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1 Sustainability SSEE 11 March 2010 by David Rice Sustainable Transport Coalition of WA - let’s get real.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Sustainability SSEE 11 March 2010 by David Rice Sustainable Transport Coalition of WA - let’s get real."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Sustainability SSEE 11 March 2010 by David Rice Sustainable Transport Coalition of WA - let’s get real

2 2 Sustainable Transport Coalition of WA An advocacy group for sustainable transport, especially the impact of peak oil Run conferences eg Oil: Living with Less Prepare policies eg Alternative Fuels Issue newsletters

3 3 International Conference NZ 2007 ‘Transport – the next 50 years’

4 4 International Conference NZ 2007 ‘Transport – the next 50 years’ Sustainability – whatever that is

5 5 STC old definition of Sustainable Transport: Canadian Centre for Sustainable TransportationCanadian Centre for Sustainable Transportation: A sustainable transportation system is one that: allows the basic access needs of individuals and societies to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and with equity within and between generations. is affordable, operates efficiently, offers choice of transport mode, and supports a vibrant economy. limits emissions and waste within the planet's ability to absorb them, minimizes consumption of non-renewable resources, limits consumption of renewable resources to the sustainable yield level, reuses and recycles its components, and minimizes the use of land and the production of noise.

6 6 STC old definition of Sustainable Transport: Canadian Centre for Sustainable TransportationCanadian Centre for Sustainable Transportation: A sustainable transportation system is one that: allows the basic access needs of individuals and societies to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and with equity within and between generations. is affordable, operates efficiently, offers choice of transport mode, and supports a vibrant economy. limits emissions and waste within the planet's ability to absorb them, minimizes consumption of non-renewable resources, limits consumption of renewable resources to the sustainable yield level, reuses and recycles its components, and minimizes the use of land and the production of noise. Too long to remember, difficult to interpret

7 7 Sustainable Transport Consultant What is ‘sustainable transport’?

8 8 Sustainable Transport Consultant What is ‘sustainable transport’? It is walking and cycling No other modes are truly sustainable

9 9 Sustainable Transport Consultant What is ‘sustainable transport’? It is walking and cycling No other modes are truly sustainable Get real - we need to know more

10 10 Two parts 1.Getting real 2.Why other systems don’t quite make it

11 11 1. Getting real What is sustainability in day to day use ?

12 12 Get real Most of our actions are not truly sustainable

13 13 To get real We need:- a) Definition - simple, memorable b) Process - to get as close as possible c) Measure – of how close

14 14 To get real We need:- a) Definition - simple, memorable b) Process - to get as close as possible c) Measure – of how close

15 15 a) Definition

16 16 STC 3 Definition of sustainability is the social, environmental and economic impacts of an action are all positive; now and for the next seven generations 3 Sustainable Transport Coalition of WA, 2009

17 17 Principle is first do no harm

18 18 Mind map:- social environment economic

19 19 social environment economic the ecosystem of planet earth, upon which all life is dependant

20 20 social environment economic the ecosystem of planet earth, upon which all life is dependant humankind, one of 1.7 million species on planet earth

21 21 social environment economic the ecosystem of planet earth, upon which all life is dependant humankind, one of 1.7 million species on planet earth a social outcome, to be seen in context and not seen as the sole goal, or even the paramount goal

22 22 Economic Typical economic impacts:- Benefit Cost Ratios Tourism Resource development Local business Agriculture

23 23 Social Typical social impacts:- Community access Displacement of people Heritage Vibration Noise Traffic crashes Personal security Visual quality Dangerous goods

24 24 Environmental Impacts on the natural bio-physical environment ‘Social’ and ‘economic’ cover impacts on humans Typical environmental impacts:- Air pollution Water pollution Flora/fauna Wetlands Soil loss

25 25 b) Process With community involvement:- Review: see if objectives can be met another way eg TDM rather than road construction Modify to avoid negative impacts eg divert the road around the houses Remediation is added eg build a noise wall Offsets are developed eg provide equivalent vegetation elsewhere

26 26 All impacts are assessed after modifications, remediations and offsets have been included Principal – do no net harm

27 27 c) Measure

28 28 Our definition that the social, environmental and economic impacts of an action are all positive; now and for the next seven generations is aspirational A cliché?

29 29 Or a goal? We need to define ‘true sustainability’ otherwise we won’t recognise our goal But ‘true sustainability’ remains a cliché unless we get real by using ….

30 30 Five star rating to (total) RATING or less Grossly unsustainable to Very unsustainable to Moderately unsustainable Nearly sustainable Sustainable AlternativeLongevity Environ- mental SocialEconomic total 4 to almost 5 stars total 2 to almost 4 stars total 1 to almost 2 stars total less than 1 star

31 31 Five star rating to (total) RATING or less Grossly unsustainable to Very unsustainable to Moderately unsustainable Nearly sustainable Sustainable AlternativeLongevity Environ- mental SocialEconomic total 4 to almost 5 stars total 2 to almost 4 stars total 1 to almost 2 stars total less than 1 star Towards sustainability

32 32 Five headings Environmental Social Economic fairly standard

33 33 Longevity Iroquois Indians kept in mind the needs of the seventh generation to come Seven generations: say 140 years Long time frame necessary, many actions have impacts for decades Assessed by asking ‘Is the action economically, socially, and environmentally benign for the next 140 or so years?’

