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Transient Caretakers: Making Life on Earth Sustainable

Transient Caretakers: Making Life on Earth Sustainable

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Published by LittleWhiteBakkie
Transient Caretakers: Making Life on Earth Sustainable by Mervyn King with Teodorina Lessidrenska
Published by Pan Macmillan South Africa.
Transient Caretakers: Making Life on Earth Sustainable by Mervyn King with Teodorina Lessidrenska
Published by Pan Macmillan South Africa.

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Published by: LittleWhiteBakkie on Mar 23, 2010
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  • Introduction
  • CASE STUDY Procter and Gamble’s sustainability agenda
  • CASE STUDY Anglo American’s approach to climate change
  • CASE STUDY The Coca-Cola Company replenishing water
  • CASE STUDY The Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve
  • Notes
  • General Resources
  • Index

Transient Caretakers

‘There is no doubt that the environmental and social challenges that we face today are a serious threat to present and future citizens of the world. This book, Transient Caretakers, describes the challenges we are all facing – as individuals, politicians, researchers, business and industry – when it comes to how we will survive and live on the planet together. I see this as a call for action – an action for a transition to a more sustainable and eco-efficient economy. This is a call we can’t afford to miss.’ The Honourable Maud Olofsson, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

Transient Caretakers
Making Life on Earth Sustainable

Mervyn King
with Teodorina Lessidrenska


First published 2009 by Pan Macmillan South Africa Private Bag x19 Northlands Johannesburg 2116 www.panmacmillan.co.za ISBN 978-1-770-10162-3

© Mervyn King and Teodorina Lessidrenska
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. Editing by Andrea Nattrass Proofreading by Kim Ward Index by Ethné Clarke Cover design and typesetting by Triple M Design, Johannesburg Printed by


Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Chapter 3: Chapter 4:

Chapter 5: Chapter 6: Chapter 7: Chapter 8: Chapter 9: Chapter 10: Chapter 11: Chapter 12: Chapter 13: Chapter 14:

Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction The Company Today Sustainability Reporting Global Environmental Change The Economic Implications of Climate Change Procter and Gamble’s sustainability agenda Anglo American’s approach to climate change Energy Bank of America saving energy Water The Coca-Cola Company replenishing water Waste McDonald’s Corporation reducing waste Tourism The Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve The Household The Garden Transportation Urban Planning National Governments, the Global Financial Crisis and Sustainability The Way Forward Notes General Resources Index

vii ix 1 7 15 19 33 44 49 53 74 77 95 99 114 125 130 137 149 161 169 179 185 189 209 211


I conceived this book, but much of the research was done by Teodorina Lessidrenska. The two of us used our individual, extensive knowledge on the subject of sustainability in completing the text, but Teodorina researched and drafted the chapters on global environmental change, climate change, energy, water, waste, the household, garden, transportation and urban planning. I drafted the other chapters and the case studies, with the exception of the case study on McDonald’s. We consulted many sources while working on this book. We have been careful to acknowledge every source and have even gone to the trouble of using an IT system that searches for sources. We have followed the procedure for specific references chapter by chapter, as well as including a General Resources list. I apologise in advance if there is any source that has not been acknowledged, and undertake that this will be done in a second printing. Teodorina and I met with our drafts and wrote the book together with passion, as we are both disciples of the principle that good governance, strategy and sustainability have become inseparable. We both travel the globe, I in my capacity as a corporate governance expert and Teodorina in her role as one of the world’s authoritative sustainability consultants. It was only possible for us to complete the book by meeting in several cities over a period of some fourteen months. We met first in Istanbul, then Johannesburg, Amsterdam, Munich, Luxembourg, and finally back in Istanbul again. We would like to thank my assistant, Juel Barnett, for her help in typing much of the book and in collating various research documents;


Professor Derick de Jongh for his reading of the manuscript; our editor, Andrea Nattrass, for her expertise and patience; and our publisher, Terry Morris of Pan Macmillan, for her support. We also record our thanks and appreciation to our spouses for their patience in sparing us many hours in order to write the book. Mervyn King Johannesburg, June 2009


Transient Caretakers

I should declare an interest: among other things. in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Management.D. the future will very likely be determined by hybrids. and the fact that the coauthors themselves have hybrid backgrounds struck me as significant. which Mervyn King chairs. First and foremost. Transient Caretakers starts with a set of questions that are central to the agenda that the world’s leaders – whether they operate in the public or private sectors – will face in the coming decades. At a time when old answers and old systems are breaking down all around us. They ask: What kind of world would you like your children and your children’s children to inherit? Can you help to improve the quality of life on ix . part of my brain lit up. by mutants. And the book you hold in your hands. I am a member of the Board of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). written with Teodorina Lessidrenska. As will we all.Foreword Before I begin. Evolution feeds on mutations. And when I saw that his co-author holds a Ph. All of that said. I want to hear what Professor King has to say on the greatest challenges the twentyfirst century is likely to face. is exactly the sort of manifesto you would expect from the man who chaired the highly influential King Committee on corporate governance – and one of whose job titles is ‘Professor Extraordinaire’. why should you be interested in one more addition to the already groaning shelves of books on sustainability and related themes? I can only answer for myself. But the very fact that a former High Court judge in South Africa should be leading an initiative that started out as a fairly radical challenge to the business status quo gives you something of the measure of the man.

market and social systems with a degree of urgency and shared commitment rarely seen in peacetime. It comes up in international charters and agreements. the concept has gone viral. we know that sustaining anything like a world population of 9–10 billion people later this century is simply not going to be workable if we cling to current economic and business models. in community plans. as Chairman of the Eminent Persons Group. in thousands of company reports. legal. in activist campaigns. While Transient Caretakers cannot – and does not – offer precise blueprints for the critically urgent global. it does lay out many of the key principles – and plenty of examples of where new experiments are being conducted. in school projects and. let alone those of tomorrow. consensual and operational ways. to my mind. took a close look into the workings of the United Nations (UN). In the intervening decades. but the fact is that these products of the 1940s – a completely different world – are now very poorly adapted to the challenges of today. No one should underestimate the genius of the architects of the Bretton Woods agreement and of the UN. Ultimately. provincial and local – play a role? And should this be a bigger role than that of individuals? When I co-founded SustainAbility in 1987. national and corporate governance systems the future will need.Earth? Do you accept that your predecessors have polluted the Earth to an extent that you now have a moral obligation to try and improve it? Do you believe that climate change is a reality? Should companies and governments – national. however. what makes this book so interesting is that the authors move between the worlds of top-down and bottom-up change. now. to be honest. a dimension of the book that particularly commended it x Transient Caretakers . And. And yet. governance. The next decade will see creative destruction on a scale that not many yet grasp. it remains a challenge to define the concept in meaningful. who. technologies and governance systems. the most successful of which will also hopefully go viral in the coming years. crossing boundaries as easily as the aircraft in which they both travel the world. Yes. in media coverage of a bewildering array of issues. Few people know this better than Professor King. We got letters addressed to ‘SurvivAbility’ and to ‘StainAbility’. almost no one had heard the term or knew what it meant. But for that to happen we must re-engineer our political. in government budgets. in most dictionaries.

back in 1962. June 2009 John Elkington is a co-founder of Environmental Data Services (ENDS) Ltd and SustainAbility Ltd (both in 1987). as well as the author of seventeen books. It remains to be seen whether we can make the Earth truly sustainable in the face of the issues of climate. The book explains the roles and responsibilities of each one of us. then history suggests that in the next thirty or so years the world will have moved to a profoundly different level of understanding of sustainability. as long as we all put our shoulders to the wheel. Foreword xi . citizens. or whatever the twenty-first century equivalent of that colourful phrase eventually turns out to be. terrorist and human rights we face. as one of the co-authors of 1988’s Green Consumer Guide. we will have accepted our own roles and responsibilities as transient caretakers of this small planet that some of us powerfully recall seeing entire for the first time when the Apollo images were first published – triggering the beginnings of a paradigm shift every bit as profound as the Copernican. In the process. pandemic.to me. consumers. employees. and Volans Ventures Ltd (in 2008). Real paradigm shifts can take between fifty and eighty years to become the dominant reality. water. poverty. voters. social and environmental dividends that the sustainability movement has long called for. investors or shareholders. is that it underscores the point that ultimately change only comes if people – both as communities and as individuals – want it and make it happen. John Elkington London. So if we take Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a starting point. Newtonian or Einsteinian revolutions. biodiversity. among many others. But if we do make the transition to appropriate forms of development they will provide the sort of economic. including the million-selling Green Consumer Guide (1988) and The Power of Unreasonable People (2008). We must hope so – and Transient Caretakers gives us hope. whether as homeowners.

People. since the Industrial Revolution. with threats to developed areas such as coastal cities. we have done this through the way we run our households. we have all contributed to the present parlous state of our planet.Introduction ‘The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. For some two hundred years. We have done this through the traditional approach to the governance of companies in pursuit of a single bottom line – or profit above all other considerations. planet and profit can no longer be separated. Places where we used to take our vacations might become overheated and areas on the planet in which we 1 . we have done this through governments’ lack of sustainable strategic planning.’ Paul Valéry1 What kind of world would you like your children and your children’s children to inherit? Can you help to improve the quality of life on Earth? Do you accept that your predecessors have polluted the Earth to an extent that you now have a moral obligation to try and improve it? Do you believe that climate change is a reality? Should companies and governments – national. as individuals. provincial and local – play a role? And should this be a bigger role than that of individuals? These are the kinds of questions being asked as we face up to the urgent issues confronting the world today. The release of carbon emissions into the air is contributing to global climate change. island states and low-lying areas. and.

water sources are being depleted faster than ever. the planet will not be sustained.4 This is a brief overview of what has happened – and is happening – to our planet. There has been a 40% decline in species between 1970 and 2000 alone. In short. The atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2005 was 379 parts per million. There are 6 billion people in the world and more than half of these live in cities.never dreamt of taking vacations might become destinations of choice for future holidays. but today. as it becomes more polluted and the amount of potable water is reduced on a daily basis. Twenty litres of water a day is deemed to be the minimum for basic human needs. It is estimated that approximately one-third of the existing species of flora and fauna are threatened with extinction. hundreds of millions of tonnes of waste still end up in landfills around the Earth every year. The carbon emissions from aeroplanes and many other forms of international travel might well change the direction of tourism and the way we travel.3 The estimate that there will be 9 billion people in the world by 2050 magnifies the problem. the next great wars will be fought over water. adding to the problem of climate change. These landfills release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. there are more people in urban areas than rural areas. including individuals. and the planet’s ability to maintain biodiversity is being destroyed at an alarming rate. * * * Whose responsibility is it to halt and reverse our impact on the planet? The various role players. one-third of city dwellers have access to only 5 litres of clean water. companies and governments. With this increased demand for water in urban areas. Despite the conversion of waste into energy. all point their fingers at one another as those in the best position 2 Transient Caretakers . exceeding anything recorded previously.2 For the first time in human existence. In all probability. 2005 was the hottest year since records began in 1850. The need for humans to have land for agricultural purposes has resulted in deforestation at a rate that has adversely affected ecosystems. particularly through the incineration of waste materials for the production of electricity and heating. if we continue to produce goods and services and to maintain the way we live. Around the world.

China. South Africa’s oil-from-coal production giant which is now operating globally. The reality is that companies. Companies in developed countries. South Africa. and not of emerging economies.’ There is a general belief that following sustainability practices and endeavouring to improve the quality of life on Earth is the responsibility of developed countries. ‘What does this all have to do with me? I can barely pay my bills and put food on the table and now you are asking me to save the planet too. has become extremely aware of the problems it faces from pollution and the deterioration in its ecosystems generally. In a developing society or an emerging economy. governments and individuals in developed countries as well as in emerging economies all have to play a role in reversing the current state in which we find our world. These are projects based in South Introduction 3 . such as China. South Korea and Brazil. India. Sasol. Space is lit by natural light. Johannesburg.to change our way of operating on the planet so that it becomes more sustainable. There are huge aluminium shutters that can be adjusted to reflect the sun. which are unable to meet emission targets. Recycled building materials have been used in the erection of parts of the building and cars are parked on gravel to minimise water run-off. purchase carbon credits from companies in developing countries that are able to reduce their emissions. It has two solar panels that gather the heat of the African sun and heat the water in the building. The building has been designed to be light and airy and to give employees inside the feeling of living with nature. one might well ask. an office building has been built in Parkwood. for example. which is green in all respects. This is not correct. At the edge of the roof are more solar panels that create electricity for the building and it has a rain-water catchment system. In a similar vein to the new Bank of America headquarters in Manhattan (discussed on page 74). has started producing carbon credits from its clean development mechanisms projects. such as Europe and North America. South Africa has started urging its citizens to cut back on the use of electric energy and to install solar power. while pipes under the floor contain solar-heated water if the offices need heating during winter.5 South African companies are boosting their profits by reducing the amount of environmentally damaging greenhouse gases they produce.

In a trial offering of a R100 million worth of carbon credits on the JSE in 2005. However. and transient at that. governments 4 Transient Caretakers . with South Africa receiving water from neighbouring countries. They must develop a strategic plan that will protect them from the negative impacts of climate change. While it could be argued that climate change is essentially the creation of affluent Western developed economies. Similarly. which realised R190 at maturity in June 2008. Large South African companies such as African Explosives and Highveld Steel & Vanadium have started looking at participating in the carbon offset business. once again being affected by the disease. we have a duty to save the planet. there are emission-reducing projects in India. Consequently. climate change could have a huge adverse impact on the production of food in the country. climate change has resulted in areas that were previously unaffected by malaria. the local municipality is channelling methane gas which is leaked into the air from its massive landfill sites into creating new sources of energy. Consequently. We are all caretakers. It might be submitted that developed economies have a moral obligation to sub-Saharan African countries to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. and countries such as South Africa have not been party to building up the greenhouse problem that faces the world. We all have a moral duty to ensure that whatever we do today doesn’t compromise the needs of those who come after us. There are already water shortages.Africa at Sasol’s fertiliser sites. particularly in the north-eastern part of South Africa. Our situation can only be improved if corporations. As transient caretakers. South Korea and Brazil. None of us is the owner of this Earth. this does not obviate the obligations on sub-Saharan African governments to be aware that they have to deal with climate change in all their development policies. Furthermore. South Africa is very dependent on grain-fed agriculture. The JSE Securities Exchange of South Africa has commenced the offer of shares in carbon credit investments. we cannot ignore the impact of climate change and must take steps to deal with it. offshore investors paid R54 per share. In São Paulo. South African citizens can now invest in carbon credits on the JSE Securities Exchange.

and a forum for any discussion. The scope of conversations that exist today is mind-boggling. one of the themes of this book is that multinational companies are powerful agents for change. and on the other hand. finally. no matter how diverse their interests.and individuals all realise they have a shared interest. ranging from anything as obscure as the toxic value of concentrated pine tree sap. Individuals can discuss any topic that appeals to them. water and waste in the twenty-first century. And. with like-minded others. FaceBook and Twitter are forging connections between people as never before. In this regard. they can have a powerful positive impact. in looking at issues such as the household. Social network services such as MySpace. We are beginning to grasp the true potential of this level of interconnectivity. there is this ‘nichification’. There is a group out there for everyone. Introduction 5 . popular groups are gaining ground and becoming a force to be reckoned with as people begin to realise that.6 From the role of the company and the individual to the impact of global environmental change and how we deal with the challenges of energy. to the comparative study of 1970s Nintendo consoles. garden and transportation. companies and individuals should all contribute to sustainable living. individuals are empowered with knowledge of how to make a difference in the future of our planet. On the one hand. in the chapters that follow Transient Caretakers explores how governments. we have identified various companies as good corporate citizens. A study of these companies shows that earnest endeavours are being made to make our planet more sustainable. together. in many cases more powerful than governments. namely to improve the quality of life on our planet by reducing the negative impacts on our environment caused by our conduct and the actions of those who came before us. In addition.


The word ‘governance’ comes from the Latin gubenare. They have a duty of care. you would act in and apply your practised abilities in that person’s best interests. it is totally incapacitated until individuals have been appointed to be its directors and managers. a company is sovereign. South Africa If a friend of yours became incapacitated as a result of an accident. while it may own its assets and be liable to its creditors. planning in both the short and long term for that incapacitated person’s life. Only after these key people take up their positions can the company function and have a reputation of its own. the directors of a company have a duty to act in the best interests of that company. it is still a person in the same way as an individual.1 The Company Today ‘In the world today. a company is a person. It can own assets and incur liabilities and can sue or be sued. and you were appointed to be the curator of that person. Whilst it is juristic or legal in nature. 7 . In a similar way as a curator takes care of an incapacitated person.’ The King Committee on Corporate Governance. the company. In the eyes of the law. However. a duty to apply their skills in the interests of the company and a duty to be diligent in understanding the issues which they have to decide on behalf of this incapacitated person. companies have the greatest pools of human and monetary capital. In this sense. You would take great care of your friend’s assets and diligently endeavour to understand the person’s circumstances.

today each company needs a licence to operate that goes beyond the granting of permission from a local authority to permit it to operate. more than ever. A company has internal and external stakeholders – each of them has a different stake in the company and a certain level of influence on company activities. One of a board’s most important roles is the strategic direction which a company will take. The good curator of an unfortunate incapacitated human being would have to think about the unfortunate person’s life and circumstances. For example. became the driving force in the Industrial Revolution. whilst the external stakeholders are a variety of groups such as suppliers. for example. The internal stakeholders are. which involve sustainability concerns and strategies. customers and regulatory bodies. the investigative media. including. This has made a company’s dependence on and integration with society greater than ever. The licence to operate is given to the company by the wide community of external stakeholders. suppliers and various civil society and labour organisations. It is the greatest medium for the pooling of human and monetary capital. the national community of customers. the number of stakeholders 8 Transient Caretakers . and. the international community. a director has to concern him. without risk to their personal estates and with the limited liability of the capital provided by the shareholders.which means ‘to steer’. In this respect today’s company is. the managers and the employees. able to influence any aspect of human life. And that is exactly what the directors of a company are expected to do. Entrepreneurs were able to take their business ideas and place them in a company and drive them further. the company is the chosen medium for the carrying on of business. Today. with limited liability. the directors. the local community in which the company operates. in discharging the duty of acting in the best interests of a company and the duty of care. in most cases.or herself with long-term issues. with globalisation today. for example. Strategy involves both short-term and long-term planning. both now and in the future. Similarly. * * * The company. As companies grow and expand globally.

and companies generally. the Standard Bank of South Africa has some 40 000 employees around the world and some 4 million customers. such as the world population of 6 billion people. customers and suppliers. are aware of certain realities. as well as their influence and importance for the success of the company. as well as offer many other social amenities for their employees. but only a few hundred governments. and the great strain which is placed on the Earth to sustain these people. Whilst there is debate about the precise number. For example. Today some companies also provide facilities for employees to do their shopping. The economic value of a company is higher than its book value. there are millions of companies. As such. companies are equally capable of The Company Today 9 . Of significance is the power of the great multinationals. the reputation of management and the board. the company has become fully integral to today’s society. the company’s sustainability business approach to create long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks created by environmental. Many of these customers are themselves employees with their own stakeholders. it is clear that there are many companies which have larger economies than the economies of countries under governments.increases. The multinational corporation. work out. or visit a doctor on the site of the company.2 The rest is determined by intangibles. It is estimated that 51 of the 100 largest economies in the world by way of gross revenue are multinational companies and not governments. The company sometimes advances money to enable them to educate their children. social and economic issues pertinent to the business of the company and. With their power to influence world politics. operating in over one hundred countries.1 Furthermore. an analysis of the market capitalisation of Coca-Cola shows that approximately 16% of its total market cap is book value – tangibles. has become a greater agent for change on our planet than governments. For example. The individuals employed by a company spend most of their waking hours in that company. whose lives are in one or another way linked to the great multinational companies in the world. such as brand and goodwill. Multinational companies. its strategic direction. an estimate of future earnings. of course. There are tens of thousands of employees. the quality of its governance.

is immortal. certainly until the end of the Second World War. As transient caretakers. We may have title to a house or an apartment or a tract of land. and thus diminishes their chances to fight hunger and poverty. as pointed out above. which are not only available in unlimited quantities in nature but also do not have the adverse consequence of pollution that. Consequently. however. Each company.providing solutions and deepening the problems. * * * The providers to companies of capital. it was wealthy families who were the major shareholders of companies. It can continue its business life far beyond the life expectancy of the average human. The ‘informed’ corporate world refers to it as integrated performance. were mainly wealthy families. as a juristic person. none of us is immortal. We have discussed that human beings are transient caretakers of the Earth. for example. These pension funds and financial institutions are conduits for many of the people in the street. The triple bottom line of social. needs energy. The drive for the single bottom line of profit is something of the past. the company. Many individuals contribute on a 10 Transient Caretakers . Companies can no longer carry on business for short-term gain and thereby compromise the needs of those who come after them. but we are transient. It is as a result of all these factors that there is a new general awareness of the need to make the world more sustainable. For example. Certainly. the question of the subsidisation of farmers in the developed world prevents the people in the undeveloped world from creating agricultural markets for their products. while the majority of people remain impoverished. companies are driven by human beings. Technically. Today. we have a duty to make the world more sustainable. But. the great shareholders of companies are pension funds and financial institutions. in carrying on its business. The other reality is that the world’s oil reserves are decreasing and it is expected that they will start being depleted as early as 2050. More and more companies have realised that they can no longer rely on oil and coal-powered energy and they are increasingly looking at renewable energy sources. diesel-powered energy has on the world. economic and environmental performance is a reality today.

Two seemingly opposing trends – the eco-movement and interactive technology – are coming together to produce a very vocal and demanding consumer. and the inspiration for this revolution is coming from the unlikeliest of sources.monthly basis to a pension fund. it is the millions of employees who have contributed to the pension fund who are the ultimate beneficial owners of the equity of these companies. or a company that has not done so. Today. In addition. part-time eco-warrior with access to global communication. 2006 and 2007 Fleishman-Hillard partnered with the National Consumers League (NCL) to conduct benchmark surveys that would assess The Company Today 11 . but they should be asking how a company has made its money. In 2005. and consequently an improvement to the quality of life on the planet. growing awareness of environmental issues and you get a socially aware. Whilst the pension fund might be registered as the shareholder of these great multinational companies.3 Climate change is only one of the issues of sustainability. They can choose which company to buy a product from – a company that has adopted a long-term strategy of sustainability. A few years ago. Today individuals should not only be asking how much a company has spent on traditional philanthropy or social investment. These new consumers now demand not only brand participation but also individualised services. It’s a retailer’s worst nightmare. The Internet and satellite TV have provided ‘armchair wisdom’ for the global populace. Has a company made its money as a responsible corporate citizen? Consumers have evolved from passive consumers to what could be called ‘active aggressive’ consumers. very few companies had climate change as a risk factor in assessing their long-term strategies. and complete corporate transparency. Add to that mix. These and other individuals also have the power of being consumers. while the blogsphere has provided a quick and effective outlet to vent their frustrations or displeasure. and one that is difficult to categorise. individuals as citizens have a duty to ensure that they play their part in making our planet more sustainable and thereby improve the quality of life on it. the majority of companies consider climate change among the risk factors in determining their long-term strategies.

In short. For example. * * * What are sustainable business practices in the twenty-first century? What some of these multinational companies are doing to act as responsible corporate citizens needs to be made known and assessed by individuals. Under the Global Compact. The trend is to use corporate social responsibility in order to create value and to give stakeholders more information so that they can make a more informed assessment of the economic value of a company. The United Nations (UN) promotes corporate responsibility through its Global Compact. Business schools around the world are starting to teach sustainability in their MBA classes. Marks and Spencer. labour. the environment and anti-corruption. The UN Global Compact. has a plan (called ‘Plan A’. companies are brought together with UN agencies. the 2006 Companies Act introduced the requirement for public companies to report on social and environmental matters. also known as Compact or UNGC. is a voluntary UN initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and to report on their implementation.American consumer attitudes toward corporate social responsibility as well as their behaviour regarding corporate social responsibility. The Global Compact is a principle-based framework for business. directors have to steer their companies so that they are seen to be – and are – responsible corporate citizens. first and foremost.4 These and other surveys5 have confirmed that individuals want. But as stakeholders. one of Britain’s leading retailers. Consequently. since there is no ‘Plan B’) to convert millions of garments to fair trade cotton. to ensure that the clothes they sell hang on recyclable hangers and to promote the sale of organic food. they also want to have trust and confidence in the company as a decent corporate citizen. Some companies have established ‘how we do business’ committees. stating ten principles in the areas of human rights. In Britain. labour groups and civil society. 12 Transient Caretakers . The 2007 national opinion survey of Americans found that knowledge of a company’s commitment to social responsibility influences purchasing behaviour more than lower prices do. a good product or a good service from a company.

it can show – usually through its sustainability reporting – that this has been done in a responsible manner. The Company Today 13 .it is seen as good business to act as a responsible corporate citizen so that when a company is asked how it has made its money.


which has developed a long-term strategic plan.2 Sustainability Reporting ‘Sustainability reporting is the practice of measuring. including both positive and negative contributions. In addition. both positively and negatively. In particular. disclosing. should commit to measure and report on their sustainability performance and impacts. but all organisations and institutions should be accountable for their actions in terms of how they impact on the environment and society. Not only companies. the economic life of the community in which it operates. and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance while working towards the goal of sustainable development. who now want information on the triple bottom line – the social. This is no longer acceptable to stakeholders. A sustainability report provides a balanced and reasonable representation of the sustainability performance of the reporting organization. a company’s board. should be able 15 . all government and civil society organisations. Therefore. it has become critical for a company to report on how it has affected. economic and environmental aspects of a company. as well as any other organisation. companies have reported only the financial aspects of their business – the so-called single bottom line.’ The Global Reporting Initiative1 For the last three centuries.

❑ Evaluate how the company is influenced by sustainable development. A sustainability report. environmental. the values that drive the business and the stakeholders relevant to its business. so that stakeholders can make a better assessment of the economic value of a company other than its pure book value. In order to achieve this. A stakeholder will be able to: ❑ Benchmark the company’s performance against the performance of a responsible corporate citizen. accounting. civil society. strategy and management approach. The G3 guidelines are developed through a global consultative process based on a multi-stakeholder approach with input from businesses. environmental and social activities and to have an influence on the decisions of stakeholders. It must identify topics that may reasonably be considered to have a material (or significant) impact on the company’s economic. whose latest version is known as the G3. it needs to understand its purpose clearly.2 will give the stakeholder an assessment of the company’s commitment. A sustainability report contains economic.to advise stakeholders on how it intends to enhance those positive aspects and eradicate or ameliorate those negative aspects in the year ahead. based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting framework. the investment community. 16 Transient Caretakers . * * * All companies are faced with a myriad of topics that they could report on and each company must determine those factors that are relevant to its business. they give guidance on the information to be disclosed in a sustainability report. academia and others. The report must include both the positive and negative elements of each of these three aspects of a company’s performance during the year under review. and ❑ Compare that company with another company conducting a similar business. social (referred to as the ‘triple bottom line’) and governance information about the activities of a company. labour. In short.

In addition. There are three types of disclosure that should be made in a sustainability report: ❑ Firstly. report on its economic performance and comply with internationally accepted accounting standards. freedom of association. The laws of one country may be completely different from those of another in terms of the rights of sellers and buyers or other elements of the judicial systems. Consequently. information on the economic. based on the GRI indicators which ensure comparability of the reported information. planet and profit have become inextricably intertwined. In terms of legal considerations. management’s performance and approach. ❑ Secondly. a company should deal with product responsibility and how it markets and communicates its product. the non-use of child labour and that indigenous rights are protected. On environmental issues. disclosure of a company’s strategy. a company should report on how the business has impacted on the ecosystems of the community or communities in which it operates. a company should be able to report that it has checked its supplier contracts and that it has adequate clauses in its contracts for non-discrimination. and ❑ Thirdly. environmental and social performance of a company. of course. it is critical for companies to have adequate Sustainability Reporting 17 . from a human rights point of view. a company should report on the relationship between labour and management. including land.The information furnished to stakeholders should be in understandable language and readily accessible. how it applies occupational health and safety standards. profile and governance. A company must. With regard to labour. Furthermore. as well as the training and education provided in the company to improve the capacity of its employees. with advances in electronic communication and the phenomenon of globalisation it has become an international problem that contracts are being formed across borders. accepting that people. The information presented should have been gathered and analysed in a way that the quality of the information can be established. human rights and social issues. diversity and equal opportunity should be reported on as well as working conditions. air and water.

* * * What are the sustainability issues and challenges of today and what risks do they present to companies and to individuals? What can each of us as citizens. which is so necessary for the sustainability and future prospects of the company. then. It is only in this way that directors will be able to build the trust and confidence in a company by the stakeholders. surveys have shown that the first priority of stakeholders is a good product and their second priority is to have trust and confidence in the company. 18 Transient Caretakers . air and water – are passed to future generations in a sustainable state? These issues are discussed in the chapters that follow.alternative dispute resolution clauses in their contracts. should be able to come to the conclusion that the company has made its money as a responsible corporate citizen. as discussed in Chapter 1. This should be dealt with in a company’s sustainability report. shareholders and consumers do to ensure that our home – planet Earth and its assets of land. sustainability reporting is about how a company has made its money. The critical issue is that the stakeholder. having read the report. Ultimately. Finally.

Natural dynamics might explain a few of the warning signs described above. But something else is driving the current rapid planet-wide environmental change that affects the Earth’s air. land and its living plant and animal organisms. changes in land and water quality and biodiversity loss – are worldwide biophysical changes usually resulting from a combination of human activities and natural processes. birds and animals are migrating northward under the pressures of a warming world and habitat destruction. it was 2050 and as recently as eight years ago. The Arctic ice on land and sea is melting – current estimates suggest that we will have an icefree Arctic Ocean as early as 2025 or sooner. This unprecedented global economic 19 . which have surged globally since the beginning of the twentieth century. Rising global temperatures are changing the seasons’ cycles – the plants in Europe flower in the spring and shed their leaves in the fall about a week earlier than they did fifty years ago. in 2006. As little as three years ago. The world has finally woken up to the truth that the changes taking place in the global environment today are the result of the unsustainable use of natural resources by humans for economic activities.’ Thomas Paine1 It seems that every year now brings new records marking the rapid changes occurring in the Earth’s environment. Butterflies.3 Global Environmental Change ‘These are the times that try men’s souls. it was 2100. moths.2 The global environmental changes – such as climate change. water.

which are already seriously depleted globally. we move into a condition known as ecological overshoot. driven by consumerism and rapid population growth. * * * 20 Transient Caretakers .3 planets to absorb our waste and regenerate the resources used. The result is a completely changed world in which it would be difficult or impossible to find clean water. we consumed resources that require 1. for example. This is our world today and as good caretakers we have a responsibility to understand the changes that are taking place and to take action to ensure a sustainable future for our children and the planet – our home. (Further on in this book we discuss some resources. * * * The California-based organisation Global Footprint Network has developed an accounting tool that calculates how much of each ecological resource is used by the global population. as well as by individual countries and continents. This also means that in 2007. which also shows the extent to which nature’s resources are being used faster than they can be regenerated. the pressure on ecosystems will continue to increase globally in coming decades unless our attitudes and actions change. where resources are consumed faster than they are produced or renewed. and thick forests filled with wildlife.development. and eventually become depleted. relies on the exploitation and use of energy based on fossil fuels.3 Its reports show how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste each year – the so-called ‘ecological footprint’.) When our demands for resources continuously exceed that which nature can continually supply.4 Consequently. such as fish stock. fish. it now takes more than one year and four months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year. According to the organisation’s 2007 report.

Their findings provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide. air. the MEA involved the work of more than 1. minerals. such as food. The MEA has examined 24 of the ecosystem services and has found that approximately 60% (15 out of 24) are being degraded or used unsustainably. From 2001 to 2005. soil and climate) provide all the resources we consume. as well as the scientific basis for action to conserve and use them sustainably. The reports from the MEA present an international effort to inventory global ecosystems. timber and fibre.Our survival depends on the Earth’s ecosystems – the interaction of climate. originate from the ecosystems. water. and provide the conditions we require for a decent. and the effect of the ongoing degradation.5 The MEA classifies the benefits or services that ecosystems provide to people and businesses into four categories: ❑ Provisioning – all goods and materials. water. landscape. ❑ Regulating – ecosystems maintain the biophysical processes that control all natural processes affecting climate. People have used these ecosystem resources and services to Global Environmental Change 21 . animals and plants. and ❑ Supporting the ecosystems’ functions processes – such as soil formation. timber and fibre. ❑ Cultural – providing recreational. such as food. The ecosystems’ living environment (plants.360 experts worldwide. floods. aesthetic and spiritual benefits. photosynthesis and nutrient cycling. The past fifty years of human activity have changed ecosystems faster and more extensively than in any comparable previous period of time in human history. healthy and secure life. disease. their contribution to human development. waste and water quality. animals and micro-organisms) and non-living environment (water. reports the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) released in March 2005: The MEA assessed the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being.

at risk of being used up because they have been consumed faster than they are produced or renewed. absorb and recover from negative impacts. Renewable resources play a key role in regulating and supporting natural processes and functions in the complex balance of the Earth’s ecosystems. degradation and desertification. they have consumed the Earth’s non-renewable resources. Maintaining their natural balance is of particular importance for preserving nature’s ability to self-regulate. forests and the ecological services they provide. 22 Transient Caretakers . the loss of forests due to the illegal logging and timber trade in Tanzania resulted in changing local temperatures and precipitation. including the MEA. further threatening humanity’s own well-being. For example. The first step is to recognise these problems and the related potential risks. Next. Biodiversity loss. resulting in drastic changes in the Earth’s climate and environment. and have put the renewable resources worldwide. and Declining water supply and water pollution. If we acknowledge that the world is threatened due to environmental change and the expanding degradation of the Earth’s ecosystems. At the same time. energy and transportation – the lives of billions have been improved as a result. ores and petroleum. identified a list of challenges that are bringing particularly harsh risks to both human society and the Earth’s ecosystems: ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Climate change. such as water. what does it mean for business and for us? A number of studies. Land conversion. such as minerals. tomorrow and in the near future?’ Every person needs to ask this question and to work towards an answer.6 The MEA concludes that human activities have taken the planet to the edge of massive ecosystem destruction and have weakened nature’s ability for the purification of air and water and climate regulation. Overuse of renewable resources creates changes on multiple levels. stay informed and ask the question: ‘How and to what extent can I reduce these risks in terms of my life’s activities – today. flooding and expanding soil erosion in the vast deforested areas.provide food.

such as CO2 and methane (CH4). is change in the average world temperature caused by a rise in the level of the so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.8–4 °C. with lethal impacts on human life and biodiversity. The greenhouse effect made it possible for the planet to be warm enough to allow life to develop. A group of gases in the atmosphere known as greenhouse gases (GHG). These ecosystem changes and. the twenty-first century will see a probable further rise in temperature of 1.8 and has caused changes in global weather systems by trapping more of the sun’s heat within the atmosphere. while the total global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities have grown by 70% between 1970 and 2004. it is now well established that the continuing rapid increase in CO2 levels in the air in the last one hundred and fifty years has resulted in increasing land and ocean temperatures by about 1. an excess of greenhouse gases can raise the temperature of the planet and lead to dramatic changes in the Earth’s climate. also referred to as global warming or the greenhouse effect. These changes will accelerate as the concentration of CO2 continues to grow.5 °C. In its 2007 report. particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). which have had a negative disruptive impact on how the ecosystem functions. Climate change Global climate change.4 °C.1.7 In addition. as our dominant sources of energy. particularly. the use of fossil fuels. However. allow sunlight to reach the Earth. further leading to melting of the Arctic sea and land ice and shrinking of the mountain glaciers. Research shows that the development of industrial economies over the past century and a half has resulted in deforestation and the conversion of natural ecosystems into urban areas and cropland. with a possible increase of as much as 6. The greenhouse effect has been present for many millions of years. but prevent some of the resulting heat from radiating back out into space.9 Global Environmental Change 23 . oil and natural gas. have increased the amount of CO2 in the air by more than a third (from about 280 parts per million [ppm] in 1750 to 385 ppm in 2008). the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that without everyone’s strong efforts to reduce global CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. such as coal.

and ❑ Result in billions of people facing increased water scarcity and many millions facing increased risk of hunger and displacement by the rise of the sea level and extreme weather events.11 These impacts include. and more cyclones and storms would destroy houses and roads. all of Kiribati. seas rose about 6–9 inches in the whole of the twentieth century).10 which is only about 0. the Marshall Islands.5 °C warmer than the 2008 level. Such change would result further in: ❑ Higher tides and more intense storm surges. and ❑ Many island nations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. One of the issues concerning climate change is that global warming would not necessarily result in a warmer climate everywhere. the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet and irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet. for example. with more than 2 °C warming we face severe risks of crossing irreversible ‘tipping points’ in the ecosystem dynamics and triggering impacts that will further accelerate climate change. One disturbing and increasingly credible scenario forecasts that melting of the 24 Transient Caretakers . ❑ The lives of as many as 200 million people being put at risk. parts of the Federated States of Micronesia (particularly Yap and some of the islands of Pohnpei) and most of the countries in the Pacific would become practically uninhabitable. would result in a rise in sea level of an additional 8–88 cm (7–23 inches – by comparison. all of Tuvalu. For example. ❑ Some 20–30% of species facing extinction. which are only a few metres above sea level. Moreover.The IPCC estimates that warming of just 2 °C above the pre-industrial global temperature levels. going completely under water. warming of more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels is likely to: ❑ Wipe out most of the world’s coral reefs. ❑ Trigger drying out of the Amazon rainforest. which would lead respectively to eventual sea-level rises of 4–6 metres and 6–7 metres. and would bring salt water that would damage crops in the fields and contaminate the freshwater supply. According to the IPCC 2007 report.

