Sustainable industries

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The phrase sustainable industries is related to the development of industrial processes in a sustainable way.

Industry production of goods or service of a given field within an economy

An industry is a sector that produces goods or related services within an economy. The major source of revenue of a group or company is an indicator of what industry it should be classified in. When a large corporate group has multiple sources of revenue generation, it is considered to be working in different industries. The manufacturing industry became a key sector of production and labour in European and North American countries during the Industrial Revolution, upsetting previous mercantile and feudal economies. This came through many successive rapid advances in technology, such as the development of steam power and the production of steel and coal.

Sustainability process of maintaining change in a balanced fashion

Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for the biosphere and human civilization to coexist. It is also defined as the process of people maintaining change in a 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. While sustainable development may be the organizing principle for sustainability for some, for others, the two terms are paradoxical. Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Brundtland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) introduced the term of sustainable development.



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. [1]

Japanese people are an ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.5% of the total population. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin(日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to mainland Japanese people, specifically Yamato people. Japanese people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.

Reforestation land regeneration method

Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvest for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products.

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Biome

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The habitat type is sometimes known as jungle.

Soon after, a study entitled “Jobs in a Sustainable Economy” by Michael Renner of the Worldwatch Institute was published, using the term "sustainable industries". [2] 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.

The Worldwatch Institute is a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.

World economy economy of the world

The world economy or global economy is the economy of the humans of the world, considered as the international exchange of goods and services that is expressed in monetary units of account. In some contexts, the two terms are distinct "international" or "global economy" being measured separately and distinguished from national economies while the "world economy" is simply an aggregate of the separate countries' measurements. Beyond the minimum standard concerning value in production, use and exchange the definitions, representations, models and valuations of the world economy vary widely. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth.

Pollution Introduction of contaminants that cause adverse change

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. In 2015, pollution killed 9 million people in the world.

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. [3] Then in 2013 Sustainable Industries stopped publishing under its masthead. [4]

Green building architecture designed to minimize environmental and resource impact

Green building refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the contractor, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

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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.


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 that explores and develops models, strategies and instruments to support sustainable development at local, national and international level. Sustainability research at the Wuppertal Institute focuses on ecology and its relation to economy and society. Special emphasis is put on analysing and supporting technological and social innovations that decouple prosperity of economic growth from the use of natural resources.

Lester R. Brown American environmental analyst

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."

Sustainable business, or a green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies. In general, business is described as green if it matches the following four criteria:

  1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.
  2. It supplies environmentally friendly products or services that replaces demand for nongreen products and/or services.
  3. It is greener than traditional competition.
  4. It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.
Food miles Distance food is transported from production to consumption

Food miles is the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer. Food miles are one factor used when assessing the environmental impact of food, including the impact on global warming.

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.

A low-carbon economy (LCE), low-fossil-fuel economy (LFFE), or decarbonised economy is an economy based on low carbon power sources that therefore has a minimal output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the biosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. GHG emissions due to anthropogenic (human) activity are the dominant cause of observed global warming since the mid-20th century. Continued emission of greenhouse gases may cause long-lasting changes around the world, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

Christopher Flavin American environmentalist

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 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.

Peak minerals marks the point in time when the largest production of a mineral will occur in an area, with production declining in subsequent years. While most mineral resources will not be exhausted in the near future, global extraction and production is becoming more challenging. Miners have found ways over time to extract deeper and lower grade ores with lower production costs. More than anything else, declining average ore grades are indicative of ongoing technological shifts that have enabled inclusion of more 'complex' processing – in social and environmental terms as well as economic – and structural changes in the minerals exploration industry and these have been accompanied by significant increases in identified Mineral Reserves.

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.

Circular economy Regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage, are minimised

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 system, minimising the use of resource input and the creation of waste, pollution and emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of 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, eg compost. 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. "

Raimund Bleischwitz

Raimund Bleischwitz is a German academic and environmental and resource economics scholar. He is a Professor at University College London where he holds the position of Chair in Sustainable Global Resources, and the Director of The Bartlett School of Environment Energy & Resources. He is a recognized expert and influential policy adviser in topics of resource efficiency, circular economy, resource nexus, raw material conflicts, eco-innovation, incentive systems and policies, industry and sustainability.


  1. Dietrich, Bill. "Our Troubled Earth – Japan." The Seattle Times. November 13, 1990. Page F-2.
  2. Michael Renner, “Jobs in a Sustainable Economy”. Worldwatch Institute #104 (September 1991). ISBN   1-878071-05-X
  3. "Big News: and Sustainable Industries Merge" Triple Pundit, Oct. 20, 2011
  4. "Farewell Transmission" Twitter, Dec. 20, 2013