Sustainable development (SD). Have you heard of it? Do you know what it is exactly? This section is intended to help you find out.
Sustainable development as a concept has been around for many years, but came to the notice of the majority in the 1980’s, when the World Commission on Environment and Development produced a report entitled ‘Our common future’, more widely known as ‘The Brundtland Report’.
This report gave the world the now generally accepted definition of sustainable development, which is to say that it:
‘…meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.
In simple terms, then, sustainable development means using what you’ve got without ever using it up. It means having fun and being comfortable today in such a way that you can still have fun and be comfortable tomorrow.
- be aware of areas of concern with regard to sustainability;
- know how to undertake a basic sustainable development audit; and,
- understand how your business can benefit from embracing sustainable initiatives.
Sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for all, now and in the future. It is to do with economic growth achieved whilst protecting the environment, and making the benefits available to everyone. It follows that sustainable development is an issue for everyone, not just for major corporations. Small businesses have a crucial role to play.
The information in this section is intended as a starting point only. We would recommend that you contact a business adviser in your area for further information.
By now you may well be thinking, hang on a minute, I’ve got enough to think about just getting my business going without this as well - and what about the cost involved!
A key feature of sustainable development is that it comprises three elements: Environment, Society, Economy. Or, if you like, the three Ps: Planet, People, Profit. All three, in no particular order, are balanced so that one doesn’t destroy another.
In the early stages in particular, it is not necessary to get consultants involved - you can conduct a basic SD audit yourself. The aim is to highlight areas of actual or potential concern so that you can then carry out some research to help address those issues.
The success of a plan of any kind in an organisation depends upon the support of the management team at all levels, followed by the acceptance and subsequent support of the employees. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of success in your venture. To plan to make energy SAVINGS, you should: