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The Knowledge Domain of Sustainability What we know that we dont know that we know KMLF 25 th July 2012 Leigh Baker

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Presentation on theme: "The Knowledge Domain of Sustainability What we know that we dont know that we know KMLF 25 th July 2012 Leigh Baker"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Knowledge Domain of Sustainability What we know that we dont know that we know KMLF 25 th July 2012 Leigh Baker

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3 The next wave: sustainability = opportunity Our growing knowledge base: Body of theory: How to do good business on a finite planet. Body of evidence: Strategic, integrated sustainability is profitable. Body of practice: Innovation practices for restorative/regenerative business.

4 A body of THEORY on sustainability as opportunity From the 1990s on, a body of theory has been developing, grounded in core sciences like chemistry and biology. It includes: The Natural Step Natural Capitalism Biomimicry Cradle to Cradle

5 Shift our thinking: our mindsets and mental models Infinite resources / Infinite capacity Finite resources / Finite capacity 1-way (Mine/Make/Dump) Closed loop / Industrial ecology Manageable systems/controllable processes Complexity / Constant change Products / Production Processes Service / Flow / Value Big complex technology solutions Smart local and small Our business / our 4 walls Our supply chain / whole system Competition Co-operation Cost / Expense / Compliance Opportunity / fun / value / profit

6 Straightforward principles 1.Everything is a service 2.There are NO wastes 3.Design for total safety 4.Design for re-manufacture 5.Copy natural processes 6.Use MUCH less 7.Think small, local and smart

7 For example…

8 Car as service Flexicar carshare (Melbourne & Sydney) drive your own car without owning one

9 Local energy Hepburn Wind – community owned local energy.

10 Turn a waste into a product Close the Loop: Melbourne cartridge recycling eWood® and pre-fab garden beds Industrial plastics colorant Re-manufactured felt tip pens

11 Design for re-manufacture

12 Connect supply and demand Brightfarms USA: Operating greenhouses on top of supermarkets. stallgreenhousesontherooftopsofsupermarkets

13 Small smart local energy Ridgeblade (UK) wind turbines

14 Local energy generation

15 And many, many more… LinkedIn Regenerative Business Discussion

16 A body of EVIDENCE: sustainability = opportunity From the 1990s onwards, a growing body of evidence from the MAINSTREAM of business and government in Australia and around the world is proving that integrated, strategic sustainability is profitable (and fun). There is no dilemma, there is no problem and there is no single magic wand.

17 The Woking story In the late 1980s Woking Borough Council (WBC) was looking to make cost savings and identified its energy budget as an area where these savings could be made… They started with energy efficient lighting and went on to deliver locally-generated combined heat & power (CHP). By 2004 the authority had reduced emissions of CO2 from within its own estate by 77.4% (142,013 tonnes) on 1990 levels… And: –Residents were paying the same price for power and heating as they previously paid for heating. –As the council was providing the energy, they had a new income stream. (NOTE: Allan Jones [OBE] is now working in Sydney)

18 The Interface Story In 1994, after 21 years in business, Interface Flooring made a mid- course correction. Their founder set them a new goal - to become the worlds first RESTORATIVE business. They took a sledgehammer to conventional wisdom and turned their ideas about their business upside down. As a result of this correction, from 1996 to 2008: -They cut GHG emissions by 71% -They avoided $405 million in costs -Powered 7 of their 10 factories with renewable energy. -Reduced their scrap sent to landfill by 78% While: -Sales increased by two-thirds -Earnings doubled -They built a strong reputation in their market for a unique product range. They proved that: Done right, sustainability doesnt cost. It pays.

19 Ontera Australia Sydney carpet company Ontera has profited significantly from their sustainability strategy, and their five year results show they're making great progress "climbing Mount Sustainability". Some of their results so far include: 40 per cent reduction in electricity and gas use (per m2 finished) over five years. 25 per cent reduction in waste over five years. 40 per cent reduction in water consumption in five years From a regenerative perspective, their loop-closing explorations are particularly interesting: Diverting used carpet tile from landfill into local reuse and recycling initiatives: and Turning waste trim into an input to carpet underlay manufacture.

20 Body of PRACTICE Rooted in business development and innovation adoption: Begin with the end in mind Build understanding Set BHAGs Shop-floor led innovation Measure and publicise performance (game it up) Reward achievement

21 The KM Challenge We know the bulk of what we need to know to implement an exciting, rewarding, sustainable future: Coherent theory; Evidence that the theory works; Implementation practices (the how of the how). How do we mobilise what we know?

22 How can we take existing knowledge bases like… Leadership and management Innovation adoption Business development Marketing Lean / TQM / Zero waste Systems thinking

23 And add fascinating new fields of knowledge… Life Cycle Analysis Biomimicry Industrial ecology Clean Technology

24 And generate a fundamental shift…. Sustainability is an exciting business and career opportunity thats just too good to miss out on…


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