According to the IPCC report. the oceanic conveyer that transports heat from the tropical Atlantic to the shores of the US east coast. (3) millions of people could experience more coastal flooding. climate change could impact on every aspect of human activity and ecosystem services. and (4) the health status of millions of people will be affected through increases in malnutrition. Even in more developed countries with adequate resources. It has happened before: about 13 000 years ago at the end of the previous Ice Age. IPCC urgently warns that in the next 5–50 years. and patterns of extreme events are leading to a fast-growing number of cases to damage to human health.12 Historically.4 °F) warmer than today was 3 million years ago. a shutdown of the Gulf Stream gave Europe an additional 1 300 years of frigid weather. livelihoods and infrastructure. (2) many species are at increased risk of extinction from rising temperatures. warming of the climate system is already causing changes in ecosystems.Arctic icecap would also result in changes to the Gulf Stream. species diversity and the effects of extreme weather events can pose significant risks to business and even households. temperature rise and increased exposure to diseases) will be hard hit by climate change. water shortages. It argues that the giant amounts of fresh water released from the Arctic could potentially shift the conveyer to a more southerly route thus resulting in an ice-cold Europe. the last time that the Earth was about 2–3 °C (3. water supply quality and availability. ecosystem health.6–5. Countries with fewer resources (many of which are also facing the harmful effects of sea level rise. UK and Europe. Using the IPCC key conclusions as a platform. when the sea level was about 25–35 metres (80 feet or more) higher. effects on water supplies.13 We can easily reach this Global Environmental Change 25 . such as cholera. death and injury due to extreme weather events and changes in geographical distribution of some infectious diseases. the Pew Center on Global Climate Change gives a grim summary of these impacts: (1) hundreds of millions of people will be exposed to increased water stress. malaria and dengue fever.

and due to the overall increase in human population. it results in significant changes across all elements of the ecosystems – from decreased productivity of the soil to droughts. Bangladesh would produce 120 million refugees. or the building of roads. ‘Have humans caused climate change?’ but rather. Tokyo. soils and the other forms of land are integral elements of the Earth’s ecosystems. In that case. When natural land is converted into cropland for farming and agriculture. but for the most part they will not be able to eliminate them. In the next fifty or more years. No longer should we ask. ‘What can be done to react and adapt to it?’. the conversion of natural habitat to meet the needs of the growing human population and economic development could result in the following challenges and trends: ❑ Loss of wildlife habitat and land degradation due to urban development and industrialisation: This would continue to expand. In the US. Shanghai. urban development. which further contribute to rapid environmental changes. as a result of the migration of people from the countryside to the cities. India would lose the land of 150 million people. If businesses. 50 million people live below that sea level. some of the answers to which are explored in more detail in Chapter 4. degradation and desertification Natural landscapes. China would have 250 million displaced persons. Today. forests. Venice and New York would be lost under the ocean water. which used to have 2 billion hectares of forest and 1. A brief look when entering Johannesburg at the mountains of soil – a by-product of the gold mines – shows no sign 26 Transient Caretakers . the growing urbanisation and industrial development. 2. Amsterdam. wetlands.5 billion hectares of grassland. is covered by urban areas or cropland. governments and households take immediate.point if we continue business as usual and the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to rise with the current speed. Land conversion. one-quarter of the Earth’s land surface. coordinated action they can reduce the impacts of climate change. especially in the developing countries.

have been removed. with the largest losses occurring in the biologically rich tropical forests of the developing world. A visit to the Psiloritis Mountains on the beautiful Greek island of Crete reveals severe changes in the island’s landscape due to the overgrazing of goats.15 ❑ Changes in the coastal areas: It is estimated that more than onethird of the world’s mangroves. the dense forests growing in the tidal mud of many tropical regions. for example. This is due to logging and clearing for agriculture and development. Between 2000 and 2005. is severely threatened and has been reduced to only 5% of its original size. as well as from changing weather patterns and rising temperatures due to climate change. Most of the Mediterranean countries suffer land degradation resulting from increasing water consumption and pressure on ecosystems by poorly managed agriculture and tourism. mainly as a result of expanded coffee cultivation. but also the forests.of life and no recollection of the original natural landscape. worldwide roughly 13 million hectares of forest disappeared each year. The IPCC of 2007 estimates that deforestation contributes 15–20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. fields and croplands that sustain its inhabitants. The Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. ❑ Deforestation is on the rise in most developing countries: The world’s natural forest ecosystems that are undisturbed and large enough to maintain all of their biodiversity are disappearing faster than the speed of their natural recovery in both developed and developing countries. industry and energy use. soil and land management are expanding erosion of the land and reducing soil quality. The result is an increasing number and scale of forest fires.14 Deforestation leads to biodiversity loss and a decline in the quality of life. but also in some of the developed and wealthier communities as well. which represent a serious threat for the local wildlife and people. not only in the poorest communities in dry areas worldwide. about 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and a further 20% Global Environmental Change 27 . ❑ Land degradation and decrease in soil quality due to poor management: Today a lack of proper water. results in increased pollution in the air. and degradation of the land that is affecting not only the area of a city itself. soil erosion and loss of vegetation in the region. The growing concentration of people. water and soil.

The MEA released in March 2005 concludes: There has been a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on earth due to human action. communities and ecosystems on Earth. species. plans and activities. ❑ Habitat loss: This causes reduced biodiversity. Although actual disappearance of a recognized species is quite rare in 28 Transient Caretakers . or marshes into parking lots tend to produce a less diverse landscape that excludes many of the species previously occupying the space. It will probably never be known how many people’s lives were lost in the Indian Ocean tsunamis due to the pre-existing loss of mangroves and damage to coral reefs. Have the risks listed above been incorporated in their risk management and what. river banks into reservoirs. Converting rainforest into cropland. land conservation and land rehabilitation policies. the huge impact of climate change has and will continue to affect ecosystems through desertification and the destruction of cold weather habitats in the far north and south. 25% of mammals and at least 32% of amphibians are threatened with extinction over the next century. are they doing about them? 3. In addition. The biodiversity of the Earth has been in steady decline as many species become extinct under the pressures of human development and economics. strategically. populations. Some 12% of birds. changes in the distribution of species and the extinction of many species. Pollution from industries and domestic waste has damaged rivers and oceans. Individuals should ask their local authorities and the companies in which they are indirectly invested through their pension funds to report on their land use. Biodiversity loss Biological diversity (biodiversity) refers to the number and variety of living organisms. including the diversity of genes.badly degraded.16 Areas with less damage to the natural coastline are naturally better protected from the force of a tidal wave. Mining has adversely affected local ecosystems.

By degrading biodiversity. fibre. or two-thirds of the global population. Declining water supply and water pollution Water supports all ecosystem processes and is one of the ecosystems’ key providing services. plants and animals for food. they are doing with regard to biodiversity conservation and the preservation of native local species. Biodiversity has an important role in the provision of ecosystem services such as pollination. For example. pest control and protection from diseases. we are limiting our options for adapting to climate change. it is estimated that people may have increased the rate of global extinctions by as much as 1. seed dispersal. water) and the growing threat to ecosystems from climate change and nutrient pollution.terms of human time scales. the surface run-off water (rivers. carbon sequestration. The Arctic ice shelf. Oceans represent the largest reservoirs of salty water on the planet. pharmaceuticals. the vulnerability of the 2 billion people living in dry regions to the loss of ecosystem services (food. Among the outstanding problems are: the dire state of many of the world’s fish stocks. with the rising food prices following the shortage of main food items globally. Certainly. since ecosystems are the source of water used by people. Individuals should ask their local authorities and the companies they are shareholders in through their pension funds what. streams.000 times the ‘natural’ rate typical of earth’s long-term history.17 Business and industry have profited from the use of microbes. Maintaining nature’s portfolio is a way of reducing business risk. with every species and gene lost. if anything. the Global Environmental Change 29 . cosmetics and other vital products for centuries. construction materials. biodiversity has a strong influence on food production which. Forest and mountain ecosystems supply fresh drinking water to at least 4 billion people. presents one of the major current and future challenges. human activities are compromising opportunities for future progress and profitability in all regions of the world. lakes). 4.

Below this level people are constrained in their ability to maintain their physical wellbeing and the dignity that comes with being clean’.19 The Stockholm International Water Institute and other experts estimate that each person needs a minimum of 1 000 cubic metres (m3) of water per year – equivalent to two-fifths of an Olympic-size swimming pool – for drinking. In comparison. The overarching conclusion in the face of the looming water crisis is that the problem we face today is largely one of governance – to share equitably 30 Transient Caretakers . Farm irrigation is the biggest single human use of fresh water. and with intensive agricultural and industrial development. This is suggested by international development organisations as ‘sufficient for drinking and basic personal hygiene.18 The minimum requirement for fresh water per person is 20 litres a day from a source within 1 kilometre of the household.9 billion people. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projects that by 2030. regional and global issues. from the changes in the climate are resulting in water-supply shortages of growing proportions worldwide. Fairly and sustainably using the world’s limited supplies of fresh water and ensuring that sufficient water is available to perform essential environmental functions are local. hygiene and growing food.ground water and the mountain glaciers that feed the surface run-off with fresh water. about 47% of the world’s population. cities and industries consume tiny amounts. are the main supplies of fresh water – the lifeblood for humans and for many of the planet’s living creatures. overuse and pollution. the ground water and the surface run-off are part of the Earth’s hydrogenic cycle.20 Whether people get enough depends greatly on where they live and what their level of income is. which maintains the Earth’s water supply and is an important regulator of the climate. affecting rich and poor countries alike. the situation represents. but with an intensity that often drains the local water supplies. Together with the oceans. ‘one of the greatest human development challenges of the early 21st century’. Providing fresh water is especially challenging in dry areas with large populations. Growing water consumption. will be living in areas with severe water stress and that water scarcity could continue to worsen as a result of unsustainable water use and management as well as a decrease in the access to water due to climate change. such as drought. combined with natural effects. According to the OECD. over 3.

As a stakeholder in companies. governments and other institutions at global. lakes and underground water (see more about this in Chapters 9 and 10). every individual can stimulate companies to address water-related problems and risks. to reuse and recycle the run-off water and. management and use of water resources by asking. Finally. ‘How is water being used? What strategies and measures are being applied to ensure the sustainable supply of water and to recycle waste water?’ By choosing to buy their products and to invest in companies that have focused on the development of solutions and opportunities related to water challenges. national and local levels. to utilise the waste water from kitchens and bathrooms that can further pollute the rivers.a limited supply of drinking water while ensuring the sustainability of natural ecosystems. as homeowners. Global Environmental Change 31 . each of us must look for practical ways to optimise and minimise water use in our households and gardens. wherever possible. every person can influence the sustainable governance.


2 In his review Stern is fully in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conclusions (as discussed in Chapter 3). reviews the impacts different changes in the global temperature would have on the world’s economic system and prescribes how to minimise these destructive effects. Sir Nicholas Stern.4 The Economic Implications of Climate Change ‘Extinction of a single plant species may result in the disappearance of up to 30 other species of plants and wildlife. In his 700-page report to the British government. A warming of 5 °C on a global scale would 33 . This level of greenhouse gases will probably be reached between 2030 and 2060. Most climate models show that a doubling of pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases is very likely to commit the Earth to a rise of between 2 and 5 °C in global mean temperatures. a development economist and former chief economist at the World Bank. He writes: The Earth’s climate is rapidly changing. we can add further warnings about the devastating impact climate change could have on the world’s economies and markets. mainly as a result of increases in greenhouse gases caused by human activities.’ USDA Forest Service1 To the scientific observations about the dangerous risks for human life associated with climate change.

Stern’s message is clear and urgent: Our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity. and a permanent reduction in consumption per head of 20%. droughts. weather and ecosystems (rising intensity of storms. humans have never been in this position before.3 Stern confirms that rising temperature changes would result in greater and higher intensity negative impacts on food (falling crop yields). tourism loss and reduced coastal protection. which according to Stern’s review could be prevented if 1% of the global annual gross domestic product (GDP) were to be invested in minimising CO2 emissions. This would be a gigantic. shock for the world economy. forest fires. and 16% suffered subsequent mortality. This environmental damage was estimated to cost US$8 billion in the Indian Ocean in terms of fisheries.6 34 Transient Caretakers . meaning that everyone in the world would be one-fifth poorer than they would otherwise have been. In recorded history. flooding and heat waves). incomprehensible. In 1998. 75% of the world’s reefs were affected by thermal stress combined with other factors.5 The economic disruptions driven by climate change are already in motion.’4 Furthermore. Stern concludes that a scenario of 2–3 °C of warming would lead to a permanent loss of up to 3% in global world output. And if and when the damages appear it will be too late to reverse the process.be far outside the experience of the human civilisation and comparable to the difference between temperatures during the last ice age and today. based on economic modelling. potentially lethal. for most of us. He warns that ‘the impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed – the poorest countries and people will suffer earliest and most. where urgent action is needed on a global scale to confront an environmental challenge that is. later in this century and in the next. compared to what would have happened without climate change. on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th Century. Thus we are forced to look a long way ahead. water (decrease in water availability).

Then they should look for optimal ways to minimise these impacts.8 By the end of the twenty-first century. Online ‘carbon footprint’ calculators are becoming increasingly popular as they allow individuals to calculate the climate change impacts of their households. so they depend directly on the reefs for their survival on a daily basis. For many of them fishing is a source of income and food. offices and different daily activities (see what follows for more details). The questions each individual.7 Scientists warn that a warming atmosphere will result in more severe droughts and forest fires in some regions. Initial studies estimate that dead. which would have a devastating impact on the surrounding communities. Information about the climate change impact of companies and their products and services should be available in each company’s sustainability reports. climate change and its impacts may be the dominant direct driver of changes in the way companies do their business and in the way human society transforms its systems and values in the face of the rapid changes in the ecosystems and the services they provide globally. Nearly half a billion people live within 100 kilometres of coral reefs. business and government should ask now are: ❑ What can be done to reduce the harmful effects of climate change – now and in the long term? ❑ What can be done in terms of the need to adapt to the changes that are taking place? Individuals should begin addressing these questions by first learning what impact each of the companies they are invested in. The Economic Implications of Climate Change 35 . have on climate change. the fish also disappear. crumbling reefs could lose 50% of their fisheries’ value. on the company’s website and/or as part of the information provided to consumers about a company’s products and services. different goods and services they purchase and their households. storm surges and floods in others. mirrored by more damaging typhoons. often measured as a ‘carbon footprint’.When a reef dies. These predictions are confirmed in the statistics: average economic losses from extreme weather events have increased six-fold since the 1960s and in 2003 reached US$60 billion.

for example. measured in units of CO2 or carbon unit (metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent) to accommodate the existence of greenhouse gases other than CO2. such as solar or wind energy. or in real terms through operational changes. There are various carbon footprint calculators available on the Internet to calculate the carbon footprint of your car or for a trip to Paris. you could purchase carbon offsets for the trip from the airlines and thus neutralise the emissions of the trip. In the case of your heading to Paris on an aeroplane. by contributing towards the financing of a reforestation project in the Amazon. Carbon offsets (also known as carbon compensations or neutralisers) are used to mitigate carbon emissions released in one place by: ❑ Avoiding the release of the same amount of emissions elsewhere through the development of alternative projects. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative is a corporate accounting and reporting standard that provides a step-by-step guide for companies to use in quantifying and reporting their greenhouse gas emissions. In South Africa the first mobile carbon footprint calculator MyCO2Print. organisations and even nations. Every company should calculate the ‘carbon footprint’ of its operations and products to identify which activities result in the most greenhouse gas emissions and areas where emissions could be reduced through offsets. households. or ❑ Absorbing the equivalent amount of CO2 through reforestation.9 and then apply carbon offsets for the reduction of that carbon footprint.Carbon footprint The carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases produced and released in the atmosphere by individuals.10 It is increasingly becoming the de facto tool for corporations managing their emissions. It is much simpler than the web-based calculators and provides users with an approximate rand value of carbon emissions they are producing. 36 Transient Caretakers . formerly World Wildlife Fund). businesses and their products and services. developed by messaging solutions company BulkSMS in partnership with the global conservation organisation WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature. was launched in 2008 and is gaining popularity.

in homes and businesses with energy-saving ones. The city formed a partnership with two local utility companies in a campaign to replace outdated energy-guzzling appliances. industrial and service – that would be developed further as part of the municipal strategies and plans. as reported in the Wall Street Journal. Information should The Economic Implications of Climate Change 37 . Available technologies could improve energy efficiency through the introduction of tax on carbon emissions. such as air conditioners. in California. Palm Desert now gives residents rebates of up to US$1 400 per system when they buy a new energy-saving air conditioner (each costs between US$5 000 and US$9 000) that saves as much as half the power used by the older ones. is an example of how a good strategy could bring great benefits. are also likely to play an important role in efforts to stabilise emissions. economic and social) associated with climate change and the related environmental changes in the area where a community is located. The risks should be discussed with the local citizens and business community with the aim of reaching agreement on concrete approaches for the minimisation of greenhouse gas emissions in households and across all sectors – public. After a full year of the programme. the effects of global warming on agriculture will be of great scale and will vary from region to region and from place to place. the city has saved 27 million kilowatt-hours of power and has removed about 3 475 tonnes of CO2 from the air. Active engagement of the local community at every stage is key – from climate-change-related data collection and updates to strategic development and implementation of measures for addressing climate change and its impacts. Consumers who make a special effort to save energy could gain. equivalent to the CO2 that 1 531 homes generate annually from electricity use. such as business incentives for the development and use of low-carbon technologies.11 Targeted policies that use fiscal mechanisms to encourage emission reductions. Agreement should also be reached at the community/municipal level on the development of a strategy for adaptation to the environmental change resulting from climate change. The tax could be revenue-neutral. well-to-do consumers who insist on three large vehicles would pay for their excess. For example.Addressing climate change It is important that local authorities analyse the potential risks (environmental. The case of the city of Palm Desert.

for example. from the planet’s point of view. new patterns of heat waves and cold snaps. landslides.be made available and guidance provided to farmers on how to adapt by making appropriate changes in planting dates. selection of crops. The social fabric and infrastructure of many cities may face greater stress as people migrate away from vulnerable areas. as well as international plans for addressing the spread of diseases and the provision of vaccines and medicines. changes in infectious diseases and food supply. With some 790 million people currently undernourished. Flooding. as well as evacuation and disaster control plans. Key strategies for land use. healthcare. melting ice and sea-level rise would pose widespread risks to communities as the climate changes. Every citizen should take action to ensure that the above measures are formulated on governmental and municipal levels. fresh-water supplies. We should all place our votes to ensure that at every level of government. steps are taken for building a co-ordinated response in the areas of water. pollution and scarcity. where CO2 comes from is far less important than total amounts. food and energy supply in our communities. and pest and disease control strategies. Co-ordinated efforts on local. national and international levels are necessary to bring food aid to the countries and regions where and when it is needed. Global climate change will have also a wide range of effects on human health caused by. sustainable building and transport systems development in the situation of changing climate would be necessary. floods and droughts. Other measures to address climate-triggered human-health impacts should range from guidance for behavioural changes and public education campaigns to the development of appropriate health programmes and services. and population movements. changes in food supply due to climate change would have devastating consequences in many regions of the world. Carbon trading The key idea behind carbon trading is that. Rather than rigidly forcing the reduction of emissions country-by-country (or 38 Transient Caretakers .

are currently aimed at the most ‘energy intensive’ emitters on a company level.2% compared with 1990 levels. which came into force in February 2005. the market creates a choice: either spend the money to cover the costs of cutting pollution (emissions). where the carbon units are allowances. or else continue polluting (emitting) and pay someone else to cut their pollution. With regard to individual companies. the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows developed countries to gain emission credits for financing projects based in developing countries for the reduction of CO2 emissions.12 developed countries can trade between each other’s allowance-based transactions. compliance schemes. For example. Another way of trading carbon is through credits from projects that compensate for or ‘offset’ emissions. On a global and national level.company-by-company). ❑ Reduced ecosystem resources. such as water. industrialised countries must reduce their total greenhouse gas emissions by an average 5. Business risks and opportunities The major business risks imposed by climate change include: ❑ Reduced agricultural yields and declining supply of crucial raw materials. It is mandatory and includes 12 000 sites across the 25 European Union member states. ❑ Decreased operational efficiencies. growing costs and rising insurance The Economic Implications of Climate Change 39 . The European Trading Scheme (ETS) is a cap-and-trade scheme and the largest companies-based scheme which covers heavy industry and power generation. services and functions resulting from loss of species and their stabilising interactions. regulation-driven) carbon markets are seen as key instruments for achieving the Kyoto targets for reduction in CO2 emissions. mandatory. those responsible for the greatest damage. by regulators under cap-and-trade regimes. created and assigned through various systems. Under the Kyoto Treaty. or units of ‘right to pollute’. In the so-called cap-and-trade scheme. the compliance (legislated. between 2008 and 2012. caused by growing temperatures and increasingly irregular weather patterns. such as the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). including nonEuropean companies. including free allocation and auctioning.

service and intermediary-type organisations) seek to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily. For two decades prior to the Kyoto Protocol coming into force. the business opportunities presented by climate change include: ❑ Introduction of new businesses. while simultaneously signalling to others their sense of social and environmental responsibility often through their websites and/or in their corporate social responsibility/sustainability reports. by contrast. healthcare. Under the legislative mandatory cap-and-trade schemes. products or services that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ❑ Reduced costs through energy efficiency improvements or switching to renewable or low-carbon fuels.14 On the other side of the coin. by measuring their carbon footprint and managing it through compensation (carbon offset). In the case of the voluntary carbon market. businesses (typically brand. aviation. fires and other extreme weather events. ❑ Earning a seat at the policy-makers’ table and a leadership position for timely and effective company action. transport. environmentally aware companies had been funding clean development projects to offset their CO2 emissions through the so-called voluntary carbon trade market. setting greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and acting to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. such as the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) mentioned above. oil and gas and the financial services sector all face the highest levels of risks while showing low levels of preparedness to face these risks. 40 Transient Caretakers . and ❑ Enhanced reputation and brand through implementation of corporate policies. and ❑ Increased operating costs as a result of government-imposed restrictions on or charges for greenhouse gas emissions. tropical storms. tourism. According to a KPMG13 report evaluating climate change risks for different industry sectors.premiums resulting from the increased occurrence of floods. large companies in specific sectors have been mandated by law to buy carbon offset credits if they exceed legal pollution limits.

are further linking carbon credits with customers’ purchase of products and services. those under close ownership or control). The company was able to short-list seventeen providers – among them projects in Germany. businesses across industries have begun offsetting products. In some cases offsets are tied to purchases automatically (and included in the price tag). generating power with clean. Carbon offsets can come from many sources.16 Initially. More recently. and major events are trying to be carbon neutral. NGOs and single individuals are taking voluntary action to offset their carbon footprints. that is. the Olympics and the US Super Bowl. and ❑ Industrial gases (30%). companies focused on offsetting corporate-level emissions (for example.In addition to companies. containing and storing the emissions created by industry so that they are not released into the atmosphere. such as Delta Airlines. For example. the avoidance of deforestation or the planting of new forests.15 Today’s businesses ranging from small enterprises to household brand names and Fortune 500 corporations are buying offsets and the term ‘carbon neutral’ has reached the mainstream. India. that is. by engaging in the voluntary carbon trade. Some companies. For example: The Economic Implications of Climate Change 41 . ❑ Renewable energy (33%). Australia and New Zealand – and then spent some US$750 000 buying offsets from them. In others. the options and the choice – to purchase offsets or not – are given to the customers. for example. more and more government departments. More than a hundred offset providers responded to HSBC’s request. that is. The ‘State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2007’ market report claims that the voluntary carbon offset market is dominated by three types of projects: ❑ Forestry sequestration (36%). renewable sources (such as wind or solar) instead of using dirtier fossil fuels. decided to make its operations carbon neutral and put out a tender for projects that would offset 170 000 tonnes of CO2 emitted by the bank during the last quarter of 2005. HSBC. one of the world’s largest banks. in December 2004.

❑ Amtrak offers passengers a choice to offset miles travelled; ❑ Volkswagen offers offsetting for all vehicles during the first year of ownership; ❑ EcoBranders provides a choice of carbon-neutral shipping; ❑ Royal Hawaiian Honeys considers its honey carbon neutral; ❑ Icelandic Glacial considers its water products to be carbon neutral; and ❑ Sasol, the oil-from-coal company in South Africa, has started producing carbon credits.

Individuals should strive to minimise their individual carbon footprints and the carbon footprints of their households.
Inevitably, in going about our daily lives – commuting, sheltering our families, eating – each of us contributes directly or indirectly to the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. For example, our children might have plastic toys produced in China, in the production of which China has emitted a large amount of CO2. Leaving some appliances plugged in when not in use causes energy consumption and thus increases the amount of fossil fuels burnt in a power plant, which affects the amount of CO2 emitted by the plant into the atmosphere. While a shopper in a supermarket in the developed world will buy ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables that arrive from countries up to 10 000 km away and are clearly labelled from those countries, the purchaser does not appreciate how much CO2 has been generated in transporting the fruit and vegetables to the supermarket. As shoppers become more concerned about climate change and the contribution they can make to save the carbon footprint, producers in developing countries can find their business in developed countries declining.

Fortunately, there are many things each of us, as individuals, can do to reduce our carbon emissions. Start by establishing the ‘carbon footprint’ of your household, and then take steps to reduce that footprint by adopting a ‘low-carbon diet’ aiming at reducing CO2 emissions by consciously making low-carbon choices and changes.


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The menu of such a ‘low-carbon diet’ could include: ❑ Easy, commonsense CO2 savings, such as the recycling of paper, aluminium and bottles, as well as turning off lights and unplugging that cellphone charger, DVD player or TV when it is not in use; ❑ More difficult and costly options that lead to greater reductions, such as composting food waste, installing high-grade insulation for walls and heaters, weekly no-car shopping by walking, cycling and using public transport; and ❑ Even more difficult options for reductions on a grand scale, such as the installation of solar power systems for electricity.17 According to the WWF the target should be to reduce our annual personal carbon budget to 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions – the so-called One Planet Living Target.18 A low-carbon lifestyle should begin inside the four walls of your home. The choices you make in your home, your travel, the food you eat and what you buy and throw away all influence your carbon footprint and can help to ensure a stable climate for future generations.

The Economic Implications of Climate Change



Procter and Gamble’s sustainability agenda

Procter and Gamble (P&G) is a global company with its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. It has 138 000 employees working in over 80 countries. What started as a family-operated soap and candle business now provides more than 300 products and services of superior quality and value to consumers in over 180 countries. In South Africa, P&G markets well-known brands, such as Head and Shoulders, Pantene, Pampers, Always, Tampax, Oil of Olay, Vicks, Pringles, Old Spice and Hugo Boss.19 It is generally recognised today that sustainability requires a balance between environmental protection, economic development and social responsibility. P&G’s strategic vision in terms of environmental protection is to improve its products and the way it produces those products. In improving its social responsibility, P&G drives this goal by working more closely with its stakeholders. In delivering its commitment through improving its products, P&G saves billions of litres of water per year. Its products result in less chemicals being discharged into water, less energy being used in the production and washing of clothes and less packaging material waste. P&G approaches sustainability on the basis that it is everyone’s responsibility and that sustainability is not instantaneous, it is a journey. Sustainability ensures a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. In this context, P&G embraces sustainable development as a potential business opportunity as well as a corporate responsibility: What we do is provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and in generations to come, through health, hygiene or convenience. How we do it includes addressing any environmental and socio-economic issues associated with our products and services. P&G has helped to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions


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through products such as Tide Cold Water and Ariel Coolclean, which reduce energy use through cold-water washing. P&G has developed a sachet that purifies water by removing bacteria, viruses, cysts and heavy metals in the water. This helps to provide clean, safe drinking water in developing countries and in times of natural disasters. Currently over 95% of materials that enter P&G plants leave as finished product. More than half the remaining materials are recycled. Three billion times a day, P&G’s brands touch the lives of people around the world. In the financial year 2007–08, P&G purchased more than US$45 billion worth of materials and services from third parties in order to manufacture and market its products. In its drive to improve sustainability issues through its products, the company’s strategy is to delight the consumer with sustainable innovations that improve the environmental profile of its products. It is developing and marketing Sustainable Innovation Products, which have a significantly reduced environmental footprint compared to previous or alternative products. In terms of research and development, P&G is committed to the ultimate elimination of animal testing and has invested over US$265 million in developing alternatives to animal tests. The company only uses animals as a last resort and, when it does, it works with animal welfare organisations to ensure high standards. Whilst P&G is a major buyer of wood pulp, it does not own or manage forests. It accepts, however, that it has a responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the world’s forest resources. Consequently, the company has a long-term policy that applies to how it manages the purchasing and utilisation of wood pulp. P&G only purchases woodderived pulp from suppliers that: ❑ Ensure the safety of forestry and manufacturing operations for employees in the environment; ❑ Document that the fibre is from legally harvested wood and that other legal requirements are met; ❑ Practise principles of sustainable forest management in their own operations and the sourcing of wood;

The Economic Implications of Climate Change


P&G has also formulated sustainability guidelines for other supplier relations. CO2 emissions and disposed waste by a further 10% per unit of production from 2007–12. P&G lists human rights and employee practices that are acceptable to the company and expects its suppliers to conduct themselves in a similar manner. The company’s goal is to reduce its energy and water consumption. economic and social well-being of those communities. 46 Transient Caretakers . it expects its suppliers to comply with all applicable laws of a country and not to practise discrimination or environmentally unfriendly practices. In accepting that climate change is a challenge and that as a multinational company. The services of suppliers that violate the sustainability principles of P&G are terminated. Although production volume has grown there has been a 4% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions over the past year. it focuses its efforts in two main areas: 1. and 2. and ❑ Reflect its social values and support of universal human rights through work with local governments and communities to improve the educational. P&G’s strategy for improving manufacturing sustainability is to improve the environmental profile of its own operations. Consequently. CO2 emissions by 8%. Reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations. In just one year following the setting of this goal. Helping consumers to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions through the use of P&G products via packaging innovations and more efficient consumer product use and education.Procter and Gamble’s sustainability agenda ❑ Do not obtain the fibre from sites designated for conservation or judged to have unique environmental or cultural value. cultural. P&G has a duty in this regard. giving a reduction of over 45% in each of these indicators since 2002. In this regard. P&G reduced energy usage by 6%. water usage by 7% and disposed waste by 21% per unit of production.

In order to cut down distribution sustainability issues. Because of these social responsibility programmes. P&G ensures its commitment to its employees through a profit-sharing programme. windmill turbines to produce energy. at each P&G production facility. energy-efficient fluorescent lighting. Learn and Thrive by 2012 and to deliver 2 billion litres of clean drinking water. local action groups. In its strategy to improve its sustainability through its stakeholders. recyclable wall and lift-cladding panels. The next strategy of P&G in aiding sustainability is to improve lives through P&G social responsibility programmes. The profit-sharing programme provides employees with a stake in the company’s future. it has site-specific activities to build constructive relationships with local authorities. It instils a culture and policies to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and has the opportunity to contribute to P&G’s vision and mission. giving employees the opportunity to meet both business and personal needs. It recognises the importance of improving the quality The Economic Implications of Climate Change 47 . In this regard. forklift trucks with AC regenerative motors. A further strategy is to improve sustainability through its employees. thought leaders and news media. P&G was voted the best corporate citizen in Morocco and was named a model company by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. educate and develop its people. large distribution centres have been built with solar panels for hot water supply. P&G shapes the future by working transparently with its stakeholders to enable continued freedom to innovate in a responsible way. giving access to education. The company’s goal is to help 250 million children to Live. Schools have also been built and supplies provided to children. It offers flexible work arrangements. carpets with 80% recyclable yarn. the company engages and equips its employees to build sustainability thinking and practices into their everyday work. Programmes such as these enable P&G to be a sustainable business and a viable part of the communities in which it does business. Its human resource systems train. local industry associations. residential and business neighbours. natural light via translucent roof panels. In this regard. wood from sustainable tree plantations and local vegetation.

now and for generations to come. it is consumers themselves who are most well situated to choose how best to improve their own quality of life. P&G believes that if sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone. Advertising helps to inform consumers about products and services and facilitates consumer choice. supports local initiatives and encourages employee involvement. After all. 48 Transient Caretakers . then advertising plays a key role.Procter and Gamble’s sustainability agenda of life in local communities.

said at the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) 2008 conference in Amsterdam that ‘Anglo American is not only a multi-national. with globalisation and especially growing urbanisation in countries such as China and India.20 Cynthia Carroll. as Carroll pointed out in her GRI speech. For example. It is involved in platinum. copper. Chief Executive. In Chile. it has entered into an arrangement with BHP Billiton to pump millions of litres of water from underground coal mines in South Africa and to convert this into clean drinking water for the neighbouring communities. but a multi-cultural and multi-lingual organisation. with a richness of diversity which creates its own challenges’. which includes dealing with challenges such as climate change. Anglo American is one of the world’s top five mining groups and it occupies a position in the top twenty of the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 100 Index. With the growth of China and India’s economies. Sustainable development has become ingrained in the business approach of Anglo American. stretching from Alaska to China. more and more minerals and metals are needed in order to meet the aspirations of the 6 billion people on the planet. water availability and respect for human rights. the issue of climate change has been incorporated into all of the Group’s investment projects for years and it identifies that the most critical issue in the entire sustainable development arena is that of water. It is truly a multinational company with global interests. this increased extraction needs to be carried out in a sustainable manner. Anglo has around 100 000 permanent employees and 60 000 contract workers. She accepts that as a leading company in the mining industry. diamonds. iron ore. However. Anglo has a responsibility for sustainability issues and the way in which these are reported. This is illustrated by the fact that ‘there are nearly 40 mined elements in the average personal computer’. gold and coal. The company operates in 45 countries. The Economic Implications of Climate Change 49 .CASE STUDY Anglo American’s approach to climate change Anglo American’s approach to climate change is instructive. The reality is that. nickel. In this regard. the need for natural resources has never been greater.

on water and on skills. as well as to Queensland State Gas’s pipeline grid. To deal with this in a more sustainable manner will require sound policies and economic influence. In Australia. Anglo American has implemented nearly one thousand energy-efficiency projects at its sites all over the world. Anglo American is also working with Shell and China’s Shaanxi Coalfield Geological Bureau and the US FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. It has established the Bristol Base Sustainable Fisheries Fund and wants Alaskans to assist it in working out a community solution for the challenges it faces in the state. Anglo Coal has captured methane gas and sold it to a power station to generate electricity. nuclear and renewable technologies. or diesel in lock drills and experimenting in the use of biofuels in its mine vehicle fleets. Each of these projects will cost billions of dollars and it is essential that governments create an enabling regulatory framework and also 50 Transient Caretakers . In Alaska. At present China is adding electricity-generating capacity equivalent to that of the entire UK grid every year. to using electricity instead of compressed air. This experiment has achieved greenhouse gas savings equivalent to taking 375 000 cars off Australian roads. Anglo American faces different issues around water because it is aiming to develop a new mine in an area long designated for mining by state authorities but which is close to the spawning grounds for Pacific salmon. the protection of native people’s livelihoods. The company is playing a part in the preservation of salmon spawning grounds and other wildlife and. consequently. will remove the equivalent of another 300 000 vehicles from the roads. These range from simple things. the feasibility of converting coal to liquids and on taking forward clean development mechanisms. Expansion of this magnitude is placing tremendous pressure on power-generating capacity. such as installing low-energy light bulbs. on projects related to integrated carbon capture and storage.Anglo American’s approach to climate change the expansion of Anglo’s Los Bronces copper mine will reduce the use of fresh water by 40% per tonne of copper produced. A similar project. including incentives to promote energy efficiency and to prompt clean fossil-fuel. which has recently commenced in Northern Queensland.

Anglo American has developed a socio-economic assessment toolbox. the initiatives now employ some 4 000 people. This was started five years ago and the process assists its operations in identifying and managing the social and economic impacts and improving its overall social performance. In the field of HIV/AIDS. including the World Bank. this has been transformed by identifying suppliers from amongst historically disadvantaged people. particularly deep-level mining. It has extended its model of the transformation of the supply chain to Chile. testing and antiretroviral treatment programme. black-owned mining companies. Together. or SEAT process. which was recently extended to the dependants of employees. None of the initiatives undertaken by Anglo American can be achieved by the company alone. Anglo American does not accept that it is an inherently unsafe industry. which has become known as a world-class safety and management system. and is about to launch a similar initiative in Brazil. by giving tax reductions for such research and development. labour movements. civil society and governments. It has the world’s most extensive workplace voluntary counselling. which measures its engagements with communities and aims to maximise the development impacts of its core business. where it has already been lauded for its achievements. The Economic Implications of Climate Change 51 . in South Africa.give financial boosts to this kind of research and development. While this means that there are dangers in deep-level mining. Mining is a tough business. and has rolled out the Anglo Safety Way across the Group. Anglo American has also looked at its supply chain and. for example. Anglo American accepts that it must engage with local communities. It needs the co-operation of individuals. The company has taken steps to shut certain shafts until employees are fully trained in terms of safety or the shafts are more secure. The company has entered into a partnership with the South African government to support the emergence of small-scale. SEAT is being accorded ever-wider international recognition and being praised by many organisations in civil society. governments. Anglo American is a pioneer in the fight against the disease.

but in areas such as water usage and climate change. It adopts the GRI’s G3 Guidelines on Sustainability Reporting and particularly those developed with and supported by the International Council on Mining & Metals. not only does the company need to act now if it is to avoid experiencing a rapid narrowing of options for averting crises. surveys have shown that what stakeholders want as a first priority is a good-quality product and.Anglo American’s approach to climate change individuals and civil society at all levels. it also needs the co-operation of governments. 52 Transient Caretakers . second. civil society and all individuals. Anglo American’s business and the steps taken by it clearly indicate that it is a responsible corporate citizen. Anglo American has taken many steps to gain the trust and confidence of its stakeholders. As discussed in Chapter 1. It sees partnerships and the more transparent reporting of corporate activity as directed at the same objective of building greater trust between business and other players in society. they want trust and confidence in a company.

access to water and power to run machinery. chemical energy in some form in the case of animals – to be able to grow and reproduce. All this changed with the looming global debate on climate change. But which sort to back?’ Geoffrey Carr1 Any living organism on Earth relies on an external source of energy – radiation from the sun in the case of green plants. As consumers. education. solar) energy sources. The so-called energy carriers include fuels and electricity and can be derived from both conventional (coal. natural gas) and renewable (water. aeroplanes and the spreading use of electricity. which matters most. Over the past forty years oil has remained dominant. the confusion on the oil market brought by escalating oil prices reaching 53 . Fossil fuels – coal. We humans use energy for everything from lighting. wind. the use of fossil fuels has continued to grow and their share of the energy supply has increased. oil.5 Energy ‘The next technology boom may well be based on alternative energy. refrigeration and heating to telecommunications. cooking. it is the availability and affordability of these carriers. With the advent of the automobile. oil and natural gas – currently make up about 86% of the world’s energy supply. not the source of energy. healthcare. Coal fuelled the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. transport. oil became the dominant fuel during the twentieth century.

it was feared as a potential unstoppable driver for a global economic crisis. Today it is widely acknowledged that our energy dependency on fossil fuels. pushing up the costs of almost all business activities – from food production to transportation. driven by the continuing growth in oil consumption. Does the global downturn mark the end of the energy crisis and return to cheap fossil fuels. or is it simply a factor masking much deeper longer-term risks and bigger future energy problems waiting around the corner? Just because there seems to be plenty of cheap oil and coal left. Scientists point out that human activities are causing increased concentrations of CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. which are going to lead to unprecedented climate changes. the total global energy consumption is expected to double from 2005–2050. contributes greatly to global warming. without damaging the ecosystem and thus making sustainable life unbearable or even impossible?’ The answer to 54 Transient Caretakers . particularly oil and coal. which hit the world’s banking system and capital markets in 2008. resulted in the biggest global economic downturn since the Great Depression and pushed down oil prices to the lowest levels in a decade. with catastrophic consequences for our civilisation and the ecosystems on the planet. But a sequence of events suddenly created a whole new scenario when the global financial crisis. ‘How will we secure the energy necessary to sustain a reasonable living standard for 6–8 billion people on the planet.their peak in 2007 and then dropping steeply during the global economic downturn. should we delay the switch to cleaner alternatives? The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stone. with about an 85% increase of energy demand in the non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. and as the energy crisis has spread and reached different aspects of business and social life.2 The key question on the world’s agenda is. In countries where it is widely used. Driven by population growth and development. disputes over oil reserves and gas supplies. created a domino effect. nuclear power reemerging and renewable energy targets. the increased price of gas has put up the cost of heating. Is this the end or the beginning of a global energy crisis? During the last years of the economic boom rising oil prices.

wave and wind energy. consumption and waste disposal. And in the longer term (25 years plus). It is most likely that in the near term (5–15 years). In the medium term (10–25 years). A third part of the answer is alternative and sustainable energy sources. liquid fuels from natural gas.3 Even with the economic downturn slowing down energy production and use. Changing our mindset and the way we choose energy sources and use energy is one part of the answer. technologies and markets. in 2004 the world’s population consumed about 15 terawatts of power (a terawatt is 1 000 gigawatts and 1 gigawatt is the capacity of the largest sort of coal-fired power station). the forecast is that by 2050. with fossil fuels supplying 86% of the total energy amount of power. Energy 55 . in parallel with some renewable sources (solar and wind). Government policies and actions According to the US Energy Information Administration’s 2006 estimate. But such transition is likely to be slow and gradual. there will be substantial progress in the application of alternate and cleaner technologies. power consumption is likely to have risen by 30 terawatts. green) energy is not optional – it is the only option. for economic and political reasons.this question has implications that extend worldwide and apply to future generations. Meeting this demand through conventional energy sources would result in sentencing the world to the worst nightmare scenarios of climate change. energy efficiency and minimisation of carbon emissions at every level of production. with oil and coal utilised only when unavoidable. solar energy. as currently fossil fuels dominate energy production and are accordingly highly important for economies and societies. natural gas. The transition from an economy based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable (alternative. Change in international and national policies and other regulatory means to support a transition to sustainable energy supply is another part. the focus will be on the use of cheap fossil fuels. which are growing briskly as the world tries to shed its reliance on fossil fuels while still meeting growing global energy demands. there should be clean energy provided by hydrogen fuel cells.

and longer-term energy strategy including. businesses. The traditional long-distance transmission lines are inefficient. but because it is difficult for the system to adjust to changing demand patterns. at minimum: ❑ An analysis of current and potential. It is important that every citizen knows what his or her national and local government plans are for securing energy for the communities. traditional and alternative energy sources and suppliers.Significant changes in the way electricity is distributed are also on the way. ❑ Policies and regulations that stimulate the development of alternative energy sources. national and local levels thus requires commitments to both renewables and efficiency. and ❑ Energy conservation by households. A local energy strategy is necessary to provide a clear vision and direction backed up by a framework for action. a new generation of smart appliances – dishwashers. refrigerators and air conditioners – would be able to sense when the prices are best. Consequently. ❑ A plan for the transition from traditional to alternative energy. municipalities and other organisations. and will help to institutionalise 56 Transient Caretakers . The socalled smart grid would be able to accept energy from wind turbines and other sources. and would adjust their operation for the benefit of both the homeowner and the public grid at the same time. not only because of their energy losses. Every government is responsible for securing the energy necessary for the economy and to meet the needs of each citizen.4 Renewable energy and energy efficiency are sometimes said to be the ‘twin pillars’ of sustainable energy policy. Furthermore. regional. Any serious vision of a sustainable energy economy on global. Policy-makers at every level need to play a critical role in the transition to a new energy order. while it would constantly monitor its load and during peak times would take particular customers offline (in exchange for a lower price). and the existing electricity distribution systems are not meeting the growing demands. each country’s government should develop a short. when the grid is overused or underused.

and Distribution of Electricity.sustainable energy approaches and practices at a local level. in Michigan.8 The municipality of Ekurhuleni. It enables the co-ordination of energy projects and activities. In 2006 Sustainable Energy Africa completed the State of Energy Report. is replacing street light bulbs with energy efficient light-emitting diodes (LED). has approached the sustainable energy challenge through implementing conservation practices in two of its municipal buildings. a fast growing manufacturing and industrial hub in South Africa. The initiative. Ann Arbor. save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example. and will also consider new processes under way to encourage municipal efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.6 aims to analyse government and regulatory capacity for the promotion of renewable energy. led by Idasa (the Institute for Democracy in South Africa).5 which draws the ‘energy picture’ for the Cape Town metropolitan area and gives the background and direction for the development of the Cape Town Energy Strategy. in collaboration with a working group of South African civil society organisations and research institutes. In response to the crisis in electical power supply in 2008 the South African municipalities and their stakeholders have taken action for improved integration of clean energy into South Africa’s energy mix. Energy issues are high on the political agenda in South Africa. thereby cutting the building’s power bill by 11%. In 2008 the Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI) of the World Resources Institute (WRI) launched a new effort in South Africa with the aim of improving governance of the electricity sector. It focuses on: Energy Policy and Planning. and can improve service delivery. Regulatory Capacity. the Energy 57 .7 * * * Many municipalities and cities worldwide are making their first steps in building a local sustainability energy agenda by evaluating the energy consumption in their own offices and looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency as well as cut energy consumption in public areas. and the city administration of Chicago planted roof-top gardens on the roof of its eleven-storey city hall building. The project focused on improving energy efficiency in the buildings through the installation of solar water heaters.

but there is great potential to exploit solar power in Cameroon. and 1 tonne of NyOx reduced. Around the world. 3 tonnes of SOx. The total cost of the project. onshore and offshore wind.9 In spite of the efforts gaining momentum in South Africa and other emerging economies. will be 1. such as biomass. so the Ministry of Energy and Water in Cameroon decided to work together with the Ministry for Scientific Research on the development of new and renewable energy sources. governments on both sides of the economic divide are looking for practical ways to address the energy challenges and opportunities.2 years. A simple payback period. and the installation of geyser and lighting timers.10 In bridging this gap. The work began in 2005 and was completed in 2006. The direct benefits are in the form of 328 988 kilowatt-hours of energy saved in one year (this represents economic savings in the order of around US$50 664 per year) and significant cobenefits in greenhouse gas emissions reduction per year: 308 tonnes of CO2. wave and tidal. Similarly. the replacement of urns and kettles with hydroboils. But droughts often leave the country vulnerable to power cuts. less than 5%. the gap between developed and developing country energy use is alarming. the challenge is to make the necessary energy growth sustainable both locally and globally. while at the same time to stimulate the transition toward energy-efficient and low-carbon energy technologies. Due to Norway’s large-scale hydropower production. the majority of electricity generated in Cameroon comes from hydroelectric stations. including labour and equipment.11 The South African government has put energy efficiency in the focus 58 Transient Caretakers . The government has put in place extensive programmes to stimulate energy efficiency and to increase the use of other renewable energy sources. electricity plays a dominant role in the country’s energy sector. Rich countries have developed more than 70% of their economically viable hydroelectric potential. solar. taking into account the total investment. Wind speeds in the country have been found to be too low for wind power to be a feasible energy option. was R249 120 (approximately US$41 063). Poor countries consume only 5% per capita of the modern energy consumed by the developed world. developing countries only 20% and Africa. the replacement of cool-beam down lighters with LED lights.replacement of conventional incandescent lights with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs).

whose only shareholder is the South African government. too. In addition. manufacturing and consumption costs. Energy efficiency: Industry and business concerns. The country has more than half of the global total capacity in small hydropower. In 2005. and has commenced a programme to subsidise the cost of installing solar power in houses. is playing a key role in the country’s transition to sustainable energy. buildings. strategies and practices Increased energy efficiency by individual companies through the minimisation of energy consumption and losses in operations. Eskom has committed R3 million (around US$375 000) per year for three years to renewable energy research.of its efforts to curb the need for building more coal-power plants.13 China has been working on an ambitious plan for full rural electrification by 2015. increased energy efficiency by individuals and their households provide immediate opportunities for cuts on both greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs (for more on putting your house on an energy diet. excluding large hydropower. China was the world’s largest renewable power producer.12 The South African energy giant Eskom. India. primarily through small hydropower and offgrid solar and wind installations. The overall business case for energy efficiency and energy management in companies can be summarised as follows: Energy 59 . see Chapter 9: The Household). Key priorities in the government’s 2005 energy-efficiency strategy are the installation of solar water heating in industrial and commercial buildings and development of thermally efficient housing. transportation and other aspects of business provides immediate opportunities for cuts on both greenhouse gas emissions and operating. All stakeholders should look to influence their local and national governments to evaluate energy crisis risks and develop action plans for the transition to alternative energy sources. has taken strong measures to promote renewable energy. Under new regulations. every electricity distribution utility in the country has to procure a percentage of its electricity needs from renewable energy. In a joint initiative with the WWF.

and training staff to turn off appliances. such as installing a power factor correction unit. such as primary aluminium and industrial gases. This energy-use reduction translated to cost savings of approximately US$101 000 per year. creating better indoor and outdoor lighting with energyefficient globes. energy makes up more than 20% of the value of shipments. and achieved energy savings of 59%. the Royal Motor Yacht Club had to pay more than $160 000 a year in energy bills. giving the project a simple payback of 1. ❑ Easily measured results: Energy and cost savings are easy to track simply by noting energy usage and cost before and after efficiency measures are implemented.15 Some businesses in the service industry have also reported impressive results. to more complex approaches. and installing efficient light fixtures. Nisshinbo California Inc.3 years. and could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 87. resulting in a reduction in its energy consumption by approximately 1 600 000 kilowatt-hours per year. offices and workshops. restaurants. a four-storey clubhouse.16 60 Transient Caretakers . Yet even in manufacturing sectors where energy costs are less than 2% of the value of shipments. such as shutting off equipment when not in use (30–40% of personal computers and printers are left running at night and on weekends and are idle for as much as 90% of the work day). California. such as finding a use for waste heat. businesses may be able to negotiate better rates with utilities. with a 218-berth marina. ❑ Pollution prevention: Energy efficiency helps businesses and industries to meet regulations and to decrease emissions.❑ Reduced direct costs: For some industries.14 Energyefficient practices range from simple things. energy-management practices and energy-efficient equipment can reduce a plant’s energy costs by at least 20% – a net savings opportunity worth more than US$11 billion by 2010 for the US. improved the airflow control and energy efficiency in fifteen ventilation-system fan motors at its textile plant in Fresno. the sailing club will save around $60 000 each year. By making the decision to introduce efficiency measures. using less energy saves money. For example. On average. In Australia.6 tonnes a year. ❑ Improved utility rates: By using less energy during peak times.

The Green Building Council of South Africa rates buildings in South Africa based on their architectural designs.17 The Green Building Council of South Africa is an independent. which consume less and run on less energy – is becoming an important factor in determining the competitiveness of companies across all industry and service sectors. day and night. their use of water. reduces some pollutants by 80% and can seat four people. greener. Termites maintain the temperature inside their nest at a constant 31 °C. refrigerators and buildings. how they make use of natural light and air ventilation. energy-efficient vehicles are gaining momentum.18 It defines a green building as one which is energy. One leading example is the Eastgate Building. Biologists helped the engineers to emulate the fish’s anatomical structure to design the car’s light but strong body. * * * The emerging trend in the development of energy-efficient products and services – from energy-efficient cars. The owners of so-called parallel hybrids (such as the Toyota Prius and the new Ford Escape Hybrid). It has no air conditioning or heating. materials and practice. lowcarbon. their waste-management systems and their energy use. a major focus is now on designing more energy-efficient buildings. despite its cube shape.and resource-efficient and environmentally responsible in terms of design. the materials used. while the external temperature varies between 3 °C and 42 °C. which. Harare.19 Their inspiration was the box fish.Since buildings create about 48% of global CO2 emissions. which combine the conventional petrol combustion engine with an electric motor or motors powered by batteries Energy 61 . to lowcarbon air-travel services and vacation packages in green hotels. only ventilation channels modelled on termite mounds. The Eastgate Building uses 90% less energy than a conventional building of its size. does more than 70 miles per gallon. nonprofit organisation that promotes and facilitates green building practices. is extremely streamlined and stable. The pressure is peaking in the car-manufacturing sector: from hybrids to ‘clean diesel’ and hydrogen to lithium-ion. a shopping and business centre in Zimbabwe’s capital. Engineers at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Research teamed up to produce the first bionic concept car that is 40% lighter than comparable cars.

The plug-in cars will run on batteries charged by plugging into an ordinary electrical socket and their CO2 emissions will depend on what sort of power station produced the electricity. for use by diesel engines. is clean and versatile. used only by Honda CNG.recharged both by the engine and by generative braking systems. although other cars have been modified to use it. similar to hydrogen. A few years ago the fuel cell – where oxygen and hydrogen react in a controlled way extracting electricity from the process – was seen as the most likely replacement of the traditional petrol engine. But tomorrow’s cars might have a motor powered by electricity only so they would need simply to plug into an electrical socket. which is the only dedicated natural gas vehicle. but is still expensive to produce and only a handful of cars (Honda FCX) use it. can be used by most cars. or liquified petroleum. ❑ Biodiesel. but even energy from coal-burning stations is less polluting than the ordinary internal-combustion engine. but still has a way to go from becoming mainstream – there are plenty of gaselectric hybrid cars in addition to many small all-electric cars. and ❑ Electricity. Driven by the trend for ‘clean’ and energy-efficient products and services across all business sectors. The main gasoline substitutes so far include: ❑ Ethanol. ❑ Compressed natural gas (CNG). but 62 Transient Caretakers . which releases no harmful pollutants beyond water vapour. the expansion of gasoline-substitute options toward ‘clean’ fuels with minimal or no CO2 emissions is a fastdeveloping area in the energy sector. ❑ Propane. can be used in electrical vehicles or potentially burned in traditional engines. are able to save fuel and make significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by switching to the electrical motor/s when driving in urban settings. ❑ Hydrogen. from vegetable oils and animal fats. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be enormous if energy comes from a wind or nuclear station. In sunny climates. plug-ins might provide a use for solar cells – in photovoltaic parks where cars can be parked for recharge. which mixed with 15% gasoline is known as E85 and is used by various so-called flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs).

reduce the hot water temperature. ❑ Make general energy-efficiency improvements to offices and other non-manufacturing facilities. install automatic lighting controls. wrap hot water geysers in insulation and replace air filters regularly. ❑ Encourage employee participation and innovation: Educate employees on easy-to-follow. use high-efficiency motors. ❑ Track energy costs both before and after energy improvements. purely electric automobiles are a few years from taking over the highways. they should be supporting a company that uses a renewable energy system rather than a company that does not.full-speed. capture and reuse waste heat. such as. computerise heating and cooling systems. ‘How much and what energy is used and how? Are the energy crisis risks in the company being evaluated and how are these risks being addressed? Are the companies in which our money is invested users and/or producers of renewable energy systems?’ Energy 63 . ❑ Perform an energy audit to assess where energy efficiency can be improved. turn down the thermostat. and so on. energy-efficient practices and encourage them to come up with new energy-saving ideas. * * * Every company and organisation would be able to take advantage of energy efficiency by implementing the following simple action plan: ❑ Set a corporate energy policy: Make energy efficiency a part of operational procedures and a consideration in every business decision. use solar water heaters. when stakeholders are evaluating a potential purchase or investment. ❑ Optimise energy in manufacturing processes and activities: For example. You may want to separate energy costs from transportation costs.20 And equally. seal heating and cooling ductwork. insulate and block unused windows. turn off machines and equipment when not in use. You should ask questions. For example.

and consequently coal-powered energy stations will inevitably continue for some time in the short and medium term to play a part in energy production. wind. emerging technologies for reducing negative environmental impacts from fossil fuels must be explored as well as immediate measures be implemented as part of the solution to minimise CO2 emissions and other impacts from the energy sector. CO2 can be captured (separated) 64 Transient Caretakers . But for the change to happen. water. developing energy-wise strategies and components to reduce the cost of computing. Coal is abundant and cheap. the sustainable energy technologies must be developed further and made available at a competitive cost. The IT industry has accepted that if it wants to remain in business in the long term. The more electricity data and computer centres use. In the meantime. energy is the source of power for data centres. For example. and reducing the amount of energy required to deliver various goods or services. It is estimated that it will soon cost more to power and cool a server over its lifetime than it will to buy a new server. processing. to preserve natural resources and to help their customers to become greener companies. The shift to sustainable energy Because traditional. Every operation and department. energy production industries are under the greatest pressure for change towards sustainable energy that comes from the sun. product/service design and the transition from traditional to renewable energy. the burning of organic matter and the heat of the Earth. type of product and service should be taken into account. The reality is that it takes a lot of energy to run and cool a data centre. Moving towards energy sustainability will require changes not only in the way energy is supplied. but in the way it is used. With the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods. it has to change the way it uses power and has to reduce its impact on the environment. non-renewable energy sources such as oil and coal harm the environment in their extraction. delivery and use. based on effective energy saving and conservation measures in operations. most IT companies are now strategising for the future of the industry. for example. Consequently. the more greenhouse gases are emitted.Efficient energy production and consumption in a company should be supported.

the largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world.from the power plants. solar power.8 billion cost. compressed and stored in oil and gas fields and in the oceans (although CO2 storage in the sea can increase ocean acidification). This last hasn’t been solved to date – the only ‘answer’ at present is to bury the waste and leave it for future generations to deal with. instead of being released into the atmosphere. where CCS would be applied with near zero-emissions result. plans to build the experimental FutureGen coal-fired plant in Mattoon. Currently. In the US. The trend in both Canada. include wind power. and as a result the construction of large hydroplants has stagnated. 25 countries are building them. In the German industrial area of Schwarze Pumpe. Some 70 million euros were invested in this 30-megawatt power plant project. Renewable energy sources. A few nations have announced plans to phase out nuclear power altogether. geothermal power (where the Earth’s internal heat is tapped to produce electricity and to heat Energy 65 . hydroelectricity production continues to play an important role in delivering ‘clean’ energy. For each tonne of coal burned. near the city of Spremberg. Most importantly. have been put on hold since 2007 due to a lack of government backing for the plant’s US$1. but to date only Italy has done so (though Italy continues to import electricity from nations with active nuclear power plants). CCS remains an alternative. or are proposing to do so. Among the nations not currently using nuclear power plants.6 tonnes of CO2 are produced and trucked away to be injected into an empty gas field about 300 kilometres away. 3. also commonly called sustainable energy sources. the world’s first CCS coal plant began operation on 9 September 2008. the high costs of CCS are a huge obstacle. The nuclear power case is still open – nuclear reactors are a proven way to provide a steady flow of CO2-free electricity in large and reliable quantities. Illinois. But the declining water supply and the negative impact of dams and hydroenergy systems on the environment have raised doubts about the ‘clean’ nature of hydroelectricity. biofuels. Worldwide. In spite of the huge technological and financial challenges and large opposition. the nuclear industry needs to address the issues of safety/accident prevention and of nuclear waste. and the US has been to micro hydro because it has negligible environmental impacts and opens up many more locations for power generation.

2 billion to fund a drive to install solar panels on a million rooftops by 2018. are expected to contribute more than 25% to renewable energy by 2030. which can be used to produce electricity. as discussed previously. In the US.and cool buildings). followed by biofuels. many of which were discussed earlier. The key players in the transition to sustainable energy are the companies and their stakeholders. Other states will follow suit. fill at least half of the world’s energy needs. vehicles. tidal power (based on the ocean’s tidal energy). but they are controversial. Conventional nuclear power and hydropower may be included. should exercise their power and give their vote to companies that have made a commitment to transition to renewable energy or that are already users and/or producers of renewable energy or related products and services. and as buyers of products and services. Sustainable energy also usually includes technologies that improve energy efficiency. the private sector stands to play a vital role in the energy revolution. wind and solar industries. All stakeholders. In 1988 Group Planning at Royal Dutch/Shell said that it is ‘highly probable’ that renewable energy will. The increase would be driven by the political risk of relying on declining oil reserves and concerns 66 Transient Caretakers . lighting and hot-water systems – business is creating a growing market demand for renewable energy. and the state has established a goal to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2010. * * * Wind power and solar power. in the next fifty years.21 Today renewables already represent the fastest-growing segment of the energy market in Europe. According to Credit Suisse research forecasts at the 2009 World Future Energy Summit. from their various positions as shareholders and citizens. California is committing about US$3. wave energy and the temperature difference between surface and ocean depths. Denmark is getting 15% of its energy from wind. are the current leaders and drivers in renewable power business development. In short. By utilising renewable energy in areas such as heating and cooling. which currently make up about 7% of the total renewable energy market.

23 The company’s 3. where the wind farm project will be running between eighteen and twenty wind turbines. produces energy that can be captured with turbines and converted into electricity. renewable energy source is an economically viable option when implemented with public and private sector backing. which builds equipment for wind turbines and other generators. the same land would yield US$300-worth of bio-ethanol. in the town of Darling on the Cape West Coast. The wind farm has four turbines and can supply 5. The wind power energy production capacity is growing at 30% a year and will exceed 100 gigawatts in 2008. the launch of South Africa’s first commercial wind energy farm in May 2008. For example.2-megawatts of electricity. wind-battered West Coast. has proven that this clean. which have enacted renewable energy standards in many countries.6-megawatt machine uses a blade that is about 175 feet (53 metres) long. compared to the four that are currently operating at Darling. the Chief Executive. driven by the sun’s heat. Lester Brown. comments that the only limit to wind-turbine size might be the length of a blade to be transported to a site.about global warming. all of which will be sold to the city of Cape Town as part of a long-term power purchase agreement.22 Winning wind power Wind. At Siemens Power Generation. Wind turbines function alone or can be connected to a utility power grid or combined with a solar power system. Turbine technology is developing fast and aiming at larger and more efficient turbines. The vast South African coastline. President of the Earth Policy Institute and Chairperson of the Board of the World Watch Institute ‘points out that a farmer in Iowa who gives up a tenth of a hectare (a quarter of an acre) of land to a turbine might earn US$10 000 a year from it (about 3% of the value of the electricity it produces).25 Energy 67 . Randy Zwirn. presents ample opportunity for similar projects to be set up. In an interview with The Economist. and especially the rugged. A much larger project is being planned for St Helena Bay – also part of the West Coast District Municipality.’24 The economic case for wind energy is especially strong in developing countries where economic development in the long term depends on ensuring access to sustainable energy. Planted with corn.

for example – is the best selling point for solar cells. heating water. Palo Alto company Nanosolar is pursuing a technology that produces solar cells on a film that is a 100th the thickness of conventional silicon wafers. Sharp and FedEx. Solar energy is rising Sunlight. a 1. increasing by 50% a year.The location dependence and reliance on weather changes – when the wind stops. electricity that would have generated 4 400 tonnes of greenhouse gases had it been produced through non-renewable means. thinner. the turbines stop turning – are among the challenges for the expansion of wind power energy production. is expected to reduce more than 60 million pounds of CO2 emissions over the next 30 years – equivalent to providing electricity to 3 800 homes or removing more than 5 200 cars off the road. lighter and more powerful solar cells. Its ultimate goal: integrating thin-film 68 Transient Caretakers . One of the solutions is the development of smart grids that can transfer wind energy very long distances to places where there is no wind and the power is wanted.27 The prevailing trend is towards smaller. The photovoltaic cell (solar cell) converts sunlight directly into electricity. can be used directly for heating and lighting homes and other buildings. generating electricity and for a variety of commercial and industrial uses. to mention a few – each aiming at the development of the largest and most efficient solar power system.1-megawatt solar-electric power system installed in 2008 on the roof of Hewlett Packard’s printing technology research and development facility in San Diego. or solar energy. Large-scale solar energy projects are already paving the way.26 The Ford project triggered competition among multinational companies – such as GM. Today the solar power captured through photovoltaic cells is the fastest growing type of alternative energy. A recent solar project. Improvements in the efficiency of the cells by using new materials and technology would allow large-scale. The Ford Motor Company was the first to install solar panels at an auto manufacturing plant. Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant in Wales produces electricity for the 108 000 square foot facility. Their ability to produce energy immediately and locally – on your rooftop. low-cost energy production.

in the form of rows of solar panels mounted onto the ground of free fields on the outskirts of towns and cities. all at once. Biomass can be used to produce electricity. could be embedded with thin-film cells. transportation fuels or chemicals. the cost of a rooftop solar project is usually divided between the manufacturing of the solar cells and their installation. That way. plumbers and electricians do. There are also other ways to use the sun to make electrical power – large mirrors can concentrate the sun’s rays to boil water and use the steam to drive turbines. biochemicals. the Arizona Public Service. giving them energyproducing capabilities.cells directly into building materials. Many towns and cities throughout Europe and Asia have developed municipal solar power plants. is using six rows of mirrors. which runs a generator to make electricity. This latter group. Clusters of houses all over the world are starting to share a bank of batteries so that they can guarantee a steady power output. utility and local real estate developers are incorporating solar roofs into 10 000 new houses. wastes and residues. can replace petroleum and Energy 69 . In Scottsdale. Biofuels Biomass is any organic matter available on a renewable basis. In the desert north of Tucson. The heat vaporises a liquid hydrocarbon. Wood and wood wastes and residues. an electric utility. A 2-megawatt municipal solar power plant requires about 10 acres of land to serve a city of 1 000 homes. which feed electricity directly into the municipal power grid. totalling nearly 100 000 square foot.28 For individual homes. including: ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Agricultural crops. Animal wastes. and Aquatic plants. Municipal wastes. to concentrate sunlight and heat mineral oil up to 550 degrees. A skyscraper’s glass windows. Arizona. the installers go from house to house the way carpenters. each nearly a quarter-mile long. for instance.

other non-renewable materials in wood adhesives. California. Biofuels are produced from grasses. Animal wastes and municipal wastes have gained popularity in developed and developing countries alike as resources for the production of electricity and for powering manufacturing processes. one in seven of Anheuser-Busch beers will in future be brewed by using energy from biogas. Most of the world’s biofuel is extracted from corn in the US. Some biofuels were competitive with oil products even at 2006 oil prices. Texas. European governments had sought to lead the rest of the world in the use of biofuels. But the allure has dimmed amid growing evidence that the kind of goals proposed by the European Union are contributing to deforestation. In the US. biofuel feedstocks can 70 Transient Caretakers . sugar in Brazil and both grain and oil-seed crops in Europe. brewery will be using a technology that turns brewing waste water into fuel and will receive electricity from solar panels.30 Biofuel development must not come with the price of increased deforestation or biodiversity loss. The company’s brewery in Houston. mainly ethanol. but many things need to be done to establish biofuels in the long term. including Africa (in South Africa. are used mixed with gasoline. aiming to derive 10% of Europe’s transportation fuels from biofuels by 2020. one-quarter of the corn crop goes to biofuels. For example. Biofuels. will be using biogas from a nearby landfill and the Fairfield. In the USA. With careful planning.29 The creation of power from organic waste products is being applied by a growing number of food and beverage manufacturers worldwide. According to a New York Times June 2008 article: Until recently. moulded plastic and foam insulation. trees and aquatic algae – grasses and trees need a considerable amount of land and processing to produce ethanol. coffee and sisal processing factories and other agro-industrial residues can be utilised for the production of biogas that further could be used as an energy source in technological processes. which are being installed on site. in Tanzania. Asia and Latin America. contributes to increased food prices. Kenya and Tanzania). resulting in less carbon-monoxide emissions from vehicles. which speeds climate change and by using agricultural land.

Eritrea. In some parts of the world geothermal energy has already become part of the energy solution. Around 25% of the electricity in the Phillipines comes from underground heat. But instead of relying on natural hot springs they could potentially be created – by drilling two parallel holes in the ground until hot (about 200 °C) rock is reached and then pumping water in one of the holes so it could come out as steam from the other. once the drilling and engineering work is done the EGS provides energy for free. Tanzania. Even with the existing challenges. and how to ensure that small farmers and other workers get a fair share of the profits. how to avoid biodiversity loss and hikes in food prices for impoverished consumers.take their place in a mixed landscape that provides food. One of the major debates is the question of ‘net energy’ balance – whether biofuels provide more energy than it takes to produce them. Eastern Africa (Djibouti. Experts recently calculated that Indonesia is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Uganda and Zambia) has the potential to generate over 2 500 megawatts of electricity from geothermal energy (out of the current global output of 8 100 megawatts). This is the simple design of an engineered geothermal system (EGS). Using existing technology. Ethiopia. Some of the main challenges to the biofuel industry include the large amount of water needed for irrigation and refinery processing. No need for wind turbines or fields covered with mirrors. Geothermal has a future The hot springs and geysers of Iceland are among the most popular and well utilised natural sources of geothermal energy.31 But overall. and is always on. and the major cause is clearing forests and peatlands for palm oil. fibre and fuel. geothermal energy is seen as one of the renewables whose Energy 71 . so the sector will have its place in the future new energy world. Most likely the discussion around biofuels would lead towards the development of specific biofuels tailored to different country needs and conditions. which could be used to power a generator. there is plenty of biomass around. and conserves nature. Biotechnology will have a major role to play in the development of the biofuels of the future. Importing palm oil to reduce greenhouse gases associated with fossil fuels in vehicles is simply exporting the problem. Kenya.

possible expansion into new 72 Transient Caretakers . Determine whether others in your market segment are considering a green power programme or purchase.capacity is largely untapped. Making the transition to renewable energy sources The action steps outlined below would help a company and its shareholders to evaluate the dimensions of a transition to renewable energy sources and to develop a realistic plan of action: ❑ Investigate if your state or national government has deregulated its utilities. ❑ Be prepared to pay more for renewable energy. ❑ Look to your competitors. ❑ Calculate cost/benefit. state and local policies regarding tax breaks for choosing green energy. as demand and markets increase and as fossil fuels become more scarce. driving up their price. The key to the future of geothermal energy is improving the technologies and making them more affordable and applicable to various geological conditions. ❑ Choose green power when possible. A logo on a green energy product does not necessarily mean that the product is 100% renewable. tax breaks and other tools to get more people to use renewable energy. If it has. Determine whether increased customer loyalty. offer financial incentives. With deregulation. or if it soon will. authenticated environmental image. explore sources of renewable energy offered by green marketers. ❑ Identify incentives and other assistance programmes to offset the cost of installing alternative energy systems. these incentives will not last forever. ❑ Research green energy providers. Make sure the potential retailer provides energy that is 100% renewable. Being the first of your kind to do so may provide you with a strategic advantage. Choose renewable energy over nuclear or fossil fuels. Many states and federal governments. including Eskom in South Africa. ❑ Research national. small hydroelectric and geothermal-generated power options. solar. but recognise that this cost will even out over time. alternative energy companies are moving in with wind.

this includes:32 ❑ Hydrogen generation. The increased levels of investment and the fact that much of the capital is coming from more conventional financial actors suggest that sustainable energy options are now becoming mainstream. ❑ Implement energy-efficient practices in combination with using renewable energy to reduce overall energy needs.markets and being on the forefront of a worldwide trend offsets the cost of premium pricing for green energy. and ❑ Geothermal engineering. In the words of Lester Brown from his oft-quoted book. however. including ocean waves and other sources that may be tapped to split hydrogen from water and provide local electricity. One thing is. In support of this forecast is the fact that renewable energy and energy-use efficiency are no longer niche sectors that are promoted only by governments and environmentalists. ❑ Fish farming and aquaculture. certain – the future belongs to the renewables. ❑ Solar-cell manufacture. ❑ Bicycle manufacture: electrical-boost bicycles and computer-controlled bikes open the way for new developments as the redesign of communities makes it possible for bicycles to be integrated into daily life. ❑ Wind-farm construction and wind-turbine manufacture. The question of what will be the energy of the future is still open. It is exciting to imagine the business potential that lies on the path towards the renewable energy future. ❑ Tree planting. Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth. Energy 73 . ❑ Fuel-cell production.

The building includes a state-of-the-art. water-efficiency. It features a wide range of sophisticated environmental technologies.CASE STUDY Bank of America saving energy The Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions. indoor environmental quality and energy and atmosphere. New York. the Bank of America tower is constructed largely of recycled and recyclable building materials.33 When Bank of America wanted to build its new headquarters in Manhattan. The transparency of the building with its floor-to-ceiling windows provides evocative views. This cogeneration plant has the capacity to produce about two-thirds of the 74 Transient Caretakers . providing a clean. As a result of this shared vision. with crisp folds and precise vertical lines that are animated by the movement of the sun and the moon. it joined with the Durst Organisation – founded in 1915 and one of New York’s oldest and largest privately owned realestate firms. high-performance technologies to use dramatically less energy. from filtered underfloor displacement air ventilation to advanced double-wall technology and translucent insulating glass in floor-to-ceiling windows that permit maximum daylight and optimum views.1-megawatt cogeneration plant that runs 24 hours a day. both from and through the space. on-site 5. in 2009 the 54-storey building will open as one of the world’s most environmentally responsible highrise buildings.34 The Bank and Durst shared a commitment to develop a property that would meet the requirements of environmental stewardship and they instructed architects Cook and Fox. The Bank has clients in 150 different countries and has relationships with 96% of the US Fortune 500 companies and 82% of the global Fortune 500. consume less potable water and provide a healthy and productive indoor environment that prioritises natural light and fresh air. to build a ‘green’ skyscraper. With an emphasis on sustainability. The faceted crystal design of the tower features unique sculptural surfaces. The project incorporates innovative. efficient power source for the building’s energy requirements.

the architects designed naturally lit environments and fresh air of a high quality. there are waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets. The Bank of America tower will save millions of gallons of water annually through innovative devices such as a grey water system. while CO2 monitors automatically introduce more fresh air when necessary. As a result of the building of the Bank of America tower. The Bank of America tower has changed the way high-rise buildings will be built in future. the payback period in reduced energy costs is less than four years. surveys have revealed that 75% of companies that are building or retro-fitting facilities in the years ahead claim that energy efficiency will be a priority in the design of their projects. to capture and reuse all rain and waste water (for use in flushing toilets and cooling towers). at almost three times the efficiency of using power from the grid. the number one Energy 75 . It will also help companies to achieve increased productivity and to attract and retain talent by improving employees’ outlooks about where they work. which is then stored in tanks and melted during the day to supplement the cooling capacity of the air-conditioning systems. a thermal storage system produces ice in the evenings. The return on investment in green buildings goes beyond energy savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst this was the most expensive technology in the building.building’s annual energy requirements on site. In addition. Daylight dimming and LED lights reduce electricity usage. with underfloor airdelivery systems so that people can control the air at their work stations. People feel better when they feel connected to nature. while planted roofs will reduce the urban heatisland effect. In consequence. in the tower building. When the design was first presented in 2003. Taking advantage of less expensive night-time power. And using the heat energy from the co-generation plant reduces the building’s peak demand loads on the city’s electricity grid.

76 Transient Caretakers .Bank of America saving energy question being asked was. ‘How much more will the building cost?’ Now the number one question audiences have is. ‘What can we do in our own lives to live more sustainably?’ This green building is a benchmark of the times and has become an example to all of us to strive to conserve energy and to improve the quality of life on our planet.

one of the most sought-after commodities.6 Water ‘When the well’s dry. it was believed that the Earth’s water supply was about the most renewable. in the US. as without oxygen. Many water 77 . put local residents on tough water restrictions’. where ‘residents filed lawsuits against the municipal government in protest over faulty water pipes and failing sewer systems’ after nearly running out of water in the summer of 2007. natural resource. life on our planet could not exist. The International Herald Tribune reported in April 2008 on the signs of an expanding water crisis driven by shortage that was leading to drastic reactions in Europe. the supply of usable fresh water in today’s world is nearing its limit. People need water for everything from drinking to sanitation and from agriculture to industrial processes. Without it. and on the opposite side of the globe where the Queensland Water Commission in Australia. But despite the apparent abundance of water in some countries. as well as in Atlanta. water is fast becoming one of the scarcest resources and. as a result. Georgia.’ Benjamin Franklin1 Water is necessary to the survival of people and ecosystems. which was ‘facing a historic ten-year drought. we’ll know the value of water. Until recently. where the regional government of the Spanish province of Catalonia said ‘it was going to import water by boats and trains beginning in May to provide summer supplies’. almost unlimited.2 Across the world.

such as Mozambique. According to the Human Development Report. in some African countries. Spain. Cambodia and Haiti are among the 21 countries in which less than 50% of the population has access to safe water. ‘more than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day. considerable time is spent on medical treatment. fertiliser and livestock wastes and run-off from farming. At any one time half the world’s hospital beds are filled with patients suffering from water-borne diseases. This time is lost opportunity for families.4 Worldwide. Senegal and Uganda. such as the influx of salty water in coastal areas as ground water is depleted. combined with natural effects.5 The world’s poorest countries already are facing escalating health problems associated with a lack of water and proper sanitation. are also affected by the water crisis. One of the alarming conclusions made by the UN 2006 Human Development Report is that ‘the crisis in water and sanitation is – above all – a crisis for the poor’.’ says the report. without easy access to water and sanitation. Ethiopia. Somalia. raise their children or generate income.8 million children under five die as a result of diarrhoea – 4 900 deaths each day. ‘Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day. For example. and drought that has been brought about by climate change. Afghanistan. with unregulated expansion of cities and the retreat of the public sector from the financing of public infrastructure and services. faulty waste disposal. with existing water constraints in rural areas. industrial pollution. Rwanda. The costs of the water crisis for the developing countries are alarming and include both economic losses and lost human dignity and values. such as Australia. urban water systems in poor and rich countries alike are literally bursting under the strain of population growth. Angola. Japan. They would be hit the hardest by the expanding water crisis as they are the least prepared. often walking more 78 Transient Caretakers . Kenya. Each year some 1.3 But some of the world’s wealthiest nations. Some of the most affected countries are the world’s poorest. rural women need about 15–17 hours each week for collecting water.sources are threatened by overuse. and especially for women to get education. A lack of water can lead to starvation and disease. and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day’. water collection or water purchase in the poorer countries. the UK and the US. Chad.

