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- Thursday, 19 April 2012 | Submitted by Richard Blume
The Natural Step invites you to join us at the Stockholm +40 Conference next week. The meeting builds from the UN Stockholm Conference in 1972. We are pleased to host a round table discussion on food in collaboration with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. We would also like to take the opportunity to invite you to an open dialogue meeting set up in conjunction to the conference. The dialogue meeting is planned for Sunday between 1-4 pm and will take you into a discussion of the coming challenges and sustainability. The dialogue springs out of a network of organizations and initiatives.
- Wednesday, 18 April 2012 | Submitted by Richard Blume
Welcome to The Natural Step's landing site covering our approach to sustainable chemical management.
Today's use of industrial chemicals is far from sustainable.
A history of mistrust toward the chemical industry and numerous cases where downstream effects of chemicals have been discovered long after substances have been released on the market have meant that chemical management is a controversial subject.Tuesday, 17 April 2012 | Submitted by Regina Hauser
The first rule of Wendell Berry’s 17 Rules for a Sustainable Community is: Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth?
This rule encapsulates the element of sustainability often missed: social equity. This is somewhat ironic, because the common definition of sustainable development since 1987 has been “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Most organizations even use common vernacular for sustainability: The “three-legged stool” or “triple bottom line” are used as shorthand for economy, environment and equity.
In practice, however, few organizations measure their social equity performance beyond their own employment practices. Some organizations also include philanthropic contributions in their equity measures. While both of these measurements are important, are they enough?Monday, 16 April 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Depuis le milieu des années 90 les représentations de The Natural Step se démultiplient. Et aujourd’hui ce réseau international est représenté sur tous les continents.
Partout dans le monde The Natural Step a contribué à changer les pratiques :
- de géants et de PME (secteur de : la chimie, l’agroalimentaire, la banque et assurance, l’habitat et de la construction, de la mobilité et des transports),
- de territoire au niveau local, régional, et européen,
- d’institutions et d’agences publiques.
La démarche a été primée à plusieurs reprises:Wednesday, 11 April 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Max Burgers, long time partner of The Natural Step (read our case study here), is once again making headlines. The restaurant was highlighted in TIME World for their sustainability efforts in the article Why Going Green Can Mean Big Money for Fast-Food Chains.
In late 2008, a fast-food burger restaurant in Sweden received an odd complaint letter. It was from a mother of two, asking the chain to get rid of the boxes that its kids' meals were packaged in. Her children only wanted the fries and toys, she said, and she was annoyed at having to throw the boxes straight into the recycling bin. It was an unusual request with an unusual outcome. Max Burgers — Sweden's No. 1 burger chain — decided to do away with the kids'-meal boxes in all of its 75 restaurants, explaining to customers that it was reducing waste. No one complained. In fact, sales of kids' meals rose. The company had turned sustainability into a selling point.Tuesday, 03 April 2012 | Submitted by Simon Harvey
Imagine projecting the mega trends of un-sustainability onto a building project. We would see all the symptoms of unsustainability; climate change impacts, ecological degradation; escalating energy, water and travel costs; inefficient HVAC (air) creating uncomfortable houses and offices that make you ill; risk aversion at every stage, creating silo solutions and a race to the bottom of the cost & quality barrel.
What would a building look like that addressed all these issues and responded strategically to these constraints? Imagine that it went even further and used bio-mimicry design to generate solutions that positively improve our society, environment and economy? Well these buildings exist already. They are called Living Buildings.The New Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line (Tenth Anniversary Edition)Tuesday, 03 April 2012 | Submitted by Josh SniderThe world sustainability leader in the fast food industry Max Burgers share their story at Planet Under PressureMonday, 26 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
One may ask how it is possible to open a chain of Burger restaurants that outperforms the international fast food giants. Max Burgers not only made McDonald’s close down restaurants in the northern towns of Sweden but they also try to seed a revolution for a sustainable fast food industry. Max Burgers are the first chain of restaurants in the world to provide carbon labeling for all its meals and fully offset the environmental impact of its operation by planting trees in Africa. The Max reforestation program is the largest in the entire Plan-Vivo certification system. The goal is to make the whole operation fossil fuel-free and to become a fully sustainable enterprise in a sustainable society. They can however, not reach their goal without help from their industry colleagues.Sunday, 25 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Illustration text: At Max Burgers you can see exactly how much carbon impact your meal has all the way from the farmers land to the guests hand directly on the menu. This has resulted in a 15 percent increase in sales of carbon efficient alternatives.
“Enabling consumers to make sustainable choices and advance responsible behaviour individually and collectively” is according to a fresh UN report something that supports a future worth choosing. In a restaurant such as Max burgers, a partner of The Natural Step, it comes down quite literally to menu options. That’s not enough however.
At Max we know that we, along with our entire industry and society as a whole, are unsustainable. But we are also, as anyone else could be, a change agent for a better future. And here clear results do matter. Since 2005 we have been recognised as the healthiest in the industry in Sweden where we have our operations. In 2008 we became the first in the world to put climate on the menu. But to further assist our guests we decided to carbon offset all of our products through reforestation in Africa through Plan Vivo certificates. Of course we are also simultaneously working at reducing the impact of our products.Thursday, 08 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Karlskrona, Sweden is looking for prospective students for a Master’s degree in Sustainable Product-Service System Innovation (MSPI). Do you know an engineer, designer or product innovator looking to enhance their skills and expertise?
As our world becomes increasingly complex and the need for more sustainable products and services becomes essential, designers and engineers on the cutting edge of sustainable innovative practices are increasing in demand. Industry needs people who understand what the world wants: innovative products and services delivered in the most sustainable way possible.
At BTH, we believe that combining an overarching approach to socio-ecological sustainability with a disciplined focus on meeting market and human needs through product-service systems is the way of the future, and we are doing our part to show the way. By closely collaborating with our industrial partners (to see our industrial partners click here), we are preparing people to be the next generation of innovators. They will be bringing together engineering, innovation, and sustainability competence through this unique master's programme.
The MSPI programme supports the sustainable development of global economy and society. Check out our programme design here.