First myth: Canada is an example to the world.

It is no secret that Canadians are among the world’s most prolific consumers of energy, water and other natural resources, as well as leaders in greenhouse gas emissions and waste. However, the true magnitude of the industrial economy that supports our lifestyle is invisible to the average person. Data from Statistics Canada and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development indicate that over the course of a lifetime, the average Canadian will: use 124.8 million litres of water; travel 698,412 kilometres in motor vehicles (17 times around the world at the equator); consume the equivalent of 613,410 cubic metres of natural gas, 1.1 million kilograms of coal, or 575,898 litres of crude oil; generate 38,220 kilograms of garbage; and produce 1.3 million kilograms of greenhouse gases. Multiplying these figures by six billion (the world’s current population) illustrates the unsustainable nature of today’s Canadian lifestyle. If every individual in the world consumed as much as the average Canadian, then we would need at least two additional planet Earths to produce the resources and process the waste.
source: Myths of Sustainable development See also XlnkS4AB

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Myths of Sustainable development

In theory, sustainable development involves meeting the need of the curent generations without compromising the prospects for future generations. The common wisdom is to believe that economic growth will solve the problem and boost everyone’s standard. The reality is that continual economic growth – the Canadian way – will worsen existing environmental woes.
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Canada should look to building industry for GHG reduction

The Canadian Federal government is growing uneasy with the political price it may have to pay to meet the reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) production called for by the Kyoto Protocol, says Vancouver-based architect Peter Busby in an opinion piece in “Canadian Architect.” The government recently published a white paper, “Canada’s Contribution to Addressing Climate Change, that proposes various policies to meet its Kyoto targets of reducing GHGs by 240 million tons (MT) by 2010. But the white paper hardly recognizes the construction industry’s potential to contribute to the solution, suggesting that buildings could deliver a mere 1 percent (24 MT) of the required GHG reductions. However, under the Commercial Buildings Incentive Program from Natural Resources Canada, to date 1,138 buildings have produced an average energy performance reduction of 32 percent. Applied to all buildings in Canada, this level of performance could yield a permanent GHG reduction of 30 MT per year. Additional GHG reductions from building construction are possible. Specifying 50 percent flyash content in concrete, for example, could yield 26 MT of GHG savings. Photovoltaics could reduce GHGs by 80 MT per year. The federal government should stick to Canada’s Kyoto commitment, says Busby, and look to Canadian industry to reduce the country’s GHG emissions. The construction industry alone could realize large GHG reductions — some 40 percent of what Canada needs to achieve Kyoto targets. Canadian Architect, July 2002, p 18, by Peter Busby.
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The Overcrowded Ark – BBC

Humanity’s choices are getting harder and fewer. The Earth’s population has doubled since 1950 and consumption has risen even faster. There has to be a reckoning. For many people, it is here already. The few first-class passengers on the planet that is our Noah?s Ark are safe for now on the upper deck. It?s a very different story down below. How much longer can the rich keep their feet dry?
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Zeri Foundation – Comments on Lafarge Sustainability Plan

Dropping the core business approach can give way to innovative solutions that can prove extremely attractive economically: for instance, mixing bamboo fibres with cement in building materials could help reach a dynamic balance between CO2 emissions and sequestration, bamboo acting as a carbon sink. Gunther Pauli.
source: Building a Sustainable World – Lafarge Sustainability Plan See also XlnkS4A6

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Rocky Mountain Institute – Comments on Lafarge Sustainability Plan

Companies in the sector should show an interest in certain natural models from which they could draw inspiration to reduce the temperature required for combustion and hence energy consumption. Here are two examples: coral reefs produce underwater a material very similar to cement at a temperature of roughly 21 °C, and chickens produce another material similar to cement, namely eggshell, at a temperature barely higher than that of the human body… If we could only understand how such feats are possible, it would open up incredible new vistas for the industry. William Browning. Founder.
source: Building a Sustainable World – Lafarge Sustainability Plan See also XlnkS4A6

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Building a Sustainable World – Lafarge Sustainability Plan

This first sustainability report covers economic, social and environmental issues. For Lafarge, it represents a further tool, strengthening their approach to dialogue, transparency and accountability. The report is designed for a large range of their different stakeholders including share-holders, employees, public authorities, our local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), customers, suppliers, partners, end users, the media and other companies. The intention is to launch a dialogue with the stakeholders about the sustainability issues Lafarge is currently facing, to inform about the performance and strategy of the group, but also to commit publicly to specific objectives. The report does not attempt to set out all the answers, but rather to engage the Group’s stakeholders, to invite them to share their expectations, views and ideas about what sustainability can really mean for the Group.
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