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IMPORTANT TERMS/ CONCEPTS PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY 1. Maintain or improve the quality of the environment and environmental systems 2. Maintain or improve quality of life for humans in balance with non-human life. 3. Improve local economic vitality and equal access to economic resources 4. Promote and improve social inclusion and equity

KEY SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES 1. Leave resources which need to be pulled out of the ground in the ground 2. Use renewable and responsibly harvested resources and energy 3. Avoid toxic, non-biodegradable chemicals and products derived from those chemicals 4. Buy locally grown and manufacture products 5. Buy fair trade

Sustainable Development: Economic, social, and environmental policies and practices that meet the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Systems Thinking: Understanding how things influence one another within a whole. Examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. Within sustainable development this may include considering how economic policy, such as tax code, will affect the environment by encouraging or incentivizing types of investment. Or, it could include how environmental policy pertaining to resources might affect politics and social change, such as water rights negotiation impacting indigenous populations. Wicked Problems: Describes a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. Not evil but resistant to resolution. Many key issues in sustainable development are viewed as “Wicked Problems” as they look at the social, economic and environmental factors and how they are interrelated. Life-Cycle Assessment: A technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life from-cradle-to-grave and give a more complete view of it’s environmental impacts. Benefit Corporations or B Corp: An incorporation model in the United States which is designed for for-profit corporations to include and weigh social and environmental concerns, in addition to profitability, in their decision making process. Previous models of incorporation effectively forbid companies from prioritizing social and environmental issues if they were to negatively impact profitability. Similar emerging models include low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs), and flexible purpose corporations.

6. Be transparent 7. Give back to the environment and society


n. the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

1972 - Water Pollution Control Act is passed

1983 - World Commission on Environment and Development, the Brundtland Commission, founded

1973 - Endangered Species Act is passed

1992 - The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as Earth Summit convenes 172 countries and resulted in Agenda 21 (a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan for sustainability), as well as the formation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

1987 - Brundtland Report, Our Common Future, is published

1995 - Parties to the UNFCCC meet in Berlin at the 1st Conference of Parties (COP1) to outline specific targets on emissions

1997 - At COP3 the parties establish the Kyoto Protocol in Kyoto, Japan, in which they agree to the broad outlines of emissions targets

2002 - Russia and Canada ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC bringing the treaty into effect on February 16th, 2005 1998 - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council

2011 - World population reaches 7 Billion and is increasingly interconnected

2008 - World food, fuel and financial crises converge, food prices increase by 43% in one year

For a more In Depth Sustainability Timeline go to: 9

S.O.S. Action Guide  

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