The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices

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In short, to become a sustainable society we must: … eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of substances extracted from the Earth's crust; … eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of chemicals and compounds produced by society; … eliminate our contribution to the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes; and … eliminate our contribution to structural obstacles to: health; influence; competence; impartiality and; meaning-making.

The negative wording is often debated as the use of 'not' can have a negative emotional connotation. As in a game with game rules, it doesn't tell you everything you should do, they leave that up to the imagination of the players, they allow you to do anything as long as it is within all agreed rules of the game. The restrictions set by these 'rules of the game' stimulate creativity as they are applied in personal, professional or community planning and decision-making.

On the success level organizations, institutes and individuals add their own secondary principles of success based on their specific context or needs. Often confused with Strategy. To be able to be strategic , one needs to know where one wants to be or where one is heading. The framework bases its planning approach on a concept called backcasting and more specifically backcasting from sustainability principles.

Backcasting is the process of moving backwards from an imagined vision of success. One begins with an end in mind, moves backwards from the vision to the present , and moves step-by-step towards the vision. Different general strategies can be applied to reach success based on a general understanding of the system including:. The actions that you can do within the strategy to reach success within the system e. Raise awareness on specific sustainability topics, education programs on what sustainability is and how it could be approached, selecting different suppliers based on sustainability criteria, designing or implementing policies, analyze the life cycle of a product, create a sustainability report, facilitate a dialogue with specific stakeholders around a particular challenge, etc.

A variety of tools and concepts can be supportive when addressing sustainability.

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Informed by the framework and priorities of actions can help to select and implement the appropriate tools. Tools can then be optimally used: for the purpose they were designed to do together with other complimentary tools. The ABCD method is the approach with which the framework backcasting from the 4 sustainability principles can be applied to an organization. A: Awareness and visioning.

The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices

After understanding the system your organization works within and the principles, members of the organization create a vision on how they would like the organization to be. Organisations should also identify the service they provide, independent of the product, sparking more creative goals. B: Baseline assessment. The organisation analyses and maps what it has been doing currently and evaluates it based on the 4 principles. It allows for the organisation to identify critical issues, implications and opportunities. C: Creative solutions.

Members of the organisation brainstorm for solutions to the issues raised previously, without constraint.

The Natural Step - Wikipedia

With the vision and potential actions, organisations backcast to develop strategies for sustainability. D: Decide on priorities. The organisation prioritizes the different actions developed previously that help gear it to sustainability in the fastest and most optimal way, by asking a set of questions: by asking: i Does this action move us in the right direction? Backcasting is continually used to assess and evaluate the actions, to determine if the organisation is moving towards the vision set in 'A'.

Much research has been done on the interfacing of the FSSD with other known tools and concepts within the sustainable development arena Interfaces with most sustainability tools and concepts have been described. Below various examples:. Furthermore, various tools and other forms of support have been developed by and in collaboration with TNS. Others have been inspired by, or based upon the TNS framework, some more rigorous than others. The framework is applicable to organisations of any sector, size, location , processes, products, services, business models.

It can be used to analyse other sustainability tools and concepts and strengthens other tools by placing them in the context and focus on what they are designed to do. When applied correctly, also the business case for sustainability and the sustainability case for business are taken into account to create inspiring cases and best practices.

Sustainable Development Goals Explained: Communities and Resilience

This is what a network should do — identify the people who would like to do something good. And they are everywhere. This is how the change will appear — you won't notice the difference. It won't be anyone winning over anyone. It will just spread. One day you don't need any more signs saying "Don't spit on the floor," or "Don't put substances in the lake which can't be processed.

It will be something that the intelligent people do, and nobody will say that it was due to The Natural Step or your magazine. It will just appear. Eco-municipalities , based on the Natural Step's system conditions, originated in Sweden. Over 80 municipalities and several regions 25 percent of all Swedish municipalities have adopted the TNS sustainability principles based on the system conditions.


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There are now 12 eco-municipalities in the United States and the American Planning Association has adopted sustainability objectives based on the same principles. Each of these companies have completely re-thought their business and have examined and changed all their processes including purchase of materials, manufacturing, transportation, construction of facilities, maintenance and waste management.

The Natural Step was introduced to the Northwest through three one-day conferences introduced by Northwest Earth Institute.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Eco-municipalities: Sweden and the United States: A systems approach to creating communities.


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  6. New other : lowest price. About this product Product Information Sustainability might seem like one more buzzword, and cities and towns like the last place to change, but this book provides inspiring examples of communities that have made dramatic chjanges towards sustainability, and explains how others can emulate their success.

    The book first clarifies the concept of sustainability, offering guiding principles that help identify sustanable action in any area. It then introduces the sixty-plus eco-municipalities of Sweden thathave adopted changes to sustainable practices throughout municipal policies and operations. The third section explains how they did it, and outlines how other communities in North America and elsewhere can do the same.

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