11 Many are asking. Of these. and proper management are needed to avert the crisis.5 billion people (48% of the world’s projected population) will live in areas with disruptive water shortages. What is needed is action to formulate and execute concrete plans for implementing the political. According to some projections. all of us – citizens. As outlined below.6 The water shortage problem will deepen as climate change is reducing the water supply in many regions while the growing world population and expanding economic development increase the consumption of fresh water. or both?’ Technical solutions. ‘Is this a crisis of shortage or governance. Forty billion working hours are lost each year in subSaharan Africa to time spent carrying water and 5% of GDP in Africa is lost to illnesses and deaths caused by dirty water and the absence of sanitation. food production and economic development. by 2025 about 3. government and society as a whole. The Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in a speech exclaimed that the current water situation represents ‘one of the greatest human development challenges of the early 21st century’. Is the problem a lack of ability and technology or a lack of interest due to poor governance policies? Fortunately. and they must be implemented soon. the looming water crisis is rooted in a number of issues. shareholders and consumers – need to play our part in solving the water crisis.8 Today water scarcity is a globally significant and accelerating condition for about 1 billion people.10 and will face problems with health.9 If the current patterns of water consumption continue.than 10 kilometres. the technologies and policy tools required to conserve existing fresh water and to secure more of it are already known to a great extent.4 billion will experience extreme water scarcity. economic and technological measures that can ensure water security now and in the coming decades. each requiring attention and collaborative action involving business.7 while the demand for water will have jumped by about 50%. As responsible caretakers of the planet. 2. Water 79 . backed up by sound policies. by 2030 water scarcity will have worsened as a result of unsustainable water use and management and decreased access to water due to climate change.

at 12 000 cubic kilometres the largest of the Great Lakes in North America. cities and industries consume tiny amounts. lakes. The massive Colorado River in the US once overflowed with water all year round. which people can tap directly. much of it cannot be captured and it is distributed unevenly. as its water is piped out to the otherwise desert-like cities of Los Angeles. San Diego and Las Vegas as well as to millions of agricultural fields. as demand varies from place to place. and of the remaining fresh water. The rest is never available for capture or storage because it evaporates from the ground or the plants. Meanwhile. wetlands and underground. Providing fresh water is especially challenging in dry areas with large populations. but with an intensity that often drains the local water supplies.5% of all the water on the Earth is salty. our global fresh water use exceeds the accessible long-term sustainable supply by between 5–20% annually. largely in the form of ice and snow. falls from the sky onto the Earth’s land surface every year – enough to fulfil the requirements of everyone if the water arrived where and when people needed it.13 The current problem of water scarcity takes two forms. In comparison. or is located in places not reachable by humans. climate change and/or other factors leading to disruptions in the natural water flow. It occurs frequently in both dry and moist climates as a result of unsustainable water consumption. However. 80 Transient Caretakers . Now it runs dry before reaching the ocean. Efficient use of and improved water harvesting methods together with efficient and sustainable water use and distribution are needed to fight physical water scarcity. Farm irrigation is the biggest single human use of fresh water. only 1% is available for human use12 – this is the water running off land in rivers. The shortfall is met by expensive water transfers or the unsustainable use of ground water. 97. The so-called physical water scarcity is a rather relative concept comparing the availability of water to actual use.Not all water is accessible to humans Although there is a vast amount of water on the planet. Precipitation as much as ten times the volume of Lake Superior.

a 348-page report issued by the UN in March 2009 warned of a triple whammy in which supplies of freshwater were being viciously squeezed by demographic pressure. According to an article published in the South African newspaper. a desert city with some of the greenest lawns in the US. which occurs when insufficient infrastructure or financial capacity prevents people from accessing the water they need. Residents of Phoenix. Water 81 . the world today is split into water-rich and waterpoor nations as globally the distribution of water varies greatly and access is determined by both physical and economic factors.Access to water is not equal for all people Location doesn’t wholly determine the availability of water in a given place – the ability to pay for water often plays the major role. It exists in both dry places and areas where water resources are abundant relative to water use. the poorest people living in the slums of Jakarta (in Indonesia). Business Day. use more than 1 000 litres a day each. ‘Water usually runs downhill. ‘pay 5–10 times more for water per unit than those in highincome areas of their own cities – and more than consumers pay in London or New York’.5 litres a day. due to droughts and growing populations. the higher the price and it rises steeply as the water passes through intermediaries. the basic drinking water requirement for a woman engaged in even moderate physical activity is 7. By contrast.14 The inequity goes even deeper – as a rule the poorest not only have about four times less access to water and use less water compared with the wealthiest households. Both physical and economic water scarcity are especially severe in the Middle East. Manila (in the Philippines) and Nairobi (in Kenya). North Africa and other parts of Africa. These examples present the case of so-called economic water scarcity. but it always runs uphill to money’. On a larger scale. People in the American West have an old saying. Arizona.15 How close a household is to a municipal network providing piped water determines the price it pays for water – the farther it is. For example. To give some perspective. paired with the lack of proper water governance and infrastructure. but oddly they also pay some of the world’s highest prices per litre. the second form of water scarcity. the average use in countries such as Mozambique is less than 10 litres a day per person.

mobilised its troops against Syria in 1975 when Damascus cut off the water and Egypt has repeatedly threatened military action if Kenya.16 Some of the world’s poorest and more highly populated regions. such as the Nile basin (shared by Egypt.18 Globally. A number of interlinked issues exacerbate the water crisis. between 40% and 60% of the water drawn from rivers and dams is lost before it reaches irrigated land19 as a result of evaporation and leakages in the supply infrastructure. Farmers in Spain are estimated to pay a price for water that is only about 2% of its real cost. Water scarcity has the potential to stoke unrest. In some of the countries where poor people lack access to clean water.waste and drought. Ethiopia.17 2. Water is used inefficiently Most water is consumed by agriculture and industry. Sudan. It spoke of a ‘global water crisis’ with the potential for instability and conflict . There is no standardised pricing mechanism for a cubic metre of water Water must be fairly and realistically priced in order to ensure it is not wasted.’ the report warned. Rice and wheat farmers in California’s central valley use one-fifth of the state’s water but the low prices they pay represent a yearly subsidy estimated at US$416 million for 2006. ‘Conflicts on water can occur at all scales. Uganda and Ethiopia were to divert the Nile. Kenya and Uganda) and the Tigris-Euphrates system (shared by Turkey. Syria and Iraq) have already gone to war over their rivers at some point in history. others waste the resource because their supply is subsidised by the government or is otherwise priced so low that they have no incentive to save it. Companies and households are not much different – losses of water due to dripping taps. with agriculture accounting for more than 70% of total consumption in most regions. the last country in the Euphrates’s journey. friction within countries and conflicts between states. Iraq. 1... and at the same time highlight the measures necessary to resolve it. leaking pipes and machinery and a wasteful approach to water use are of major 82 Transient Caretakers .

forests that have been cleared. Policies distort pricing and result in the waste of water Distortions in the water sector hide in many guises: international development assistance for disaster relief. 2 million people. politicians providing water as patronage. As a result. which can lead to water scarcity. Although all residents – rich and poor. Those that offer water services must compete with free or underpriced water. the promise of ‘free services’ from non-profit organisations. Globally.21 Within the landscapes marked by intensive economic development and urbanisation. the poorest of all who don’t have access to piped water pay beyond their means. Degraded ecosystem functioning In Europe. rivers that do not flow and wetlands that have been drained are not permitting their ecosystems to provide a sustainable supply of clean water. consumers tend to use water in ways that are irresponsible and wasteful. 4. And those who have access to tap water think of water itself as free because of current pricing schemes. The consequences of this degraded functioning need to be addressed in order to reduce health and economic Water 83 . In London. or lack of water. of whom 1.20 3. Subsidies hurt both consumers and the environment because they discourage water conservation. and subsidised agricultural and industrial water use. die every year from diseases caused by unclean water.8 million are children. water-intensive tourism and irrigated agriculture have endangered water resources in the Mediterranean region. poor sanitation and hygiene. Water quality is impaired Fresh water quality is reduced by waste water from industry. which are ultimately unsustainable.concern. The latter represents a major health problem. storm water run-off in urban areas as well as the overuse of fertilisers and poor sanitation facilities in both urban and rural areas. leakage and loss is estimated at 300 Olympic-size swimming pools daily due to ageing water mains. rural and urban – are willing to pay for the convenience of a nearby tap connection. 5.

accessibility and quality of the water in their country and community. to protect key environmental or economic assets. As responsible caretakers. 84 Transient Caretakers . Setting higher prices for water where possible makes sense and is the first step for policy-makers to take in developed nations. Water is a human right and also a commodity.impacts. or to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic events. * * * Fairly and sustainably using the world’s limited supplies of fresh water and ensuring that sufficient water is available to perform essential environmental functions are local. Few people take time to conserve a commodity that seems almost free. governments and other institutions on global. What needs to be done to achieve this balance? As a stakeholder in companies. Ensuring clean drinkable water for every human being is a priority of the utmost importance.22 including the application of subsidies in an appropriate fashion and building local access to water. Governments should have mechanisms that provide for the basic human need of 20 litres of water a day (sufficient for drinking and basic personal hygiene). which will become more and more valuable as water scarcity increases. The overall conclusion in the face of the looming water crisis is that the problem we face today is largely one of governance: equitably sharing this water while ensuring the sustainability of natural ecosystems. no matter how valuable it is. Individuals can address the following issues: 1. management and use of water resources by taking a number of actions. regional and global issues. particularly in large cities and industrial areas. Optimise water conservation and waste water management through sufficient water-pricing and water-trading policies and regulations The question is how to put a fair price on water. people should stay informed about the availability. national and local levels. every individual can influence the sustainable governance.

Desert dwellers in Oman have been trading the right to water supplies with each other for thousands of years.23 The concept is based on the so-called cap-and-trade mechanism where businesses and farmers are each granted the right to use a certain amount of water (water quotas). as well as in water distribution and recycling systems. Consequently. Thus any trade in water can take place only in areas that share a source. might decide to take less water in return for payment from a neighbour who wants to take more. Higher water prices can promote conservation. stimulate the adoption of measures such as the reuse of used water for non-potable applications. a system has started in some areas where farmers have a right to take a certain amount of water from irrigation channels and. Another challenge is the fact that water is heavy and expensive to transport across long distances. Those who want to use more than their quota must buy the rights from other companies or farmers in the trading system. provided the governance with the necessary political will is in place to ensure that trading is conducted fairly. Schemes for valuing and trading both water usage and water ‘inputs’ are now being implemented in many countries across North and South America.but more and more in developing ones as well. Asia and Africa. More recently. The example of Switzerland shows that local systems for water trading can be developed. Water trading is getting growing attention from governments and business alike as the ‘next carbon trading’. it requires proper metering and enforcement. such as the innovations led by WWF and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in terms of the Payment for Environmental (or Ecosystem) Services (PES) and the Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) respectively. and modern waste water treatment technologies.25 which try to quantify the economic value of services that an ecosystem Water 85 . low-income populations or the environment.24 An effective system of cap-and-trade for water imposes some challenges as it has to ensure that water transfers do not hurt rural communities. Other innovations that could be part of government or municipal water strategies include: ❑ Water trading schemes. in Switzerland. and encourage investment in less wasteful water infrastructures. depending on the crops they grow.

while Britain is the only place where the private sector has 100% ownership of the country’s water and waste water systems. The Netherlands and the US have publicly owned. In order to meet the estimated US$11–14 billion of new investment needed each year for the next three decades to address this crisis. privatisation of public water utilities is a sensitive topic and should be addressed in a manner that ensures effective supply and the managing of water and waste water. understanding the local water resources and their flow patterns is necessary. Define ownership and management responsibilities It is clear that new investment and innovation must be forthcoming to address the water crisis and that the leading source for both is likely to be the private sector. which involve building up reserves of water capital by the establishment. Agree on the balance between conservation and water consumption The quantity and timing of water use should leave sufficient ‘environmental flows’ to maintain the ecological health of rivers. even where they have succeeded in achieving substantial environmental. Current spending on water and sanitation in developing countries is estimated at US$14–16 billion annually (excluding waste water treatment). enhancement. In some cases. However.provides and then either entice or mandate those who benefit from the service to pay the people who maintain them. privatised systems have collapsed under the weight of public opposition and even violent conflict. privately managed water utilities. In this regard. the greater the likelihood of unexpected outcomes. and ❑ Wetland or Mitigation Banks. restoration or preservation of wetlands. 86 Transient Caretakers .27 the international community is promoting the privatisation of water supply and sanitation. social and economic performance improvements. 3. We are continually reminded that all the elements of the system are interconnected and that the more uninformed our interventions.26 2. lakes and other wetland habitats. for filtering water and the improvement of water and ecosystem quality and with the goal of generating credits that can be sold to developers later as offsets of the realised costs.

Entrepreneurs can create profitable businesses based on water and sanitation provision services and products that don’t pollute the water. as long as they are seen by customers to improve their well-being directly. instead of holding water in dams where the exposure evaporates much of the supply. drought and even salty water. distribution and use as well as for water and waste water management Each municipality should review the contribution. industrial pollution in the soil and in water sources. Providing adequate sanitation and minimising household pollution should be a priority. Some additional approaches for saving irrigation water include: ❑ Banking water underground to limit evaporation in large reservoirs (‘water banks’) that can be recharged during the non-growing seasons. 25% to industry and 10% to all other consumers. and ❑ Modifying crops to withstand less moisture. Modify or repair the ageing or inappropriate infrastructure for water supply. backed up by information and business incentives. monitoring and enforcement systems should be in place to avoid the contamination of existing water supplies.28 Plugging leaks in the irrigation water-delivery system should be a required first step. costs and performance Water 87 . 5. Focus on setting up measures that stimulate maximum water conservation by the largest consumers Farm irrigation eats up the largest quantities of water compared to any other single activity – 70% of our water consumption goes to irrigation. Minimise water pollution Water pollution caused by human activities such as agricultural runoff. 6. ❑ Applying drip-irrigation methods. biodegradable detergents. septic discharge and acid rain should be regulated and monitored by municipal and other governmental authorities. where water is dripped slowly directly onto the plant’s roots. Legislation. for example.4.

which has been in use in many African villages in Kenya. Namibia.of existing water infrastructure (particularly in the context of planning new infrastructure). already available and in use worldwide: ❑ Veolia Water.29 ❑ The Californian Jack Rose. delivery and saving and for waste water treatment and reuse should be carefully evaluated and applied. ground water) as well as reservoirs and other facilities built by humans (dams. including filters. The strategy should include measures for conserving water – using water efficiently. a Paris-based company. and so on). the rain collection systems can provide for five schools. minimising evaporation and leakage losses and recycling. Jack Rose’s RainCatcher methodology is a simple solution to one of the world’s most urgent problems: ‘There are many problems in the world that seem unsolvable … this isn’t one of them. For many cities the repair of leaking water mains would equate to a new reservoir or two.’ Rose says. carrying five tanks. people are harvesting fog. Waste water management in commercial. with one truckload. where a waste water recycling plant supplies about 250 000 residents with drinking water. The materials necessary to install five village rain water collection systems cost approximately US$4 500. which produces water storage tanks for distribution in Africa. rain gutters and a filter. has installed a waste water plant in Windhoek. has developed the so-called RainCatcher system of rain water containers.30 A complete system consists of a water tank. water treatment and leak detection technologies should be included in existing infrastructure and into the designs of new developments. This is an ancient but innovative way of using 88 Transient Caretakers . in partnership with Kenyan Fred Mango and a company called Kentainers. There should be a strategy for the modernisation of the water infrastructure to support the needs of rural and urban communities. Tanzania and South Africa since 2004. from simple and cost-effective solutions to costly technological processes and systems. hydroelectric installations. lakes.31 ❑ On the mountain slopes in the Western Cape in South Africa. Each system can be installed in one day. New technological innovations for water collection. There are a growing number of approaches. ensuring effective and sustainable water supply from natural sources (rivers. household and public sectors is critical. At a minimum.

34 In terms of water use in the agricultural sector. When the fog hits the nets. South Africa also provides protection against disconnections and places obligation on municipalities to extend water and sanitation to the people.32 The role of governments in planning and implementing the above measures is critical. For areas of drought. They have erected metres of netting to catch the fog that blows in off the Atlantic during the winter months. and put them under the ownership of the state. some 10 million people have been connected to water and sanitation. especially for the poor living in coastal regions. people collect fresh drinking water even if it doesn’t rain. and updating of the licences. The National Water Services Act includes the right to water and sanitation. which often focus on getting small amounts of money out of the poor. the water condenses and runs down into pipes that lead to storage tanks. and every individual and citizen should stay informed and engaged with his or her local and national government on the strategies and steps necessary to ensure water security. External funding for the development of irrigation infrastructure in Africa has declined in the past twenty years. Some of the main challenges for the government’s water agenda include: improvement of the credit control policies.fog for drinking water. Among government’s priorities is to transform the previous ownership of water resources.33 From 1994–2004. which will increase the use of a very scarce resource for relatively low value subsistence production. this method of trapping fresh water has huge potential. In this way.35 And there is considerable political pressure for a fairer allocation of water resources to include the much larger numbers of black smallholder farmers. The question is whether smallholder irrigation. within 200 metres of the home. and of acceptable drinking quality. many of which are roll-overs from the apartheid era. which has a system of licences based on human rights concerns for the ongoing use of water. Other prospective options include: Water 89 . In South Africa basic water supply is defined as 25 litres per person per day. is the single and most effective solution to the problem. instead of putting pressure on government departments and businesses that are not paying their water bills. particularly those controlled by large-scale commercial farmers. in South Africa some 25 000 commercial farmers use 95% of irrigation water.

unlike irrigation that affects downstream flows. It is important that the South African authorities consider the hydrological and social benefits of improving dryland farming for increasing food security under water scarcity. mining. conservation tillage. and ❑ Plant closures in areas with water shortages where costs become prohibitive or operations are no longer viable. ❑ Government-imposed water restrictions or rationing. * * * The growing scarcity of clean fresh water presents increasing risks to companies in many countries and various economic sectors as most corporate operations need reliable sources of water.36 Some of the major business risks arising from water scarcity include: ❑ Higher water costs due to decreased supply as well as increased treatment and processing costs. challenges and opportunities for the companies in which they are stakeholders. which could disrupt operations. and ❑ The development of dryland maize and other sorts of dryland agriculture that have high yields and use almost the same amount of water as the dominant natural vegetation. The 2008 report of JP Morgan Global Environmental. Social and Governance Research addresses the risks of water-supply shortages for companies and offers investors a framework for evaluating the impact of water scarcity and water pollution on individual sectors and companies. ❑ Risks to reputation and brand image as a result of excessive or inefficient water use and conflicts with local communities over the consumption of water resources. rain water harvesting). ❑ Unpredictable water supply. It points out population growth. Individuals should stay informed about water-related risks. urbanisation and climate change as the primary factors for the water supply-demand imbalance and concludes that the power generation. 90 Transient Caretakers . semi-conductor manufacturing and food and beverage sectors are particularly exposed to water-related risks. shut down plants and challenge heavily water-dependent industries.❑ Rain-fed improvements that will reach more people at lower water resource costs with simple land management innovations (for example.

local communities and civil society. Increasing water supply is a critical component of the solution to the world’s water problems. ❑ Designing products and processes that are less water dependent. for example: ❑ Increasing access to drinking water using market mechanisms (for example. are Water 91 .All individuals should make sure that the companies in which their pension funds invest are taking adequate action to address the above risks. but also for a company’s supply chain – keep in mind that exposure to water scarcity and pollution is not limited and actually may be greater in companies’ supply chains than in their own operations. You should ask. ❑ Improving efficiency by streamlining processes and implementing closed-loop systems. waste water treatment and desalination). and ❑ Improving image and reputation through active involvement in water management via partnerships with government. Some 97% of the planet’s water is salty. ❑ Look for information on water-related risks in environmental statements prepared for public-relations purposes rather than in the regulatory filings on which most investors rely. Such solutions might include. water-quality trading) or new technologies (for example. and ❑ Evaluate risks of water-supply shortages and pollution not only for the on-site production processes of a company. Companies should focus on the development of solutions related to water problems. ‘What is being done with regard to the recycling of water? How is water being used?’ In its 2008 report. Companies that produce or invest in technologies that tap this almost unlimited water reserve. JP Morgan advises investors to: ❑ Assess how much the companies in their portfolios depend on and rely on water resources and their vulnerability to problems of water availability and pollution. such as desalination tools and processes.

Similarly to the carbon footprint. The ‘water footprint’ of a product is the same as its ‘virtual water content’. a country. The water footprint of a product (a commodity. You should look for information about the ‘water footprint’ of the products you buy and should select products and services that have a minimal ‘water footprint’. The concept of ‘virtual water’ is at the base of the emerging models used by leading companies. etc. a household. According to the creators of the ‘water footprint’ concept at the Water Footprint Network: The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at water use of a consumer or producer – both direct (for example. or ‘embedded or embodied in the product water’.38 92 Transient Caretakers . water consumed through washing. individuals should demand that all companies become ‘water neutral’. The water footprint of an individual. every product during its life cycle requires certain amounts of water.37 or the full measure of the water embedded in the products they make or buy and the activities in which they engage. community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. It refers to the sum of the water use in the various steps of the production chain. and/or for all countries together. New low-cost and lowenergy desalination plants could expand fresh water supply for coastal populations. drinking. the water footprint can be calculated for any product or activity. measured at the place where the product was actually produced. individuals and others to calculate their ‘water footprint’.) and indirect (virtual water in products/materials/energy consumed). also known as ‘virtual water’.poised to exploit huge business opportunities. * * * Whether they are direct or indirect shareholders or buyers of a company’s products or services. The water footprint is based on the fact that every activity. good or service) is the volume of freshwater used to produce the product. as well as for an individual.

water is a surprisingly large component of production. either directly or indirectly. while wheat is among the least waterintensive products. some not so much – but for many businesses. The trade in ‘virtual water’ goes largely unnoticed by consumers of the processed goods. according to Waterwise. The business concept of water neutrality follows the popular model of carbon-neutral and zero-waste commitments. in the supply chain. In addition. there is a finite amount of water and there is no known substitute for water. Many countries that are poor in water are sending huge quantities of ‘virtual water’ abroad – almost for free – in the form of exported agricultural and industrial products. water is indispensable for the life of humans and ecosystems. package and ship the beans.41 Every business uses water in one form or another – some use a considerable amount of water.40 ❑ Coffee is among the most water-intensive farm products. a UK not-for-profit organisation. through shipments of wheat and other water-intensive crops. ❑ A hamburger that sells for less than a dollar requires more than 2 400 litres of water to produce. This quantity equals the capacity of a standard-size tanker truck. Unlike the other two. but water is a bit different from carbon and waste. One of the most damaging effects of the failure to price water fairly is the global trade in ‘virtual water’. But the price of many goods sold around the world shows that the water that went into their production was very cheap: ❑ A pair of jeans that sells for a few dollars uses up to 11 000 litres of water. water sustainability involves more than ‘neutralising’ the volume of water that Water 93 . as its farmers have suffered a seven-year drought. The water footprint of various products we buy is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 9: The Household. Australia exports more ‘virtual water’ than any other country.The comprehensive water footprint calculator provided at the Water Footprint Network website39 can calculate the water footprint of an individual – it would give you an idea where you stand in terms of your personal water consumption relative to the national average. produce. with more than 20 000 cubic metres of water per tonne used to grow. Consequently.

wherever possible. recycling and collection are presented in Chapters 9 and 10.is used. ever-more expensive treatment. Simple steps in household water conservation. as well as to minimise and prevent the pollution of rivers. lakes and underground water. 94 Transient Caretakers . to utilise waste water from the kitchen and bathroom. Finally. What each of us has is the choice to take the above actions and not to allow companies and government institutions to continue business as usual and face the consequences further down the track – harder-to-secure supplies of water. individuals must look for practical ways to optimise and minimise water use in their households and gardens. as homeowners. This is because changes in the amount and quality of water available to a given community or ecosystem play an important role in sustaining the diversity and proper functioning of river ecosystems and watersheds. to reuse and recycle any run-off water in the garden and. ever-increasing impacts on the economy and ever-larger exposure to catastrophic events.

including Twenty University.42 It suggests that this is the reason for its great brand value. so that good corporate citizenship is nothing new to it. This is particularly so in the Internet age. Even though the High Court of Kerala commissioned a year-long study that showed that the Coca-Cola bottler was not responsible for the drought. Taking all action that is ‘reasonably possible’ to reduce the existing operational water footprint. the WWF. It has ‘developed and continues to evolve one of the more sophisticated water stewardship programs in the private sector’. When wells ran dry in the Indian state of Kerala during a drought in 2001. It can be particularly vulnerable when a company is a multinational operating in more than 200 countries around the world. Water 95 . it is a good example of how a sustainability issue can be extremely damaging to a multinational company in the twenty-first century. The local village council (panchayat) sued Coca-Cola and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court of India. Reconciling the residual water footprint (the amount remaining after a company does as much as possible to reduce its footprint) by making a ‘reasonable investment’ in establishing or supporting projects that focus on the sustainable and equitable use of water. measuring and reporting one’s ‘water footprint’. when there is news about issues continuously.CASE STUDY The Coca-Cola Company replenishing water Coca-Cola is one of the pioneers in applying the concept of ‘water neutrality’. 2. which developed three criteria for ‘water neutrality’: 1. CocaCola is a member of a group of organisations. the Water Neutral/Emvelo Group and UNESCO-IHE. Defining. The Coca-Cola Company claims that its assets reside in the communities in which it sells its products. citizens were quick to blame Coca-Cola’s new local bottling plant. and 3. Brand value connotes good reputation and can make up a significant portion of a company’s market capitalisation. the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

As a beverage company. one community at a time. HIV/AIDS. The company lists its global priorities as water stewardship. education and entrepreneurship. While Coca-Cola’s sustainable packaging and fitness and active lifestyle activities have added to its status as a responsible corporate citizen. manual operation created to service an urban retail emerging market in which classic distribution models are not effective or efficient. Coca-Cola employs in excess of 90 500 people worldwide as of the end of 2007. are water. for example. connecting globally and engaging to make a difference. it claims to give global priorities local relevance.The Coca-Cola Company replenishing water The water controversy in India motivated Coca-Cola to start its global corporate citizenship programme throughout its network of bottlers. By engaging communities locally. malaria. which employ around 7 500 people. which have now also started in Asia. water has been vital to the success and 96 Transient Caretakers . environment (with water a key focus). An example of such an operation is a tricycle with a huge carriage in front in which recyclable crates of bottled Coca-Cola are packed from the bottling plant. sustainable packaging and fitness and active lifestyles. In northern Africa. The company has found that this has increased delivery frequency. by listening locally. Local priorities in Africa. There are now some 1 800 MDCs in Africa. it is in the evolution of its global water stewardship programme that the company is really making its mark from a sustainability point of view. workplace and community – and is a process developed by Coca-Cola to see that it performs beyond the expectations of its stakeholders in the communities around the world in which it operates. Coca-Cola has introduced its manual distribution centres (MDCs). distributors and suppliers. created employment and community goodwill and increased the presence of Coca-Cola in the communities where the MDCs operate. The programme drives improvement in four key areas – marketplace. An MDC is a low-cost. The single distributor pedals this tricycle to other distributors and there sells crates of Coca-Cola. The company says that it wants to make a unique and sustainable difference everywhere that it operates.

global health and economic and industrial growth. Finally. more than ever. in the late 1990s. Through this and attending water-focus conferences and working with thought leaders in academia and NGOs. waste water treatment). Secondly. By 2007. Its water stewardship strategy focuses on the following areas: ❑ Plant performance (water-use efficiency. Three issues compelled Coca-Cola to take a closer look at its global use of water. Water challenges are escalating and have the potential to impact on the natural environment. water quality. the company had developed an integrated water strategy that was being activated across its global operations. it developed a 360-degree view of water from qualitative and quantitative risk assessments of internal manufacturing processes and across its supply chains. to potable water in areas where its bottlers are located. Water 97 . such as mineral water and spring water. This survey tool allowed Coca-Cola to develop a comprehensive level of understanding of water across its global operations from the ground up. Firstly. The challenge for Coca-Cola in developing a successful corporate water-management programme lies in tailoring the programme to fit local situations. the Kerala Indian legal battles commenced over allegations of the depletion of water because of Coca-Cola’s bottling plant. The company accepts that. in July 2003. effective and integrated water-resource management is needed to address the increasing demand on water resources across all sectors and geographies. In 2004/05.growth of Coca-Cola over its 122-year history. to community access. The water stewardship programme consists of the company itself and 300 bottling partners across more than 200 countries around the world. in 2003. the company began reporting water quality and quantity as a material risk to its business in its required reports to the US Securities and Exchange Commission form 10/K for investors. it began acquiring natural water brands. Coca-Cola started developing a water-risk assessment process to obtain plant-level information across its global operations.

98 Transient Caretakers . Coke’s goals for water use can be summarised – Reduce. its biggest challenge. On 5 June 2007. and ❑ Global awareness and action (helping to mobilise the international community to drive global awareness and action to address water challenges). But more than water’s significance for Coca-Cola’s business is its critical importance to ecosystems. Coca-Cola Icecek of Turkey became the first company in Turkey to issue a sustainability report based on the GRI’s G3 Guidelines.The Coca-Cola Company replenishing water ❑ Watershed protection (source protection. Consequently. Recycle and Replenish puts the company on a path towards ‘water neutrality’ (as discussed above) across its global operations. Coca-Cola announced its multi-year partnership with the WWF and an independent system-wide goal: to return the water used in Coke’s beverages and their production back to nature. human health. Without access to safe water supplies. the efficient agricultural use of water and protecting water sources and community access to those resources. This is. The influence of the Coca-Cola Company on its subsidiaries was evidenced when in March 2008. ❑ Sustainable communities (helping to enable access to clean drinking water). The pledge to return the water Coke uses through Reduce. disaster response). Replenish means that the company will support projects and/or investments associated with rain water collection. Recycle and Replenish. Coke will establish global goals to become the most efficient global company in terms of water use in the beverage industry. On the Reduce platform. the goal is to be fully aligned with its global waste water treatment and reuse standards by the end of 2010. as is its focus on conserving and protecting water for people. of course. its business simply cannot exist. reforestation. progress and development. For Recycle. species and ecosystems throughout the world. the company’s stated aim to establish a truly water-sustainable business on a global scale is a most important challenge. Water is the main ingredient in nearly every beverage that CocaCola makes.

the rate of material throughput is endangering our prosperity. pumps and disposes of 4. extracts. wastes. middle-class North American family their needs for a year. including discarded food.7 Waste The industrial world we live in today has emerged as a highly productive. Interface Corporation1 In everyday life.000 (four million) pounds of material in order to provide one average. in natural systems. a result of our inefficient use of materials and energy. Today. any material or combination of materials – solid. chemicals from a factory and radioactive materials. newspapers.000. the term ‘waste’ can apply to a wide range of materials. disposable diapers. take-make-waste system that assumed infinite resources and infinite sinks for industrial wastes. In general. shovels. By contrast. not enhancing it. burns. There is no universal definition for waste. mines. sweet wrappers. All waste materials generated by organisms at one level are input or food for organisms at a different level. 99 . construction debris. waste does not exist. bottles. Almost every activity using materials and energy generates waste – from cooking dinner to mining and manufacturing. liquid or gas – that is unwanted and/or unvalued and discarded or discharged by its owner can be categorised as waste. Industry moves. This fact leads to the important realisation that in our human society waste represents a misplaced resource.

commercial waste (generated by hotels. It does not include sewer and waste water. garbage or junk.2 There are many types of waste and. offices. Municipal waste water (or sewage) This is water mixed with waste materials collected by the sewerage system and piped to public waste water treatment facilities before being discharged into rivers or coastal waters. It includes all household garbage. warehouses and other non-manufacturing business activities) and the garbage swept from streets and public spaces in communities (leaves and other rubbish often referred to as litter). This includes domestic food 100 Transient Caretakers . paper and all other solid-waste materials generated in the household. trash. All waste must be recovered or disposed of through operations which inevitably have environmental impacts and economic costs. waste generated by educational. Waste can also be a symptom of inefficient consumption and production patterns. restaurants. It includes food scraps. in the sense that materials may be used unnecessarily. healthcare and other public-service institutions. Municipal solid waste These are solid waste materials generated and collected in cities and other human settlements. The materials not only create waste but also have different impacts during their production and use phase. there is a proliferation of waste categorisation schemes and no universal definitions for the various types of waste.Waste is created in many ways and forms and can be difficult to define: Waste presents our society with a two-fold challenge. to make things even more complicated. We will be talking in more detail about the following types of waste:3 Household waste This is also referred to as rubbish. stores.

Not all waste water is collected by the sewerage system. Some domestic wastes go into septic tanks and some industrial plants have their own treatment facilities. Once gaseous wastes have been released into the environment. repair and demolition operations on pavements. packaging and rubble resulting from construction. chemical and process wastes from industry. washing water and toilet wastes. however. Waste 101 . Agricultural waste These are solid. Industrial waste This is solid. agricultural and industrial processes and vehicles. streets. remodelling. occasionally. as well as waste water collected from commercial and public-service institutions. public areas and. houses. gases are contained through pollution control devices before they enter the atmosphere. which collects waste as it channels rain water into waterways and out to sea. incinerators. Construction/demolition waste This includes building materials. commercial buildings and other structures. their effects are very hard to control. including waste water. Gaseous wastes These consist of gases and small particles emitted from open fires. generated by industrial processes and collected and treated within industrial facilities. liquid and gaseous waste. liquid and gaseous waste materials generated by the rearing of animals and the production and harvesting of crops or trees. they can be controlled more easily.wastes. Liquid discharges include livestock excrement and agrichemicals that are washed from the land by rain water and urban storm water. If.

disposal and treatment are poorly managed. For example. paint thinner. many common household products. glue. air freshener and nail polish. thus resulting in contamination of the domestic waste water and trade waste with pathogens. decomposting food. contain toxic chemicals. or contribute to. bad for our health and bad for the economy. so large amounts of waste in urban areas become sources of contaminants and breeding sites. an increase in mortality or an increase in serious illness or other harmful effects on the health of people or other organisms.Sludge This is accumulated semi-liquid waste deposited from waste waters or other fluids in tanks or basins (including sewer sludge – solid. which can pollute the land and waters and even enter the food chain. Hazardous waste These are solid. 102 Transient Caretakers . * * * Two centuries of take-make-waste have had unintended and negative impacts on the environment: natural resources are being depleted and huge piles of waste – from rusting vehicles to plastic bags – are being accumulated. such as drain cleaner. liquid and gaseous materials that may cause. Such wastes contribute to diarrhoea. Waste can be bad for the environment. where waste collection. Tests on the children who live in the area surrounding one of Africa’s largest waste dumpsites.4 The death toll is highest in Africa and other developing countries. People often pour leftover household chemicals down the drain. semi-solid or liquid residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works). and the contamination of drinking water and other water resources. water-borne disease. the Dandora Municipal Dumpsite in Nairobi. and dead animals. pesticides. paint. and from the smoke from the burning of waste. heavy metals and hazardous wastes. It is estimated that more than 5 million people die each year from diseases related to inadequate waste-disposal systems. Kenya. found that the children had been exposed to heavy metals and other toxic substances coming from the open piles of rubbish.

to reduce the negative impacts waste has on the environment and society and to ensure the effective use of resources. and concentrations of lead in their blood exceeding internationally accepted levels. Producing unnecessary waste means we are not using resources sustainably. control and execution of the collection. The process of management. is broken down naturally by microorganisms to form methane. One gallon (3. Equally important is the fact that waste generation incurs substantial economic costs. but are discarded during the production process. including chronic bronchitis and asthma. One of the best ways to cut down such costs is to reduce resource inputs by being smarter in our use of raw materials.6 Biodegradable waste. realisation and disposal of different wastes – a process referred to as waste management – is crucial to our ability to live sustainably.75 litres) of used motor oil. useful products. and the main question is how this value can be best realised. can contaminate 1 million gallons (3 750 000 litres) of water. waste production and disposal. by implication it contributes to climate change. Studies show that we use most resources very inefficiently and generate far more waste than durable.Almost half of the children tested had gastrointestinal and dermatological diseases. If this gas is not prevented from entering the atmosphere.5 Chemicals from degrading waste can leak into aquifers and contaminate water supplies. It is now widely recognised that waste materials are a valuable resource. and approximately 80% of what we produce is discarded after a single use. The environmental benefits of greater efficiencies can be significant.8 Waste and garbage have become a huge challenge but also represent great potential in making a more sustainable world. such as food waste or sewage. One US study found a $US170 environmental benefit for each tonne of solid waste eliminated from the production system. respiratory diseases. plus avoided disposal costs of $US100 per tonne. for example. treatment.7 Inefficient resource use stems from a failure to count environmental and social costs in resource use. Waste 103 . a potent greenhouse gas. Approximately 93% of the materials we use never end up in saleable products at all.

with reduction being the most desirable goal: 1.Waste-management strategies Waste should be managed in a systematic way. which has a minimal positive impact on the environment and the economy. The fifth method. Energy recovery (through incineration. 4. reused or recycled at its source. waste disposal. Individuals should ask their local authorities about their municipal waste-management strategy and the currently applied waste- 104 Transient Caretakers . if possible. Reuse. Recover: It may be possible to recover value. The keys to efficient resource use are the 4Rs of waste management: Reduce. The 4Rs are a hierarchy. including a hierarchy of five basic waste-management methods: ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Disposal (and dumping). 2. Although recycling does help to conserve resources and reduce wastes. Reuse: After a product or material or energy has been used once. Recycling (and composting). and Waste reduction (and waste prevention). by generating energy from solid waste that cannot be reduced. energy and water consumption in order to produce as little waste as possible and to save energy. Recycle: Recycling or composting should be considered only for materials and products that cannot be reused. Recycle and Recover. for example. Reduce: Wherever possible. every effort should be made to reuse it. there are economic and environmental costs associated with waste collection and recycling processes. it is best to reduce materials. should be applied as an option only if none of the other options described above offers an appropriate solution. burning). The most efficient and successful waste management is actually superefficient resource use that ensures full utilisation of all resources and doesn’t allow for waste to be created. Reuse. 3.

management methods. The dumping of waste in the ocean by barges that carry garbage out to sea was once used as a disposal method by some US coastal cities. There is no primary sorting of waste and waste of every kind. that means that one cruise ship would generate 795 000 litres of sewage. Germany. Switzerland and Sweden. each carrying 5 000 or more passengers. Atlantic Ocean dumping was also a common practice for such nuclear nations as Great Britain. even toxic waste. Some large cruisers are like floating cities. * * * Waste 105 . industrial and agricultural wastes Municipal solid waste usually ends up in a municipal landfill or gets burned in a municipal incinerator – both resulting in environmental impacts. thus contributing to climate change. Greenpeace and other organisations have reported on violations by Russia. which banned the disposal of nuclear waste into the oceans. is dumped on huge piles. Handling municipal. You should support the inclusion and expansion of initiatives for the control of environmental pollution.10 The currently unregulated garbage produced daily and discharged from ships in the oceans is also becoming a problem. and dumps may generate methane when organic wastes decompose under certain conditions. The use of open dumps for garbage remains common practice in some parts of the world. The sewage dumped is returned to the shores by the current. The figure becomes unimaginable if we think about all the cruise ships on the world’s waters.12 Open dumps have major disadvantages. especially in heavily populated areas: toxic chemicals can filter down through a dump and contaminate ground water. waste minimisation and the consideration of waste products as potential resources before disposal. Since the enactment of the London and OSPAR Conventions. The previously mentioned 30-acre Dandora Dumpsite on the outskirts of Nairobi receives 2 000 tonnes of rubbish a day. Before 1983. France.11 If we estimate 10 gallons of sewage generation by each passenger per week. now it is banned. Japan.9 the last one in May 2008 in Novaya Zemplya.

drained through pipes and processed. Breadline Africa.13 In Uganda a portable metallic incinerator has been developed that produces heat and/or hot water or steam from burning domestic. Methane gas. a charity organisation based in 106 Transient Caretakers . helps to save the environment from the impacts of extracting and processing virgin (never used. Leachate (liquid accumulated and leaking from the waste) is collected at the bottom. carpeting and asphalt (glassphalt) are a few examples.Today’s landfills should be facilities for the controlled disposal of solid waste on land designed to isolate wastes from the environment. paper and plastic are used for recycling and to make new products. Steel cans. Sweden. Incineration. A wide range of products can be produced with recycled content.14 Incinerators usually reduce the volume of garbage by 70–90%. landfills are expensive to maintain and take up large areas. In one of the largest district heating systems in Goteborg. has a long history in municipal solidwaste management. and which often contains high concentrations of toxic substances. Modern incinerators are also called resource recovery or waste-to-energy plants. Burning wastes also release hazardous and toxic substances into the air. In addition to burning garbage. not altered by human activity) materials and means that there is less trash needing disposal. which provides heat to more than 165 000 people. which must be landfilled. The incinerator is installed in hospitals. homes and schools. is safely piped out of the landfill. Household products that contain glass. They may then be used as raw materials in the manufacture of new products. It ensures that extracted materials remain in productive use for a greater period of time. institutional. After recyclable materials are collected from residents and businesses. paper. aluminium. However. The rest comes out as ash. plastic and glass bottles. medical and industrial waste except glass and metal. Recycling is a method of reusing materials that would otherwise be disposed of in a landfill or incinerator. They are lined with several feet of clay and with thick plastic sheets. cleaned and prepared for their next use. waste heat accounts for more than three-quarters of the district heating. student hostels. from the biodegradable wastes. they produce heat or electricity that is used in nearby buildings or residences or sold to a utility. Recycling has many benefits: it saves money in production and energy costs. they are sorted. or burning waste.

health clinics. The volume of waste reflects inefficiencies that degrade the environment. you can reduce your environmental impacts and save money in the process. Consumers can reduce their wastes by purchasing goods with minimal packaging and by purchasing products that are intended to last for a longer period of time. For example. such as food scraps and yard waste. Composting is a method used by gardeners to produce natural fertiliser for growing plants. In addition to improving soil.5 billion tonnes of solid waste generated in the US each year come from agriculture. Waste reduction and reuse are even more effective waste-management strategies than recycling as they don’t require processing.16 This industrial solid waste is less visible Waste 107 . the benefits of composting include reduced transportation and landfill costs.Cape Town. Indeed. in some cases. Similarly. Whereas recycling typically refers to manufactured goods. This step – referred to as ‘closing the loop’ – is a very important aspect of recycling. community centres and soup kitchens that communities can use. composting is a different form of recycling involving organic material. harm the economy and reduce customer value. * * * Industrial processes generate enormous amounts of waste that cannot be assimilated by nature or reused by industry. Consumer demand has played a significant role in bringing recycled products to the market. a reusable water bottle can save hundreds of plastic bottles over the course of its life. With a small amount of effort. reduced greenhouse gases and. as the demand for recycled products affects the financial viability of recycling programmes and influences natural resource markets. or decomposed. buys old shipping containers from online donations and refurbishes them into classrooms. products that can be reused are preferable to throw-away alternatives. mining and industry. Composting is the process of arranging and manipulating plant and animal materials so that they are gradually broken down. more than 95% of the 4.15 The final step in the recycling process occurs when products made from recycled content are purchased by consumers. libraries. remediation of contaminated soils. by soil bacteria and other organisms into a material (compost) that can be added to soil to improve the soil’s structural quality and to add nutrients for plant growth.

