables and waste can be reduced to minimize the total wastes to the landfill. Since the extraction of natural resources always consumes energy, urban symbiosis strategies can also reduce the total greenhouse gas emission, helping to achieve the target of low carbon cities. Projects in Europe and the U.S. have shown that urban symbiosis can improve resource efficiency by exchanges of wastes and by-products generated from various enterprises, industrial parks, and urban activities. European initiatives of urban symbiosis are among others presented in projects such as ‘Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe’ (SUME 2009) and BRIDGE (2009) ‘Sustainable Urban Planning Decision Support Accounting for Urban Metabolism’. An exemplary project in the U.S. is the ‘Urban metabolism model’ developed for the New Orleans Office of Recovery Management (CDM) in cooperation with among others the School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The model simulates the impacts of reconstruction over time, using metrics such as economic costs, resource consumption (energy, material, and water), level of dependency on external energy sources, waste generation and salvaged materials, job creation, and protection against disasters (Quinn 2007). Common for all projects that adapt urban metabolism or urban symbiosis is that they analyze metabolic profiles and suggest pathways for cities and urban areas towards a sustainable development. The second trend, citizens’ involvement, utilitizes soft skills for eco-city planning by applying qualitative, social science methods. Goals are: improving public participation, citizens’ initiatives, and citizens’ ecological awareness. Involvement strategies shall contribute to understand and express cultural identity, develop and
Urban metabolism provides methods for understanding metabolic pathways in cities (Beatley, 2011, p.56) while urban symbiosis provides strategies for improving them.
maintain responsibility for the environment, as well as motivate changes of consumption behavior. Within the triple bottom line, citizens’ involvement relates to a social sustainable development. It also has a political dimension, being enlisted as a strategy for increasing user empowerment and democratization (Bjerknes and Bratteteig, 1995). One pragmatic result of citizens’ involvement in the U.S. is the Collaborative Planning and Public Participation approach (Innes & Booher 2000). In California collaborative initiatives are using interactive web sites, spatial analysis tools including GIS (general information system, displaying e.g. spatial spread of pollution or resource use), simulation, and multimedia resource centers to facilitate citizens involvement (ibid. p.25). Experiences in Seattle have shown that successful collaborative planning achieve better outcomes by making policy planners aware of the public’s needs and preferences and by using local knowledge to inform projects (Sirinanni 2007). The brief indications of the above mentioned trends point in summary to the importance of combined technological and collective approaches. Further they emphasize the necessity of including individuals, their perspectives and expertise methodologically in planning processes. 6 Answers as to how people in cities can interact durably with natural environment require cooperation between natural sciences, engineering, socio-political and cultural sciences as well as active dialogues between scientists and policy makers. Moreover, in sustainable city development, pragmatic expert solutions, although an essential and vital part of the planning process, are never sufficient alone if the goal is to reach acceptance of and societal participation in long-term sustainability goals.
Oslo, Green Capital, www.miljoportalen.no
This is also emphasized in the principle 1 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Sustainability (1992) which states: ‘Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to healthy and productive life in harmony with nature’.
References Beatley, T., (2011) Biophilic cities, Island Press, Washington Bjerknes, G. & T. Bratteteig (1995): User Participation and Democracy. A Discussion of Scandinavian Research on System Development, Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 7 no 1, April 1995, pp. 73-98 Innes, J.& Booher, D.E. (200), Public Participation in Planning: New Strategies for the 21st Century, IURD Working Paper Series, Center for Collaborative Policy, California State University, Sacramento C.A., J. Cuddihy, & J. Engel Yan (2007). The changing metabolism of cities, Journal of Industrial Ecology. 11, p34-59 [doi:10.1162/jiec.0.1107][www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jiec.0.11 07]. Sirianni, C. (2007), Neighborhood Planning as Collaborative Democratic Design, The Case of Seattle,” Journal of the American Institute of Planners, Autumn 2007, Vol. 73, No 4 Wheeler, S. (1998) Planning Sustainable and Livable Cities, Routledge, New York Webpages Urban metabolism New Orleans, D.Quinn. http://web.mit.edu/djq/Public/Thesis/2007 April Holcim DQ.pdf SUME: http://www.sume.at/ BRIDGE http://www.bridge-fp7.eu/ Oslo Kommune, Miljøportalen, www.miljoportalen.no Rio Declaration on Environment and Sustainability (1992) http://www.cfam.org/docLin/2008-625_Rio_Declaration_on_Environment.pd
(v) Ideological Struggle: Sustainable Development in the Business Studies Curriculum7 Dr Delyse Springett Honorary Research Associate - Business and Sustainable Development Massey University New Zealand D.V.Springett@massey.ac.nz This article is the first of two addressing the ideological struggle that education for sustainable development in the business studies curriculum represents. It focuses on the critical perspectives and pedagogical choices made in my own teaching at postgraduate level from 1994-2010. The second article, to be published in the next issue of the Newsletter, turns to praxis. The two articles call for education that ‘makes a difference’ through a critical theorization that frames the goals, structure, curriculum content and pedagogical choices made, shaping the overall process of planning and action, monitoring and reflection (Springett, 2005). I argue that an approach to education for sustainable development that is robust enough to drive teaching about business and sustainability calls for a critical 7
The article draws on Springett, D.V. (2010) Ideological Struggle as a Basis for Discourse: Education for Sustainable Development in the Business Studies Curriculum in Jones, P., D. Selby and S. Sterling, Sustainability Education: Perspectives and Practice Across Higher Education. London: Earthscan, pp75-92.
theorization, wherein lies the crux of a problem. Critical perspectives on sustainability and sustainable development reveal the theoretical underpinnings of corporate rationality that have played a part in relegating environmental and social issues to the level of ‘externalities’, while the part that traditional business education has itself played in supporting that hegemony is exposed. Hence, introducing structural issues and the politics of sustainability into the business studies curriculum remains problematic: it represents an ideological struggle that strikes at the ‘legitimacy’ and legacy of orthodox management theory (Springett and Kearins, 2001). Like sustainability itself, such a perspective steps outside mainstream orthodoxy. Yet it might be argued that there is no more important disciplinary platform for sustainability studies than educating our corporate leaders and managers of the future to become agents of the turn to sustainability, a role that has sometimes been claimed for them (Hawken, 1993). Part of the ‘problem’ in introducing a critical curriculum theorization is that it is openly ideological. However, that is not to say that the intention is to co-opt students to a particular perspective. The goals are emancipatory, intended to foster a healthy scepticism and a habit of critical inquiry that themselves prevent such capture. The goal is to involve learners in thinking through both personal and broader societal issues; to ‘hold a mirror to the world and show it as it is and as it has produced and shaped its own nature’ (O’Connor, 1998, p52). This requires that we listen to voices that are seldom empowered and hear perspectives on sustainability and sustainable development that do not solely reflect the views of management (Springett and Foster, 2005). Such education is ‘political’ in intent: it does not claim the supposed ‘neutrality’ of the orthodox curriculum that helps to reinforce societal hegemony in order to maintain the values and ideology of dominant social groups (Apple, 1979; Fien, 1993; Huckle, 1996; O’Connor, 1998; Springett, 2005), nor does it perpetuate a ‘sanitised’ picture of the world (Willmott, 1994). The aim of the course described in this and the following article was to emancipate students’ capacity to engage in critical inquiry, including their own reflections on the course itself, its content and delivery. Students have grown up in a climate that the corporate public relations machine has helped to create, and education for sustainable development has a role in presenting values and worldviews that help them question the world as they know it (Springett, 2005). We have to be clear about the aims and objectives of the course. The goal has not been to teach a course ‘about’ critical theory per se, nor to produce ‘critical theorists’. Instead, a kit of commonsense tools provided a lens for looking at the world as we find it, helping to hold up the ‘mirror’ of critical theory that, as O’Connor (1998) has noted, shows the contingent nature of the world as we know it. For business educators themselves, this results in a ‘chicken and egg’ dilemma, posing the question of how they are to gain preparation for teaching critical perspectives on business and sustainability if that perspective is generally lacking from their own learning. There are also political difficulties and possible career consequences for business educators who promote a critical agenda (Springett and Kearins, 2001). Academics must seek publication opportunities in top tier journals and compete for promotion and research funding, so that forays outside one’s traditional disciplinary boundaries represent risk. Not surprisingly, business curricula that have begun to focus on sustainable development have tended to promote the