34 34 Alternative Assessed by asking ‘Is there an alternative that is better economically, socially, and/or environmentally that could reasonably be used?’ Theoretically not needed: added as a practical consideration

35 35 Examples Walk, short and not carrying load - 5 star - sustainable Cycling, short to medium and not carrying load - 5 star - sustainable Public transport, inner area, in peak – say 4 star - nearly sustainable Public transport, inner area, off peak – say 2 star - moderately unsustainable Public transport, outer area, off peak – say 1 1 / 2 star - very unsustainable 4WD urban trip, driver only – less than 1 star - grossly unsustainable

36 36 2. Why other systems don’t quite make it

37 37 What other systems? Google results: 32,000,000 for ‘sustainability’ 237,000 for ‘definition of sustainability’ Some of the main ones …

38 38 Brundtland Commission 1 Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ¹ United Nations,1983

39 39 Brundtland Commission Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Memorable Great philosophy Day to day meaning?

40 40 Brundtland mind map

41 41 State Sustainability Strategy 2 Sustainability is meeting the needs of current and future generations through an integration of environmental protection, social advancement and economic prosperity With a similar mind map 2 WA, 2003

42 42 State Sustainability Strategy Sustainability is meeting the needs of current and future generations through an integration of environmental protection, social advancement and economic prosperity Integration?

43 43 11 principles 6 visions 6 goals Complex Difficult to remember

44 44 The STC mind map is:- social environment economic

45 45 arguably clearer than:- sustainability economic social environment

46 46 or:- sustainability economic social environment

47 47 social environ ment economic And much better than:-

48 48 environment social economic or:-

49 49 Wikipedia Bruntland definition is frequently quoted, but … economy is a subsystem of human society, which is a subsystem of all life on Earth no subsystem can expand beyond the capacity of the total system Then refers to a concentric circle diagram similar to the STC’s Wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability at July 2009

50 50 Engineers Australia Sustainable development requires balanced improvement across economic, social and environmental objectives in an integrated short term and long term decision making process SUSTAINABILITY CHARTER

51 51 Engineers Australia Sustainable development requires balanced improvement across economic, social and environmental objectives in an integrated short term and long term decision making process Balanced and integrated? No mind map SUSTAINABILITY CHARTER

52 52 Opportunity to improve

53 53 MRWA Main Roads’ Sustainability Policy 4 is that: “Main Roads is committed to creating lasting benefits through an integrated consideration of social, environmental and economic aspects in all that we do” 4 September 2006 integrated? No mind map

54 54 Main Roads’ Policy includes the principle: “decision making integrates economic, social and environmental aspects and seeks to achieve positive outcomes in each” integrates? If you cannot get positive outcomes?

55 55 Australian Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme Seven catagories: project management and governance economic performance using resources emissions/pollution/waste biodiversity people and place workforce Complex Not memorable (by Australian Green Infrastructure Council)

56 56 Green Building Council of Australia Green Star Nine categories, with weightings Certifies buildings as 4, 5, or 6 star Does not define what is truly sustainable

57 57 Urban Development Institute of Australia EnviroDevelopment Uses six elements: water energy ecosystems community materials waste Certification in one element is significant

58 58 Certification in a number of elements is truly outstanding sustainable development Does not explain how missing one or more elements allows development to be considered truly sustainable

59 59 COAG House of Representatives, Inquiry into a sustainability charter, 2007 Recognises that Brundtland definition does not identify the necessity for a sustainable environment, just society and healthy economy Refers to ESD as using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased Quality of life? Council of Australian Governments

60 60 Relation between environment, society and the economy is underlying principle of sustainability Rather than saying each is equal they … … prefer the concentric circle model¹ similar to STC’s ¹ submitted by Water Corporation of WA

61 61 UK engineers

62 62

63 63 memorable? fairly complex no mind map

64 64 Agenda 21

65 65 Very complex

66 66 Wales UK

67 67 The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations

68 68 The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations Basic needs? Quality of life?

69 69 UK Civil Engineers

70 70 12 sections weighted applied by trained assessors

71 71

72 72 Complex, and CEEQUAL only assesses part

73 73 UK DH

74 74 Other systems considered Australia 1.Factor of Ten 2.University of Adelaide Embedding Sustainability in Civil and Environmental Engineering Courses Europe 1. UK, The Crown Estate: Coastal and Marine 2. UK, BREEAM, for buildings 3. International Federation of Consulting Engineers 4. Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe 5. World Business Council for Sustainable Development 6. International Institute for Sustainable Development 7. Arup, SPeAR – Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine US 1. EPA – What is Sustainability? 2. Harvard, Leading Green, blog 3. Green Building Council – LEED 4. Alachua County Energy Conservation Strategies Commission

75 75

76 76

77 77 The STC mind map of sustainability social environment economic

78 78 Can you remember this? social environment economic All positive: now and for seven generations Otherwise use star ratings towards sustainability

79 79 Questions? Need for an improved EA definition?


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