But modern techniques of raising large numbers of animals in small areas generate great volumes of animal waste or manure. known as tailings. In addition. If waste in such quantities is not managed carefully. Farmers are generally ignorant of the hazards posed by pesticides and frequently use them without the recommended precautions. may be released as gases. with a higher percentage (60–98%) occurring in children. Because the highly efficient modern methods of mining can extract minerals from veins that contain very little concentration of the desired mineral. such as mercury and dioxins.18 Africa holds at least 50 000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides. with more than 70% of industrial wastes being dumped untreated into surface water. clay. a huge amount of waste is produced in the process.19 This is the group of chemicals that poses the greatest concern for most African countries. in removed fields or in industrial facilities. Agricultural and industrial waste management should be addressed in national and local wastemanagement regulations. Some hazardous wastes. The production of agricultural chemicals remains a key focus of the African chemical industry. In addition to being a major chemical safety problem. Certain mining techniques also utilise toxic chemicals. but many hazardous industrial wastes 108 Transient Caretakers .17 pesticides are a major threat to Africa’s water resources. Piles of mining waste. in sub-Saharan Africa pesticides have been used for more than forty years in agriculture. building stone or metallic ore. Mining nearly always generates substantial waste. Many of the plant and animal wastes generated by agriculture remain in the fields or rangelands. Industrial operations have produced large quantities of hazardous waste over the last 200 years. the proper handling of unused or waste pesticides is a daunting challenge for modern waste management.to the ordinary person because it is usually generated at remote mining sites. sand. gravel. may contain hazardous materials. which threaten both humans and the environment. it can contaminate ground water or surface water. These wastes can be beneficial because they return nutrients to the soil. whether the material being mined is coal. Statistics of poisoning cases have estimated that between 46% and 84% of all poisonings in adults are attributable to occupation or the environment. Pesticides used in farming may contaminate agricultural waste. Because of the enormous volumes of pesticides used in agriculture.

usually from industrial countries to developing nations. audio/stereo equipment. telephones. consumption or use and. poses a significant health risk to workers and their communities. A controversial issue in international relations is the export of hazardous waste. A manufacturing plant can frequently reclaim certain waste materials by feeding them back into the production process. video cameras. waste management. but often some of the waste ends up being dumped. Waste can be generated at every stage in the life cycle of a resource. the US alone generated 2. reduction and recovery – whether energy recovery or material recovery – can make a specific contribution to reduce the environmental impact of resource use. allowing producers and consumers to take advantage of very low labour costs and relaxed environmental and occupational regulations. or ‘e-waste’. wireless devices and video game consoles. Waste 109 . from extraction and initial processing to transformation and manufacturing. Industrial wastes that are not hazardous have traditionally been sent to industrial or municipal landfills or incinerators. VCRs. In 2003. This is where waste avoidance. The rising cost of disposal has prompted many companies to seek alternative methods for handling these wastes.20 in which liquid wastes are injected into a well located in a type of rock formation that keeps the waste isolated from ground water and surface water. Electronic waste. computers and monitors. This export often takes place with the stated intent of recycling. efficient resource use and management require measures to prevent waste generation and to reincorporate waste in the economic cycle (‘closing the materials loop’).are in liquid form. The dismantling and disposal of e-waste. DVD players.8 million tonnes of electronic waste and only recovered (reused or recycled) 290 000 tonnes. is a broad term that refers to end-oflife consumer electronics. particularly in parts of Asia and Africa. Hazardous wastes are also disposed of at specially designed landfill sites and incinerators. mobile phones. including televisions. Consequently. Other underground burial methods can also be used. fax and copy machines. An estimated 60% of all hazardous industrial waste in the US is disposed of with a method called deep-well injection. finally. and there is a substantial risk that if not properly disposed these wastes will contaminate water supplies.21 The highly toxic e-waste is frequently exported to developing countries. worldwide 20–50 million tonnes of e-waste are generated annually.

These materials can be remade but this requires large amounts of energy and the consumption of more resources. reducing the ecological rucksack of the new product. rechargeable batteries). The disposal of waste to landfill removes the potential to derive a higher resource value from the waste materials through reuse. Products should meet as many of the following criteria as possible: ❑ Be reusable or contain reusable parts (refillable pens and beverage containers. 75 kilograms for a mobile phone and 1 500 kilograms for a personal computer. every production process produces some waste. So a 10 gram gold ring carries an ecological rucksack of 3 tonnes! The Wuppertal Institute has calculated the ecological rucksack is 1. every material object placed on the market is likely. by using a product for a longer time. for example. Producing unnecessary waste means we are not using resources sustainably. usually requires the processing of tonnes of ore. However. More gains can be made by reusing a product. by disposing waste to landfill sites. The concept of the ecological rucksack.5 kilograms for a toothbrush. and by designing it in a more eco-efficient way. which can be reduced further in the course of their use. we bury many useful resources. sooner or later. preventing ongoing use of the material(s) in one form or another. the materials will be used again. better product design and generally more eco-efficient production and consumption patterns. is used to measure all the ecological effects of producing various products and the impact of services. recycling and resource recovery. 110 Transient Caretakers . created by the Wuppertal Institute. As responsible caretakers we all should choose products and services with as low as possible an ecological rucksack. A kilogram of metal obtained from mining. to become waste. With our choices of products and services we can influence companies to shift towards production processes and designs that result in minimal or no waste. When you use a product made from that metal it carries its own ecological rucksack. In addition. Despite the advent of more sustainable business practices.Avoiding waste Waste prevention includes cleaner production processes.22 If you recycle a product you’ve finished with.

In short. from waste as a problem to waste as a resource. and Waste 111 . a Zero Waste strategy ensures that the supplies used. ❑ Contain recycled materials (such as paper products containing postconsumer recycled fibre. There is a need for a shift in attitude.23 A life-cycle analysis of every product becomes part of the purchasing and manufacturing criteria. ❑ Make efficient use of resources and energy (water-saving devices for plumbing fixtures. re-refined motor oil. and ❑ Manage chemicals responsibly and dispose of hazardous wastes in a way that meets or exceeds the required regulations. nonrecyclable stocks for publications). equipment obtained with provision for regular maintenance by the supplier). ❑ Use resource. Zero Waste is a commitment to ensuring that all materials flowing through a business have a proper home at the end of the day and will be recycled back into nature or into the marketplace. natural gas fuel systems for fleet vehicles). Today the issue of waste is inextricably connected to the issue of efficient use of resources. ❑ Produce fewer polluting by-products and safety hazards during use and disposal than competing products (low-pollution water-based paint is an Environmental Choice-approved product category. photocopiers capable of double-sided photocopying. and ❑ Have a long service life and/or can be economically and effectively repaired as opposed to replaced (energy-efficient light bulbs. energy-efficient lighting).❑ Be recyclable (uncoated. the products sourced and ultimately sold and packaged are carefully designed or specified: ❑ To reduce the total amount of material needed. recyclable paper instead of coated.and energy-efficient techniques and recycle their waste products. EcoLogo products are available for this category and the one above). ❑ To be used for as long as possible and to provide opportunities for reuse. Preference should be given to product and service suppliers that: ❑ Use products that are environmentally appropriate.

A Zero Waste goal ensures that energy.24 Here is what some companies have done as they have integrated a Zero Waste target as part of their business culture: ❑ Kimberly Clarke has adopted. A Zero Waste initiative has been launched for the 2010 Soccer World Cup with the support of the South African government as well as local and international businesses: The aim is to avoid and reduce the potential negative impacts of excessive waste and pollution during the 2010 World Cup.. businesses become more sustainable themselves by reducing costs. while reducing the demands their operations place on the environment. For Collins Pine. Currently this firm has achieved 80% diversion in its domestic plants. It means that fewer resources are used to deliver comparable or better products and services. water and material flows are operating as efficiently as possible.. The Collins Pine plant is committed to eliminating waste or putting it back into use. while maximising the positive economic and social impacts through a Zero Waste approach . a goal to reduce to zero the materials its manufacturing facilities send to disposal. The initiative has so far generated support from well over 20 international and over 200 South African organisations. is reporting the successful diversion of 97% of its solid waste. In adopting Zero Waste. 112 Transient Caretakers . the strategy helped to save US$1 million in its Klamath Falls plant during the first year of implementation. ❑ Hewlett Packard in Roseville. ❑ Collins Pine is a US forest products company with a Zero Waste policy.❑ To be easily and economically recycled when useful product life is complete. in its Vision 2000. through recycling or by other means. ❑ The Body Shop designs its packaging to be reused or recycled and most of its outlets have refill stations and recycling depots for their customers. California.

plus avoided disposal costs of $US100 per tonne. reuse. waste is generated. In this way. * * * Finally. an American carpet manufacturing and leasing company with a successful Canadian subsidiary in Belleville. as a result of both production and use of the products. the concept of 4Rs goes beyond reduce. sound material flow society. In addition. consumers. the OECD-wide increase in waste generation is in direct proportion to economic growth. All Interface carpets are designed to be recycled through their own manufacturing plant and are installed as tiles to reduce waste. In our consumption-driven society.26 The waste problem is one that can be successfully resolved if it is tackled effectively through collaborative effort that brings together businesses. Consequently. regulators and all concerned stakeholders. Ontario. One US study found a $US170 environmental benefit for each tonne of solid waste eliminated from the production system. Despite nearly thirty years of environmental and waste policy efforts in OECD countries. the more we waste. the greater our wealth. Growing economies and populations create an increasing demand for goods and services. recycle and recover and takes on a much broader ‘umbrella’. provides the ultimate model for a Zero Waste consumer product. A 40% increase in OECD GDP since 1980 has been accompanied by a 40% increase in municipal waste during the same period. Our consumption patterns tend to be linear: we consume natural resources to make products or provide services and. only those tiles that experience high traffic and wear out sooner need to be replaced. there is a need for a shift away from a mass consumption society to one that is based on a life-cycle. incorporating building an economy based on the life-cycle approach. This link between material well-being and waste generation in our current social and economic system is recognised internationally by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its 2002 report. after the products are used they become waste as well.❑ Interface Corporation. Waste 113 .25 The environmental and economic benefits of greater efficiencies can be significant.

fries and a drink – required 46 grams of packaging. The McDonald’s restaurants employ over 1. today. ways of reducing materials used in production and packaging. it requires only 25 grams.CASE STUDY McDonald’s Corporation reducing waste In the context of waste management. a 46% reduction. The only countries in Europe where McDonald’s restaurants are not present are Albania. 114 Transient Caretakers . reuse and recycling of materials. or through a variety of joint ventures. McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest global food-service retailer with its 32 000-plus local restaurants serving 56 million people each day. when the company first established its Global Environmental Commitment and forged a pioneering alliance with the Environmental Defence Fund. as well as diverting as much waste as possible from the solid-waste stream. for the first time.27 Approximately 15% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by the McDonald’s Corporation directly.5 million people worldwide in more than 118 countries. The remaining 85% of the restaurants are operated through franchise agreements by local men and women (franchisees) who are affiliates of the corporation itself. Armenia. For example. McDonald’s has been proactively seeking creative solutions and building on a growing number of initiatives for enhancing the environmental performance of its franchisees and along its global supply chain. the company eliminated 300 million pounds of product packaging by redesigning items and reducing the materials used. it began to take substantial steps towards reduced and more efficient consumption of resources and. initiated energy-conservation measures. When McDonald’s received criticism for its environmental policies in the 1970s. Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Vatican City. and based on a ‘total life-cycle’ approach to solid waste. During the 1990s alone. Since 1990. The environmental commitment of the company addresses four key priorities applied to both its suppliers and restaurants: ❑ Effective solid-waste management through reduction. an ‘average meal’ in the 1970s – a Big Mac. many of the world’s great companies have made significant efforts to reduce waste.

and the development of various new restaurant designs that incorporate more natural light and energy-efficient equipment. whose iconic brand and presence on six continents has emerged as a powerful symbol of globalisation. and ❑ Ensuring accountability on the implementation of these policies and priorities through timely. To date. Waste 115 . as well as production practices that minimise environmental impact. But during the last few years the company’s innovative approach and efforts to minimise its environmental impacts have become more visible. ❑ Encouraging appropriate environmental values and practices among McDonald’s suppliers and restaurants through mutually established waste-reduction goals. yet offering more’ is among the company’s key corporate social responsibility principles. ‘using less. shareholders. as well as with experts in the environmental field. suppliers and employees. McDonald’s Chief Executive. in the company’s 2008 sustainability report. many of the steps McDonald’s has made to cut resource use and waste generation and to combat climate change have been behind the scenes.❑ Conservation and protection of natural resources. During the last twenty years. the fast-food chain. Compliance with these policies receives consideration with other business criteria in evaluating both current and potential McDonald’s suppliers. including minimisation of energy and other resource consumption through increased efficiency and conservation. and especially not permitting the destruction of rainforests for provision of the company’s beef supplies. honest and forthright communications and dialogue with the company’s customers. has been progressively using its scale and broad franchise ownership to reduce the impact its growing network of restaurants has on the world’s resources. joining a Greenpeace-led moratorium on buying soyabeans from newly deforested areas in the Amazon. According to Jim Skinner. including implementing ‘environmental scorecards’ for its suppliers.

The other four criteria are functionality. ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Overall. From an environmental perspective. such as recycling and composting – is carefully evaluated through the packaging scorecard. energy efficiency and green building design. ❑ Reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Every step along the way of packing design – starting with the source of materials and the design of the food packaging. saving 2 million pounds of packaging annually. the launch of the scorecard. The scorecard framework focuses on the following key environmental priorities for packaging: Minimising weight. In addition. Maximising use of recycled materials. Preference for renewable materials. the main environmental priorities are waste management and sustainable packaging. cost. Environmental impact is one of five criteria used in the process of developing food and beverage packaging at McDonald’s.McDonald’s Corporation reducing waste At the restaurant level. weight reductions in packaging and products. and finishing with so-called end-of-life options. and ❑ Maximising end-of-life options such as recycling. the aim in packaging is to reduce the impacts of materials used and to improve wastemanagement practices. as well as the increased usage of bulk packaging. availability of materials and impact on operations. have resulted in a 24 million pounds annual decrease in McDonald’s packaging. McDonald’s has eliminated the need for intermediate containers for Coca-Cola by installing a syrup delivery system that pumps it directly from the delivery truck into storage containers. Minimising the amount of harmful chemicals that are used in production. while taking into consideration the product’s entire life cycle. The success of McDonald’s in minimising packaging waste is a result of the company’s years-long commitment in the development 116 Transient Caretakers .

For example. France and the UK. sandwich containers and other restaurant items. currently approximately 82% of the consumer packaging used in the company’s nine largest markets is made from renewable materials (paper or wood fibre). McDonald’s strives to source raw materials for the company’s paperbased consumer packaging from well-managed forests. in Germany. ❑ McDonald’s restaurants in Europe reached a reduction of nearly 2 000 tonnes per year in the consumption of non-renewable materials through the launch of a paper salad bowl and a wooden coffee stirrer. ❑ Recycling of materials if the company can’t apply materials reduction. which has Waste 117 . and approximately 30% of the material comes from recycled fibre: ❑ In the US alone. which is used in tray liners. such as shipping containers. each forming a specific area of activities and policies implemented throughout the company and its global network of franchise restaurants: ❑ Avoidance of impact through sourcing raw materials for paperbased consumer packaging from certified well-managed forests. This is based on three key priorities. proper and innovative disposal where recycling can’t be applied. McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of recycled paper. McDonald’s purchased almost US$530 million in recycled content in 2007. nearly 57% of the paper fibre for packaging comes from certified forests. napkins. and through efficient packaging design based on a reduction of used materials and resources. bags. and ❑ Appropriate. ❑ McDonald’s Australia has incorporated 35% post-consumer recycled PET plastic in its cold beverage and dessert cups. According to the McDonald’s 2008 sustainability report.and implementation of a system-wide approach to the efficient use of resources.

where the used oil. ❑ The overall recycling rate for McDonald’s restaurants in Germany is more than 90%. McDonald’s has been recognised as a leader in recycling among its peers in the food industry. PE-foil and corrugated delivery boxes are collected for recycling. and more than 75 tonnes of waste was avoided. 118 Transient Caretakers . In each restaurant the packaging and food waste is collected on a tray cart in the lobby and taken into a specially designed sorting room where the waste is separated into colour-coded bags for paper and cardboard. the use of paper napkins was reduced by more than 6% per guest count. plastics. Here McDonald’s has employed a great deal of innovation in the development of various consumer-related recycling initiatives that are now expanding through Europe. North America and South America: ❑ A growing number of McDonald’s restaurants in Canada recycle paper. The company’s Selective Waste Collection Initiative in São Paulo now includes thirty restaurants and it allows the company to manage the entire life cycle of its waste – from sorting at the bins to redirecting recyclable materials to participating companies.McDonald’s Corporation reducing waste reduced the amount of virgin plastic resin needed for the production of the cups. using stickers and signage at the counter. food and residuals. cans and glass. ❑ McDonald’s Japan launched a consumer campaign in October 2007. ❑ McDonald’s restaurants in Brazil use bins to enable customers to separate organic waste and recyclable materials. In the first three months alone. to encourage customers to cut down on their use of plastic shopping bags and paper napkins. The same sorting process takes place in the kitchen. The initiative also helps to educate and involve customers and employees in the process. plastics. thus facilitating recycling.

including downsizing napkins and increasing the recycled content of Happy Meal boxes. Oil from around 900 McDonald’s Waste 119 . McDonald’s followed with a Happy Meal tie-in with the movie. This biogas is then used for heating and to fuel the company’s own biogas truck. The restaurants now pay 60% less for the disposal of organic waste compared to the costs paid in the past for its incineration.Reducing waste is an ongoing challenge for McDonald’s. the company switched back to white bags. Today the average US company-operated McDonald’s restaurant annually recycles more than 17 tonnes of corrugated cardboard and approximately 13 000 pounds of used cooking oil. in 2008 when the animated film Bee Movie brought millions of children into movie theatres worldwide. Corrugated cardboard and used cooking oil represent nearly 35% of the total waste (by volume) generated by an average restaurant. which included games that encouraged children to make a positive difference to the environment. Currently all Swiss McDonald’s restaurants recycle organic waste into biogas. saying that the brown bags made the food seem less clean and fresh. when customers didn’t like the company’s initiative to switch to ‘greener’ brown bags. McDonald’s announced that it would reuse its supply of cooking oil in order to manufacture biodiesel for its fleet of UK delivery vehicles. The plan was to convert every vehicle in the 155-strong delivery fleet to run on the new fuel. The Swiss ‘super truck’ runs CO2 neutral and saves about 10 000 litres of diesel annually. There are also other cases in Europe where McDonald’s has been recycling vegetable grease by converting it to fuel for its diesel trucks. while making other changes. Since 2001. McDonald’s Switzerland has collaborated with Kompogas. In 2007. Raising environmental awareness among the youngest consumers has become a priority. For example. At McDonald’s waste minimisation and utilisation go hand in hand with combating climate change through reducing energy dependency on non-renewable resources and improving energy efficiency. a company specialising in the process of fermenting organic waste to produce biogas. For example.

in which waste from the restaurants would be converted into electricity and heat for local buildings. collected the waste and took it to the nearby Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) waste incinerator. including the Sheffield hospital and city hall. A contractor. In April 2008. The Sheffield initiative is part of McDonald’s commitment to send Zero Waste to landfill by 2010. Other similar initiatives include the company’s composting programmes: ❑ McDonald’s Canada has had a composting pilot operating in selected restaurants around the greater Toronto area since 2006. The ERF is an incinerator-driven power plant that generates electricity for the national grid and pipes hot water to 130 civic buildings. each restaurant has avoided sending 100 tonnes of waste a year to landfills.McDonald’s Corporation reducing waste restaurants would be used in the venture and the company expected to cut carbon emissions by 1 675 tonnes a year through the project. McDonald’s announced that eleven of its UK restaurants in the Sheffield area would participate in a pilot scheme. McDonald’s Europe is looking to increase this percentage. In Europe. This is the equivalent of replacing nearly 6 million litres of diesel fuel. McDonald’s plans to expand this project in other countries but the lack of biomass power plants in the US creates a challenge for the implementation of the model within the US network of franchisees. 120 Transient Caretakers . The energy produced from the recycled waste reduced the restaurants’ annual carbon emissions by 54%. By the end of 2008. as well as the eleven restaurants that participated in the trial. more than 80% of used cooking oil from McDonald’s restaurants is currently being converted into biodiesel and about 30% of the fuel used in the logistics trucks that serve its restaurants comes from biodiesel. according to the Telegraph newspaper. the restaurants collected their waste to be incinerated instead of dumped in a landfill. Veolia Environmental Services. As a result. McDonald’s UK expected to be recycling 100% of its used cooking oil for biodiesel to fuel delivery trucks. During the pilot period.

down from three. reducing the volume of waste by 66%. McDonald’s UK ensures that packaging is kept to a minimum and carries anti-littering symbols. Litter patrols around restaurants are as standard as providing litter bins outside. air consumption and waste generation. McDonald’s restaurants in many countries have evolved as leaders in maintaining a litter-free environment and have pioneered methods for the appropriate collection and disposal of waste. The equipment compresses the waste into a single litter container. Participating restaurants support popular events in many different ways. water. McDonald’s UK is one of the biggest sponsors of council-provided litter bins in Great Britain and was instrumental in the government’s development of a Code of Practice for litter management in the fast-food industry. McDonald’s UK takes the daily effort of litter control a step further. This programme includes a dedicated collection vehicle and an educational component. It could reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by approximately 70%. McDonald’s is committed to minimising the environmental impacts of the food and other products in the company’s worldwide supply chain. and needs only one hour for cleaning. educational and clean-up actions. To make its suppliers aware of the resources they are using and to help introduce continuing reductions in energy. McDonald’s Portugal is installing compactors in a growing number of restaurants. With its ‘Just bin it’ campaign. All clean-up events enter the competition for the annual ‘Just bin it’ awards. schools and community groups in awareness-raising. Moreover. McDonald’s developed an environmental Waste 121 . Finally. replaces three containers with one.❑ McDonald’s Australia has launched a composting pilot focused on waste organic materials in more than forty restaurants around Sydney. Each restaurant consequently spends less money on waste removal. such as by providing educational gifts for children or with employees cleaning up ‘grot spots’ with residents and local politicians. McDonald’s restaurants partner with local authorities. In the early summer of every year.

pork and potato suppliers in the company’s nine largest markets. with an array of environmental enhancements. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Core and Shellcertified McDonald’s restaurant. In May 2008. 122 Transient Caretakers . McDonald’s is working to enhance the current building standards for the company’s restaurants around the world. Sweden. and has taken steps towards establishing a ‘green restaurant’ model.McDonald’s Corporation reducing waste scorecard in 2005. In August 2008. McDonald’s USA opened a new green restaurant that is targeted for LEED certification in Chicago. and features that enhance indoor air quality and promote natural lighting. but generally the focus is on innovation and efficiency in the design and construction of the restaurant. energy and water use. Paris. reduction of energy and water use in equipment and operations. The initial results suggest that the scorecard is driving many positive improvements in waste minimisation. Illinois. poultry. For example. potatoes and bakery products are using the environmental scorecard. Based on success in these five key product areas. poultry. The company’s first green restaurant was opened in Umea. and ❑ 67% showed a decrease in waste production per unit of finished product between 2005 and 2006. The goal is to have the scorecard applied in all bakery. ❑ 56% showed a decrease in water used per unit of finished product between 2005 and 2006. beef. which opened in the US in Savannah. McDonald’s France opened a rebuilt restaurant in Beaugrenelle. in Canada: ❑ All direct suppliers of beef. Beyond food and its packaging. Georgia. The full range and nature of green elements in McDonald’s green restaurants vary by location. followed in 2005 by the first developer-initiated. in 2000. McDonald’s will consider expanding the programme to suppliers in other product areas. the incorporation of green decor options in the restaurant. according to McDonald’s corporate social responsibility website.

‘There is no one-sizefits-all when it comes to environmental initiatives. the use of waste to create less carbon-emitting fuels and its supply chain criteria make the company a leader in waste management. Its efforts in terms of recycling. which is very land constrained. expressed his confidence that ‘as the pace of environmental change at McDonald’s is picking up. individual markets and franchisees are spearheading their own “green” initiatives’. In Australia. Vicepresident of corporate social responsibility at McDonald’s.In an interview with Reuters in early 2008. Waste 123 . Bob Langert. He also made the point that it did not make sense to force one solution onto the company’s entire system.’ McDonald’s is continually striving to improve on its status as a good corporate citizen. increasingly. it’s about waste. innovative packaging. ‘In Japan.’ Langert said. the big issue is water.


and experts predict that tourism could become a steward for improving the environment. with approximately 40% of the global market and many of the major destinations for international tourists being in developing countries.3 At the same time. There are plans to have minimum floor heights for new hotel buildings and hurricane shelters. ecotourism is starting to grow faster than general tourism. while other flood-resistance measures are being developed. developing countries are marketing tourism in order to earn foreign currency and create employment.8 Tourism ‘If you want to go on with this silly adventure it’s yours not mine. Consequently. tourism is among the world’s largest growth industries. The World Bank and other institutions have said that tourism can alleviate poverty and create employment for thousands of people in developing economies. In these situations. especially in island states where rising sea levels could be a huge challenge to tour operators or hotel owners. such as coral reefs or beautiful mountain resorts.2 Interestingly. Worldwide.’ Bilbo Baggins1 Tourism is climate dependent. The United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organization have produced a manual that outlines climate change adaptation methods for the global tourism industry. climate change represents a serious risk to the tourism boom. 125 . the tourism products are the ecosystems themselves.

Global warming and climate change generally are likely to have the most important consequences on the whole tourism industry and for tourists. For example. In order to arrive at these destinations and make a contribution to the economic development of a developing island economy. the problem is that in order to travel to these countries. The choice of holiday destinations will become matters of great interest to tourists. One most notable effect of this development was the depletion of forests to meet the growing demands of the tourists for firewood and timber for buildings. the introduction of microhydro power and kerosene as alternatives. Consequently. the World Tourism 126 Transient Caretakers .4 This means that the concept of creating employment through tourism in developing economies could. the most obvious method of transportation for tourists is air travel. water. from hotel to ecolodge or camp. in Nepal since 1950 tourism has resulted in the construction of hotels and lodges for a growing number of visitors in the Annapurna and Everest regions. While tourism is creating employment in developing countries. pollution. food.5 The movement toward sustainability in the travel and tourism industry took a significant leap forward in 1996 when three key international organisations: the World Travel and Tourism Council. not be sustainable – until the non-polluting aeroplane is developed. In short. in the next twenty years we could find tourists moving away from very hot Mediterranean beaches to more northern beaches. in itself. including reduced consumption of firewood by households. and other resources. and the most successful measure – the development of community forestry and the conversion of degraded land and pastures into firewood plantations. consumption of energy. which have not previously had summer tourists. The local communities initiated various measures to stop the destruction of the mountain forests. experts predict that long-haul aircraft travel for tourism purposes is not sustainable.Inland tourist destinations are being developed in order to reduce the demand on coastal destinations. for example. as there will be a move away from places where temperatures are too high. travellers are using a means of travel that is creating a huge carbon footprint and adding to the world’s pollution problems. A major challenge for the hotel and tourism industry is the environmental impact of every hospitality complex. on the ecosystem through disposal of waste.

Hotels have also started installing power plants in which they can recycle waste collected in the hotel in order to generate power and/or heat. Subsequently they also created the ‘Green Globe’. certification and performance-improvement programme based on the Agenda 21 principles. as well as the hot water required in the bathrooms. The resort’s Trash to Treasures Art Center recycles the resort’s waste materials into craft items. Guests are challenged to assist in improving the quality of life on Earth. reforestation programmes. The resort utilises low-flush composting toilets. and the implementation of energy-efficient practices are representing the evolving trend toward sustainability in the hotel business. the restaurant in the Damaí Lovina Tourism 127 . Huge amounts of detergent are used on a daily basis by hotels in the washing of linen. Similarly. cards are placed next to beds requesting guests to put the cards on the beds only when they want the linen changed. Many of them have started having separate rubbish bins in bedrooms.6 Most hotels around the world today have an eco-friendly approach in terms of the running of their establishments. Initiatives such as education programmes. ecosystem conservation and waste water and solid waste management. rain water catchers and solar-heated water to conserve water and energy and to minimise the footprint that the hotel and visitors leave on the island. Many establishments have embraced environmentally safe agricultural and household products. which is a benchmarking. cards are placed in the bathroom informing guests that towels will only be washed if left in the bathtub. eco-resorts. The Maho Bay Camp resort in the Caribbean opened in 1976 as the first ‘green hotel’ in the Caribbean. energy efficiency. management of fresh water resources. spring action faucets and showers. For example. Water-efficient showerheads and tap aerators have been fitted in most hotels and many establishments have replaced toilets with those with a minimum flushing capacity of 7 litres of water.Organization and the Earth Council jointly launched an action plan entitled ‘Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry: Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development’. so that guests can place plastic in one bin and paper in another. Hotels receive ‘Green Globe’ certification by addressing major environmental issues in key areas including: greenhouse emissions. For example. Some hotels use recycled water in the flushing of toilets.

9 This resort. as well as the fast depletion of valuable ecosystems that are offered as sightseeing attractions and tourist destinations by the hotel and tourism industry. food prices. such as using permaculture to reduce water consumption and increase crop health.10 These and other new developments in the hotel industry support the vision that in the long term the sustainability targets can be achieved only by changing the design of hotels to include the use of renewable local materials in the construction of new hotels. the first steps toward sustainability in the hotel business were made more than a decade ago with the development of the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. security and the energy crisis. The resort’s recycling efforts have also eliminated the need to send solid waste to a landfill seven hours away. and composting in lieu of using chemical fertilisers.8 In the Middle East. By practising sustainable farming. travel and tourism 128 Transient Caretakers . zero waste city. which is fully recycled and returned to its ground water source via a unique irrigation system. This luxury resort in Dubai pioneered environmentally friendly lodging. Hotels. Al Maha’s environmental focus is presented through the treatment of water. was built as a traditional Bedouin camp and embraces the indigenous culture.7 In Japan. and the future ‘Gateway Eco City’ at In Ras Al Khaimah – a development over 400 million square foot powered by cutting edge solar power and designed to be entirely sustainable. The resort. Masdar City. located within the 225-square-kilometre Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. solar panels to heat water. has set a precedent in the region on how to make ecology work for hospitality and was named by the National Geographic Society as one of the world’s best ecotourism models. But the challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industry are multiplying by the hour with rising concerns about water shortages. Indonesia. which produces 1 000 tonnes of recycled water daily from kitchen sewage to be utilised in gardens or staff lavatories. wildlife. Hotel New Otani has installed a compost plant and a water recycling plant. Its example is followed today by ambitious gigantic projects across the Middle East. desert habitat and environment of the region. which is managed by Emirates Hotels and Resorts. such as the world’s first zero carbon. sources 80% of its ingredients from its own organic garden and local farms. and installing energy-efficient LED lighting.Villas in Bali. the farm was able to reduce crop production costs by 90% and increase crop production by 20%.

leaving aside the question of the carbon footprint created in travelling to the destination.businesses in developing countries are exposed to maximum risk while having very limited resources. and are in maximum need of effective strategies and fast. As the case study that follows explores. some tour operators and game reserves in southern Africa have turned their attention to creating truly sustainable developments in developing countries. Tourism 129 . creative solutions.

and one of the largest privately owned game reserves in southern Africa.11 It boasts 21 kilometres of Limpopo River frontage and is currently 32 450 hectares in extent. The 4. and some of the oldest termite mounds on Earth (estimated to be millions of years old) are found here. black-maned lion and abundant antelope species. with herds of up to 300).5 kilometre-long Lipadi hill is in the centre of the Reserve and is a notable geological feature. led by the Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. leadwoods and scotias. The banks are lined with trees. with a 144 kilometre game fence. an abundance of aquatic birdlife and large populations of waterbuck. the Limpopo-Lipadi project won the prestigious ‘World’s Best Sustainable Development’ award in London. standing 300 metres above the surrounding plains with 100 kilometre wilderness views in all directions. The Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve was established and developed by Alan. The Limpopo River is one of the only pristine rivers in southern Africa.CASE STUDY The Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve Limpopo-Lipadi is a vast expanse of African wilderness in Tuli. The numerous tree species include many centuries-old baobabs. hyena. Botswana. What did those who run the project do to deserve this award? The Brundtland Commission. supporting a large population of crocodiles and family herds of hippos. In 2007. stated the following: A sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. who have extensive experience in conservation and game-reserve development. leopard. Gary and Robert Marneweck.12 130 Transient Caretakers . nyala and bushbuck. The area boasts a wealth of African plains wildlife including the wellknown large herds of Tuli elephants (the largest number of free-ranging elephants on privately owned land in the world. riverine wildlife and around 400 species of birds. It is being enlarged to 55 000 hectares on the Botswana side and another potential 20 000 hectares on the South African side – making it a trans-frontier park. cheetah.

the Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve development serves as a case study for sustainable development resulting in good business. human and economic goals in policies and activities. managed in a fixed-assets management system and then measured for sustainability. social. Tourism 131 . ❑ Equal opportunity and community participation/sustainable community. ❑ Conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity. measurable components that feed into the various projects and financial statements. There are a number of common principles in the achievement of sustainable development:13 ❑ Dealing transparently and systematically with risk. each with underlying. ❑ Recognising the global integration of localities. the nurturing of a next generation who wants to protect and share this heritage (thus ‘feeding’ the sustainability model). The governing principle is one of parallel care and respect for the ecosystem (the total ecosystem – environmental. political and economic) and for the people within and. The Limpopo-Lipadi sustainability model consists of seven defined cornerstones. and ❑ A commitment to best practice and good governance. as a pairing principle. uncertainty and irreversibility.True sustainability thus recognises the rights of future generations to raw materials and vital ecosystem services to be taken into account in any current development and decision making. ❑ Integrating environmental. sustainable development implies more than environmental issues – it also requires economic sustainability and socio-political sustainability. Governed by these definitions and principles. ❑ Ensuring intergenerational equity. ❑ Ensuring appropriate valuation. social. appreciation and restoration of nature. However. Ecosystem baselines are set based on the best research available.

❑ Understanding and constantly updating the carrying capacity of the land to ensure long-term sustainability. a minimum of 30 000 hectares to sustain two large prides of lion. for example. enjoying the ‘bush experience’ in their own way. Maximise shareholder and tourist experience This is the first cornerstone of the Limpopo-Lipadi sustainability model. Eco-friendly design and construction of the lodges and camps In keeping with this environmental management plan. It aims to provide a unique experience for shareholders and tourists to be part of the reserve. ❑ Managing the biodiversity and each of the ‘micro ecosystems’ within the reserve. ❑ Ongoing research and development with leading academic and conservation institutions to ensure that all baselines are aligned with the most ‘accurate’ information and knowledge in the field. 3. ❑ Re-introducing endangered species. 2. lodges and camps for guests are designed with the utmost care and attention to 132 Transient Caretakers . the maximum number of impala not to exceed around 4 000 animals. Unique approach to managing the reserve A very detailed and thoroughly researched environmental management plan serves as the daily operational manual for the development and management of the reserve: ❑ Measuring and minimising the carbon footprint. releasing the first rhinos into the wild in Tuli in 100 years. the water footprint and the waste footprint. and so on. equipped with knowledge and appreciation for the bush and participating in the protection of the great wilderness for future generations. for example. including the nurturing of the next generation in terms of conservation.The Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve 1.