rhetoric of eco-modernism and incremental change rather than adopting a radical perspective: the focus has not infrequently been on the ‘management’ of the agenda of sustainable development (Springett, 2006, p.53). There are other important implications for the role of the teacher. What kind of role are we to assume if we are to reflect the goals of a critical theorization; and what kind of pedagogical choices are to be made? It is advocated here that pedagogical choices that engage teachers and learners in action methods are effective approaches that help to shape their role(s) - not by narrow definition, but through providing for experiential learning and helping to create democratic learning contexts. Action methods may be regarded as a paradigm rather than a set of methods (Norton, 2008) - they give students a higher degree of control over their own learning and provide a basis for responsible decision making. In terms of the role of the teacher, it is suggested here that the teacher who combines action methods with an approach based in critical theory is akin to Gramsci’s classification of the ‘organic’ intellectual. The goal is to enable people to see the world in a new way through active participation in practical life (Gramsci, 1971).8 As Huckle has remarked (1996), such a process becomes a critical inquiry in its own right. It enables us to explore the complexities and implications of sustainability, taking account of the economic, political, cultural, technical, social and environmental forces that foster or impede its goals. Of course, not all of the problem lies with the business studies curriculum: the difficulty of introducing a critical agenda of sustainability is considerably broader. The tertiary education sector, as ‘conscience and critic’ of society, might have been expected to take the leadership role in the discourse about business and sustainability. It has been pointed out that the failure to do so, largely ceding that leadership to powerful business organizations, is grounded in the increasingly reductionist turn the agenda of higher education has taken, characterized by competition and market-driven values (see, for example, Capra, 1983; Trainer, 1990; Orr, 1992; Huckle, 1996; Collini, 2003). One result of this is the commercialization and commodification of higher education that Slaughter and Rhoades (2004), reviewing changes in American Universities, identify as ‘academic capitalism’. In the UK, the report of The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE, 2008), and the ‘Browne Report’ on Higher Education and Student Finance (2010), underline the increasing bureaucratic control of higher education seen as a market in which consumer demand (not least the requirements of business) will be sovereign (Collini, 2010; McKibbin, 2010). These are not trends that will encourage either a critical perspective or a focus on sustainability. They do, however, indicate the need for academics from different disciplines to work together more closely - even as they are driven apart into competing disciplinary silos - to develop interdisciplinary, critical approaches to research and teaching for sustainability. 1
In Gramsci’s classification of intellectuals into ‘traditional’ and ‘organic’, the former are seen as ‘functionaries’ with close allegiance to their own tradition and craft, practising under what they believe to be a rhetoric of autonomy. ‘Organic’ intellectuals, on the other hand, enable people, through the provision of an alternative ideological framework, to possibly resolve dual consciousness by seeing the world in a new way.
References Apple, M.W. (1979) Ideology and Curriculum. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London Capra, F. (1983) The Turning Point: Science, society and the rising culture, Wildwood House, London Collini, S. (2003) HiEdBiz. A review of the UK Government White Paper: The Future of Higher Education. London Review of Books, Vol. 25 No. 21, 6 November, 2003, pp3-9 Collini, S. (2010) Browne’s Gamble. Review of ‘Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education: An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, by Lord Browne et al. London Review of Books, Vol. 32 No. 21, 4 November, 2010, pp. 23-25 Fien, J. (1993) Education for the Environment: Critical Curriculum Theorising and Environmental Education, Deakin University, Melbourne Gramsci, A. (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci. (1995 edtn, trans. Derek Boothman). Lawrence and Wishart, London Hawken, P. (1993) The Ecology of Commerce: How business can save the planet, Harper Collins, New York Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (Updated 2009) Strategic Plan, 2006-2011. www..hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2008/08_15/ Huckle, J. (1996) ‘Realizing sustainability in changing times’, in J. Huckle and S. Sterling (eds) Education for Sustainability, Earthscan, London, pp105-119 McKibbin, R. (2010) Nothing to do with the economy. London Review of books, Vol. 32 No. 22, 18 November, 2010. pp12-13 Norton, L.S. (2008) Action Research in Teaching and Learning: A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Routledge, London O’Connor, J. (1998) Natural Causes: Essays on Ecological Marxism. Guilford, NY. Orr, D., (1992) Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Post-Modern World. SUNY Press: Albany, NY Slaughter, S. and Rhoades, G (2004) Academic Capitalism and the New Economy. John Hopkins University Press Springett, D.V. and Kearins, K. (2001) ‘Gaining legitimacy: sustainable development in business school curricula’, Sustainable Development, vol 9, no 4. pp213-221 Springett, D.V. (2005) ‘Education for sustainability in the business studies curriculum: A call for a critical agenda’, Business Strategy and the Environment, vol 14, no 3, pp146-159 Springett, D.V., Foster, A.B. (2005) ‘Whom is sustainable development for? Deliberative democracy and the role of unions’, Sustainable Development, vol 13, pp271-281 Springett, D.V. (2006) ‘Managing the narrative of sustainable development: ‘discipline’ of an ‘inefficient’ concept’. International Journal of Green Economics (Inderscience), vol 1, nos.1-2, pp50-67 The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance (The Browne Report) (2010) Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education in England. Trainer, T. (1990) ‘Towards an ecological philosophy of education’, Discourse vol 10, no 2, pp92-117 Willmott, H. (1984) ‘Images and ideals of managerial work: A critical examination of conceptual and empirical accounts’, Journal of Management Studies. vol 21, no 3, pp349-368
(vi) Sustainability in global commodity trade: successful responsible entrepreneurship or fallacious market capture? Dr Walter J.V. Vermeulen Associate Professor Sustainable Production & Consumption Faculty of Geosciences | Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development Utrecht University email@example.com http://www.copernicus.uu.nl/esp International trade is usually considered a prime engine of growth and can contribute significantly to the reduction of poverty and hunger in developing countries, if it actually enables communities in disadvantaged regions to take part in this global economy. Products could be sold for better prices then given on local markets and the growing international demand can enable further job creation and improvement of living conditions (Bray, Saﾌ］chez & Murphy 2002, Browne et al. 2000). But such benefits are not evident. Established businesses may very well pick the fruits of growing international economic cooperation, enabling production at the lowest costs and ignoring social and environmental externalities. In many cases foreign investment contributes to the creation of new pollution heavens chains (Mani 1998; Eskeland 2003; Cole 2004; Bogmans 2010). In these cases the positive socioeconomic impacts remain limited, adding to the welfare of a small economic elite, but not contributing to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Consumption of food and commodities in Europe and North America increasingly depends on international sourcing, with developing countries as suppliers. From the perspective of western companies investing in and/or sourcing from the developing world, participation in (inter)national markets is increasingly governed through vertically structured supply chains and horizontally organized clusters and networks (Lazzarini et al. 2001; Vermeulen and Seuring, 2009). Global markets therefore are increasingly conceptualized as a competitive arena of integrated companies and networks. Various strategies are applied by Western MNCs to control their international supply chains and to enable cost reductions (Gereffi and Korzeniewicz1994; Gereffi et al. 2005). The ability of end-producers and retailers to control their supply chain and simultaneously to meet costumer and societal needs, determines their competitive advantage. Simultaneously, however, civil society in western countries is increasingly pressing spearheaded firms to bring their corporate social responsibility into practice, especially in this international context. In response to this European and American producers and retailers are increasingly applying new forms of cooperation and selfregulation, either as firm-to-firm supply chain management or with the help of private standards (with third party auditing) to assure that their practices at the developing world side of their supply chain can be labelled as socially and ecologically responsible. These new forms of cooperation and self-regulation include both single firm supply chain management approaches, and joint product sector and cross sector approaches applying third party certification and auditing, as described in (Vermeulen 2010) under the heading of sustainable supply chain governance systems.
In essence businesses are increasingly posing detailed demands on their suppliers in developing countries, addressing their environmental and social-ethical performance. In this way they are using their market power to enforce change. Examples are FSC, MSC, Fairtrade, organic standards, GlobalGAP, Utz Certified, ETI, BSCI, Rainforest Alliance, and numerous other standards for specific products. Key actors in these new arrangements are businesses in the supply chain, often affiliated with environmental and development NGO's. Eco-labelling has been fairly marginal in its market shares during the last two decades. However, the last few years show major breakthroughs in some products markets. In a recent report we showed that both in the timber and the coffee market in the Netherlands, the market shares of sustainable products are peaking up to 50% in 2009 (Vermeulen et al. 2010). Looking at existing scientific literature and our own research in South Africa, India and Paraguay, we see both successes and examples of negative side effects opposite to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. These include problematic access of smallholders or even systematic restructuring of export sectors, benefitting small numbers of large (white run) expert firms, while excluding smallholders or women (Ito 2004, Francesconi, et al. 2010, Islam 2008). Freidberg called this the ‘homogenization of the supply chain’ (Freidberg 2003). Others point to unfair trading practices, transferring the risks and transaction costs of global supply to the supply side (Ras, et al. 2007a, Ras, Vermeulen 2009). Whether working with product standards enables improving working conditions for home workers is another issue (Freeman 2003). Unequal access to decision making on the content of standards and ignorance of local socioeconomic structures and needs are discussed by others (Alberto 2009, Blowfield 2003, Muller et al. 2009). These findings challenge the objectives of the actors involved, both from market, civil society and governments: all intend to contribute more or less explicitly to sustainable development, as conceptualized with its international implications of fairness and sharing one planet, thus contributing to the UN Millennium Development Goals and the UN Commission for Sustainable Development agenda9. However, we see also new approaches addressing these challenges. There are examples of firms working with various premium price systems, different from the traditional Fair Trade approach. Other firms established new forms of retailer-supplier cooperation, allowing price premiums to be allocated to community development projects run by local workers and residents at the supply side. Other actors at the European demand side have started promoting smallholders cooperatives (Bacon 2005) and shortcutting suppliers-retailer connections as forms of ‘reverse verticalisation’. All these diverse observations illustrate that the emergence of supply chain sustainability standards in international trade can been seen as the symptoms of two competing economic trends: - either the dominant trend of global economic supply chains governance as a strategy of cost reduction and as market capture;
UN Commission for Sustainable Development is now preparing the third World Summit in 2012 in Brazil (Rio+20), which will focus on eradication of poverty, changing unsustainable pattern of production and consumption, creation of green economy and new institutional frameworks for sustainable development (Resolution 64/236 UN General Assembly 31-04-2010).
- or the emerging trend of sustainable business and corporate social responsibly as conscious corporate response to global long term ecological challenges. Sustainable supply chain governance-systems in their various forms can be instruments in both trends, depending on the strategic position taken by the initiating firms. While at the demand side sustainability standards are presented as the answer to socio-ethical and ecological issues, the key question is to what extent sustainable supply chain governance-systems in the way they are organized (research question at the system level) are actually able to achieve widespread socio-economic and ecological improvements at the supply side, creating better living conditions and job opportunities in disadvantaged regions (a core research question at the level of individual firms and their communities), by enabling existing and new smallholders to take their part in international trade. This challenge calls for extensive and wide ranging comparative research, covering many different product groups and supply chains between many different developing and developed countries. Practices at both the supply and the demand side need to be analysed from an integrated perspective. The International Sustainable Development Research Society can serve as a platform to bring together researchers and practitioners and enable a critical collective process of assessment and improvement. We intend to facilitate this soon. References: Alberto, A. 2009, "Living in times of solidarity: Fair trade and the fractured life worlds of Guatemalan coffee farmers", Journal of International Development, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 1031-1041. Bacon, C. 2005, "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?", World Development, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 497-511. Blowfield, M. 2003, "Ethical Supply Chains in the Cocoa, Coffee and Tea Industries", Greener Management International, vol. 43, pp. 15-24. Bogmans, C. & Withagen, C. 2010, "The pollution haven hypothesis, a dynamic perspective", Revue Economique, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 103-130. Bray, D.B., Saﾌ］chez, J.L.P. & Murphy, E.C. 2002, "Social dimensions of organic coffee production in Mexico: Lessons for eco-labeling initiatives", Society and Natural Resources, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 429-446. Browne, A.W., Harris, P.J.C., Hofny-Collins, A.H., Pasiecznik, N. & Wallace, R.R. 2000, "Organic production and ethical trade: Definition practice and links", Food Policy, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 69-89. Cole, M.A. 2004, "Trade, the pollution haven hypothesis and the environmental Kuznets curve: Examining the linkages", Ecological Economics, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 71-81. Eskeland, G.S. & Harrison, A.E. 2003, "Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis", Journal of Development Economics, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 1-23. Francesconi, G.N., Heerink, N. & D'Haese, M. 2010, "Evolution and challenges of dairy supply chains: Evidence from supermarkets, industries and consumers in Ethiopia", Food Policy, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 60-68. Freeman, D. 2003, "Homeworkers in Global Supply Chains", Greener Management International, vol. 43, pp. 107-119.
Freidberg, S. 2003, "Cleaning up down South: Supermarkets, ethical trade and African horticulture", Social and Cultural Geography, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 27-43. Gereffi, G. & Korzeniewicz, M. (eds) 1994, Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism, Preager Publishers, Westport. Gereffi, G., Humphrey, J. & Sturgeon, T. 2005, "The governance of global value chains", Review of International Political Economy, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 78-104. Hughes, D. 2007, Supply chain management and global trade in horticultural products. Islam, M.S. 2008, "Environmental governance in the global agro-food system: A study of shrimp aquaculture in Bangladesh", Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 69, no. 6, pp. 2478. Ito, S. 2004, "Globalization and agrarian change: A case of freshwater prawn farming in Bangladesh", Journal of International Development, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 10031013. Lazzarini, S.G., Chaddad, F.R. & Cook, M.L. 2001, "Integrating supply chain and network analyses: The study of netchains", Journal on Chain and Network Science, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 7-23. Mani, M. & Wheeler, D. 1998, "In search of pollution havens? Dirty industry in the world economy, 1960 to 1995", Journal of Environment and Development, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 215-247. Muller, C., Vermeulen, W.J.V. & Glasbergen, P. 2009, "Perceptions on Demand Side and Realities on Supply Side: a Case Study on the South African Table Grape Export Industry", Sustainable Development, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 295-310. Ras, P. & Vermeulen, W.J.V. 2009, "Sustainable Production and the Performance of South African Entrepreneurs in a Global Supply Chain. The Case of South African Table Grape Producers", Sustainable Development, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 325-340. Ras, P.J., Vermeulen, W.J.V. & Saalmink, S. 2007, "Greening Global Product Chains: Bridging Barriers in the North-South Cooperation. An Eexploratory Study of Possibilities for Improvement in the Product Chains of Table Grape and Wine Connecting South Africa and the Netherlands", Progress in Industrial Ecology - An International Journal, vol. 4, no. 6, pp. 401-417. Vermeulen, W.J.V. & Ras, P. 2006, "The Challenge Of Greening Global Product Chains: Meeting Both Ends", Sustainable Development, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 245256. Vermeulen, W.J.V. & Seuring, S. 2009, "Introduction: sustainability through the market: the impacts of sustainable supply chain management", Sustainable Development, vol. 17, no. 5.
