Long Range Planning

Long Range Planning claims to be an important book on important issues. We have not read it yet but its table of content deserve a more detailed look. Dematerialisation. This involves companies developing ways of substituting knowledge flows for material flows. Another route to dematerialisation is product customisation: less waste is created when the resources a consumer does not want are not produced. Production loop closure. The biological designs of nature provide a role model for sustainability. The goal is to work continuously toward closed-loop production systems and zero-waste factories wherein every output is returned to natural systems as a nutrient or becomes an input in the manufacture of another product. Service extension. We are moving from a supply-driven economy to a demand-driven economy. Companies are rethinking how they can satisfy demand and are developing customised responses to client needs. Consumers are increasingly gaining access to product services by leasing goods, particularly durable goods, rather than buying them outright. Functional extension. Companies are manufacturing ‘smarter’ products with new and enhanced functionality and are selling services to enhance the products’ functional value. See Analysis by the WBCSD.
weblink: Book description by WBCSDfrom: WBCSDin detail XlnkS5CC XlnkC17D2

You Can Prevent Global Warming

This remarkable manual written by Jeffrey Langholz and Kelly Turner provides 51 no-cost or low-cost tips to reduce GHG emission. According to the authors, if you follow the tips contained in this book, you will save US$2,000 and 25,000 pounds of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) per year. The book is extremely well-written and well-documented. Although it addresses things you can do at home and in your day-to-day live, it also a great source of innovative ideas for engineers and architects. For example, did you know that TVs and VCRs that are turned “off” still consume significant amount of electricity – to power LED’s, clocks and internal standby devices? As a result, all TVs and VCRs in the USA that are turned “off” cost Americans nearly one billion U$ a year in electricity?
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The Sustainability Advantage

The Sustainability Advantage by Bob Willard. Mr. Willard takes on the challenge of making sustainability appeal to business executives who are not necessarily interested in environmental and social sustainability. As he points out, saving the world is not a priority of most business executives. Instead we must appeal to what is important to them; things like profits and employee retention. The trick is that sustainability benefits employees, appeals to public shareholders and ultimately leads to a more profitable business. In his book, Bob Willard outlines 7 key benefit areas- with measureable effects- resulting from corporate commitment to sustainability: 1. reduced recruiting costs 2. reduced attrition costs 3. increased employee productivity 4. reduced expenses in manufacturing 5. reduced expenses at commmercial sites (energy, water, consumables) 6. increased revenue/profit share 7. reduced risk, easier financing Through a description of these benefits, Willard makes the connection between sustainability and the financial success of a company. These areas have also been compiled into a working spreadsheet that can be used to measure the effect on revenue of, for example, increasing employee productivity by 1% or reducing manufacturing costs by 3%. Both the book and the worksheets are available on-line through the link below.
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State of The World 2003

Produced every year by the World Watch Institute, the state of the world provides the most comprehensive and current analysis on the planet. This 20th anniversary edition explores some of the critical challenges that our world is facing today, such as

  • Biodiversity
  • Malaria
  • Energy
  • Mining
  • Cities
  • etc,…

from: World Watch Institutein detail XlnkS562 XlnkC17DD

On Equilibrium

If you are asking the question “what is sustainability, what does it mean for me personally and in my job?” you should read this book. It provides some answers as well as creates additional questions. John Ralston Saul takes on the task of looking at the human qualities required in a righteous society. A the same time, he provides tools for shaking our passivity and taking responsibility of what going on around us. The relation with question on sustainability is evident as sustainability cannot be discussed without exploring the characteristics of the human nature. Saul will argue that to achieve a sustainable society we need a balance between six equally important qualities:

  • Common sense
  • Ethics
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Memory
  • Reason

This book should become recommended reading in every engineering school in Canada, or even in every school. It is one of the most important book of our time.
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The Doubter’s Companion. A Dictionary of Agressive Common Sense

A very lucid book, a dictionary attempting to redefine the meaning of everyday’s words, a practical manual for change, a criticism of today’s folly, a pie in the face of conventional wisdom. A very profound reflexion on our society coming from John Ralston Saul, a great Canadian philosopher, writer, and husband of Canada’s Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
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Where on Earth are we going?

The biography of Maurice Strong. From his humble beginnings in a small town of Manitoba at the beginning of the great depression to his glory days as the chair of the earth summit in Rio. Nobody has contributed more to the cause of sustainable developement than Maurice Strong. “If the world succeeds in making a transition to truly sustainable development, all of us will owe no small debt of gratitude to Maurice Strong, whose prescience and dynamic presence on the international stage have played a key role in convincing governments and grassroots alike to embrace the principle -if not yet the practice-of adopting a new, long-term, custodial approach to the global environment. But if the world fails to transform its relationship with the planet and its bounty of natural resources-if, alas, the oft-predicted environmental catastrophe does come to pass-no one will be able to say that Maurice Strong was part of the problem, or that he was ever less than fully committed to the goal of reconciling environment and development, ecology and economy, and the needs of the present with the needs of future generations. It would be a mistake to think of Maurice solely as one of the world’s leading environmentalists. His main cause has been people. Whether he was helping to put the environment on the inter- national agenda in the 1970S, orchestrating the landmark “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 or assisting me to reform the United Nations to face the challenges of a new era in world affairs, his wish has been to see men and women in all countries leading peaceful lives of dignity, security, freedom and opportunity, in harmony with nature and themselves.” -Preface by Kofi Annan- Secretary General of the United Nations)
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Sustainable Sport Management: Running an Environmentally, Socially and Economically Responsible Organization

Book offered by Green and Gold Inc, an Ontario-based consulting company whose focus is “integrating economic, environmental and human health in sport, special events and tourism.” inefficiency = waste = costs eco-efficiency = waste aviodance = savings Follow the link below for more information on this book and other publications by Green and Gold.
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