001% of the reserve and the development on the Limpopo River is limited to less than 20% of the 21 kilometre river frontage. 4. Uniquely structured and managed financial model This model is in alignment with the environmental management plan and the operational cornerstones of the sustainability model. its water footprint and its waste footprint: ❑ The lodge and camp and infrastructure footprint/density is minimised to less than 0. that they are preserved during the construction of the lodges and the camps. but a wilderness that is part of an environment and people as it has been for hundreds of years and includes: Tourism 133 . archaeological site and other important contributor to the ecosystems in the construction areas of the reserve are surveyed to ensure. ❑ A R150 million trust fund (ensuring sustainability without levies required from shareholders). including: ❑ A fifteen-year cash flow forecast (ensuring sustainability).detail. and ❑ Income generation components without compromising the exclusivity or eco-sensitivity of the reserve. ensuring the minimisation of the reserve’s carbon footprint. amongst other things. ❑ Environmental audits in accordance with the environmental management plan are executed as an ongoing process during the development phase. Support and promotion of Botswana history and culture This ensures that Limpopo-Lipadi is not a ‘rich enclave’ in Botswana. ensuring that there is minimal impact on the local environment during and after construction. termite mound. ❑ Each tree. 5.

mapping. ❑ Working in close relation with the local landowners and communities in terms of participation in the development and its economic benefits. The best company to work for In terms of its employees. ❑ Facilitating a transfer of knowledge of the area to ensure harnessing all intellectual property for the benefit of the project’s long-term sustainability. ❑ Implement cutting-edge human resources policies. understanding and protecting archaeological sites. 6. Limpopo-Lipadi strives to: ❑ Provide dedicated and focused skills training and upliftment. 134 Transient Caretakers . ❑ Work in close alignment with Botswana government structures (including tribal structures) and requirements. ensuring that the next generation from the local communities becomes the next generation to manage and run the reserve. and ❑ Provide the best staff accommodation and facilities. and includes the following measures in its sustainability model: ❑ A world-class social responsibility programme to ensure the economic and socio-political integration required to ensure a sustainable development. and ❑ Writing a book on the history of the area. Enabling all stakeholders to benefit Limpopo-Lipadi seeks to enable all stakeholders to benefit from the development.The Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve ❑ Appreciating. ❑ Promoting Botswana and Africa at every opportunity. 7. ❑ Ensuring an understanding of the local (Setswana) language and history/culture.

The underlying assets that influence ecosystems. stakeholders and the underlying assets. stakeholders. and ❑ Maintaining a close relationship with local tribal leaders as well as councillors and government. and ❑ The relationships that exists between ecosystems. assets and events. All events that may impact on ecosystems.❑ Creating and supporting the local economy by outsourcing as many economic components and processes in support of the running of the reserve as possible. All stakeholders that impact on the ecosystems. The Limpopo-Lipadi sustainability model acknowledges the constant state of flux throughout the entire life cycle of ecosystems including: All ecosystems within the defined area. Tourism 135 . ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Adhering to the core principles as outlined above has ensured that the Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve can be seen as a truly successful sustainable development.


we wouldn’t neglect or damage our houses until they weren’t fit to live in. Will the immense power of global systems withstand the impact of humanity? . government and other institutions accountable for their actions and policies. and our economic growth. Each of us has a household and we need to look at what we are doing in our own right to contribute towards sustainable living and the future of the planet.. Why would we do that with our planet?’ Kathryn Sullivan1 Exercising our duty as transient caretakers of the Earth we live on is not merely a question of keeping business.’ says WWF International Director-General James Leape in the 137 . ‘Most of us are propping up our current lifestyles. We must recognise immediately what it means to be citizens of this planet. the resources and the lives of other people in different parts of the world. The view takes your breath away and fills you with childlike wonder .. As homeowners. the ecosystems. It means accepting our obligation to be stewards of the Earth’s life-giving capacities. but through the products we buy and the various actions we take... we also impact on the environment. It is important to keep in mind that with our choices of lifestyle we impact not only on the ecosystems’ functions and balance in the areas we live in.9 The Household ‘I first saw the Earth – the whole Earth – from the shuttle Challenger in 1984.

one step at a time.5 On average.. is able to and expected to make a contribution.6 ‘The world is currently struggling with the consequences of overvaluing its financial assets. The US and China have the largest national ecological footprints3 – ‘each US citizen requires an average of 9. shows striking facts about the citizens’ ecological and water footprints in different countries.24 million litres (about half an Olympic swimming pool) of water a year. says the report.48 million litres per person a year (US) to 619 000 litres per capita annually (Yemen) and to 2 500 litres (South Africa). ‘that caused by under-valuing the environmental assets that are the basis of all life and prosperity. the United States. [while] on the other end of the scale are countries such as Haiti and the Congo. income and other factors. but a more fundamental crisis looms ahead – an ecological credit crunch. and Kuwait have the largest national ecological footprints per person .2 ‘by drawing – and increasingly overdrawing – on the ecological capital of other parts of the world’. ‘it has the ways to live within the means of the planet.5 Planet Earths if the global population had US consumption patterns)’. It is understandable that depending on location. some households will be in a position to do more than others.4 global hectares (or nearly 4. with a low ecological footprint per person.’ Every household. ‘while Chinese citizens use on average 2. produced with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network (GFN).foreword to the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2008.1 global hectares per person (1 Planet Earth)’. but facing a future of degrading biocapacity from deforestation and increased demands from a rising population and export pressures.4 The report notes: The United Arab Emirates.’ concludes Leape. each person consumes 1. WWF’s Living Planet Report 2008.’ warns Leape.. but this varies from 2.’ The Living Planet Report findings and proposed measures should serve as signposts to what needs to be done. If you are living in urban America. ‘If humanity has the will. your environmental footprint will likely 138 Transient Caretakers .

The following suggestions will not only help to green your household. But all individuals should be looking at what measures they can take. the installation of solar panels and/or wind turbines for generating electricity would lower your dependency on or completely replace the conventional grid. New Mexico.7 By implementing the steps below. Choose double-panel glass windows. ❑ If you don’t have a home thermostat. Reduced household energy consumption is good for the home budget and for the planet (as it cuts CO2 emissions).be greater than if your home is in rural South Africa. close doors and windows to keep a room warm and use electric blankets instead of heaters. Develop the habit to switch off lights when they are not needed. The Household 139 . ❑ Adjust your home thermostat if you have one. a person would be able to shave off about 1 000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year in their household (based on calculations per average urban family of three):8 ❑ If it is an option. Open a window to create a natural. starting with the homes we live in and our daily household routines and choices. ‘You don’t need to have 24th-century solutions to solve 18th-century problems’. says Oru Bose. Doing simple things could reduce household energy costs by as much as 40% while resulting in significant carbon footprint reduction. Most of the 25 tonnes of CO2 emissions each American is responsible for each year come from the home. Energy Energy conservation should be first on the list of household priorities. Move it down a degree in winter and up a degree in summer and you’ll spare the air 500 pounds of CO2 – and save up to 15% on your energy bills. they last up to twenty times longer and consequently cost less in the long term. a sustainable-design architect in Santa Fe. We can do simple things. ❑ Use motion-sensor lamps for security lighting rather than having a light on all night. but will make it more efficient and less costly to run. ❑ Change the light bulbs – Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use about 65% less energy than regular ones and although they cost about 30% more. cooling breeze.

Old appliances should be replaced when possible with more energy-efficient models. According to the US Department of Energy. ❑ Roof awnings and overhangs can shade windows from the summer sun while still allowing the winter sun in. Reduce the pump operating time to only as long as is needed to keep the pool clean. when you are not using them. such as TVs. 40% of your electricity bill goes to keep the water in it hot all day and night. 140 Transient Caretakers . stove and washing machine to simple kitchen gadgets. 75% of all the electricity consumed in the home is standby power used to keep electronics running when those TVs. The average desktop computer. Insulating your ceiling makes your home up to 10 °C cooler in summer and 5 °C warmer in winter. Insulate the geyser and its pipes and install a timer on the electrical switch to ensure heating happens only at programmed hours. to only 63 kilograms a year. ❑ Where possible insulate with natural. ❑ Use the cold water tap whenever possible as the hot water tap uses energy by activating the geyser. ❑ Choose energy-efficient household appliances – from refrigerator. ❑ If you have a swimming pool. air and moisture leakage. A computer that is in use four hours a day and turned off the rest of the time would save about US$70 per year. ❑ Turn off electronic equipment. DVDs. saving up to 70% on energy bills. switch to solar heating for geysers. computers.❑ Control heat. the filter pump is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the home. monitors and stereos are ‘off’. stereos and computers. non-toxic materials. That little red standby light means they’re still using power – and that means a contribution to global warming. ❑ If you have an electric geyser or hot-water heater. Better still. consumes from 60–250 watts a day. Uninsulated homes lose 40% of heat through the roof. not including the monitor. ❑ Switch off your computer. such as reclaimed blue jeans and recycled cotton. Seal windows and doors. Switching it off would reduce the machine’s CO2 emissions by 83%. The carbon impact would be even greater.

* * * For many households in developing countries. By planting trees for harvesting. started a project that is creating small forestry plots for the farmers. at a small village near Mombasa. wood and agricultural waste continue to be the main source of energy. especially in rural areas. In some cases. households can keep the local ecosystems healthy and ensure a sustainable supply of wood. Wood burned for cooking. For example. so the families can have a long-term income. crop waste and animal dung) used in traditional stoves.9 Energy auditors can help you to pinpoint how your house is losing energy. at the end. burns a barely noticeable US$9 per year in a household electricity bill. Continuing support from the Aga Khan Foundation is making it possible for millions of trees to be planted and grown sustainably by the poor farming communities in Kenya.Many popular and seemingly harmless gadgets are in practice energy guzzlers: the digital photo-frame. householders need to take stock themselves of where and how they could reduce their homes’ energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. an always-on gadget. the families living in the village have. But the impact could be staggering. harvest the mature trees and sell them. These are grown sustainably as a source of both firewood and wood material. Where this kind of audit is not available. Kenya. heating and other purposes is one of the major factors contributing not only to deforestation (particularly through unsustainable harvesting around major urban areas) but also causing health problems. if every American family had one of these digital frames.10 Among the alternatives for rural households in Africa are solar cookers and improved stoves for the burning of wood and biomass. with support from the Aga Khan Development Network. it would take five medium-sized power plants just to keep those family photos rolling. Newly designed affordable biomass burning stoves can use half of the fuel (wood. the utility providers will do an energy audit for free. According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). and reduce harmful The Household 141 . Over a seven-year period the families can harvest branches from the trees and then. They will tell you the amount of power your household consumes and what you can do to reduce it.

emissions by as much as 80% – a significant percentage that is improving not only the air quality. You should know how much.14 Water Another important area to look at in your household is your water use and how you could conserve it. but the quality of life of the people who use the stoves. A leaking toilet can waste more than 60 000 litres of water per year. dishwashers and other appliances that are certified as water-efficient.’15 A running kitchen tap uses about 12 litres of water a minute. that works with poor. Currently biogas serves 1 million people in Nepal (4% of the population). where. Households with biogas plants have a greatly reduced need for burning fuelwood.11 SunFire Solutions is a solar cooker promotion and development agency based in Johannesburg. Everyone should do the following to conserve water:16 ❑ Fix every water leak. making significant savings on carbon emissions. ❑ Install dual-flush toilets and flow-restriction devices on taps and showers. Fixing a leaking tap or dripping pipe could save up to 200 litres of water a day. shower heads. 142 Transient Caretakers . South Africa. remote communities across the country to install solar cookers. ‘Imagine 900 1-litre milk cartons filled with water sitting on your doorstep each morning. how and why you use water in your home. has helped a large number of low-income rural households to make biogas technology more affordable and accessible. In Nepal alone more than 150 000 domestic biogas plants have been installed with the support of the Biogas Sector Partnership Program Nepal (BSP-Nepal).13 The programme. which provides technical support as well as a subsidy for families to build biogas plants in rural areas. The plants use cattle manure to provide biogas for cooking and lighting. that’s how much water is used at home each day by the average Australian family. SunFire has installed more than seventy parabolic solar cookers in Masihambisane as part of an off-grid electrification pilot project. Astonishingly. For example. ❑ Use washing machines.12 The use of cattle dung to generate biogas is well known in the Indian subcontinent.

Did you know that your morning cup of coffee actually uses 140 litres The Household 143 . collect and reuse the so-called grey water from your home on your garden. etc. Sweden. Three kilometres of cycling can purify an entire tank – and the purifier can also be powered manually. Residents of the Gebers Housing Project in Stockholm. baths and basins.❑ Be mindful of letting clean water flow unused into a drain: turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. is low-water sanitation. Grey water is collected from the bath. ❑ You can reduce water evaporation by covering your swimming pool when you are not using it. sink and washing machine (kitchen water is generally regarded as too fatty for use in the garden). and the remainder is recycled into a compost by micro-organisms in a compost bin.17 One of the most striking examples of the complexity of the impact our decisions as consumers have on the planet’s most precious resources is the calculation of the water footprint of various products by the Water Footprint Network. and rides home. In developing countries many households don’t have access to water and millions of rural women in Tanzania. walk many hours each day to fetch water – often carried on their heads – that is unsafe to drink. which is used as a liquid farm fertiliser. are demonstrating a system that operates like a garden composter. ❑ Do not use water hoses for cleaning cars. The act of pedalling purifies the water by moving it through a carbon filter and into a separate clean tank. driveways. ❑ Collect rain water with gutters running into a tank and thereafter use in the garden. ❑ When possible. pathways. shower. fills an attached tank with about 77 litres of impure water. and all over Africa. For the most enthusiastic protectors of our planet’s precious water resources one of the solutions. Such technology is proving to be safe and functional even in dense cities and suburbs. One innovative solution could be a tricycle designed by a firm in California to address this problem. rinsing vegetables or cleaning sinks. ❑ Take short showers rather than baths. which could become a common trend in the future. The cyclist rides to the water source. The system first separates excrement from urine. shaving.

so that a cup of coffee costs 140 litres of water. Animal products almost always have a higher embedded water content than crop products because it takes huge quantities of water to grow feed. Embedded water. equivalent to 100 litres of water.18 Water is hidden in all that we buy and use: in our cars. ❑ It takes 2 900 litres to produce a cotton T-shirt – and that’s before you’ve put it in the washing machine. Assuming that a standard cup of coffee is 125 ml. or water footprint.19 Industrial products. Cane sugar consumes 3. ❑ The average person uses 70 grams of sugar per day.7% of the world’s water used for crop cultivation goes on cotton. Drinking tea instead of coffee would save a lot of water.of water? According to the Water Footprint Network’s calculator: It costs about 21 000 litres of water to grow. International trade in coffee products is responsible for 80 billion cubic meters of virtual water exports. which is about 6% of the international virtual water flows in the world. and in our sandwiches.4% of the water used for crops worldwide.20 144 Transient Caretakers . refers to the amount of water necessary to produce a product. Meat. For a standard cup of coffee we require 7 grams of roasted coffee. For a standard cup of tea of 250 ml we require 30 litres of water. ❑ A single microchip may have 32 litres of water embedded in it. package and ship 1 kg of roasted coffee. clothing and beverages also contain embedded water: ❑ It takes 75 litres of water to produce a 250 millilitre glass of beer – most of it used in growing the barley. Among all the crop and livestock products coffee stands at the top position in the list of global virtual water flows. The industry uses up to 1 150 litres of water per person per day. milk. leather and other livestock products account for 23% of global water use in agriculture. our clothing. About 3. produce. we thus need more than 1 100 drops of water for producing one drop of coffee.

the food we eat. so recycling and reusing the material is a must.Global concern over climate change has resulted in a better understanding of embedded energy and carbon footprints. Cotton accounts for less than 3% of farmed land globally. Our consumption in our home country could well be draining lakes. But we can easily and significantly reduce our water footprints by making wiser decisions as consumers. Our direct water use has a massive carbon footprint due to pumping. Doesn’t all this make you think … while drinking your morning cup of coffee? Sustainable choices Generally speaking. and other traditional fuels. The fact is that a lot of energy is embedded in the water we drink and use in our households. It is international trade that makes all water everywhere a resource shared by all. not just on the place we live.21 Choosing renewable energy over traditional fuels will cut both your carbon and water footprints. plus it takes energy to produce them and many are not biodegradable. our consumption has effects on water resources all over the world. However. treating and heating. Many synthetic textiles are made with petroleum products – they often cause allergies. As we import cotton and other products from Egypt. the car we drive and the products and services we purchase should meet the simple criteria of harming the environment as little as possible and improving the health of our bodies. but consumes about a quarter of the pesticides when not organically grown. rivers and aquifers in other nations. Can we do the right things for our planet and still enjoy a comfortable The Household 145 . In addition. especially ones with increasing water shortages. and both are related to climate change. because along with the products that we import we are also ‘importing’ embedded water. contains amounts of embedded water higher than the water footprint of the renewable energy carriers. Thus the water of the river running through our town is shared by the world when it is used to make products for export. We can buy water efficient goods that are made locally and not shipped from far away countries. Water and energy are linked. we also draw on the Nile River’s waters. electricity from gas.

Wear them extensively and when you are finished with each piece of clothing or pair of shoes. Rather support your local farmers – organic farming keeps chemicals out of the soil and you. They are typically made of polyethylene and can take up to 1 000 years to bio-degrade in landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases. 2. Choose eco-versions of household cleaners. Eat local – buy your food at the local supermarket to avoid unnecessary pollution-causing transportation. 4. 6. Look at the tags and labels of the products you buy – natural or organic materials and natural/vegetable dyes are now competing with the synthetic ones in terms of the look and durability of the clothes and shoes made from them. plus they do not have the risk of allowing toxic chemicals into the water supply. 5. Avoid dry-cleaning where possible. Drive a fuel-efficient car – hybrids run on fuel and electricity and can provide 40–80% more miles per gallon or kilometres per litre. Choose that which lasts – invest mindfully in clothes and shoes. Recycle and reuse – glass. 3. plastics. Say no to plastic bags – every year more than 500 billion plastic bags are distributed and less than 3% of those bags are recycled. donate them to a worthwhile cause. 7. Pick food that is good for you and for the planet. such as Hospice (in South Africa) or Dress for Success (a non-profit organisation that operates in over 75 cities worldwide). Which is 146 Transient Caretakers . Make any car greener by keeping the tyres properly inflated and ensure regular oil changes. take public transportation or walk to your destination. 8. 9.lifestyle? Here are ten must-dos for changing our daily habits and purchasing choices towards improving the quality of life on our planet:22 1. detergents and other cleaning supplies to avoid toxic chemicals from entering water systems. metal and paper. cycle. The number of beauty products on the market that are organic and/or based on natural ingredients is growing – look for labels with at least a few natural ingredients instead of a long list of chemicals. fiscally and otherwise. Rather than driving a car.

The Household 147 . shipping and selling livestock. waste or reuse resources. the decisions we make regarding what food we eat. E. Schumacher praised that philosophy in this way in Small is Beautiful. Consume less – live simply. businesses and governments – create paths to reduce or increase carbon emissions. 10.23 Global meat production is expected to double between 2001 and 2050. Given the amount of energy consumed in raising.’ Or. ‘Amazingly. ‘You are what you eat!’24 The way we run our households. As transient caretakers we should be aware that the way we organise our homes and our everyday activities can make a real difference to our lives and to the future of our planet.F.responsible for more global warming: your car or your hamburger for dinner? The international meat industry generates roughly 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – even more than transportation – according to a 2008 report from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization. a T-bone steak is like a gas-guzzling SUV on a plate. When asked. follow the older path to reducing our impact on the planet. what car we drive and what services and products we purchase – along with scientists. pollute or maintain a clean and healthy environment. small means leading to extraordinarily satisfying results.


not affected by schedules or commitments. ‘Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf’1 People’s passion for gardening is often linked to the calming and soothing effect that the patient growth of a plant or flower. doing and interacting). participation. leisure. having. gardening all over the world has increased in popularity more than any other pastime. But are people tending to their gardens in a truly responsible way? Gardeners are caretakers empowered to create and control the 149 . and a 10% increase since the mid-1980s. protection.3 That is the highest level of participation seen in the past years. And the crimson maples Of autumn . affection.10 The Garden ‘My legacy – What will it be? Flowers in spring. has on them amidst the hectic rushing around that makes up the rest of their lives. In the last few years. understanding. A research project in Australia established that gardens have the potential to satisfy nine basic human needs (subsistence..2 The US National Gardening Association reported that eight out of ten US households (or 85 million households) participated in one or more types of do-it-yourself indoor and outdoor lawn and garden activities in 2002. The cuckoo in summer. creation.. Ryokan. identity and freedom) across four existential states (being.

Reduce the amount of paved area on your site Paving collects heat in summer and does not cool itself through evaporation like planted areas do. almost the reverse is true with 55% of the storm water running off. The following recommendations from sustainable gardening experts can help you to design your outdoor space in a more sustainable way. Secondly. 50% infiltrates into the ground and 40% is evapo-transpirated. In a forest. and their associated cost savings.microcosm of their gardens. understand the site where you plan to create your garden and/ or outdoor space. towns and the surrounding environment. leave as many plants on site as possible. enhancing these living systems through thoughtful additions and transformations. How do we achieve this? Firstly. and how sun. Designing a sustainable garden A sustainable integrated design of our indoor and outdoor space is essential for achieving a harmonious and comfortable living environment for our families. Add deciduous and evergreen trees strategically for maximum climate control In the northern hemisphere. evergreens should be placed on the north 150 Transient Caretakers . What it offers. what lives there. if we ensure that they are living systems integrated into and in harmony with nature. 15% infiltrating into the ground and 30% evapo-transpirated. If we design and tend to our gardens in a sustainable manner. 2. In a built environment. combined with substantial energy and water efficiencies.4 1. wind and water flow across the area are central to using it in a meaningful way. we can contribute not only to the longer and healthier lives of our plants. and thus are able to trigger positive or negative impacts on them and on the environment. to the health and balance of our homes. but to our own health and longevity. that is. familiarise yourself with the existing soil and plants on your site and work with them. To maintain the natural balance. 10% of storm water hits the ground and runs off the surface.

Rain gardens are designed in lowlying areas with specific layers of soil and organic mulch. as well as adding an aesthetic and welcoming look to your home. such as thyme. the amount of water used for irrigation. Maximise on-site storm water management through landscaping A ‘rain garden’ can transform roof run-off into a valuable irrigation source and a playground of sound. in the northern hemisphere. Reduce the amount of lawn Having less lawn will help to reduce water run-off.side and deciduous trees on the south side of a house to create shaded outdoor areas where it might get too hot in summer and open south-facing sunny outdoor areas for winter use. which naturally filter rain water over the days following a storm. parking areas. In addition. plant a dense hedge or trees on the west side of a house to provide shade and deflect westerly winds in the winter. Where traditional storm drains carry storm water run-off directly to local streams and rivers. the more water gets evaporated and lost instead of watering your garden. spaced cobblestones. rain gardens filter and reuse this water. pollution produced from mowers and edgers. and money spent on maintenance. into the edges of walkways and patios. Solid concrete and asphalt driveways can be replaced with gravel. 5. The reverse is true in the southern hemisphere. 3. the waste generated from clippings. reducing storm water The Garden 151 . A loose-foliage tree planted on the east side of the house allows some protection from the sun in summer but lets in winter sun. incorporate planting beds and creeping ground covers. Reduce the surfaces of driveways. Design green areas between hard surfaces and building edges. walk ways and patios The higher the amount of run-off water. pollution from fertilisers and pesticides. 4. Natural climate control can translate into a financial benefit by a reduction of up to 10% on your utility bills. All of these measures will slow down the flow of water and allow it to settle into the ground. bricks and turf stones.

add mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) to the water. will enable frogs and dragonflies to breed. 6. Terrace slopes Terraced areas are not only aesthetically appealing. a bird bath or pebble fountain will be a good substitute and would provide a place for birds and animals to drink. Green roofs also help to absorb air pollution. Create a variety of suitable habitats for wildlife in your garden Nesting boxes and bat boxes provide great habitats. 9. If mosquitoes are a concern. 8. These small fish eat mosquito larvae immediately upon hatching from eggs. enhance biodiversity and provide a habitat for birds. but they slow water movement and create more surface area. which helps to reduce water run-off and erosion. If a pond is not practical. A green roof also helps to protect the roof surface from harmful UV sun rays and severe weather. Ponds In addition to their aesthetic benefits. A green roof limits the amount of heat emitted into the atmosphere and. a bird table with 152 Transient Caretakers . Green roofs Designing a green roof simply means adding grass and plants directly to the roof surface or installing plants in clay or plastic pots. ponds retain water and attract a wide variety of wildlife. A pond. it allows it to evaporate naturally into the environment and the ground water table at a slow and steady rate. 7. They require no feeding and care is limited to protecting them from garden sprays and from chlorine or other chemicals used to clean the pond. by holding storm water where it falls. They require little maintenance once established and are ideal wildlife habitats. it acts as a natural insulator.pollution. which reduces energy consumption and absorbs noise pollution and sunlight rather than reflecting them. ideally without fish.

monkey nuts and seeds will attract more species of birds into the garden. A trellis or pergola. For African livelihoods. pesticides since they are better resistant to local insects. there are as many variations of gardens as there are local cultures worldwide. in very densely populated settlements. One of the major problems associated with using non-indigenous plant species is that they can outcompete and/or smother indigenous plants. scented climbers will add height and interest in the garden and provide extra perching spots for birds. trained with colourful. materials and fuel in developing countries. fibre. have distinguished cultural character. Indigenous plants require less water because they are adapted to the climate. if any. for example. In Africa. as well as for creatures such as hedgehogs. * * * Traditional home gardens are in harmony with the specific local climate and natural conditions. A stack of logs makes a good habitat for mini-beasts. home gardens are strategic insurance against total crop failure from drought or disease. such as ivy. Use indigenous plants instead of ornamentals Indigenous plants have co-evolved with animals. In Indonesia. gardens often tend to be simpler and smaller – a few fruit trees and vegetables such as amaranth and okra – and combined tree gardens and livestock are especially important. Historically gardens have played a central role for securing food. and have become very important for conserving indigenous domesticated and semi-wild edible and useful plants. fungi and microbes to form a complex network of relationships. home gardens tend to be most important for the poor and people vulnerable to food insecurity.5 However.several types of food such as fruit. 10. to cover fences and provide a nesting place for birds. In this respect a home garden can be defined as a small-scale farming system on the area of land around a family home. The Garden 153 . The importance of indigenous plants is that they are best suited to perform tasks such as manufacturing oxygen and filtering impurities from our water. mice or frogs. These plants are the foundation of native ecosystems. and they need few. Grow some climbing plants. In the current economic climate.

plant residues feed fish. for example. Nutritious greens.gardens are managed more intensely by poor farmers than by rich ones. health clinics and supportive land-use regulations’. elderly people and unemployed people. In many parts of Asia. The FAO points out that the basic concept of home gardening as a strategy for resolving the food crisis is the opposite of a relief food grant approach. on apartment balconies. Chile and many other parts of the world. and can be easily watered and fertilised with household wastes. schools. Outdoor kitchen gardens are especially common in Nepal. signs outside public toilets encourage passers-by to stop and make a deposit. Located near the family kitchen. contributing about 25% of their household income. herbs and spices. It requires participation in the sense that people work for themselves – which they can do. In support of small gardening development as a factor for the creation of sustainable livelihoods.7 Urban gardens have spread worldwide with increasing urbanisation. spices and medicinal plants are essential and wild vegetables are regularly grown for home consumption.6 In Nepal and Bhutan. In Vietnam and parts of China. through research. pond weed provides animal feed. pond water is used for irrigation and pond mud is used for soil dressing. which is processed and purchased by local gardeners. the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) proposes that ‘governments should provide basic policy and support services. Animal and human wastes feed the garden and pond. In some Chinese cities. beans and other plants can be picked within a few steps from the house to add to meals. being forbidden to trellis beans from the balconies of state housing-project homes. for example. along drains and roads and in temporarily vacant lots. migrants.8 154 Transient Caretakers . properly processed human waste is a valuable garden resource. provided they are not denied access to certain productive resources and advice or hampered by policy. they can be established at little or no cost. the vegetable-animal-fishpond garden relies on recycling residues. fast-growing vegetables. The proximity of buyers provides a good incentive and can stabilise livelihoods. They flourish even on impossibly small patches of soil: near houses. The poorest sectors of society are often the gardeners: recent refugees.

pesticides. The organisation’s website contains listings of a variety of garden supply outlets. including land-use management and food security through permaculture. mulch.9 As a gardener and transient caretaker whose purchase decisions influenced the impact of the markets on the environment. managing and promoting sustainable greening programmes. US consumers alone spent a total of US$37.Growing a sustainable garden The way you tend to your garden and outdoor space as well as your selection of the right plants or seeds. It was formed in 1990 to tackle South Africa’s environmental challenges and since then has grown considerably. irrigation methods and equipment. more importantly. what did you spend your gardening money on? Think back on your garden purchases over the past year – all the seeds. did any of them bring negative impacts instead of benefits? * * * Food and Trees for Africa is a non-profit greening NGO. Compost Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost.7 billion on their lawns and gardens. fertilisers.11 1. could help you to improve the health of your garden and minimise any negative impact on the environment. By composting your organic garden The Garden 155 . combined with careful planning and good gardening habits. How well did they meet your and your garden’s needs and.10 Top ten gardening tips The following simple techniques and solutions. developing. Nurseries and gardening stores stock their shelves with products that claim to be indispensable for sustaining your garden’s health and growth. In 2002. fertilisers and pesticides you have bought. can ensure that your garden is interconnected with nature and sustains its environmental balance. which is an average of $444 per household.

Types of composting include: ❑ Backyard composting: A balance of browns (fallen leaves or straw) and greens (grass clippings and food scraps) are used to make compost in a compost pile or in a composter. straw. old hessianbacked woollen carpet and cardboard. coarse compost. which help to improve the quality of the soil. Using compost on plants helps to destroy plant diseases and weed seeds. Harvest. by bonding to them so that plants can’t take them up. You can buy ready-made composters or build your own. while at the same time reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill sites. retain and use water wisely There are a number of methods to employ in using water wisely: ❑ Apply water-conserving landscape technologies – drip-irrigation supplies water through small. such as cadmium and lead. ❑ Worm composting (vermicomposting): If you have a tiny yard or live in an apartment or have an abundance of food scraps. Compost added to soil increases resistance to erosion and water-holding capacity and adds micro-organisms. Use mulch Cover soil with a 7–12 centimetre (3–5 inch) layer of mulch to help conserve water by reducing evaporation as well as to suppress weeds and to retain moisture and heat in the soil and protect plant roots. ❑ Grass cycling: If you have grass clippings and don’t want to use them in a compost pile you can leave them on the lawn to decompose. this type of composting is for you. Suitable materials for mulch are chipped bark. 2. 3. perforated underground pipes that get water near plant roots rather than on the surface where it can 156 Transient Caretakers . earthworms and insects. It also helps to neutralise toxins and metals.and kitchen waste you are returning nutrients back into the soil in order for the cycle of life to continue. herbicides and fungicides. thereby reducing the need for costly and toxic pesticides.

tanks or cisterns to be used for future irrigation. 4. shrub and groundcover layers. rain water can be stored in barrels. plant roots will help to hold the soil in place and increase the rate of infiltration. create habitats for indigenous species of bird and animal life and do not require pesticides for maintenance. 5. such as onion bags. but also environmentally poisonous. Try water-wise pot plants Utilise structural soil. Use perennial instead of annual plants. The Garden 157 . Layer and mass your plants to replicate the natural plant configuration: canopy. Reduce the amount of lawn on a site – it will help to reduce water run-off and the amount of water used for irrigation. Put a layer of geotextile material or plastic netting. in plastic or clay pots. Styrofoam packing peanuts.❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ evaporate. understorey. Group plants with similar water needs together. Harvest and use rain water in your garden – instead of directing roof run-off into drains. In addition. between the packing peanuts and the soil to keep the soil from slipping through the drainage material. gutters. Use indigenous plants Indigenous or native plants are drought-resistant. make a lightweight drainage material when placed at the bottom of the pots. Reliance on pesticides is not only expensive. a non-biodegradable material. Lawns are more resilient to drought if allowed to grow a little longer. which is lighter weight than top soil. downspouts and into the sewer system. thereby reducing erosion and preventing sediments from finding their way into waterways. The benefits of vertical layering are that the layers of foliage slow the fall of rain onto the Earth’s surface. moisture sensors detect when irrigation is necessary. Add water retention crystals to the potting soil to help retain moisture in the soil. shutting it off when plants do not need water. Watering in the evening reduces the amount of water lost by evaporation.

Instead of using these types of products: ❑ Try trapping slugs and snails in water or beer-filled cups sunk into the ground or use physical barriers. Plant a kitchen garden Vegetables. which eat aphids. ammonia and beer. A broken pot can be a toad house. Paintstirring sticks and old forks can be used to display vegetable seed packets. basil repels ants. ❑ Encourage the natural enemies of garden pests. such as egg shells or gravel. such as ladybirds. 8. ❑ Other simple techniques include planting companion plants to attract beneficial insects. weedkillers and fertilisers Products such as pesticides. Reuse and recycle Items that are normally thrown away can be used in the garden. 7. 9. Practise crop rotation to keep it disease-free Experiment with companion planting. Nasturtiums and marigolds deter white fly and greenfly. 158 Transient Caretakers . such as borax. Avoid using pesticides. introducing beneficial insects to your garden or making your own pesticides from ingredients you may already have on hand. herbs and flowers mixed in colourful and layered arrangements in your garden look naturally beautiful and bring home-grown food to your table all year round. You can make your garden fun and whimsical and a joy to visit. weedkillers and fertilisers can contain chemicals that are harmful to wildlife and could pollute nearby water sources. An old chair or table can hold container plants.6. ❑ Nitrogen-fixing plants make nitrogen in the soil available to plants and thereby reduce the need for fertiliser. ❑ Weed by hand and hoe regularly to keep weeds down.

Whatever the size of your garden. Check that the wood you use in the garden comes from a well-managed. try to make choices that are best for the natural surroundings as well as for your own health and well-being. Alternatively. The Garden 159 . Think carefully about the origin of anything you buy for your garden Ensure that plants come from cultivated stock and that the use of materials such as potting compost does not put a habitat under threat. you could consider reusing railway sleepers or floorboards. renewable source. Timber fencing and other woodwork should be treated with environmentally friendly preservative.10.


’ Edward Abbey1 As caretakers of the planet. 161 . the accumulation of waste materials. especially when powered by electricity. Sea and inland waterway transport are together 11% and railways (freight and passenger) 2% of total emissions. The transport sector as a whole (in urban and rural areas. road transport at a global level accounts for around 70% of emissions and aviation for 12%. there is land pollution and the overuse of land for roads. the average amount of pollution that water transport releases per passenger per kilometre is many times lower compared to air and road transport. rivers and lakes. Of these. Currently more than 95% of the energy consumed by global transport consists of oil-based fuels used in internal combustion engines. making sustainable decisions about travelling and ways to transport goods are particularly significant given the impact that transport has on our environment. air and water transportation) generates about 15–18% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Railway transport. In addition.11 Transportation ‘Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles. as well as health and public safety risks. High energy use and air pollution contributing to global warming are only two of the problems associated with motor-engine transportation. railway. is the least polluting. including road. the pollution of water resources.2 Although passenger and cargo ships are associated with oil spills and the accidental release of other toxic substances into oceans.

as well as a major source of waste – from motor oils to motor graveyards filled with millions of rusting cars. rising oil prices and concerns of global warming and environmental degradation. The world’s total population of road motor vehicles is now over 800 million and has evolved as the main polluter and contributor to global warming. we can trigger changes and influence the speed with which. alternative fuel vehicles made of recyclable and reusable materials would integrate as elements in the current transportation systems to meet particular freight and passenger transport demands. Maintain safety. motor vehicles have been a key factor of economic growth and cultural development as cars and trucks have become the main providers of businessto-business services and have ensured personal access to services and 162 Transient Caretakers . We should start with the cars we drive. On the positive side. metal and plastic parts and tyres. * * * Through our daily choices of transport. in the short term. Increase the efficiency of people and cargo movement. In the longer term.Current transportation systems are already undergoing a transition driven by growing transportation demands in developing countries. Reward low energy and low/no carbon-emitting vehicles. taxes and tolls to favour these changes. Discourage development that separates workers from their places of work. our choices influence the pace at which new sustainable transportation systems evolve and replace the existing ones. The ultimate goal should be a radical change towards more sustainable models that: Reduce pollution and waste. and ❑ Harmonise vehicle licence fees. ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Individuals should use their votes as consumers and investors (both direct and indirect) to support the types of transportation with the least environmentally damaging impact and should ensure that they use transport in a more sustainable manner.

providing unheard-of mobility for the masses. In the long term. the current EV models are still not designed for long journeys. we should change to a car with a smaller engine. of a small car that is the price of a laptop computer. Transportation 163 . the 200-mile range Lotus-based roadster and the Canadian two-seater ZENN – are much closer in terms of performance and looks to ‘real’ sedans than to the original EV prototype – the golf cart. create a greater demand for oil and have the effect of greater global warming and increased road fatalities.4 And with the launch. Between 2004 and 2008 India’s car population grew at about 12% per annum and China’s at 20% a year. Pachauri told Newsweek. this is a temporary solution of questionable value. Today’s electrical cars (EVs) – such as the four-door Miles from China. a solar-powered car. They cost about one-tenth what an average car costs to operate and are best for urban drivers. in India. thus releasing about 64% less CO2 emissions (CO2 grams per mile) compared to a vehicle with a conventional internal combustion engine. from car manufacturers such as Honda or Toyota. ‘Even if they [small cars] are very clean cars. mountains of rusting metal and the explosive increase in car-produced greenhouse gases. However. In the longer term. What actions can we take as caretakers of the planet to prevent global traffic gridlocks.3 with the trend looking set to continue.’ the Indian climatologist and Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.5 But the ultimate goal of the future should be a truly ‘zero emissions’ vehicle. collectively [they] would lead to emissions that would add to local pollution. for example. the next car we buy should be a hybrid. This would be based on the newest and boldest technical innovations in transportation. a hydrogen-powered or potentially air-powered car (the first such prototype has been developed by Tata Motors). and still enjoy the comfort and convenience provided by our cars? As a first step. the scale of accumulated negative impacts from smallengined cars would increase traffic congestion.jobs in communities. The popular Toyota Prius has a gasoline-powered combustion engine aided by an electric motor and the vehicle switches from gasoline to electrical power. Rajendra K.

and early twentieth-century inventor. as of today. with a US$109 000 price tag). particularly. walking are the most sustainable ways of travelling. Individuals must let car manufacturers know that they will only buy cars that produce minimal greenhouse gas emissions. then 164 Transient Caretakers . where any leaking of these products can lead to the contamination of soil and ground water. the late nineteenth. Currently the target for Europe is about 85% recycled and reused materials by weight. Whenever possible. there is a non-recyclable amount of approximately 2 million tonnes of hazardous waste. These modes of transport require very little use of the planet’s resources and they are both fuelled by food. * * * But if we want to approach the problems associated with car driving head on.A large step towards what the electrical car of the future might look like was made in San Francisco by Martin Eberhard. If a journey is too long to be completed by foot or by cycling. and many say that the launch of the sleek electric Roadster Tesla (top speed 125 miles per hour and 0–60 in 3. contaminated with heavy metals. cyclists and other users of non-motorised transport. only 60–70% are collected).7 Every year in the European Community.6 The car made its debut on 19 July 2006 in Santa Monica. When buying a vehicle. a renewable source of energy.9 seconds. plasticisers and hazardous oils. we should walk or cycle – biking and. in their efforts to provide appropriate infrastructure and basic services for pedestrians. select one that provides a free take-back route by the manufacturer to reuse parts and has high end-of-life car recycling and reuse targets. could change the world of the electrical car as we know it. City authorities should be supported. and encouraged.8 Most of this is disposed of in landfills. end-of-life vehicles generate between 8 million and 9 million tonnes of waste. named for Nikola Tesla. In addition to the recyclable metal and reusable parts (of which. we should avoid using cars and look for other more sustainable means of transportation. Mark Tarpenning and Elon Musk. and are recyclable or use mostly recyclable and reusable materials. polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.