(vii) Sustainable development, ISO 26000 and corporate social
responsibility Richard Welford Chairman, ISDRS firstname.lastname@example.org The publication of the new standard on Social Responsibility (ISO26000) is going to have a huge impact on the way that organizations deal with their social, environmental and governance strategies. For the first time ever we now have a comprehensive definition of what social responsibility means. ISO26000 represents a “standard of standards”, bringing together best practice from a broad range of initiatives. As ISO 26000 makes clear, “organizations around the world, and their stakeholders, are becoming increasingly aware of the need for and benefits of socially responsible behaviour. The objective of social responsibility is to contribute to sustainable development. An organization's performance in relation to the society in which it operates and to its impact on the environment has become a critical part of measuring its overall performance and its ability to continue operating effectively. This is, in part, a reflection of the growing recognition of the need to ensure healthy ecosystems, social equity and good organizational governance. In the long run, all organizations' activities depend on the health of the world's ecosystems. Organizations are subject to greater scrutiny by their various stakeholders.” I find that many organizations confuse the concepts of social responsibility and sustainable development and this standard makes it clear how the two concepts relate to each other. The new standard is intended to assist organizations in contributing to sustainable development. It is intended to encourage them to go beyond legal compliance, recognizing that compliance with law is a fundamental duty of any organization and an essential part of their social responsibility. It is intended to promote common understanding in the field of social responsibility, and to complement other instruments and initiatives for social responsibility, not to replace them. For the private sector, this essentially means that their corporate social responsibility initiatives comprise the tools which should be used by business to contribute to the attainment of a more sustainable development wherever they operate. And one key challenge for business is to recognize that sustainable development is first and foremost a development concept. This means placing a particular emphasis on the needs of the poor and ensuring that what development (or growth) does occur is firmly within the carrying capacity of the planet. Unfortunately since the legitimization of the concept of sustainable development, over two decades ago, we have largely failed in both areas. Although not only designed for businesses, the standard will certainly shape the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda and will clearly demonstrate that philanthropy is only a small part of any approach to responsible business. Accountability and transparency are at the core of the new approach. The seven principles and seven core subject areas embedded in ISO26000 expands what we have 37
commonly considered to be social responsibility. Moreover, the emphasis on embedding social responsibility across the whole of the organization challenges us to find ways to integrate CSR into business strategy. The process of developing the standard has been an inclusive one (one of the reasons that it took so long) and has involved developed countries, developing countries, businesses, labour unions, civil society organizations and governments. Now accepted as a standard by over 90 countries, it is set to have global recognition and support and set the agenda for CSR practices in the future. The first two principles of ISO 26000 will demand that companies think much harder about disclosure of information. The principle of accountability emphasizes the provision of evidence to back up any claims made about social responsibility. In effect, if responsibility is about “doing the right thing”, then accountability is about proving it. Accountability also means that a company should welcome scrutiny. When green groups come knocking on your door asking about carbon emissions or air pollution the socially responsible company will be happy to engage with them and discuss the action being taken to mitigate pollution impacts, for example. Moreover, such openness to concerns can lead to productive cooperation over key challenges impacting on a company and its industry. The principle of transparency has even more fundamental impacts for the way that a company discloses information. Transparency requires a company to provide sufficient information so that stakeholders can “see into” the organization. This means that when an interested stakeholder looks a documents, corporate websites and associated reports, enough information should be required to allow them to have a good idea about how the company is run, how well it is managed, how decisions are made and what the material risks associated with the business are. ISO 26000 puts a lot of emphasis throughout the standard on the involvement of stakeholders. Respect for stakeholders’ interests is key to ensuring that a company acts in a socially responsible way that takes on board stakeholders’ concerns and aspirations. Stakeholders help the company to define what social responsibility is and there is therefore a need for ongoing stakeholder engagement to ensure that changing patterns of expectations are part of decision-making processes. If a company is not engaging with its stakeholders then it is rather difficult for it to claim that it is socially responsible. To define social responsibility without reference to stakeholders is to be somewhat arrogant to say the least. The principle associated with ethical behaviour further underpins the emphasis on ensuring that a company is governed and managed in a way that is based on honesty, integrity and equity. ISO 26000 asks companies to promote ethical conduct by: developing governance structures that promote ethical conduct; identifying, adopting and applying its own standards of ethical behaviour; encouraging and promoting good standards of ethical behaviour; establishing oversight mechanisms; and, establishing mechanisms for reporting of violations.
In particular ethical behaviour with respect to human rights is stressed and a business should respect those rights and recognize their importance and their universality. Even more challenging, however, is the call to ensure that organizations should be careful not to be complicit in human rights abuses. Few companies are solely responsible for human rights abuses but ensuring that activities are not complicit with other organizationsâ€™ (particularly government) human rights abuses requires a level of monitoring and risk management that few companies have yet to put in place. Of course, a socially responsible company will obey the rule of law wherever it operates and ensure that it remains informed of legal obligations and periodically reviews compliance. Yet in many cases companies may find that laws are underdeveloped and/or not well implemented. In countries where national law or its implementation does not provide for minimum environmental or social safeguards, ISO 26000 stresses that an organization should strive to respect international norms of behaviour Moreover, the standard emphasizes that in situations of conflict with international norms of behaviour, and where not following these norms would have significant consequences, an organization should, as feasible and appropriate, review the nature of its activities and relationships within that jurisdiction. The core subject areas covered by ISO 26000 are: organizational governance; human rights; labour practices; the environment; fair operating practices; consumer issues; and, community involvement and development. The core subject areas are broken down into a number of issues. Although each subject area will be relevant to business, not each issue within those areas will be. It is up to the business to decide (in conjunction with its stakeholders) which issues are the most relevant, significant or material. Although ISO 26000 does not explicitly make reference to a materiality assessment where issues are measured according to their importance to the business and the importance to stakeholders, this is a very useful tool to adopt. Key is to identify issues that are important to all interested parties, but that can also contribute to sustainable development and the health and wellbeing of society and communities. Organizational governance is seen as an overarching subject area that spans the others. In effect, governance can be viewed as the foundation upon which are areas of social responsibility are built. With poor governance it is difficult to claim to be a socially responsible company. Making profits in unethical ways and then giving some of them away to assuage guilt is certainly not advocated by ISO 26000! But ISO 26000 also stresses that consideration of core subject areas and deciding which issues are most important is not only related to the operations of the company. There is also an emphasis placed on what the standards refers to as the â€˜sphere of influenceâ€™ of the organization. For a business there are commonly seen as three key spheres of influence to take into account: the value chain; communities where the business has an impact; and, the whole area of public policy engagement and advocacy.
When one begins to examine the content of the core subject areas in detail, it is apparent that notions of social responsibility have been broadened considerably by the standard. Whilst companies have long had concerns over labour practices down supply chains, for example, ISO26000 also put an emphasis on the other side of the value chain in terms of responsibility to customers and consumers. A new emphasis on fair operating practices sees promoting and protecting competition as central to responsible behavior and a new emphasis on anti-corruption measures. The area covering community involvement and development emphasizes linkages with the community to ensure that they are involved in significant decisions that impact on them. But it also stresses that there is a role for businesses to contribute to the development process, particularly in emerging markets. There is an emphasis placed on local employment generation and skills development, a call to ensure access to appropriate technologies and a new emphasis on incomes and wealth generation, which is an important contribution to poverty alleviation. ISO 26000 places a great deal of emphasis on integrating social responsibility into the organization. For a business this means not leaving the CSR function to one single department, but integrating across functions and ensuring that business strategy and decision-making re linked to a new emphasis on social responsibility. There is going to be a great need for internal training and capacity building if this is to be achieved. But such an investment in the people of the organization is likely to have tangible benefits in terms of job satisfaction, creating an inclusive workplace and benefits for recruitment and retention. There is a considerable amount to say about communications in the standard and in effect, the document ends where it starts, with a new emphasis on disclosure. The role of communication is absolutely central to the social responsibility process. Its role is to: demonstrate accountability and transparency; disclosure key information and significant impacts relating to social responsibility; demonstrate how the organization meets it commitments; raise awareness of social responsibility; help to engage stakeholders; and, enhance the organizationâ€™s reputation. This emphasis on communications, disclosure, accountability and transparency is going to make companies take a good hard look at their reporting practices and how they provide information to ever more sophisticated stakeholders. It is certainly going to mean that annual, one-off glossy CSR reports are not going to be enough if the aim is to communicate with stakeholders in an interactive and dynamic way and it is likely that we will see new forms of reporting linked to ISO 26000 in the future. Many companies are now in the process of using ISO 26000 as guidance to align their social responsibility practices. This means understanding the expectations of ISO26000 and getting internal buy-in through training and capacity building, including all different functions, across the organization. A useful starting point already tested by a number of leading companies is to assess existing CSR strategies against the ISO26000 principles and core subject areas, resulting in a useful gap analysis that can highlight strengths and weaknesses. In conjunction with an ongoing process of stakeholder engagement, it is important for companies to determine the significance and materiality of the issues outlined in the standard. Many companies are already re-aligning policies and reporting practices with ISO26000.
Although ISO 26000 provides only guidance for social responsibility and there will be no certificates, it will be a useful tool used not only by companies but by others interested in making judgments about companies. Civil society organizations, pressure groups, the media and even socially responsible investors will use ISO26000 to judge the performance of companies. Therefore on the one hand there are huge benefits to using the guidance provided by ISO 26000, yet on the other there are risks in not doing so. Companies taking a lead on ISO 26000 will have huge reputational benefits and will also be able to manage their risks more effectively. The conclusion can only be that ISO 26000 has to be good for business and for sustainable development.
