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The phrase sustainable industries is related to the development of industrial processes in a sustainable way.
The earliest mention of the phrase "sustainable industries" appeared in 1990 in a story about a Japanese group reforesting a tropical forest to help create sustainable industries for the local populace.
Soon after, a study entitled “Jobs in a Sustainable Economy” by Michael Renner of the Worldwatch Institute was published, using the term "sustainable industries".This 1991 report concluded, "Contrary to the jobs-versus-owls rhetoric that blames environmental restrictions for layoffs, the movement toward an environmentally sustainable global economy will create far more jobs than it eliminates. The chief reason: non-polluting, environmentally sustainable industries tend to be intrinsically more labour intensive and less resource intensive than traditional processes." Among the features of sustainable industry offered in the paper were energy efficiency, resource conservation to meet the needs of future generations, safe and skill-enhancing working conditions, low waste production processes, and the use of safe and environmentally compatible materials. Some of the benefits, however, would be offset by higher prices (due to labor costs) and a theoretically larger population needed to perform the same amount of work, increasing the agricultural and other loads on the system.
In February 2003 the business magazine Sustainable Industries was first published, offering news and analysis of core industries such as clean energy and green building. By 2012 the company had expanded to include digital media and event production with the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum in the U.S. Sustainable Industries merged with Triple Pundit in 2011.Then in 2013 Sustainable Industries stopped publishing under its masthead.
The State of the World (SoW) is a series of books published annually since 1984 by the Worldwatch Institute. The series attempts to identify the planet's most significant environmental challenges.
The Worldwatch Institute was a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. founded by Lester R. Brown Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.
Overconsumption is a situation where resource use has outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to environmental degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases.
The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy is a German research institution for sustainability research concentrating on impacts and practical application. It explores and develops models, strategies and instruments to support sustainable development at local, national and international level. Research at the Wuppertal Institute focuses on ecology and its relation to economy and society. Special emphasis is put on analyzing and supporting technological and social innovations that decouple prosperity of economic growth from the use of natural resources. The organization's activities are centered on developing transformation processes aimed at shaping a climate-friendly and resource-efficient world.
Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is an area of chemistry and chemical engineering focused on the design of products and processes that minimize or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. While environmental chemistry focuses on the effects of polluting chemicals on nature, green chemistry focuses on the environmental impact of chemistry, including reducing consumption of nonrenewable resources and technological approaches for preventing pollution.
Lester Russel Brown is a United States environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and former president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day referred to him as "one of the great pioneer environmentalists."
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit research organisation with headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and offices across Africa and Asia. Research at the Institute focuses on improving how water and land resources are managed, with the aim of underpinning food security and reducing poverty while safeguarding vital environmental processes.
Food miles is the distance food is transported from the time of its making until it reaches the consumer. Food miles are one factor used when testing the environmental impact of food, such as the carbon footprint of the food.
Design for the Environment (DfE) is a design approach to reduce the overall human health and environmental impact of a product, process or service, where impacts are considered across its life cycle. Different software tools have been developed to assist designers in finding optimized products or processes/services. DfE is also the original name of a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program, created in 1992, that works to prevent pollution, and the risk pollution presents to humans and the environment. The program provides information regarding safer chemical formulations for cleaning and other products. EPA renamed its program "Safer Choice" in 2015.
Factor Ten is a social and economic policy program developed by the Factor Ten institute with the stated goal of "provid[ing] practical support for achieving significant advances in sustainable value creation, in particular through increases in resource productivity throughout the economy.
Christopher Flavin is the former president of the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization focused on natural resource and environmental issues, based in Washington, DC. He is also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, the Climate Institute, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. His research and writing focus is international energy and climate policy.
A green-collar worker is a worker who is employed in the environmental sectors of the economy. Environmental green-collar workers satisfy the demand for green development. Generally, they implement environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology to improve conservation and sustainability. Formal environmental regulations as well as informal social expectations are pushing many firms to seek professionals with expertise with environmental, energy efficiency, and clean renewable energy issues. They often seek to make their output more sustainable, and thus more favorable to public opinion, governmental regulation, and the Earth's ecology.
Green jobs or green-collared jobs are, according to the United Nations Environment Program, "work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute(s) substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials, and water consumption through high efficiency strategies; de-carbonize the economy; and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution." The environmental sector has the dual benefit of mitigating environmental challenges as well as helping economic growth.
Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for the biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. It is also defined as the process of people maintaining change in a homeostasis balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations. For many in the field, sustainability is defined through the following interconnected domains or pillars: environment, economic and social, which according to Fritjof Capra is based on the principles of Systems Thinking. Sub-domains of sustainable development have been considered also: cultural, technological and political. According to Our Common Future, sustainable development is defined as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainable development may be the organizing principle of sustainability, yet others may view the two terms as paradoxical.
Sustainability measurement is the quantitative basis for the informed management of sustainability. The metrics used for the measurement of sustainability are still evolving: they include indicators, benchmarks, audits, indexes and accounting, as well as assessment, appraisal and other reporting systems. They are applied over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.
A sustainability organization is (1) an organized group of people that aims to advance sustainability and/or (2) those actions of organizing something sustainably. Unlike many business organizations, sustainability organizations are not limited to implementing sustainability strategies which provide them with economic and cultural benefits attained through environmental responsibility. For sustainability organizations, sustainability can also be an end in itself without further justifications.
A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources. All "waste" should become "food" for another process: either a by-product or recovered resource for another industrial process or as regenerative resources for nature. This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a "take, make, dispose" model of production.
Natural capital accounting is the process of calculating the total stocks and flows of natural resources and services in a given ecosystem or region. Accounting for such goods may occur in physical or monetary terms. This process can subsequently inform government, corporate and consumer decision making as each relates to the use or consumption of natural resources and land, and sustainable behaviour.
Ecopreneurship is a term coined to represent the process of principles of entrepreneurship being applied to create businesses that solve environmental problems or operate sustainably. The term began to be widely used in the 1990s, and it is otherwise referred to as "environmental entrepreneurship." In the book Merging Economic and Environmental Concerns Through Ecopreneurship, written by Gwyn Schuyler in 1998, ecopreneurs are defined as follows:
"Ecopreneurs are entrepreneurs whose business efforts are not only driven by profit, but also by a concern for the environment. Ecopreneurship, also known as environmental entrepreneurship and eco-capitalism, is becoming more widespread as a new market-based approach to identifying opportunities for improving environmental quality and capitalizing upon them in the private sector for profit. "
Sustainable Materials Management is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire lifecycles. It represents a change in how a society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection. By looking at a product's entire lifecycle new opportunities can be found to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources, and reduce costs. U.S. and global consumption of materials increased rapidly during the last century. According to the Annex to the G7 Leaders’ June 8, 2015 Declaration, global raw material use rose during the 20th century at about twice the rate of population growth. For every 1 percent increase in gross domestic product, raw material use has risen by 0.4 percent. This increasing consumption has come at a cost to the environment, including habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, overly stressed fisheries and desertification. Materials management is also associated with an estimated 42 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Failure to find more productive and sustainable ways to extract, use and manage materials, and change the relationship between material consumption and growth, has grave implications for our economy and society.
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