Air and road travel should be our last choice. tram or underground train. With several hundred cars and 50 000 members. ❑ Infrastructure development. and ❑ Socio-economic incentives such as car-pool lanes. car-sharing programmes are based on membership use of a number of collectively owned cars. bus. should be our preferred choice rather than driving. such as minibus taxi. such as metrorail. bus. We should demand the inclusion of sustainable transportation aspects in the development plans for the cities we live in. our trip should be planned in a way that creates minimum possible CO2 emissions. car-pooling or lift clubs provide a way to lessen costs and limit environmental impact. and are becoming popular in many European and US cities. When there is a need to travel long distances and/or overseas. minibus and shared taxi systems. affordability and accessibility by everyone in the community. An economical and eco-friendly alternative to private car ownership. Even though public transport emits CO2 and other harmful gases into the environment. Investigate the possibility of offsetting your transportation/travel emissions – often ways to do this are offered through the ticket purchase offices and online by travel companies. train. only for destinations that cannot be reached by railroad. including at a minimum: ❑ Land-use zoning such as bike paths or truck-free neighbourhoods. ease of transfer. tram. suburban rail. we should demand that our local councils and city authorities improve urban transportation so that we use less individual transport. and road transportation should be chosen Transportation 165 . These elements contribute most effectively when the services offered to the public are integrated in a way that ensures physical connectivity between people. As consumers and citizens. as a first option we should send our shipments by train and/or water transportation as opposed to air transport. In our business and personal choices of cargo shipments. the amount emitted per person is significantly reduced when there are many people in a single vehicle.using a form of public transport. the Philadelphia-based car-share programme PhilliCar Share is the largest regional car-sharing organisation in the world. Where such a formal arrangement does not exist.

each weighing only 80 kilograms (as opposed to a tonne or more for most delivery vans) and capable of transporting about 180 kilograms of merchandise. generational and ethnic population groups are treated fairly for the benefits and costs of transportation services. goods and services. One example is the truck-sized cargo bike that is gaining popularity in France for frequent small deliveries of merchandise and supplies to stores and other businesses located in congested urban areas over distances of up to 30 kilometres. ❑ Cost accounting: There must be full accountability of the cost of the use of transportation facilities and services – each person must pay an equitable share.9 As transient caretakers of the planet. ❑ Health and safety: The transportation system should be safe and healthy for the citizens of a community. ❑ Equity: Diverse social.only for shorter distances. regional. La Petite Reine makes some 2 500 non-polluting deliveries every day for clients including DHL. ones that have a minimal effect on the environment and meet the following criteria:10 ❑ Accessibility: People are able to access and communicate with other people. French company La Petite Reine maintains a fleet of about 60 cargocycles. ❑ Individual responsibility: All individuals should demonstrate responsible behaviour in their day-to-day choices of personal movement and consumption. ecological balance and biodiversity must be preserved. ❑ Land and resource use: Natural resources must be preserved for biodiversity and vital habitat. ColiPoste and Monoprix. ❑ Pollution prevention: Global climate. * * * Cities around the world are working on different strategies for ensuring sustainable transportation systems that can improve the quality of life of 166 Transient Caretakers . places. Creativity and imagination are resulting in the development of various cargo solutions adapted to different business needs and transportation conditions. it is our duty to make choices and to push for more sustainable transport and transportation systems.

pedestrian areas and public plazas. The finalists for the 2009 International Award for Sustainable Transportation have provided creative examples of smart transportation system solutions:11 ❑ In January 2008. PlaNYC 2030. The city has embraced biking and walking as investment-worthy transportation alternatives. ❑ Istanbul has moved quickly to open Metrobus. Mexico City’s bus rapid transit system. which is designed to restrict access to the central area of the city by charging the most heavily polluting vehicles. Eje 4. absorb the pressures from population growth. Sunday Closing – Paseo Domincal – was initiated. traffic lanes and parking spots away from cars and gave it back to the public for bike lanes. Milan introduced the Ecopass. was expanded and the city inaugurated the second line. The system is also integrated with the underground metro and existing bus services. certain aspects of Mayor Bloomberg’s long-term sustainability vision. including the requirement for automobile owners to leave their vehicles at home on one day each week.their citizens. which closes major avenues in the city from 8:00 a. resulting in getting 800 000 vehicles off the streets every day. ❑ In New York City. BikeMi. in 2008. This is the first urban environmental policy worldwide in the transport sector based on the European Union’s ‘polluter pays’ principle. Milan also has a bike share programme. Metrobus. In 2008 the city added a new line to the metro system and two new lines for the bus rapid transit system. have been implemented. The government has mandated fuel standards which permit 50 parts per million of sulphur in gasoline and diesel. El Plan Verde. ❑ Beijing is implementing vehicle restrictions. one of the most effective bus rapid transit systems in the world. As a part of it. every Sunday. and reduce the carbon footprint of the city.m. better than the traditional car-oriented mobility model. It now carries 450 000 passengers a day over 43 kilometres (about 27 miles) of segregated busway. with 1 300 bikes and 103 stations. Transportation 167 . ❑ Mexico City has implemented a comprehensive sustainable transport and development agenda. to 2:00 p.m. the city took 49 acres of road space.

168 Transient Caretakers . affordability. and policies supporting sustainable transportation models are essential to ensure the critical balance between low environmental impact. especially at a local level.A combination of informed personal choices and government interventions. accessibility and usability.

such as access to schools. Lagos. timber and steel. worldwide. the social and economic benefits of urbanisation come with a high environmental price – today the world’s cities account for 75% of global energy consumption. By 2015 there will be 23 megacities (those cities with a population of more than 10 million people). Unfortunately. Egypt.12 Urban Planning ‘A calamity is a time of great opportunity. urban areas are growing with unprecedented speed.’ Chinese proverb1 For the first time in human history. China. electricity and sanitation. cities offer greater social and economic benefits to their inhabitants. the intense concentration of urban population. India. such as food.3 And when the principles of sustainability are not taken into account. coal mines and watersheds that provide resources and services to the world’s inhabitants. industry and energy use results in enormous pollution and environmental degradation in the cities. 80% of greenhouse gas emissions and a large share of resource use. which extends to the forests. more than one-half of the world’s population lives in cities. Mumbai. croplands. This explains why. including Beijing.4 most of which will be found in the developing world.2 On average. For the fast-growing cities in developing countries the environmental risks will be increasing disproportionately in the next decade. Cairo. jobs. By 2060 the world will likely be even more urbanised as at least 80% of the planet’s population will live in cities. 169 . Nigeria.

health. to promote and support an overall sustainable approach to urban construction and architectural design. ❑ Use of labour-intensive rather than energy-intensive construction techniques. chemical pollution and the use of building materials that are harmful to human health. the use of inadequate materials and the need for 170 Transient Caretakers . currently still implemented in many cities worldwide. ❑ Recognition of the toll on communities. ❑ Restructuring of credit institutions to allow more people to buy building materials and services and to have the use of micro-credit.Mexico City. and São Paulo. most of whom will be under eighteen years of age. we must not support the design of future urban developments that continue to impose negative effects on agricultural land and wilderness and make access to employment. due to unregulated construction. conditions in megacities will define the quality of life for nearly 5 billion of the Earth’s inhabitants (60% of the global population).5 By 2030. Individuals should exercise their influence as taxpayers to local governments. Every individual has the duty and the right to demand sustainable urban planning and management for our cities. ❑ Application of traditional building techniques that are based on optimal use of regional resources and self-help strategies. ❑ Standards that discourage construction in environmentally and socially inappropriate areas. The development and management of human settlements based on destructive environment planning practices and infrastructure models. damage to natural resources. Such an approach includes:7 ❑ Use of local materials and indigenous building sources. ❑ Regulation of energy-efficient design principles. the way in which we design and build our cities has many implications for our natural environment. By 2015. social well-being and economic stability. nearly three out every four city dwellers will live in a megacity. and as stakeholders of construction companies involved in the building of roads or housing and in various aspects of urban development. Brazil.6 Consequently. As transient caretakers. are major sources of environmental and health problems through the degradation of fragile ecosystems. community facilities and social activities dependent on private motor car transport. Mexico.

At the forefront of the sustainable cities movement is the modernisation of the world’s oldest cities. Business and government should also have key roles to play in addressing them. and Decentralisation of the construction industry through the establishment of smaller firms. which are exploring ways to improve energy and resource use and the sustainability of the city as a whole. Exploration and application of methods that facilitate the recycling and reuse of building materials. The primary challenge of sustainable urban development is providing for the needs of today’s cities without compromising our ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. such as Paris. Urban planning has become critical in making the world more sustainable. London and New York. The urban planners of today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable cities are guided by the following principles:8 ❑ Sustainability is based on social justice. Use of clean technologies. How do we make sure that we properly address the many socioeconomic and environmental challenges facing us? How do we balance the need for industrial and economic growth with the need to protect the environment? How do we develop new housing and transport infrastructures while limiting urban sprawl and its impact on the climate? How do we enhance the competitiveness of urban areas while fighting poverty in the outskirts of cities? Urban planners and city administrations should be held accountable in terms of how they respond to these questions. Financial penalties to discourage the use of materials that damage the environment.❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ improvements in the use and manufacture of materials and construction techniques. particularly about non-renewable resources. Information exchange among architects and contractors on all aspects of construction related to the environment. production and waste generation and evolve as hotspots of sustainable urban development. Urban Planning 171 . Today’s cities have to become centres of innovation in addressing consumption.

including housing. renewable resources. efficient water and material resources use.❑ Water and renewable energy sources must not be consumed faster than natural systems can replenish them. we should ask to review the municipal plans for the current and future development of the city we live in. ❑ The rate at which pollutants are discharged must not exceed the capacity of the air. waste management and energy efficiency. waste. together with the relevant plans for energy. including job creation. 172 Transient Caretakers . Environment Woods and natural environments in close proximity to a city should be preserved and maintained. transportation and traffic-control systems. A sustainable urban development plan should include parks randomly dispersed throughout a city. land and mobility management. and should urge urban planners and city authorities to implement the above sustainability principles towards achieving: ❑ Environmental sustainability and energy efficiency of the city. ❑ Economic sustainability.9 1. water. The development of green neighbourhoods and the greening of the existing ones – such as converting the inner courtyards of housing blocks into gardens – should be a priority. business development and sources of household income. the planting of sufficient trees along the streets as well as the expansion of green municipal areas. ❑ Sustainable urban infrastructure and mobility. ❑ Non-renewable resources must not be consumed at a rate greater than we can develop sustainable. water and soil to absorb and process them. As citizens. and ❑ Sustainable city governance. ❑ The maintenance of biodiversity is a prerequisite for sustainability. Environmental sustainability and energy efficiency Individuals should ask if the following issues and questions have been addressed by the urban planners and city managers in order to ensure environmental restoration and preservation.

biological and chemical cleaning of waste water. rivers and lakes? Such a plan should at least include: ❑ Limitations on the spraying of pesticides and fertilising of the city’s own areas. which should then be returned clean for reuse. Water Does a city have a water supply plan for the sustainable management and distribution of its water supplies and for the maintenance of pure water environments in streams.Land What percentage of the city is allocated for parks and green areas? What is the size and structure of the industrial zone versus the residential zone? What solutions are proposed for parking areas? Are there any proposals to redeem land for green areas. Waste A city’s solid-waste management plan should ensure the proper collection Urban Planning 173 . bringing nature into the city. ❑ A well-designed and maintained sewer system to ensure that all waste water from city households and surface run-off is collected and delivered to waste water treatment plants. ❑ Measures for the protection of the ground water from pesticide pollution. in biogas plants for energy production. for example. and ❑ Ways for deposit and/or the utilisation of the sewage sludge. harbour areas and other large areas for recreational use and urban renewal through the restoration of historical buildings and smaller squares and open spaces within the city? Such proposals should be aiming at the creation of more attractive and accessible urban space. There should be protection against traffic noise. ❑ The mechanical. ❑ Woods and commons. ❑ Waste-water management measures. There should be cycle and pedestrian paths and other sustainable transportation solutions. the renewal of beaches.

Energy efficiency How does a city manage and control its energy consumption? Does it have a plan for the development and use of renewable energy sources and for the improvement of its energy efficiency? The urban development plan of each city should include a chapter on the development and use of the renewable energy sources available and economically most appropriate for the city – from the installation of wind-powered electro-generators. paper and plastic from households and businesses as part of the city’s system for collecting. The maximum recycling and reuse of materials should be made a priority through various initiatives and programmes implemented by the municipality and local business. as well as to minimise energy consumption and maximise energy efficiency. metal. For example. the city hospital and other public areas. glass. one of the suburbs of India’s financial centre Mumbai. from households. For example: ❑ Colour-coded/marked containers (bins) should be installed throughout a city for the separate collection of organics. Amsterdam is using cold lake water to help air-condition homes. Thane. sorting and recycling these materials.10 Incentives to businesses and households to use renewable energy sources. business and industrial areas and recreational areas. streets. offers property-tax rebates to homeowners for the instalment of solar water heaters and requires solar-powered water heaters to be used in all its municipal buildings. ❑ Initiatives for the domestic composting of organic waste should be incentivised and the necessary technical assistance and information on the topic should be made available. ❑ The collection and recycling of hazardous waste (oils and chemicals) should ensure that a minimum amount of toxic-waste materials are incinerated or enter the landfills.and treatment of all waste not included in the waste water streams. The city of New York is working with a private company to harness the power of tidal currents in the city’s East River.11 174 Transient Caretakers . should be introduced by the city administration. through to biogas plants using municipal and other wastes.

the installation of shutters (outdoors) and favourable positioning in relation to insulation. the development of sustainable city infrastructures.12 Chicago is planting rooftop gardens to cool down its municipal buildings – the first garden planted in 2001 on the roof of the city hall building covers about 1 800 m2 of the roof and has resulted in an 11% drop in the annual power bill for the building. The use of solar energy can be optimised through the incorporation of special garden rooms and sun lounges. These recommend:15 Urban Planning 175 .14 ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Many European cities have developed practical guidelines for sustainable housing.Municipal buildings and public areas should become leading examples in energy conservation and efficiency. from the urban planners. a town of 115 000 near Detroit. the avoidance of energy-consuming construction methods and the use of energy-conserving designs in residential buildings are especially effective in achieving the long-term energy efficiency of new residential buildings. Now the city has 360 000 m2 of municipal and private roof gardens. Safe bicycle space. you should support and request. Sustainable city infrastructure encompasses: Sustainable housing. ❑ Proper cost accounting of individual users of transport facilities and services. light-emitting diodes (LED) which cuts US$1 million off the city’s US$5 million-a-year electrical bill. Safe pedestrian space. Ann Arbor. transport and traffic control As a taxpayer and a citizen. as well as the particular zoning of room space. 2. and ❑ Technological development and improvements. A reduction in the loss of heat can be achieved by the insulation of individual houses. Traffic control and management that favours public transport and efficient vehicle usage (travel distance.13 The introduction of requirements for the use of low-energy building materials. has replaced the bulbs in all its 7 000 street lamps with energyconserving. ❑ Participatory decision-making and management. City infrastructure. vehicle usage).

a maximising of the number of components that can be easily dismantled for reuse. excluding land use change. catering for combinations of living and working in the houses). by working with the unique economies of scale that cities can provide. The economic cost of congestion has reached over 3% of GDP in many cities. for example. Manila. particularly in urban areas. São Paulo and Shanghai. In a few years the city will have a similar system using 2 000 electric-powered cars. a careful choice in the form and structure of spaces and building elements). ❑ Congestion pricing in London: Automobiles must pay a fee to drive 176 Transient Caretakers .17 City planners in both developed and developing countries are responding to this problem. road transport accounts for roughly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. including Bangkok. downtown weekday traffic speeds average 15 kilometres per hour (9 miles per hour) or less. the maximum use of granules from used concrete and brick. Each year nearly a million people die as a result of outdoor air pollution. In many cities. low-flow showers. The growth in both motorisation and traffic congestion in cities affects the economy and human health. the installation of wooden floors between storeys.16 In addition.❑ The reduction of water consumption and the reuse of building materials (through the installation of flush toilets with minimal water usage. ❑ That special attention be given to the use of ecological materials and the commitment to so-called organic architecture (the careful selection of materials and components. and ❑ That the planning and implementation process should be open to flexible changes in construction and functions (the creation of adaptable and easily extendible buildings. the selection of reusable and renewable building materials. as well as mineral wool in ceilings as a measure for noise insulation). Some examples of anti-congestion measures include:18 ❑ Communal bicycles in Paris: For a few euros residents can pick up a bike at one of the new docking stations all over the city. cedar wood or European or Canadian hardwood instead of tropical woods. apparatuses with water-saving fixtures. These two initiatives are designed to reduce car traffic by 40% by 2020. ride it and drop it off at their destinations.

and to introduce alternative raw materials. It has an annual car-free day. while the heat created as a by-product of electricity production will be used to warm buildings.to London’s central area during weekdays to reduce traffic congestion. wind) to produce electricity for the city. soon to become tree-lined walkways. Sustainable economic development Sustainable cities are generators of business ideas and opportunities – from the development of waste collection and recycling businesses. the only city of its size that actually enforces a ban on private cars. localise and prevent environmental hazards and unnecessary use of resources. The city of London is planning to move a quarter of the city’s power supply away from the national grid close to the city. to local small heater-power plants. Companies should be advised and stimulated to initiate a systematic planning and control of their efforts to conserve the environment. biogas. a bus system that currently serves 500 000 of the city’s residents every day. through the use of cleaner technology. A few years ago. it will build a number of small power plants that will use local energy sources (gas. ❑ Innovative policies in Bogotá: This Colombian city has restricted traffic during peak hours to reduce rush hour traffic by 40%. Sustainable city governance Sustainable city governance far transcends the role of local government. Urban Planning 177 . The aim is to look for efficient ways to convert production. By 2025. Mayor Ken Livingston has also pedestrianised certain downtown streets. and possibly change products.19 The development of increasingly sustainable local industry in cities should be a priority. Bogotá also increased the gasoline tax and poured half the resulting revenues into Transmilenio. Companies and the municipality should work in co-operation on the development of strategies aiming at clean technology business development and economically sound plans for improving the environment and reducing the wasteful use of resources. 3. 4.

An effective. zero-waste. such as urban infrastructure grants.However. The work is to be carried out by Masdar. such as the informal conferences of local authorities in the city-regions of Scotland and the development of land-use guidelines such as those in Finland. and implicit ones. sustainable city governance process needs to be integrated into national policy frameworks – both explicit ones. such as the effect of changes in tariff structures on key firms in the urban economy. including the creation of strategic partnerships and networks. It has become critical in making the world more sustainable as the cities become the largest consumers of natural resources and the biggest sources of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. It should be organised around ‘smart’ planning solutions. biological diversity and climate change. an Abu Dhabi future energy company. Phase One of Masdar City has already begun. The plan is to build the world’s first zero-carbon. There are professionals from nearly every walk of life contributing to the creation of this carbon-neutral city. The idea is to create a sustainable city as a model for how all future cities should be built. Masdar City is a sustainable development by the Abu Dhabi Emirate. local government has key roles to play: ❑ Representing the public interest. 178 Transient Caretakers . Urban planning plays a vital role in creating more sustainable cities. powered entirely by renewable energy sources. promoting the local-level implementation of international agreements for the protection of cultural environment. applying sustainable practices to urban development is becoming a global priority of increasing importance. as cities and their populations expand and exceed the capacity of the existing infrastructure. and ❑ Being a stimulus to urban innovation. Consequently. car-free city.

Now. the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that there was a 61% increase in public opinion in the US about environmental problems being a top global threat.’ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe1 It is well known that in 2001. This volte-face was not because President Bush had had a life-changing experience. President Bush announced that the US would now commit to binding emission targets. to govern difficult. The reason for the change is that public opinion has swung in favour of sustainability because of the growing realisation that our planet is endangered. as did 70% of Chinese.3 In his march to the presidency of the US. Obama envisages environmentalism as a creator of jobs and necessary for the nation’s defence. He has said that America will not ‘be held 179 . In addition. 60% of western Europeans named environmental issues as a top threat.13 National Governments. the Global Financial Crisis and Sustainability ‘To rule is easy. he has promised to lead the world on climate change. President Bush of the US rejected the Kyoto Protocol on sustainability. and cleaner energy will be one of the issues at the heart of his domestic policies. But by mid-April 2008. he legalised auto efficiency targets and spoke positively about alternative fuels. Barack Obama spoke ambitiously of plans about climate change and particularly about cutting carbon emissions. This resulted in the US not participating in a global exercise of reducing carbon emissions.2 And in 2008. In 2007. as president.

air and water and Schwarzenegger had done more to improve the quality of life on Earth than any governor of any state in America. which has consequences that have been described elsewhere in this book. Some commentators have said that because of the financial crisis.5 And this is the citizen and customer of tomorrow! The global financial crisis and sustainability The financial crisis in the course of and beyond 2008 has been of such proportions that most people have not experienced anything similar to it and the consequences flowing from it. will be exacerbated if we do not act immediately. there will be another 50% more people on our planet. which is with us at present and will be exacerbated unless we do something today for tomorrow. the great companies of the world and others will focus on the single bottom line of profit over the next few years. Schwarzenegger should be the President of the US. by 2050. * * * Fortunately. in fact. and most will be in urban areas. many countries have not overlooked the fact that the sustainability crisis continues and. 180 Transient Caretakers . It will be exacerbated because. in the twelve-year-old’s view. The twelve-year-old retorted that those were his father’s problems. His father’s reaction was that Schwarzenegger knew nothing of the problems of Iran and Iraq and the financial crisis. Consequently. the Governor of California. At the same time. hostile regimes and a warming planet’. putting pressure on infrastructure. while the financial crisis continues. He said that he would vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The answer of the twelve-year-old was ‘neither’.4 The Wall Street Journal published a column about a twelve-year-old Los Angeles boy being asked by his father shortly before the 2008 election whether he would vote for Obama or John McCain. His problems and his children’s problems would involve land. the sustainability crisis continues. until the financial crisis is corrected. and consequently overlook the sustainability crisis. fossil fuels are being used more quickly than they can be regenerated and climate change is resulting in the increase of temperatures.hostage to dwindling resources.

7 mandating that companies have to disclose their corporate social responsibility activities or their reason for not having any. following the principle of ‘report or explain’.13 which was hosted by Japan. Iceland’s expertise in renewable energy sources is National Governments.11 In Germany.10 In the UK. the Danish parliament passed a law on corporate social responsibility reporting for its companies. Gordon Brown.12 Japan’s Yasuo Fokuda has made the environment a high priority. Angela Merkel has commenced her climate change measures and has to face Germany’s coal. Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Prime Minister of the UK. It requires that the decision-making of directors must take into account the impacts of the company’s operations on the community and the environment.14 While it is not a large country and has a small population.6 This is an exciting development because the probability is that Sweden’s private sector companies will follow suit. In December 2008. has been hugely criticised for his approval of a new runway at Heathrow Airport. has set specific goals for reducing energy usage. The leader of Denmark. The White Paper explains how the GRI G3 guidelines can be used to fulfil the company’s responsibilities to make transparent disclosure about sustainability issues. the Norwegian government launched a national White Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility. Notwithstanding.9 It deals with the responsibility companies have in Norway to report on sustainability performance. Iceland is an example to other countries because 80% of its energy is tapped from rivers and volcanoes. Denmark encourages the use of accepted tools such as the GRI G3 guidelines and the UN Global Compact’s Communication on Progress.Sweden has decreed that its state-owned enterprises must issue annual sustainability reports following the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) G3 guidelines. steel and cement industries over carbon emissions. the Global Financial Crisis and Sustainability 181 .8 In January 2009. management reports must include non-financial performance indicators and companies should demonstrate that their decisions have effectively taken corporate social responsibilities into account. In terms of the German Commercial Code. He insisted that it be placed on the agenda of the July 2008 G8 Summit meeting. the corporate social responsibility part of the Companies Act came into operation in October 2007. his target is for the UK to have a 32% reduction in emissions by 2020.

15 This is particularly pertinent because southern Australia is suffering one of the worst water shortages in history. used to be the Mayor of Seoul. He had a green agenda as the Mayor of the largest city of South Korea and built parks and improved public transport.being sought in places as far afield as China and the US. Helen Clarke of New Zealand has banned new gas and coal power plants and vows to eliminate all waste. resulting in tremendous air and water pollution. Plans were put in place in the third quarter of 2008 to fast-track the process of translating strategic options into policy directions. in his capacity as Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The country has taken a hard-line attitude. In Australia. regulatory and fiscal package to give effect to South Africa’s long-term climate policy. greenhouse gas emissions will quadruple by 2050 and. Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Lee Myung-bak. He pointed out that South Africa’s actions in reducing electricity demand were in line with his long-term mitigation scenario and have already had a positive impact on the 182 Transient Caretakers . the John Howard regime held out against Kyoto. causing huge pollution through long-haul flights. He is determined to turn South Korea into an environmentally friendly country. This was in evidence during the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing. but the new Kevin Rudd administration is attuned to the challenges raised by the environment. in the process.16 The goal of government leaders in Costa Rica is for the country to become carbon neutral by 2021. the country will become an international pariah. going so far as to bulldoze polluting factories and create green-sensitive measurements for its industries.17 Costa Rica’s key challenge is that its economy is very dependent on tourism and most tourists arrive via jet travel. He added that if South Africa continues with business as usual.19 The leader of South Korea. China has had rampant growth.21 The South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has carried out a long-term mitigation scenario in terms of climate change. to level out for a decade and then decline between 2050 and 2060’. said that he would formulate a legislative.20 In South African President Kgalema Motlanthe’s opening address at the 2009 Climate Change Summit he said that ‘the government had set a deadline for South Africa’s carbon emissions to peak between 2020 and 2025.18 New Zealand is already obtaining 70% of its energy from renewable sources.

has resulted in fast economic growth built on the fragile foundation of our expanding debt to the planet and has put us on the path toward a deepening sustainability crisis. This was itself fuelled by greed. Regulation is also needed to ensure that National Governments.22 The century of the environment The companies that will be successful in the twenty-first century will be those that have realised that. During the last thirty to forty years the global economic system has turned debt expansion into an engine for steep growth through the use of new instruments and channels for the movement of capital. The collapse of major banks has been caused by a mindless compliance with regulation and a mindless acceptance of approval of credit committees and rating agencies. South Africa will have a full climate change plan in place in the course of 2009. but regulation in terms of only the financial aspects of governance will not solve the malaise in which we now find ourselves. as the ultimate providers of capital through pension funds. the two crises share striking similarities: both the financial and sustainability crisis are based on building fast growth that delivers quick and large profits in the short term on the base of expansion of debt. the Global Financial Crisis and Sustainability 183 . Those companies that realise the closely linked nature of these crises will look at those sustainability issues that are pertinent to their business and turn them into opportunities.country’s footprint. the sustainability crisis continues. individuals. our continuous consumption of resources from the planet’s natural systems. The financial crisis has highlighted the absolute essential that companies can no longer only consider financial aspects. Similarly. will invest only in those companies that have grasped this as a fact. should ensure that the pension funds to which they are the contributors. based on volume. In fact. whilst we are in the midst of a financial crisis. without taking into account the relevant mounting risks. In fact. There is little doubt that there will be regulation with regard to financial institutions. as bonuses were. inter alia. on a scale larger than nature’s ability to recover these resources.

a customer and a citizen of a country. the individual is a provider of capital. the share-owner revolution and. As already pointed out in this book. The twenty-first century will be the century of the environment. The twentieth century continued industrialisation. This will be the driver of political and economic decisions. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were the industrial centuries. there is evidence that people are voting for environmentally friendly leaders.each company has to explain how its business has impacted both positively and negatively on sustainability issues for the year under review and how it intends to improve those positive aspects and to eradicate or ameliorate the negative aspects in at least the financial year ahead. Regulators need pass no law other than each company has to explain its conduct with regard to corporate social responsibility. Individuals today expect a company to be conducted on the basis of being a good corporate citizen. 184 Transient Caretakers . Citizens should be aware that they can no longer continue to conduct their lives in the same way as they have done over the last twenty years. In addition. As citizens. This is a clear indication that individuals are starting to wield their power. in the final two decades. ICT. As the environment is emerging as one of the greatest concerns on Earth. but there was the development of the jet engine. This is reflected in the conduct of their political leaders and in peoples’ support for those political leaders who are environmentally friendly. so individuals are becoming more and more concerned. the realisation that we had endangered the Earth. we all have to endeavour to improve the quality of life on Earth by playing our part alongside companies and governments. the atom bomb.

ever-improving path. have realised that to continue with business as it has been conducted during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will have unsustainable outcomes. so far from discouraging. and their ability to do so. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. a company needs to produce more with less. there are multinational companies focusing on eco- 185 . As we have seen. But this. and the increasing cost of energy. This short-term approach. which has compromised the needs of those who have come after us. The costs of carrying on their business. By this is meant more goods and services with less use of resources and less production of waste. ever-ascending. All of these factors are driving companies to develop their businesses to have sustainable outcomes.14 The Way Forward ‘Every day you may make progress. will make their products prohibitively expensive. such as electricity and diesel. Companies. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an everlengthening. In delivering sustainable development. is no longer acceptable to society or sustainable in the long term. too. are being eroded by their depletion of energy sources.’ Sir Winston Churchill1 It is now generally accepted that the world has been polluted by the dominance of an exclusive approach to governance and the pursuit of a single bottom line – profit – for shareholders. You know you will never get to the end of the journey.

In addition. but the driving force has to be the business case for sustainable development because the giving of money to promote sustainability can only last as long as the quantity lasts. This enables the company in turn to make a more informed decision about business opportunities that arise. The business case requires companies to link opportunity with responsibility. The successful businesses quoted on the world’s great stock exchanges are based on the premise that there is long-term business value in practising sustainable development. At the most local level. in particular. individuals – the transient caretakers of the planet – also have a duty to make the world a better place to live in. urban planning. Further research is needed on all of the aspects addressed in this book – from cost-effective. business is about undertaking risk for reward. The overall focus needs to be on developing a systematic. Sustainable development as a business opportunity should form the basis of the long-term strategic thinking of a company. governments need to make tax and other concessions to those companies that are spending money to ensure that their products are made in a sustainable manner. as well as to address the more complex issues concerning transportation. clean energy production through to effective water conservation and management. have considerable influence.efficiency. sustainable business development and sustainable living. not less competitive. and the great multinational companies. Local and national governments need to undertake cost benefit analysis in terms of the most effective solutions to be applied. it is able to make a more informed assessment of risk. Sustainable development makes a company more competitive. comprehensive and practical approach to transform the way we live our lives and to make life on our planet sustainable. * * * Whilst companies are the greatest agents for change because there are millions of them. After all. individuals must commit themselves to running their households and maintaining their gardens in a sustainable manner. Individuals should use their considerable power as consumers to 186 Transient Caretakers . When a company adopts a sustainable attitude to its business. waste reduction and utilisation.

As well as being consumers. In this role. have a duty to play a part in improving our quality of life. In short. they should make a commitment that the next car they purchase or use will be a hybrid. Individuals should also try to ensure that their local government does not approve any building plans – for houses. many of us are (direct and indirect) providers of capital. In addition. The Way Forward 187 . apartment blocks or commercial buildings – unless they make use of alternative energy sources and are green. This kind of investigation needs to occur before a pension fund buys the equities of those companies as an investment. As transient caretakers we can no longer ignore our responsibility to restore and sustain the Earth that is going to be inherited by our children and our children’s children. Individuals have the right to make a selection as consumers and they should let manufacturers know their preference. As an example. if individuals are in a position to do so. including juristic persons and individuals. all of the persons on the planet.influence companies and make informed decisions to buy products that will improve the quality of life on Earth rather than products that continue to pollute our world. individuals should investigate their investments to ensure that they are made in companies that prioritise sustainable practices. And individuals need to support government efforts to develop alternative transport infrastructures. One of the greatest causes of pollution on Earth is the number of petroland diesel-driven cars. individuals should speak to the trustees of their pension fund to enquire whether the pension fund itself is investigating companies as to the quality of their governance and as to whether they have a long-term sustainable strategy.


3 This information on the consumer revolution. Johannesburg. See www. ‘Top 200: The Rise of Corporate Global Power’. Quebec. See www.za (accessed on 18 December 2008). Montreal. 2 ‘Perspectives on Climate Change and Sustainability’. ‘Strategic Asset Management: Brand Valuation’. is supplied by Dion Chang of Flux Trends.php?id=377 (accessed on 22 January 2009). Climate Change 2007: Impacts. The Forbes Book of Business Quotations: 14. contribution of Working Group II to a Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.za (accessed on 18 December 2008). Institute for Policy Studies.co. corpwatch. 4 December 2000. one of the ‘Top 9 Trends for 2009’.co.173 Thoughts on the Business of Life (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. 2007). 2006.Notes Introduction 1 Ted Goodman. one of the ‘Top 9 Trends for 2009’. fluxtrends. 4 Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Chapter 1 1 Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh. fluxtrends. 6 This information on social networking services. 5 The Star. See www. Chapter Five: ‘Basic Needs and the Right to Health’. 189 .org/article. Adaptation and Vulnerability. is supplied by Dion Chang of Flux Trends. and the World Meteorological Organisation and the Interagency Secretariat United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. 2006. 9 July 2008. March 2003. 2 Interbrand. 322. 3 World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund. p. 1997). Canada. 2003.

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p.globalcarbonexchange. 12 Under a cap-and-trade scheme. TerraPass. Climate Care. Carbon Fund.3 Stern. p.com. www.org. ghgprotocol. 5 Stern.za.carbonfund. limiting total emissions to that level. Volume 35. Steadfast Greening.php.gov/climatechange/ emissions/ind_calculator. US EPA. www.trees.carbonfootprint.za. ii.uk/carbonfootprint/ (a personalised on-line calculator especially developed for residents of the UK by the UK Carbon Footprint Project). See cmsdata. atmosfair. com/calculator.com. www. www. www.aspx (which offers both business and personal carbon footprint calculators). www. a central authority (usually a government or international body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. and Carbon Trust Project UK. www.org. World Conservation Rediscovering Planet Ocean. independent.co. see www. Carbon Counter. www.org.climatecare. org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/. BP (British Petroleum). Stern Review.hm-treasury. The Economics of Climate Change.co. Nature Conservancy.nature.org (accessed on 28 November 2008).sustainabletravelinternational. www. See www. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) which represent the right to emit a specific amount. vii. www. 4 Nicholas Stern. The Carbon Neutral Company.bp.com.html.com/carbon-footprint-calculator/#residential. World Conservation Rediscovering Planet Ocean. www.de. www. 9 Among the most popular websites (all accessed on 22 January 2009) offering ‘carbon footprint’ calculators are: www. WWF. World Conservation Rediscovering Planet Ocean: The IUCN Bulletin.org/downloads/rediscovering_en. No.epa.google. 10 For more on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative.carbontrust.html. org. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap. Carbon Clear. Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change – Executive Summary.uk/ solutions/CarbonFootprinting/FootprintCalculators.carbonneutral. Atmosfair.za/calculator.pdf (accessed on 22 January 2009). 1: p.steadfastgreening. www. www. 8 IUCN.uk/.wwf. p. www. 11 Wall Street Journal. www.co.iucn.uk/d/ Executive_Summary. 2004. Cleaner Climate. Food and Trees for Africa.co.carboncounter. 6 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). footprint. 3.pdf (accessed on 22 August 2008).gov. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who 192 Transient Caretakers . Global Carbon Exchange. Sustainable Travel International. 29.org.carbon-clear.co.com/iframe. October 2006.do?categoryId=9023118&cont entId=7045317. 11 February 2008.cleanerclimate. 7 IUCN.terrapass. www.

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6 See www. and the USEPA US Code ‘Title 42: The Public Health and Welfare’.uk (accessed on 7 February 2009). von Weizsacker. 13 See www. ‘Solid Waste Disposal’. Factor 4: Doubling Wealth – Halving Resource Use (Sydney: Allen & Unwin.gdrc.ms.html (accessed on 12 August 2008). Yale University.html (accessed on 19 August 2008). A.com/view/?38 (accessed on 7 February 2009). Chapter 82. 14 See active.scienceclarified. 117. Prüss-Usten and C.com/Vi-Z/Waste-Management. 8 Yale Study of Waste Reduction in New York.L.com/Vi-Z/Waste-Management. 17 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Notes 199 .B. See www. DC: Island Press.scienceclarified.html (accessed on 9 December 2008).wordpress. 21 See earthtrends.unep.bloggerbakeoff.html (accessed on 7 February 2009). p.co. 10 See archive. ‘The Global Environment Outlook’.3 The definitions provided in this chapter have been compiled from a number of resources. Corvalan.wikipedia.greenpeace.who. 7 E. Preventing Disease through Healthy Environments: Towards an Estimate of Environmental Burden of Disease (Geneva: WHO.ac.com/category/environment/africanenvironment/african-recycling/ (accessed on 7 February 2009).us/MDEQ. 2007. 16 See www.cput.za/energy/web/due/papers/2007/032A_Sendegeya. various articles on Wikipedia. org/wiki/Waste (accessed on 9 December 2008).state.com/Vi-Z/Waste-Management. 2005). ‘The Global Environment Outlook’.org/updates/node/130 (accessed on 20 August 2008). including: Glossary on Solid Waste Management provided by the UEMRI (Urban Environmental Management Research Initiative).org/uem/waste/swm-glossary. 20 See www.org/geo/geo4/media (accessed on 15 August 2008).html (accessed on 7 February 2009).html (accessed on 25 August 2008).com/container-recycling (accessed on 7 February 2009).int/whr/2007/en/index. 12 See sociolingo. 1997).nsf/page/Recycling_ UsedMotorOil?OpenDocument (accessed on 9 December 2008).lidstercorp.org/odumping/radioactive/index. The World Health Report 2007: A Safer Future. See www. 4 WHO (World Health Organization).pdf (accessed on 4 February 2009). 9 See www. 11 See www. 2006). see en. 1992. xx. Lovins.scienceclarified.deq. 18 A. Lovins and H. see www. 5 UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). p. 2007. 19 UNEP.wri.emagazine. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis (Washington. 15 See www. Tellus Institute and John Schall.