(viii) The ‘Limits’ of Natural Limits … Professor Michael Redclift Department of Geography Kings College London University email@example.com The idea of ‘natural limits’ can mean two things that are not, in fact, mutually exclusive and even coalesce: 1. We are reaching the limits of resource capacity. Resource shortages are a constraint on further economic growth and development. We should conserve resources to facilitate growth. This was essentially the ‘Limits to Growth’ position in the early 1970s (Meadows et al., 1972). 2.
Existing levels of economic growth represent a threat to the environment and resources - a vicious circle is created in which economic activity undermines the biospheric resources on which we rely. (This is the ‘weak’ Green position, usually referred to as ‘Sustainable Development’, promulgated largely since the 1980s. A ‘stronger’ view of sustainable development would imply much lower levels of substitution between human made and natural capital, and corresponding discount rate).
Stage One The first position lost support partly because it was a product of high energy prices (the oil hikes of the 1970s). As hydrocarbons became relatively cheaper, and the effects of the Green Revolution in expanding food staples to meet population growth began to be acknowledged, it was no longer clear that the Malthusian position obtained - that populations exceeded the resources necessary to feed this growth. And the drive for economic development in the South (circa the ‘Brandt Report of 1983) was overtaken by events: at first it was put in jeopardy by the Debt Crises of the 1980s, the Structural Adjustment Programmes, and, ‘post-recovery’, the deregulation of markets, the retreat of the state and, eventually, higher levels of economic growth in much of the newly developing world, especially the populous economies of Asia. Stage Two The genius of the second position (‘sustainable development’) was that almost everybody could sign up to it. There were very few dissenting voices (Redclift, 1987) 41
to the mechanisms which were unleashed via deregulation and the neo-liberal ascendancy. The ‘Washington Consensus’ - (a ‘consensus’ in which most people had not been consulted) - became the favoured instruments of policy in seeking to achieve ‘sustainable development’. Strategies took two forms: 1. Attempts to internalise environmental externalities in products and services ‘Ecological Modernisation’. This was viewed as a competitive strategy by the European Union, in particular, giving Europe a competitive advantage over the United States and any newly developing rivals. Basically, you count the embodied carbon in the products, seek to reduce energy and material throughput, and make a ‘win/win’ gain, by reducing energy costs (hydrocarbon prices were rising) and reducing environmental damage. Trade arrangements also take account of ‘embodied carbon’. The more interventionist policies of the European Union facilitated this in the 1990s. 2. The development of carbon markets, both within industries and, more importantly, between countries. These new markets represented a challenge for entrepreneurship, new market opportunities, and required very little government action. Carbon markets were thus popular among devotees of free-market economics and environmentalism, unlike other interventions such as carbon taxes. [What happens when markets fall and the price of carbon drops significantly? What are the wider implications of trading in a ‘bad’ (pollution) rather than a ‘good’, in institutionalising the idea of carbon dependency? This latent opposition to carbon trading as a solution remained largely inchoate in the rush to endorse it.] 3. The conversion of governments to a more or less uncritical view of markets was even more evident in the international efforts to ‘protect’ biodiversity. The biodiversity regime was expressed in the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000). This demonstrated a shift from the focus on the loss of species diversity, and thus the loss of complex ecosystems, to a focus on the preservation of genetic diversity, where the principal gains were in the pharmaceutical industries and agriculture (Pearson, 2009). The almost imperceptible shift was from nature conservation to nature as commodity. The main opposition to the latter was from groups - mainly NGOs - which argued that marginalised people had rights in nature which governments and the pharmaceutical industry ignored. However, the industry lobby won much of the ideological struggle insisting that ex situ conservation in gene banks should be treated as equivalent to in situ conservation in ecosystems. 4. The conjunction of newly ‘liberated’ markets and environmental concern (a necessary contradiction of capitalism seeking a resolution) can with hindsight be seen as a ‘managed senescence’10, if we continue with the biological metaphors of ‘development’. A more mainstream view, however, would be that they addressed system failures, and could even lead to a rejuvenated, if scarcely recognisable, type of ‘material-light’ capitalism. (Lovins, 2000).
The expression, ‘managed senescence’ I owe to Graham Woodgate. It continues the biological metaphor of organic growth and development but signals the gradual end of hydrocarbons as a way of achieving this.
Stage Three The hopes that markets and technology would solve the environmental problems associated with accelerated economic growth and the enormous rise in global consumptions have been challenged by a number of events: 1. The financial crisis. This was a crisis, fed by the personal greed of bankers and financial managers, and fuelled by the virtually unregulated production of credit - not because interest rates were low, but because the price attached to housing equity (especially in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland) was unrealistically high. The rise in ‘sub-prime’ lending and borrowing took place under systems of ineffective governance which emphasized everybody’s right to property regardless of collateral and debt levels. Politically it was ‘sold’ as everybody’s right to credit rather then their right to debt. The financial crisis revealed that is was completely unsustainable. 2. The policy response paid lip service to the rapidly disappearing Green agenda, but did not support this rhetoric with effective interventions. (cf. the almost derisory role of new Green investment in attempts to address the financial crisis.] 3. There is now considerable evidence of the effects of the financial downturn on migration, as well as poverty, notably in China, which supported the United States’ debt through buying into its financial packages, and supported raised consumption in the West generally by lowering the costs of manufactured goods there. 4. Another process that has gathered speed is that of transnational sourcing of food, minerals and other resources. The internationalisation of capital movements and the need to secure resources has led to increased international acquisition of land and minerals, on the part of China and some of the Gulf States, principally in Africa. Rather than depend exclusively upon trade relations to meet their domestic resource deficiencies - trade contracts during an economic recession - the advantages of acquisition of land, water sources, food (via ‘virtual water’) became evident, especially for their geopolitical reach. Land displacement for crops like soya had already changed international food/land imbalances. Global Food Production and Cereals Dependency The modern food system developed to meet the needs of the industrialised countries, where technological changes and the growth of domestic markets served to industrialise agriculture (Goodman and Redclift, 1991). In the 1970s, the prevalent view was that food production could not keep pace with population growth - the first sense of ‘natural limits’ discussed at the beginning of this paper. To some extent the success of the much vaunted ‘Green Revolution’ in basic grains was to discredit this rather simplistic view of limits. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s impressive gains were made in the productivity of basic grains - especially rice, corn and wheat - aided by enhanced irrigation systems and chemical fertilisers and pesticides. However, apart from growing inequality in many countries, between rural and urban sectors and within the rural sector itself, the Green Revolution gains could not be continued exponentially, and the costs of maintaining irrigation systems and dealing with environmental ‘externalities’ from the Green Revolution grew in importance.
Today about 12 per cent of global cereals are traded between states on the international market: about half the three hundred million tons annually between the North and the South. The South is still a net importer of cereals: not Latin America but much of Asia and North Africa experience net deficits of cereals. In 2006, the United States exported 82 metric tons of cereals, compared with 22 metric tons from the European Union. Projections for the year 2020 suggest that the United States will trade about 119 million metric tons of cereals by this date (SCOPE, 2009). The drivers of cereal imports in the South include population growth, changing diets (which substitute grain fed animals for vegetable protein) and non-food land uses, particularly the development of biofuels. Additional factors which are likely to drive the import of cereals to developing countries include increasing energy and fertiliser prices and climate change effects in the tropics. There are several major new problems that have arisen as a result of the cereal dependency of the developing world, including the newly industrialising countries of Asia. First, land itself is being acquired by China, South Korea and some of the Gulf States. In addition to the crops which the South grows for trading with the North, notably soya, land is being bought by these countries to supply their own domestic markets. The poorest countries in the South are least able to avail themselves of this possibility, and as a result their own domestic food supply is in jeopardy. Second, there is the continuing problem of trade barriers erected by the industrialised world against cheap food and fibre imports from the South. The protection afforded domestic agricultural producers in the North, especially the United States, the European Union and Japan, continues to undermine food security in the South. At the same time, the environmental services provided largely by tropical countries - such as forests, water courses and extensive grasslands - are not being paid for or supported by trading partners in the North. The global environment is being depleted without compensation being offered to most of those on the ‘sharp end’ of the process of depletion. References Common Crisis (1983) the Brandt Report. London: Pan Books. Goodman, D.E. and Redclift, M.R. (1991) Refashioning Nature. London:Routledge. Hawken, P., A. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins (1999) Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Island Press. Meadows, D.H., D.L. Randers, J. and W. Berhens (1972) The Limits to Growth. London: Pan Publishers. Pearson, P. (2009) ‘Climate Change, Energy and Innovation’, in SCOPE Symposium. Redclift, M.R. (1987) Sustainable Development: exploring the contradictions. London: Routledge. SCOPE (2009) ‘Finance, food and energy crises: the consequence for the environment and land use change’. Imperial College London, June 12th, 2009.
(ix) Beyond the trodden path - concepts for sustainability Joachim H. Spangenberg Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany e.V., Cologne, Germany Professeur invité, C3ED, Université Versailles St.-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France Address: Vorsterstr. 97, 51103 Cologne, Germany, Tel./Fax +49-221-2168-95/94 e-mail Joachim.Spangenberg@gmx.de Introduction According to the definition given by World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: 1. The concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given, and 2. The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organisation on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.” (WCED 1987, p. 43) In the run-up towards ‘Rio 2012’, the policy discourse needs to take on board both – needs and limits. This is so as to avoid being trapped by the idea of a linear policy continuum ranging from one extreme, the romanticism/deep ecology ideology, to the other, the program of ecological modernisation, with all possible policies located in between the two extremes. Thinking outside of the box Sustainability is an attempt to manage a complex system dynamic by responding to two challenges, needs and limits. Justice, equity, participation, standard and quality of life are part of the answer as much as a healthy environment. 1 The four dimensions Rather than talking about the ‘three pillars’ or ‘triple bottom line’ of sustainability, a more adequate perspective is that of four ‘dimensions’, the economic, the environmental, the human/social and the societal/institutional/cultural (in economics described as man-made, natural, human and social capital, respectively) and their permanent mutual interactions. This has been described as the ‘tetrahedron’ (O’Connor 2002) or the ‘prism of sustainability’ (Spangenberg 2002). Each of the four dimensions is indispensable for a comprehensive concept of sustainable development and its operationalisation, i.e. the development of sustainability strategies. The institutional dimension refers to inter-human structures and processes which make up society. It is structured in three interacting levels, organisations, mechanisms and orientations, which together shape decision making processes (see the ‘positional analysis’ of Söderbaum (2000) with its focus on democracy and the citizen as a social being) Orientations include the social preferences, environmental ethics and the societal pool of knowledge (Spangenberg et al. 2002), reflecting the aptitude or inclination of a group or society to behave in a certain way. Much of the social dimension is centred on the issues of qualification and societally useful work, paid and unpaid alike, and linked in the concept of mixed work 45
(requiring mixed qualifications and generating mixed revenues) (Brandl, Hildebrandt 2002). Research results have shown that the future of (paid) work is one essential element to integrated sustainability strategies, but so far the probably the most neglected one (HBS 2001). The dimensions are distinct not only by the domain of reality they refer to, but also by their inherent normative orientations and by their organising principles: the underlying principle of the economic perspective is efficiency (some also mention profit.) The diverging orientations are of crucial importance when it comes to defining problem solving strategies. For instance, if a problem is essentially an efficiency deficit, this may well be due to a market failure and can be cured with market instruments. If the problem is essentially a (distributional) justice deficit, resulting, for example, from an unfettered belief in market allocation, we are confronted with a problem the market cannot solve. The market is the most efficient system known to allocate goods according to purchasing power. If any other distributional criterion is preferred (merits, equity, etc.), the market is not the suitable tool. Expecting things from a free market system which it inherently cannot deliver is here defined as a market system failure. 2 Interdisciplinarity/Transdiciplinarity Any comprehensive sustainability science program has to address all four dimensions, and thus must be multi-dimensional in scope and multidisciplinary regarding its scientific basis. Such integration does not leave the methods and basic assumptions of the disciplines unaffected; they must be made compatible: in sustainability research, to all disciplines the Basic Law of Interdisciplinary applies: “No discipline must base its work on assumptions which are in contradiction to the established body of knowledge of another discipline competent for the issue concerned.” Science is a method of gathering facts and interpreting them in a specific way; judging about political relevance of different factors is not a scientific affair (in this sense, the ‘ivory tower’ is a stronghold of socially benign science: as long it is irrelevant, it does not cause harm). Instead, it requires the knowledge of persons qualified by their familiarity with the social context of the problem under consideration. This is transdiciplinarity, a research method where both scientific and civic knowledge are involved in the research process from the definition of the research question (Mittelstraß 1993). In this light, some of the ‘achievements’ of ecological economics look rather questionable: the concept of ‘weak sustainability’ is by biological, physical and also social standards one of unsustainability, and the pricing of ecosystem services based on the artificial aggregation of incommensurable goods may be a good argument in politics, but is not good interdisciplinary science – the contradictions to other disciplines’ results regarding substitutability are too striking (Martinez-Alier et al. 1998). 3 Science paradigms, or: What is truth? Such transdisciplinary research does not fit well into the traditional view of the policy-science interface (truth speaks to power), which assumes that science can
know the truth, that facts are independent of their context and always certain to determine. Instead it relates to the Model of Extended Participation claiming that ‘science’ (the activity of specialised ‘technical experts’) is only one part of the ‘relevant knowledge’ that is (or may be) brought in as evidence to a decision or policy process. This precisely characterises what Funtowicz and Ravetz have termed ‘post normal science’ (1994), an approach to link epistemology and governance. It characterises a situation, where “typically facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent” (Funtowicz, Ravetz 2003, p. 1), and the uncertainty of facts is not epistemic (resolvable with additional research), but immanent to the system and not resolvable. 4 Multi Criteria Analysis Participation brings a diversity of criteria into the decision process, formalised by Multi Criteria Analyses MCA (de Marchi et al. 2000). All of them use stakeholders to develop an extended list of decision criteria and assessment of their fulfilment, but the majority weighs the criteria according to the preferences of a decision maker (which can also be the analyst), while a minority accepts diverse preferences and thus has no overall weighing scheme to offer. As the former (supported by most MCA software) ends up with a clear hierarchy, a kind of non-monetary CBA, we have called it a ‘vertical MCA’. Accepting the legitimacy of partly mutually exclusive value systems rules out the definition of hierarchies as result of an MCA, instead providing equally legitimate alternatives as input to the policy process; we have called this ‘horizontal MCA’. Obviously both types are of different suitability for the purposes discussed here: only the horizontal version confirms to the transdisciplinary methodology, rendering almost all MCA software and most guidebooks non applicable. Outlook for the future Regarding sustainability, science is a part of the problem as much as a part of the solution. There is an urgent need to think outside the box and orient methods and adapt the basics and the methods to the problems of sustainability research. There is no other way to make scientific contributions relevant for future policy processes, and thus to make science, including economics, future proof. References Brandl, S., Hildebrandt, E., 2002. Zukunft der Arbeit und soziale Nachhaltigkeit., Leske + Budrich, Opladen. De Marchi, B., Funtowicz, S.O., Cascia, S.L., Munda, G., 2000. Combining participative institutional approaches with multicriteria evaluation. An empirical study for water issues in Triona, Sicily. Ecological Economics 34(2): 267-282. Funtowicz, S.O., Ravetz, J.R. 1994. The worth of a songbird: ecological economics as a post-normal science. Ecological Economics 10: 197-207. Funtowicz, S.O., Ravetz, J.R., 1993. Science for the post-normal age. Futures 25(7): 739-755. HBS Hans Böckler Stiftung, 2001. Pathways to a sustainable future. Setzkasten, Düsseldorf. Martinez-Alier, J., Munda, G., O'Neill, J., 1998. Weak comparability of values as a foundation for ecological economics. Ecological Economics 26: 277-286.
