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Benefits for Communities
The Natural Step’s integrated approach to sustainable community planning and decision-making provides communities with a number of benefits including:
- Shared Community Vision – creating a shared vision that reflects the entire community’s desired future that excites and engages citizens and of course, brings your community strategically closer towards environmental and social sustainability in an economically sound way.
- Improved Decision-Making - Enhanced integration of sustainability into decision-making processes in the community by linking long-term sustainability challenges with short-term, day-to-day roles and decisions and managing the inevitable trade offs. This allows individuals to understand the full cost of current decisions.
- Employee Loyalty and Trust – Studies have shown that employees are more productive when they are fully engaged. Allowing staff to drive their own sustainability initiatives is an effective way of doing this.
- Improved Stakeholder Alignment - collaboration becomes possible when groups use a common language and create a shared vision of success for sustainability. Use of common framework promotes a non-confrontational approach that quickly gets stakeholders on the same page and moving in the same direction.
- Cost Savings - Redesigning energy, material flows and impacts in the direction of sustainability can significantly reduce operational costs for municipalities.
- Increased Citizen Engagement – The use of a simple, effective framework for communicating and working through complex issues improves community engagement through community sustainability initiatives.
- Improved Reputation – Promotion of the community as a leader in sustainability
- More cohesive policy decisions – Enhanced policies and programs incorporating a sustainability perspective that stimulates innovation (e.g. capital investment guidelines, procurement policies, environmental management systems).