23 April 2008. p. 24 For more on the Zero Waste initiative for the 2010 World Cup. www. 2008. 186–87. The Hobbit (London: George Allen & Unwin. www. 10 Ernst & Young.co.R.com/article/reutersEdge/ idUSN2041601020071220 (all accessed on 7 February 2009).htm (accessed on 11 December 2008).crmcdonalds.php?story=20061123174509844 (accessed on 11 December 2008). www.php (accessed on 16 March 2009) and the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.html (accessed on 16 March 2009). ‘Special Report: Tourism Blind to High Climate Risk’. 23 For more on Zero Waste as a concept.wikipedia.unwto. ‘Global Hospitality Insights: Hospitality Going Green’. 9 Ernst & Young.org (accessed on 11 December 2008). World Conservation Magazine 1/2001.reuters. 3 See the United Nations World Tourism Organization.org/env/efficiency/wastemini.org/ wiki/McDonald’s#cite_note-22. 11 For more on the Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve.com/global/content. www. Slob and J. and www. Chapter 8 1 J. 5 IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature). ‘Towards a Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste’.int/pages/index_en. 8 Ernst & Young.limpopo-lipadi.com/ content.missionzero.asp?ContentID=5282 (accessed on 20 April 2009). Climate Change Corp. ‘Report of the World Commission on 200 Transient Caretakers . See www. pp.ey. see www. 26 Yale Study of Waste Reduction in New York. 12.climatechangecorp.html. see www. ‘Global Hospitality Insights’. www.com (accessed on 12 December 2008). Wilde Ramsing under the Tourism dossier on the website of SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations).22 Commission of the European Communities.oecd.nsf/International/Real_Estate_ Global_hospitality_insights (accessed on 16 March 2009).com/publish/ csr/home/report/environmental_responsibility/packaging_and_ waste/disposal. ‘Global Hospitality Insights’. 11 December 1987.wmo.org/ index. Tolkien. ‘Global Hospitality Insights’.somo.nl (accessed on 16 March 2009).R. ‘Global Hospitality Insights’. greenclippings. 12 United Nations. 4 See the various reports by B. 25 See www. 2 Rikki Stancich. 6 Ernst & Young. 7 Ernst & Young. see www.za/gc_main/article. 1937). 27 The resources used for this case study include: www.

10 For more on the tree-planting initiative. formerly World Wildlife Fund). See www.repp.za/dsm (accessed on 12 December 2008).panda.org/how_you_can_help/greenliving/ (accessed on 5 July 2008).info/index. 2 WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature. 13 K. www. General Assembly Resolution 42/187. the ecological footprint shows how much land and water area (in global hectares per person) a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste each year. See www. 6 Global Footprint Network and WWF. ‘51 Things We can do to Save the Environment’. and www. org/content/view/1859/ (accessed on 10 February 2009). Smith (eds.panda. Living Planet Report 2008. 3 According to the Global Footprint Network. ‘10 Energy Efficiency Facts from EPRI’. Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century (London: Earthscan/James & James.org (accessed on 12 January 2009).footprintnetwork. wastematerials.Environment and Development’. 8 The resources used to compile this list of energy-saving hints include: www.ecogeek. hedon.htm (accessed on 10 February 2009). Wastematerials blog. www. October 2008).time. Notes 201 . Switzerland: WWF. Living Planet Report 2008 (Gland. currently she is President of the Center of Science.eskom. 4 Global Footprint Network.com/display_ article/347933/22/ARTCL/none/none/1/10-energy-efficiency-factsfrom-EPRI/ (accessed on 12 January 2009).co. 5 January 2009. ‘A Glimpse of Home: Special Report’. Kathryn Sullivan. Chapter 9 1 Kathryn Sullivan flew on three space-shuttle missions as a US Navy Reserve Captain. The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities.com/2009/01/51things-we-can-do-to-save-environment. and www.com/time/2002/greencentury/enscene.html (accessed on 7 February 2009). html (accessed on 22 May 2008).org (accessed on 17 March 2009).unep. See www. 7 Wastematerials blog. Hargroves and M. 9 Utility Automation and Engineering/T&D. 15 December 2008. 5 Global Footprint Network. 11 The information is adapted from various resources including: www. org/discussiongroups/resources/stoves/StovesA_Z. 2005).pennnet. see UNEP. 26 August 2002.html (accessed on 20 January 2009). uaelp.org/news_facts/publications/living_planet_report/ lpr_2008/ (accessed on 20 January 2009). Time Magazine.).blogspot.

‘Be Waterwise Outdoors’.wikia.waterfootprint. see www. The Water Footprint of Energy Consumption: An Assessment of Water Requirements of Primary Energy Carriers (Enschede.co.greywater. also see IDEO. 17 For more details. Living Planet Report 2008.com/statistics.waterfootprint. 21 Winnie Gerbens-Leenes. Australia.au/f16. 2008).goinggreen.za/directory/offering/water+saving+products/* (accessed on 20 January 2009).com/2009/01/51-things-we-can-do-to-saveenvironment. 15 Riverina Water Counry Council. 18 Water Footprint Network. See www. 16. see www. archicentre.org (accessed on 10 January 2009).org/ how_you_can_help/greenliving/ (accessed on 7 February 2009).rwcc.au (accessed on 7 February 2009). 202 Transient Caretakers . May 2008. and WWF. 1 May 1999. 24 Time.time.uk/tag/ashden-awards/ (accessed on 20 January 2009). Arjen Hoekstra and Theo van der Meer. 22 The resources used to compile this list of water-saving hints include: www. 16 The resources used to compile this list of water-saving hints include: www. www.com/ time/specials/2007/article/0.28804. Living Planet Report 2008.html (accessed on 12 August 2008).html (accessed on 6 January 2009).alighterfootprintfilm.00.za (accessed on 12 December 2008). ISESCO (Islamic Educational. 2007. See www. The Netherlands: University of Twente. see got2begreen. see solarcooking.biggreenchallenge. 20 The list is adapted from www.12 For more information.za/green-how-tos/112-reuse-and-recycling-insouth-africa. 8–42. and wastematerials.panda. ‘The Global Warming Survival Guide’.panda. www.html (accessed on 7 February 2009).com/green-lifestyles/green-concepts/ purify-your-water-during-your-bike-ride/ (accessed on 20 January 2009). 19 WWF.1602354_1603074_1603179.org/?page=files/ productgallery&product=coffee (accessed on 10 January 2009).com.com. org/load-carrying (accessed on 20 January 2009).uk/tag/ashden-awards/ (accessed on 20 January 2009).org/ how_you_can_help/greenliving/ (accessed on 7 February 2009).co. Fact Sheet No. For other ideas.html (accessed on 12 December 2008). 23 See www. Scientific and Cultural Organization). 13 For more details. ‘Aquaduct Water Purifying Bicycle’.org.html (accessed on 20 December 2008). www. 14 See www. and www.co. cargocycling.org.urbansprout. Science and Technology Vision 4(5): 3.biggreenchallenge.blogspot.com/wiki/South_Africa (accessed on 10 February 2009).

za (accessed on 18 December 2008). pp. Notes 203 . www. 2 The World Bank Group.recycleworks. 4 The resources used to compile this list of sustainable gardening facts and recommendations include: www.fao. Livelihoods Grow in Gardens. 2008). Livelihoods Grow in Gardens.121350/public/03chapter2a. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] of the United Nations.htm (accessed on 17 March 2009).uk/susdev. Livelihoods Grow in Gardens: Diversifying Rural Incomes through Home Gardens (Rome: Agricultural Support Systems Division. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (New York: Simon & Schuster. ‘The Congruent Garden: An Investigation into the Role of the Domestic Garden in Satisfying Fundamental Human Needs’. see www. www.org/docrep/006/y5112e/y5112e00.gov.unsw.org/how_you_can_help/greenliving/. 2 Mike Steven.Chapter 10 1 John Stevens (translator). panda.org/INTTRANSPORT/ Resources/336291-1211381200616/Transport_Business_Strategy_web. pdf (accessed on 23 February 2009). DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank. Livelihoods Grow in Gardens. 11 Adapted from ‘The Sustainable Garden’. MA: Shambhala Publications. 2004).co. 3 US NGA (United States National Gardening Association).html (all accessed on 5 July 2008). See www. 43–44. See www. Chapter 11 1 Edward Abbey.org (accessed on 12 December 2008). 10 For more on Food and Trees for Africa. 7 Landon-Lane. Clean and Affordable: Transport for Development.gov. 53. The World Bank Group’s Transport Business Strategy 2008–2012 (Washington.pdf (accessed on 23 February 2009).library. 6 Landon-Lane.travel-informed. For more information on South African gardens and gardening.uk/susdev (accessed on 12 December 2008). and www. See siteresources.au/~thesis/adt-NUN/uploads/approved/adtNUN20030715.waverley.gardeningeden.garden. 1990). Safe. 5 Chris Landon-Lane.trees.za/south-africa-top-to-dogardens and www.co. 2004). see www.org/ compost/sustainable_gardening. 8 Landon-Lane. see www.worldbank. 9 US NGA.org. p.waverley.za (both accessed on 13 December 2008).edu. Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan (Boston.

February 2008. asp?page=bookView&book=2101 (accessed on 20 January 2009). Clean and Affordable. ‘Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on End-of life vehicles’. p. Chapter 12 1 Donna Ward La Cour. Sculptors. Chief Energy and Transport Section.php (accessed on 17 March 2009). 15 April 2008.brinkster. See eur-lex. ‘Plug-in Hybrid Cars: Chart of CO2 Emissions Ranked by Power Source’. p. 1989).europa._ Inc. 5 Adapted from Michael Graham Richard.do?uri=CELEX:32000L0053:EN:NOT (accessed on 23 February 2009). 4 ‘Small: It’s The New Big’.wri.asp?ContentId=371 (accessed on 26 February 2009). Earth Trends Environmental Information Portal. Guide to City Development Strategies: Improving Urban Performance (New York: The Cities Alliance Cities Without Slums.php/Directory:Tesla_Motors.eu/LexUriServ/ LexUriServ. Educators and Others (Jefferson. Transportation Research Board. University of Delaware. see www.unhabitat. 56. 18 September 2000.org/ updates/node/287 (accessed on 25 February 2009). June 2006. See www. Artists in Quotation: A Dictionary of the Creative Thoughts of Painters. published in Official Journal L269 on 21st October 2000. Conference Proceedings 20. 2000. ‘Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century’. (accessed on 23 February 2009). Nairobi. p.europarl.entrepreneur. Statement by Brian Williams.org or www. newsweek. 25 February 2008. See www.eu (accessed on 23 February 2009). and Michael Meyer.europa. Also see World Resources Institute.unhabitat.treehugger. 2006).org/pmss/getPage. 2 The Cities Alliance. ‘Urbanization: A Turning Point in History’. earthtrends. Newark. during UN Commission 204 Transient Caretakers .3 The World Bank Group. August 2004. Newsweek.com/id/112729/output/print (accessed on 23 February 2009).html (accessed on 10 February 2009). ‘Monthly Update: Urbanization and Environmental Sustainability’. Safe. see peswiki. 10 Adapted from a presentation on sustainable transportation by Professor Shinya Kikuchi. 7 EC of the European Parliament and Council.net/livepaths/content. ‘Climate Change’. Writers. 1. 8 For more details. UN-Habitat. NC: McFarland.com/index. 11 See www. Kenya. see www. State of the World’s Cities Report 2006–7: The Millennium Goals and Urban Sustainability.com/files/2008/04/plug-in-hybrid-cars-co2-emissionselectricity-energy. 6 For more details.com/PRNewswire/release/100195. Designers. 50. 3 UN-Habitat. 9 See livepaths.



6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17

on Sustainable Development, 15th Session, New York, 30 April–11 May 2007. See www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=4756&catid=356&typ eid=8&subMenuId=0 (accessed on 26 February 2009). Also see World Resources Institute, ‘Monthly Update: Urbanization and Environmental Sustainability’. UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), The State of World Population 2001, ‘Chapter 3: Development Levels and Environmental Impact’. See www.unfpa.org/swp/2001/english/ch03.html (accessed on 23 January 2009). World Resources Institute, Earth Trends Environmental Information Portal, ‘Sustainable Cities Sustainable Transportation’, adapted from Chris Lagan and Jim McKenzie, February 2003, ‘EMBARQ Background Paper on Global Transportation and Motor Vehicle Growth in the Developing World: Implications for the Environment’. See earthtrends. wri.org/features/view_feature.php?fid=54&theme=4 (accessed on 12 August 2008). World Resources Institute, ‘Sustainable Cities Sustainable Transportation’. Adapted from James Steeve, Ecological Architecture: A Critical History (London: Thames and Hudson, 2005), pp. 171–72. Adapted from various case studies and reports by EAUE (European Academy of the Urban Environment), including: ‘Aalborg: Implementing a Comprehensive Environmental Plan for Sustainability’; ‘Alphen aan den Rijn: Ecolonia – the Dutch Test Case for Sustainable Town Planning’; ‘Arhus: Demonstrating Ways of Meeting Urban Ecological Renewal Needs’; ‘Basel: Traffic Management by Transport that Suits the City’; ‘Vienna: The New Concept for Transport and City Planning’; ‘Vienna: Waste Minimization and Recycling Strategies’. See SURBAN, the database on sustainable urban development in Europe, www.eaue. de/ (accessed on 26 February 2009). Adapted from various case studies and reports by EAUE. Wall Street Journal, ‘Energy: The Journal Report – Europe’, 11 February 2008, pp. R3, R8. Wall Street Journal, ‘Energy’, p. R8. Wall Street Journal, ‘Energy’, p. R3. Wall Street Journal, ‘Energy’, pp. R1, R3. Adapted from a presentation on sustainable transportation by Professor Shinya Kikuchi, University of Delaware, Newark, August 2004; and Michael Meyer, 2000, ‘Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century’, Conference Proceedings 20, Transportation Research Board. Adapted from various case studies and reports by EAUE. Adapted from various case studies and reports by EAUE. Adapted from various case studies and reports by EAUE.



18 World Resources Institute, ‘Monthly Update: Urbanization and Environmental Sustainability’. 19 Wall Street Journal, ‘Energy’, pp. R2, R4.

Chapter 13
1 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Permanent Goethe, selected and with an introduction by Thomas Mann (New York: Dial Press, 1948), p. 639. 2 Pew Research Center, ‘Rising Environmental Concern in 47-Nation Survey’, 47-Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey (Washington, DC: The Pew Global Attitudes Project, 27 June 2007). See pewglobal.org/reports/ pdf/256.pdf (accessed on 25 March 2009). 3 Pew Research Center, ‘Rising Environmental Concern in 47-Nation Survey’. 4 Briefing by the US President Barack Obama, 26 January 2009, ‘Remarks by the President on Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Change’, East Room of the White House. See www.whitehouse.gov/blog_post/ Fromperiltoprogress/ (accessed on 25 March 2009). 5 The Wall Street Journal, November 2008. 6 GRI News, 2007, ‘Sweden Pioneers a Global First in Sustainability Reporting’. See www.globalreporting.org/NewsEventsPress/ LatestNews/2007/NewsDec07Sweden.htm (accessed on 25 March 2009). For the Swedish Guidelines for external reporting by state-owned companies, see www.sweden.gov.se/content/1/c6/09/41/25/56b7ebd4. pdf (accessed on 25 March 2009). 7 Ethical Corporation, 2009. For more information, see www.ethicalcorp. com/content.asp?contentid=6280 (accessed on 25 March 2009). 8 ‘Proposal for an Act Amending the Danish Financial Statements Act (Report on Social Responsibility for Large Businesses)’, Introduced on 8 October 2008 by the Danish Minister for Economic and Business Affairs (Mrs Lene Espersen). See www.eogs.dk/graphics/Samfundsansvar.dk/ Dokumenter/Proposal_Report_On_Social_Resp.pdf (accessed on 25 March 2009). 9 GRI News, 27 January 2009, ‘Norwegian Companies Urged to Disclose their Sustainability Performance’. See www.globalreporting.org/ NewsEventsPress/PressResources/Pressrelease_27_jan_09.htm (accessed on 25 March 2009). Also see ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Abroad’, Press Release No.: 008/09, published 23 January 2009 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. See www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/ud/press/ News/2009/social_responsibility_abroad.html?id=543620 (accessed on 25 March 2009). 10 See Gordon Brown’s speech on climate change, 19 November 2007. See the official site of the Prime Minister’s Office, www.number10.gov.uk/


Transient Caretakers

Page13791 (accessed on 25 March 2009). 11 Compliance Week, 13 November 2007, ‘UK Compliance Act: New Tasks for Directors’. See www.complianceweek.com/article/3762/ uk-companies-act-new-tasks-for-directors (accessed on 25 March 2009). For more information on the current UK Company Act, see The Companies Act 2006, www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/pdf/ ukpga_20060046_en.pdf; ACCA 2007 (accessed on 25 March 2009). Also see, ‘A Guide to Directors’ Responsibilities under the Companies Act 2006’, www.accaglobal.com/pubs/publicinterest/activities/library/ company_law/tech-tp-cdd.pdf; and ‘Modernising UK Company Law, Companies Act 2006’ at The Institute of Chartered Accountants’ website, www.icaew.com/index.cfm/route/145195/icaew_ga/en/Technical_ and_Business_Topics/Topics/Law_and_regulation/Modernising_UK_ Company_Law (both accessed on 25 March 2009). 12 For more information on German Commerce Code and German Corporate Governance Code, see www.corporate-governance-code.de/ eng/download/CorGov_Endfassung_E.pdf (accessed on 25 March 2009). 13 See Observing Japan, www.observingjapan.com/2008_01_01_archive. html (accessed on 25 March 2009); and UNEP, 9 July 2008, ‘The Environment in the News’, www.unep.org/cpi/briefs/2008July09.doc (accessed on 25 March 2009). 14 ‘Iceland’s Energy Answer Comes Naturally’, The Guardian, 22 April 2008. See www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/22/ renewableenergy.alternativeenergy (accessed on 25 March 2009). 15 ENS (Environment News Service), 2009, ‘Rudd Welcomes Obama’s Resolve to Address Global Warming’. See www.ens-newswire.com/ens/ mar2009/2009-03-24-02.asp (accessed on 25 March 2009). 16 For more information on China’s current and past environmental developments, see China Environmental News Digest, chinaenvironmental-news.blogspot.com/ (accessed on 25 March 2009). 17 For more information on Costa Rica’s President Óscar Arias Sánchez’s Peace with Nature Initiative, launched in San José on 6 July 2007, see www.pazconlanaturaleza.org/admin/descargas/upload/Presidents_ speech_at_launching.pdf; also see www.newswiretoday.com/ news/35384/; and www.cccostarica.com/costa-rica-news/costa-ricato-persue-for-carbon-netral-08142008.html (all accessed on 25 March 2009). 18 ‘NZ Government Introduces Legislation to Ban Power Plants that Burn Fossil Fuel’, International Herald Tribune, 4 December 2007. See www. iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/04/asia/AS-GEN-New-Zealand-ClimateChange.php (accessed on 25 March 2009). 19 Ministry of Economic Development of New Zealand, October 2007, ‘New Zealand Energy Strategy to 2050 – Powering Our Future, Section 9,



Low Emissions Power and Heat’. See www.med.govt.nz/templates/ MultipageDocumentTOC____31948.aspx (accessed on 25 March 2009). 20 Newsweek, December 2008. 21 Speech by President Kgalema Motlanthe at the Climate Change Summit, 3 March 2009, Gallagher Estate, Midrand, South Africa. 22 For more on the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, see www.environment.gov.za (accessed on 20 March 2009).

Chapter 14
1 Richard Langworth (ed.), Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations (New York: PublicAffairs, 2008), p. 568.


Transient Caretakers

com Green Quadrant GreenAtWorkMag.com Harvard Business Review IBM Global Business Services Independent newspaper International Herald Tribune newspaper International Union for Conservation of Nature KLD Research and Analytics.com Coca-Cola Corporation d Carbon8 Deloitte Diners Club magazine Eco Securities Environmental Defense Fund ERM Ernst & Young Ethisphere Femina magazine Financial Mail magazine Financial Times newspaper Global Footprint Network Global Services GreenBiz. Inc KPMG LEK Consulting Lifeworth 209 .General Resources AccountAbility Africa magazine Anglo American Anheuser Busch Reports Bain and Company Baltimore Sun newspaper Booz and Company Boston Consulting Group British Petroleum Business Day newspaper Business for Social Responsibility Cambridge University Press Caux Round Table ClimateChangeCorp.

Environment – Canada’s Worldwide Website The International Business Leaders’ Forum The International Finance Corporation The International Journal for Sustainable Business The JSE Securities Exchange of South Africa The National Aeronautics and Space Administration The National Business Initiative The Star newspaper The United Nations Development Programme The United Nations Educational.com URS Corporation WebEx Communications World Health Organization World Inc Xerox Corporation 210 Transient Caretakers .Limpopo-Lipadi brochure McDonald’s Corporation McKinsey and Company Newsweek magazine New York Times newspaper North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Outcomes magazine Pew Research Center Price WaterhouseCoopers Procter and Gamble Royal Dutch Shell plc SAGA The Bank of America The Economist magazine The Global Reporting Initiative The Green Lane. Scientific and Cultural Organization The United Nations Environment Programme The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative The United Nations Population Fund The United Nations World Tourism Organisation The Wall Street Journal newspaper The World Bank Group The World Business Council for Sustainable Development The World Economic Forum The World Meteorological Organisation The World Resource Institute Time magazine Tomorrow’s Company Triplebottomline.

101.Index Abbey. 176 sustainable approach 170–71 business energy efficiency 59–61 risks and opportunities 39–43 sustainable practices 12–13 water scarcity risks 90 Cambodia 78 211 . 85. 108 agriculture 82. Edward 161 Afghanistan 78 Africa 70. The 112 Bogotá innovative policies 177 Brazil 4. 22. 85 Atlantic Ocean 105 Australia 182 Queensland Water Commission 77 Royal Motor Yacht Club 60 backyard composting 156 Bhutan 154 bicycle manufacture 73 safe space 175 BikeMi (bike share programme) 167 biodiversity loss 19. 28–29 biofuels 65. 170 Atlantic Rainforest 27 Britain 105 2006 Companies Act 12 corporate social responsibility 181 Heathrow Airport 181 London Convention 105 London power supply 177 Marks and Spencer 12 building materials reuse 175. 66. 107 air transport 161 Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa (Dubai) 128 all-electric cars 62–63 Amtrak 42 Angola 78 animal wastes 69. 153 African Explosives 4 Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry: Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development 127 agricultural chemicals 108 agricultural waste 69. 27. 108 anti-congestion measures 176–77 aquaculture 73 aquatic plants 69 Arctic icecap 25 Arctic Ocean 19 Asia 70. 69–71 biogas 142 plants using waste 174 Biogas Sector Partnership Program Nepal (BSP-Nepal) 142 biomass burning stoves 141–42 bionic concept car 61 biotechnology 71 Body Shop.

64 coastal areas 27–28 Coca-Cola market cap 9 coffee and water 143–44 factories 70 Collins Pine 112 colour-coded containers (bins) 174 communal bicycles 176 community economic life of 15 and municipal level 37–38 Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) 58. 23. 41–42 dioxide (CO2) 2. 186–87 consumption-driven society 113 contamination of water 87 coral reefs 27–28. 53. Winston 185 city 57 governance 177–78 infrastructure 175–77 sustainable local industry 177 climate change 11.Cameroon Ministry for Scientific Research 58 Ministry of Energy and Water 58 Canada 65 cap-and-trade scheme 39. 145. 138. 19. 169. 139 companies 2. 155–56 organic waste 174 compressed natural gas (CNG) 62 computers 60. 93. 66. 64–65 emissions 2 sequestration 29 trading 38–39 voluntary trade projects 41 carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods 64–65 carbon footprint 36 online calculators 35. 7. 182 Churchill. 34–35 corporations energy policy 63 social responsibility 12–13 cosmetics 29 Costa Rica 182 Credit Suisse research forecasts 66–67 crops modification of 87 rotation of 158 212 Transient Caretakers . 22. 59. 23–26 addressing risks 37–38 economic disruptions 34–35 tourism 126 Climate Change Summit 182 coal 53. 36 carbon-monoxide emissions 70 cargo shipments 165–66 solutions 166 cycles (truck-sized bikes) 166 car-pool lanes 165 Carr. 107. 185–87 book value 9 development of solutions 91 economic performance 17 economic value 9 legal considerations 17 licence to operate 8–9 strategy 8 composting 107. 140 congestion pricing 176–77 conservation and water consumption 86 construction architectural design 170–71 demolition waste 101 materials 29 consumerism 20 consumers 11. 54. Geoffrey 53 case studies Anglo American 49–52 Bank of America 74–76 Coca-Cola Company 95–98 Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve 130–35 McDonald’s Corporation 114–23 Procter and Gamble 44–48 cattle dung 142 Chad 78 chemical(s) degrading waste 103 energy 53 Chile 154 China 3. 85 carbon credits 4. 110.

172–75 action plan 63 design principles 170 equipment 60 engineered geothermal system (EGS) 71 entrepreneurs 8. 102 protection from 29 waste-disposal systems 102–03 water-borne 78. 82 European Trading Scheme (ETS) 39 European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) 39. 169 electric geyser 140 electrical cars (EVs) 163–64 electricity distribution 56 electronic equipment 140 electronic waste (e-waste) 109 El Plan Verde (Mexico City) 167 embedded water (water footprint) 144–45 emerging economy 3 emission-reducing projects 4 employee participation and innovation 63 energy auditors 141 carriers 53 conventional sources 53 costs 63 demand 54 external sources 53 management practices 60 renewable sources 53. 156 driveway surfaces 151 drought 30. 59–61. 70 Ethiopia 78. reduced 60 disclosure. types of 17 diseases 38 children 102–03. tips for changing 145–47 Daimler Research 61 Damaí Lovina Villas (Bali) 127–28 deep-well injection method 109 Delta Airlines 41 Denmark 66 corporate social responsibility 181 desertification 26–28 developed countries 58 water and sanitation spending 86 developing countries 3.cultural benefits of ecosystems 21 daily habits. 173 fibre 29 fiscal mechanisms 37 Index 213 . 58 cost of water crisis 78–79 megacities 169–70 digital photo-frame 141 direct costs. 40 Facebook 5 farm irrigation 80. 102 domestic waste 28 drip-irrigation methods 87. 87 fertilisers 158. 35 dryland agriculture 90 maize 90 Earth Council 127 Eastern Africa 71 EcoBranders 42 ecological footprint 20 ecological overshoot 20 eco-movement 11 economic costs of waste 103 economic development 177 Ecopass (Milan) 167 ecosystems 3 benefits or services 21 challenges 22 degraded functioning 83–84 living environment 21 non-living environment 21 pressure on 20 ecotourism 125 Egypt 82. 108 diarrhoea 78. 56 sustainable policy 56 energy efficiency 56. 87 environment 172 century of the 183–84 environmental issues 17 environmentally friendly lodging 128 environmental sustainability 172–75 ethanol 62.

73 garbage 103 dumping in oceans 105 open dumps 105 gardening 149–50 sustainable design 150–54 tips 155–59 gas-electric cars 62–63 gaseous waste 101 gas supplies 54 Gebers Housing Project (Sweden) 143 G8 Summit meeting 181 geothermal energy 71–72 engineering 73 power 65–66.fish 34–35 farming 73 Fleishman-Hillard 11–12 flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) 62 floods 35 resistance measures 125–26 fog. see tourism Hotel New Otani (Japan) 128 household energy conservation 139–41 energy-efficient appliances 140 pollution 87 responsibility 137–39 rooftop solar project 69 sustainable choices 145–47 waste 100 water use 142–45 housing. 74 fossil fuels 53 France 105 Franklin. 138 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 15. 181 global warming 23 seasons’ cycles 19 tourism 126 Goethe. Benjamin 77 fuel cell 62. 71–72 Germany 105 German Commercial Code 181 Schwarze Pumpe 65 global climate change 1–2 see also global warming. 108–09 collection and recycling 174 Hewlett Packard 112 printing technology research 68 Highveld Steel & Vanadium 4 home thermostat 139 Honda 163 compressed natural gas (CNG) 62 hospitality industry. Johann 179 gold mines 26–27 governance 7–8 government 2. 54 Greenland ice sheet 24 Greenpeace 105 green roofs 152 ground water protection 173 Gulf Stream 25 habitat loss 28 Haiti 78 hazardous waste 102. 38 Ford Escape Hybrid 61–62 Ford Motor Company 68 Bridgend Engine Plant 68 forest fires 35 forestry sequestration 41 Fortune 500 corporations 41. 98. 186 policies and actions 55–57 role of 89 South Africa 58–59 grain-fed agriculture 4 grass recycling 156 Greece 27 Green Globe certification 127 greenhouse effect 23 greenhouse gases (GHG) 3. sustainable 175 guidelines 175–76 HSBC (bank) 41 214 Transient Caretakers . harvesting of 88–89 food and beverage manufacturers 70 production 29. 49. 180 Global Footprint Network (GFN) 20. 23. 16. 52. greenhouse effect global economic downturn 54 global environmental changes 19–20 global financial crisis 54.

human rights 17 hydroboils 58 hydroelectricity production 65–66 hydrogen fuel cells 55. 128. 62 generation 73 -powered vehicles 61. 82. 26. 26–27 deforestation 27 degradation 22. 113 internal combustion engines 161 International Award for Sustainable Transportation 167 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 23–25. 27 desertification 22 quality changes 19 landfills 106 land-use zoning 165 Latin America 70 lawns 151 light bulbs Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) 58. see triple bottom line interactive technology 11 Interface Corporation 99. 33–34. Social and Governance Research 90–91 Kenya 78. 96 manufacturing processes 63 Index 215 . 105 Aga Khan Development Network 141 Dandora Municipal Dumpsite 102–03 kerosene 126 Kimberly Clarke 112 King Committee on Corporate Governance (South Africa) 7 kitchen garden 158 KPMG firm report 40 Kyoto Protocol 40. 101. 139 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) 57. 163 Iceland 181–82 hot springs and geysers 71 Icelandic Glacial 42 Idasa (Institute for Democracy in South Africa) 57 incineration of waste 106 India 4. 107–08 industry and energy efficiency 59–61 infrastructure development 165 for water supply 87–88 integrated performance. 163 Iraq 82 irrigation water 89 IT industry 64 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 85 Japan 105. 179 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) 39 Kyoto Treaty 39 labour 17 land 173 conversion 22. 181 JP Morgan Global Environment. 25. 186–87 choice as consumers 11 choice of transport 162–64 of a company 9 responsibility of 84–88 Indonesia Damaí Lovina Villas 127–28 gardens 153–54 slums in Jakarta 81 industrial gases 41 industrialisation 26 industrial products 144–45 industrial waste 28. 175 livestock products 144 long-haul aircraft travel 126 low-carbon technologies 37 low-water sanitation 143 Maho Bay Camp resort (Caribbean) 127 Trash to Treasures Art Center 127 malaria 4. 157 individuals 2. 169 property-tax rebates 174 Indian Ocean 34–35 indigenous building sources 170 indigenous plants 153. 81.

175. 65 nuclear waste 105 Obama. 81 mulch 156 multinational companies 5. 89. 186 municipal buildings 175 municipal waste 69. 175. 66 oil 53 reserves 54 rising prices 54 spills 161 oil-based fuel 161 oil-from-coal production 3–4 One Planet Living Target 43 on-site storm water management 151–52 organic architecture 176 organic waste products 70 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 30. 87. 81 photovoltaic cell (solar cell) 68 physical water scarcity 80 plants 29 wastes 108 PlaNYC 2030 (New York) 167 pollination 29 pollution 3. 154 Netherlands 86. 173 Pew Center on Global Climate Change 25 Pew Global Attitudes Project 179 pharmaceuticals 29 Philippines 71. 79. 28 consequences 10 prevention 60 transport 161 216 Transient Caretakers . 174 neutrality of water concept 93–94 New Zealand 182 Nigeria 169 Nile basin 82 Nisshinbo California Inc. 173. 57. 28–29 mining 107. Barack 179–80 oceans 28 dumping of waste 105 wave energy 55. waste water recycling plant 88 Nanosolar (Palo Alto company) 68–69 National Consumers League (NCL) 11–12 natural gas 53 Nepal 126. 60 North America 85 Norway Corporate Social Responsibility 181 hydropower production 58 nuclear power 54. 178 megacities 169–70 Mercedes-Benz 61 methane (CH4) 4. 38. 105–07 solid waste 100 water (sewage) 100–01 municipalities 37. 9. 58. 177 pest control 29 pesticides 108. 68.marshes 28 Masdar City plans 128. 12. 158. 23 Metrobus Istanbul 167 Mexico City 167 Mexico 170 microbes 29 microhydro power 126 Middle East 128 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) 21–22. 177 MySpace 5 Namibia. 113 and non-OECD countries 54 OSPAR Convention 105 outdoor kitchen gardens 154 Paine. 108 Mitigation Banks 86 motion-sensor lamps 139 motor-engine transportation 161 Mozambique 78–79. Thomas 19 Palm Desert (California) 37 parallel hybrid cars 61–62 Payment for Environmental Services (PES) 85–86 Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) 85–86 pedestrian space 167.

79. 28. 22. 86. 87 Sasol (South Africa) carbon credits 42 projects 3–4 seed dispersal 29 Senegal 78–79 sewer systems 173 shareholders of companies 10–11. 93 privatisation of public water utilities 86 product responsibility 17. 158 regulating 21 renewable energy sources 10. 83. 83. 185 sisal processing factories 70 social issues 17 social network services 5 soil quality 27 solar power 3. 185 single bottom line 10. 82. 41. 80. 110–12 profit 10 propane 62 provisioning 21 Psiloritis Mountains (Crete) 27 public areas 175 interest 178 quality of water 21. 27. 94. 66 internal and external 8 Stern. 173 road motor vehicles 162–64 transport 161 Roadster Tesla 164 role players 2–3 roof-top gardens 57 Royal Dutch/Shell Group Planning 66 Royal Hawaiian Honeys 42 rural areas 2 rural women 78–79. 115 rain water catchment system 3 containers 88 recycling 106–07. 182 Spain 77. 72 Green Building Council 61 JSE Securities Exchange 4 National Water Services Act 89 Standard Bank 9 West Coast District Municipality 67 Western Cape 88–89 South America 85 South Korea 4. 108 Index 217 . 82 stakeholders 16. 65. 88. 72.water 87 ponds 152 population growth 20 movements 38 poverty 10 pricing of water 82. 151. 143 Russia 105 Rwanda 78 Ryokan 149 sanitation 78. Sir Nicholas 33–34 Stockholm International Water Institute 30 storm surges 35 street lamps 175 sub-Saharan Africa 4. 66 cell manufacture 73 energy 68–69 municipal plants 69 panels 139 water heaters 57 Somalia 78 South Africa 182 basic water supply 89 Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism 182–83 Ekurhuleni municipality 57–58 Eskom 59. 56 action steps 72–73 incentives for use 174 see also sustainable energy sources responsibility 2–3 ownership and management 86 rivers 28. 15. 97 radiation 53 railway transport 161 RainCatcher system 88 rain-fed improvements 90 rainforests 24.

181 swimming pools 140 Switzerland 85. Kathryn 137 SunFire Solutions 142 sustainability 11 global financial crisis 180 reporting 16–17 travel and tourism industry 126–27 types of disclosure 17 Sustainable Energy Africa 57 sustainable energy sources 64–66 see also renewable energy sources Sweden 105. 161–66 tree planting 73. see worm composting Vietnam 154 ‘virtual water’ 93 Volkswagen 42 Wales 68 waste 99–100. 105 synthetic textiles 145 Syria 82 Tanzania 70. 141 deciduous and evergreen 150–51 triple bottom line 10. see Britain United Nations (UN) Environmental Programme 125–26 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 154 Global Compact 12. 171–72 urban gardens 154 urban innovation 178 urbanisation 169 urban planners 171–72 urban transportation 165 USDA Forest Service 33 utility rates 60 Valéry. 163 traditional building techniques 170 traffic congestion 176 control 175–77 restriction 177 transport 175–77 choices 162 cost accounting 175 sustainable 166 transportation 161–62 sustainable models 162 systems 166–68 travelling 126. Paul 1 Van Schalkwyk. 143 Tata Motors 163 temperature changes 34 land and ocean 23 tidal currents. Marthinus 182 vehicles end-of-life 164 restrictions in Beijing 167 selection of 164 Veolia Water company 88 vermicomposting. Georgia 77 Bank of America 3 California 66.subsidisation of farmers 10 Sudan 82 Sullivan. 181 Human Development Report 78–79 United States (US) 138 Anheuser-Busch beers 70 Atlanta. 82 Colorado River 80 Energy Information Administration 55 FutureGen coal-fired plant 65 National Gardening Association 149–50 solar panels 66 urban areas 2 urban development 26. 16 Turkey 82 Twitter 5 typhoons 35 Uganda 78–79. 15. 173–74 avoiding 110–13 dumpsites 102 218 Transient Caretakers . 82 UK. harnessing of 174 Tigris-Euphrates system 82 tourism 125–29 creating employment 126 toxic substances 161 Toyota Prius 61–62.

43. 51. 79 World Resources Institute (WRI) Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI) 57 World Tourism Organization 126–27 World Travel and Tourism Council 126–27 Living Planet Report 138 worm composting 156 Wuppertal Institute 110 WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) 36. 141 World Bank 33. 138 Zero Waste strategy 111–12 companies 112–13 Zimbabwe 61 Eastgate Building 61 Zoological Society of London (ZSL) 138 Index 219 . 66. 67–68 turbine manufacture 73 wind-powered electro-generators 174 wood wastes 69. 95. 59. 4. 85.handling 105–07 inadequate disposal systems 102 industrial processes 107–09 management strategies 104–05 types of 100–03 waste-water management 173 water 2. 173 accessibility 80–82 ‘banks’ 87 declining supply 22 inefficient use 82–83 neutrality 93–94 pollution 22. 73 power 65. 143 website 93 water-pricing policies 84–85 water-trading policies 85–86 water-wise gardening 156–57 water-wise pot plants 157 West Antarctic ice sheet 24 Wetland Banks 86 wildlife habitats in gardens 152–53 loss of 26–27 wind energy farm 67. 137. 125 World Future Energy Summit 66–67 World Meteorological Organization 125–26 world population 9–10. 29–31 quality changes 19 quotas 85 restrictions 77–79 scarcity 80 supply 29–31 transport 161 Water Footprint Network 92–93. 98.

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