Mittelstraß, J. 1993. Interdisziplinarität oder Transdisziplinarität? In: L. Hieber (Editor), Utopie Wissenschaft. Profil Verlag, München, pp. 17-31. O’Connor, M., 2002. Social Costs and Sustainability. In: D.H. Bromley, J. Paavola, Economics, Ethics and Environmental Policy: Contested Choices., Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, p. 181–202. Söderbaum, P., 2000. Ecological Economics. Earthscan, London. Spangenberg, J.H., 2002. Environmental space and the prism of sustainability: frameworks for indicators measuring sustainable development. Ecological Indicators 2(4): 295-309. Spangenberg, J.H., Pfahl, S, Deller, K , 2002. Towards indicators for institutional sustainability: lessons from an analysis of Agenda 21. Ecological Indicators 2(1-2): 61-77. WCED World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
(x) Disclosing the trunk and roots of the sustainable development challenge Tommy Jensen PhD, Associate Professor in Business Studies Umeå University, Sweden firstname.lastname@example.org Johan Sandström PhD, Associate Professor in Business Studies Örebro University, Sweden email@example.com Any talk of sustainable development as a ‘triple-bottom line’ (nature-societyeconomy: TBL) is flawed. The reason is simple. Nature does not need society or economy. Society and economy on the other hand not only need each other, but they also fundamentally depend on nature. Nature, that is, is the fundamental bottom line. Any other mindset, such as the one TBL suggests, would not only be unrealistic, but also fundamentally wrong because of its levelling of society and economy with nature. Furthermore, nature does not ‘care’ about, or plan for, the future. Trees, turtles and CO2 emissions do not care if life on the blue planet ceased to exist tomorrow. They have no retirement schemes. Human beings, however, both care and make plans. So, how ironic is it that we have developed technologies and economic and social rituals that are jeopardizing the ecosystems on which we depend; that, to paraphrase the economist Kenneth Boulding (in Beyond Economics: Essays on Society, Religion and Ethics, 1968), we have become rather advanced cowboys in a spaceship. Maybe it was this fundamental tension between nature and humans that made late Finnish philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright (who replaced Ludwig Wittgenstein at Cambridge) suggest (in Science and Reason, 1986) that the human being might be a biologically flawed construction; that we do more harm than good to the blue planet (in short, we are parasites).
Turning Boulding’s metaphor and von Wright’s pessimism into a case for sustainable development it becomes evident that we, as humans, are not on the right track. Put differently, any talk of sustainable development as a technological, economic and/or scientific project risks falling flat unless the fundamental take on nature, nature-asbottom-line, is accepted and incorporated. Addressing this overarching challenge is fundamentally a matter of ontology and ethics, which is probably a strong reason why this challenge is so tough. In this piece, our aim is to frame this challenge conceptually through two important theses: the ‘separation thesis’ and the ‘domination thesis’. First, the separation thesis, that society and nature are two separate things, has been developed from our conceptual understanding of nature as indestructible, mysterious and unreliable. It is partly a romantic view (just as the cowboy-metaphor and the endless frontier of the Wild West is). This conceptual ‘out-thereness’ of nature has created a platform for a destructive relationship with it. Second, as human technical orientation and skill has increased, the society-and-nature relationship has gradually evolved into the domination thesis. Even though mysterious nature cannot be totally unmasked, nor its forces become fully predictable, it is still possible to craft, tame and exploit nature. And, as time flies, the human control tower gets more and more sophisticated. Science, of course, has a great part in this. It is only recently that significant scientific mobilization has emerged around the fact that nature is not a horn of plenty, with unlimited resilience, and that the separation thesis must be rejected; there is negative interference between human constructions and rituals and nature. Sceptics on this issue must still voice their concern (a precondition for an open democratic society), but the alarming state of the planet tells us that less energy should be spent on debating the sceptic viewpoint. As scientists, however, we have still to give up the domination thesis. We have faithfully stayed with sustainable development as a challenge to be addressed through better risk calculation to avoid harmful effects (craftsmanship), increased skills to repair damages caused by human activities (tameness) and causing less environmental destruction through increased effectiveness (exploitation). Evidence abounds that there are pockets of improvements, but the overall graphs, statistics and cases provided by nature (ice melting, storms, floods, and so on) make the case that these strategies are not achieving enough. Any claim rejecting the separation thesis must be followed by a shift from the domination thesis. Consequently, keeping to the domination thesis indirectly implies the maintenance of the separation thesis. A TBL-approach, even though accepting the separation thesis in theory, still cannot realize this acceptance because of its current usage of the domination thesis – ‘a ruined planet is the price we have to pay for a healthy economy and society’ is essentially the outcome of the TBL-approach. So, who will raise the voice to question the domination thesis? On the one hand, we might be wise in putting our trust in the hands of actors and organizations outside academia, lets say politicians, political movements, interest groups, NGOs, citizens, media, corporations, investors etc. On the other hand, and to put it bluntly, science has a power that can, and has to be, used differently in the future. Failure to question the domination thesis creates a significant barrier to change. In other words, there have to be voices from the inside!
What is needed (among other things) are ethical reasons (reason, not rationality) as to why the domination thesis has to be radically modified and, at least partly, replaced by a deeper care for the relation between nature and humans; and not the least, for the weak and poor parts of humanity who are usually most vulnerable when ecological disasters occur (reinforcing the already unequal relationships between humans). So far, however, science is not mobilizing its resources enough in this regard, but it is about time and we hope the New York conference can be an occasion in which more of us can gather strength and inspiration to avoid chatter in the foliage and instead focus on and progress from what we know about the ‘trunk and roots’ – the fundamental principles – of the challenges we face.
(xi) The Great Commandment, Tao, and the Sustainability of Humanity11 Professor Nicholas Beale Director Sciteb 1 Heddon Street London W1B 4DB firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Pollack Professor of Biological Sciences Director, Center for the Study of Science and Religion Director, University Seminars Columbia University email@example.com “But why should the species be preserved? ... Stepping outside the Tao, they have stepped into the void.” C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, 1947:77 At present humans appear wildly successful in evolutionary terms: with a mass comparable to other primates we have an abundance comparable to insects. But this success is entangled with a paradox: evolutionary success is traditionally seen as based on fierce competition, yet our current success is unsustainable without unprecedented levels of cooperation. A partial resolution of this paradox comes from realizing that cooperation is a fundamental principle of biology, and indeed from our earliest primate ancestors, our biological origins lie in the emergence of the most complex and long-lived cooperative behaviors among extended families. Without these levels of cooperation the success of humankind would have been impossible. It is also significant that a number of major world religions attach great importance to widely-directed love, compassion, and respect for Creation, and that religion has historically been a substantial factor in widespread cooperation. So, we must now find out – quickly – whether the biological gift of a habit of cooperativeness, aided and abetted by religious or other underpinnings, will also be sufficient to save us as a species from the future consequences of our current success. 11
The article is based on the authors’ paper, ‘The Great Commandment, Tao, and the Survival of Humanity’, published in the Union Seminary Quarterly Report, 2011. 50
The need for cooperation of which we speak operates at several levels. The idea that scientific progress would inevitably lead to peaceful coexistence was tested in the 20th Century, and, in the memorable phrase of Roy Enquist, “the laboratory, as we now know, turned out to be an abattoir.”12 From at least the time of Archimedes, technological and scientific progress have been intimately linked with warfare. This reached an apotheosis with the development of nuclear weapons, which gave human beings for the first time a technology capable of substantially destroying the biosphere and making the continued survival of humanity decidedly questionable. It used to be asserted that a full-scale nuclear war might eliminate life on earth - “Military Humanicide”. But there are further potential sources of catastrophe. Widespread international travel sadly makes global epidemics feasible. So far nothing has exceeded the devastation of HIV/AIDS; but it is quite probable that another more devastating epidemic will arise in the next 10-50 years and “Microbial Humanicide” is a real possibility. Then there is a cluster of environmental threats of which global climate change may be taken as a paradigm. Without going into the details, it is clear at least that a sufficient level of human irresponsibility could have devastating effects on the biosphere13, so that “Environmental Humanicide” is a serious issue. For completeness we can add two more clusters of problems, which we might call “Logistical Humanicide” precipitated by a major global breakdown of the increasingly sophisticated logistics (both physical and IT) on which humanity depends, and “Astronomical Humanicide” whereby some event such as a major meteor strike has devastating consequences. There are two common aspects of all of these. Firstly, with the exception of the Astronomical, all of these potential humanicides could be caused or seriously exacerbated by human behavior. Secondly, avoiding any of these requires a substantial degree of “cooperation” involving people forgoing a present (apparent) benefit to avoid a serious medium- or long-term harm. If we take the cases of HIV/Aids or global climate change , we can see that both restraint and cooperation are required from a large number of people: broadly speaking anyone who is sexually active with more than one partner and anyone who is economically active respectively. The time-delay between the deleterious behavior and a visible catastrophe is typically 5-15 years for HIV/AIDS and perhaps 30100 years from climate change; the apparent benefits, sexual gratification and economic growth, are very alluring. Humans are notoriously bad at balancing short-term advantage against long-term disadvantage14 and even with “full rationality” the correct principles for such balancing are not entirely clear.15 There is an additional problem that, if we limit our understanding of humanity to Homo economicus, it is difficult to incentivize people after they are dead. A deeper and more nuanced account of human behavior and motivation is evidently necessary to account for the considerable sacrifices that people do in fact make for the benefit of future generations.
