Additionality and goals

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in My Book | 0 comments

Plus_signA key concept in sustainability, widely applied to carbon markets, is “additionality”. It centres on whether a specific intervention that an organisation makes to improve sustainability delivers an improvement that would not otherwise have occurred. Understanding this concept is essential if one wants to set  resource efficiency goals that are not open to criticism.

While it is clear that the measure of resource efficiency that has greatest environmental integrity is the measure of the absolute resource use in relation to the sustainable capacity of the planet, it does not necessarily follow that all improvements an organisation makes in absolute resource use can be recognized towards their own resource efficiency goal.

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Why certainty drives the resource efficiency proposal

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in My Book | 1 comment

Ever wondered why there is such a high level resource waste in our organisations despite study after study showing a vast cash-positive potential across most sectors of our economy? Could this be a reflection of quality of resource efficiency proposals that are reaching senior executives?  Are the engineers, consultants, environmental managers or operations staff who are developing these proposals simply not effective in communicating the benefits to decision-makers?

In defence of the proponents of resource efficiency the magnitude of the obstacles to the adoption of resource efficiency are only just now being appreciated. We shall see later in Part 3 “The Barriers to Resource Efficiency”, that the dice are well and truly loaded against resource efficiency right from the start. There are numerous psychological factors, organisational, financial and information issues, which conspire to make the case for resource efficiency much more challenging than it need be.

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The Limits to Growth Reviewed

Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in Books, My Book | 1 comment

The Limits to GrowthOne of the most influential books on the subject of resource efficiency in the 20th Century was The Limits to Growth [ meadows1972limits  ] by Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III.  Commissioned in 1972 by the Club of Rome, an influential think-tank, the study used computer systems – an innovation at the time – to model the interaction of population, pollution, capital investment, agriculture and natural resources. Each of these drivers had positive and negative feedbacks with each other – e.g. as agriculture improved so did food per capita which boosted population, at the same time as population increased so too did pollution and natural resource consumption, while a decline in resources decreased industrial output.

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