Global Trends in Environmental Sustainability
Environmental Sustainability: Global Trends
Sustainability has emerged as one of the primary drivers of innovation and business development around the world, but not all regions are performing equally. Newsweek’s recently released Green Rankings 2011 report indicates that European corporations continue to lead the pack when it comes to sustainability reporting, while U.S. companies remain some of the most prone to environmental controversies.
Why are American companies lagging behind their European counterparts? Is it the result of cultural differences? Or are regional regulatory disparities shaping industry differently? Read more about global green trends and the driving factors behind them: Continue reading
How Sustainable Design is Shaping Everything from Architecture to Agriculture
Sustainable Design is Transforming Our Markets, Our Society, and Our Environment
We’ve previously talked about sustainable agriculture on this blog, but it should be said that this only one of many forms of the broader movement toward “sustainable design.” Sustainable design encompasses everything from architecture and urban planning to industrial design and, of course, agriculture.
Its basic intention is twofold: (1) to reduce or outright eliminate negative environmental impacts and (2) to reconnect people with nature and more holistic considerations of their place within it. Those overall aims go hand-in-hand, yet they are being pursued in a variety of different ways.
Below, we will discuss some of the basic principles of sustainable design alongside concrete examples of how it is shaping practices across a wide range of industries and disciplines. Continue reading
Local Leader City Repair
Local Leader: City Repair — Building Sustainable Communities
For a few years now, we’ve all heard the locavores’ cries of revitalizing our communities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing local food. But the move toward localization doesn’t only center around sustainable chow. Enter a new breed: City Repair seeks to reclaim urban spaces for public use and create sustainable, empowered communities.
According to their website: “City Repair began in Portland, Oregon with the idea that localization – of culture, of economy, of decision-making – is a necessary foundation of sustainability. By reclaiming urban spaces to create community-oriented places, we plant the seeds for greater neighborhood communication, empower our communities and nurture our local culture.”
But what does that mean in practical terms? Continue reading
Sustainable Agriculture: Meeting Current Needs Without Sacrificing Future Needs
Sustainable Agriculture: Managing Natural and Human Resources
Agriculture requires the dedication of many of our natural resources, including land, water, and energy. When the quality and quantity of our natural resources degrades as a result of unsustainable practices, it’s not only the environment that suffers–the viability of future agricultural operations is also put at risk. Sustainable agriculture is founded on the premise that our resources can be carefully managed and cultivated to make them last indefinitely.
And it’s not just natural resources that proponents of sustainable agriculture are focused on; it’s also human resources. Treating workers equitably helps cultivate our social and economic vitality, which can be eroded as easily as environmental health by unfair labor practices–and at enormous cost to our society.
Of course, profitability is also essential to sustainability. Every industry has to make money to subsist. So how do we reconcile the bottom line with the need for ecologically and socially responsible practices? The following are the 5 most important elements of sustainable agriculture. Continue reading