Enquist 2009, 76.
McCarthy 2009, Weitzman 2009, Kousky et. Al. 2009 See eg (De Martino et al. 2006 ) and papers that cite this, such as (Mickels & Reed 2009). 14
See the Stern Review on Climate Change, which adopted a 0.1% discount rate on the future costs relating to climate change, and the discussion and criticism of the review on this point, eg (Dasgupta 2006, Weitzman 2007). 51
Without wishing to go into an excessive level of spurious quantification, we can see that in about half a century the level of cooperation required to avoid humanicide has gone from zero, through getting fewer than 10 people (less than 0.0000001% of humanity) to forgo a dubious benefit to avoid immediate catastrophic loss, to the present situation where on a 50-year view 10-90% of humanity must cooperate to avoid a catastrophe on a timeframe of decades. Part of this paradox can be resolved by a reconsideration of the fact that cooperation is also a fundamental principle of biology.16 At every level, life depends on cooperation: the ecosystem, the population, the organism, and the cell. Denis Noble is particularly eloquent about this in The Music of Life and subsequent writings,17 where he offers the view that biological explanations cannot ultimately either be “top down” or “bottom up” but must be “middle out.” A moment’s reflection makes it clear that the vastly complex and intricate mechanisms of biological cooperation are an essential pre-requisite to the competition that goes on at the edges and which has become the focus of much evolutionary thinking. Without cells, organisms, populations and ecosystems there can be no competition at all. We could adapt Edison’s famous dictum and say that biology is 1% competition, 99% cooperation. To reach the required levels of cooperation we need sufficiently widespread agreement between people on how they will act, even if there is a divergence of views on why these actions are needed. These agreements must be both within nation-states and across national boundaries. Public Goods games often lead to depressing conclusions: that players fail to avert a catastrophe by making relatively small sacrifices even when every player knows that, if they don’t show the necessary restraint, they will lose everything.18 If many or even most of the players believed that they could leave the game with their winnings before the catastrophe occurred, and that the catastrophe would happen to other people, the conclusions would be even bleaker. We think serious research is needed about what we might call Delayed Catastrophe Games, and would welcome collaborators on this. But there is another way of telling the human story. Instead of beginning with matter/energy we can begin with love and wisdom – indeed in the beginning, God.19 If “rational self-interest” in people’s own lifetimes may not lead to the necessary levels of cooperation, how about a worldview based on the primacy of love and wisdom? As C.S. Lewis famously pointed out in The Abolition of Man there is a great deal of agreement between major world religions about the fundamental principles of human behavior. 20 When Jesus singles out “Love your Neighbour as yourself” as the second great commandment he is of course quoting Leviticus 19:18. In his parable of the Good Samaritan he implies strongly that this commandment should be interpreted really widely; indeed Leviticus 19:33 already extends this to “aliens.”
Noble 2006 and Noble 2008.
Milinski et al. 2008, Tavoni et al. 2010.
A fuller exploration of the authors’ respective approaches to this are in (Polkinghorne and Beale 2009) and (Pollack 2000).
Lewis 1943, esp 95-121. 52
Interpreted sufficiently widely, this “ethic of deep reciprocity” potentially contains the seed for the survival of humanity. Why should I restrain my consumption, my sexual behavior, or my greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of billions of others whom I will never meet? Love your neighbor as yourself. Why should people devote resources to address problems, such as meteor impact, of which the devastating consequences are more likely to happen after their death than before it? Love your neighbor as yourself. Of course love is not a panacea. Love needs to be complemented by wisdom. One essential aspect of scientific discovery is that it allows people to take wiser decisions. The science of the ozone layer and climate change both spring to mind. But although scientific knowledge may be an enabler of wisdom, there is more to wisdom than factual information. T.S. Eliot's plangent lines: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”21 become increasingly pertinent as scientific “progress” deluges us with more and more papers. We cannot, from a scientific point of view, specify what values humans should adopt. But we can observe that certain sets of values will be compatible with continued evolutionary success, whereas others will not. It is clear that we need an “ethic of enough” in respect of most material things. These notions of value go well beyond the domain of science. The emergence in nature four billion years ago of novel positive feedback loops of self-replicating informational molecules (DNA and RNA), may well be the natural source of life, but cannot of itself provide the values or motivations required. However, it is interesting at least to contemplate the possibility that scientific investigation of the conditions necessary to the continued survival and flourishing of humanity may accord with some of the deepest wisdom from religious traditions that have been with us for millennia. Impoverished worldviews, in which human beings and all other forms of life are just lumbering robots controlled by selfish genes, are being replaced by deeper understanding, which realizes the fundamental significance of inter-relationships and cooperation.22 We think this will lead to increasing convergence between the worldviews of those for whom Matter/energy is the most fundamental, and of those who see, behind these realities, the love of God.23 14 15
See eg Polkinghorne & Beale 2009 esp pp 9-11, and 117-150. Wilson 2006 is an example of a step in that direction.
References Dasgupta, Patha. 2006. “Comments on the Stern Review's Economics of Climate Change.” www.econ.cam.ac.uk/faculty/dasgupta/STERN.pdf (accessed 11-Aug2010). De Martino, Benedetto, Dharshan Kumaran, Ben Seymour, and Raymond J. Dolan. 2006. “Frames, Biases, and Rational Decision-Making in the Human Brain”. Science 313, 684-687. Eliot, TS. 1934. Choruses from The Rock: A Pageant Play Written for Performance on Behalf of the Forty-Five Churches Fund of the Diocese of London. London: Faber and Faber. 21
Enquist, Roy. 2009. The Courage to Believe .El Paso: Hansen-McMenamy Books Jablonka, Eva and Marion Lamb. 2006. Evolution in Four Dimensions Cambridge: MIT Press. Lewis, CS. 1947. The Abolition of Man. New York: Macmillan. McCarthy, James J. 2009. “Reflections On: Our Planet and Its Life, Origins, and Futures.” Science 326 1646-1655. Milinski, M., Sommerfeld, R. D., Krambeck H-J., Reed F. A., and Marotzke, J. 2008. “The collective-risk social dilemma and the prevention of simulated dangerous climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 2291-2294. Noble, Denis. 2006. The Music of Life: Biology beyond the Genome. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Noble, Denis. 2008. “Claude Bernard, the first systems biologist, and the future of physiology.” Experimental Physiology 93, 16-26. Polkinghorne, John and Nicholas Beale. 2009. Questions of Truth: Fifty one Responses to Questions about God, Science and Belief. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Pollack, Robert. 2000. The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning and Free Will in Modern Science. New York: Columbia University Press. Wilson, EO. 2006. The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. New York. W. W. Norton.
From time to time, members of the ISDRS recommend books that will be of common interest. Members and friends of the Society are invited to make their recommendations for future issues of the Newsletter. Some recent notable publications include: Susan George (2011) Whose Crisis, Whose Future? Towards a Greener, Fairer, Richer World. Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-5138-5 Hoffman, M.J. (2011) Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Experimenting with a Global Response after Kyoto. OUP: USA. Mehta, L. (ed.) (2011) The Limits To Scarcity: Contesting the politics of allocation. London: Earthscan Spangenberg, J.H. (ed.) (2009). Sustainable Development - Past Conflicts and Future Challenges. Westfälisches Dampfboot, Münster. ISBN 978-3-89691-673-0.
ISDRS NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 2, APRIL, 2011
We hope you have enjoyed reading the first issue of the ISDRS Newsletter for 2011. The second issue will be available at the end of April. Articles of 1000 words can be sent to the Editor for consideration by 31 March: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISDRS Newsletter 1 2011