Defining sustainability is tricky, because it covers such a wide range of activities. In the workplace many companies have programmes around energy savings and reducing waste as their sustainability initiatives. This is great, though sustainability is far wider than this. Also for those service companies with little energy use and minimal waste, what are they to do? This is where gaining an understanding of the wider issues can develop the company perspective and open up opportunities for change. SustainEd works with clients to develop this understanding.
A favourite definition of sustainability is ‘Enough, For all, Always’. It is alarmingly simple yet maddeningly comprehensive. However, it remains true. Sustainability is as much about how we do things as what we do. If our attitudes and understanding change then the rest will follow. This is why SustainEd works with clients to build connections, to show perspectives, to open possibilities, in the sure knowledge that the correct pathway for the organisation to take will then come into focus.
Sustainability has the potential to open up huge new opportunities for those willing to see the bigger picture and to spend time working on their strategic approach. An organisation’s personnel must develop a common language and understanding around sustainability in order to design and implement a cohesive and effective strategy.
We work with organisations to design introductory and advanced courses that have practical outcomes, foster innovation and encourage collaboration amongst the participants. Contact us to find out more.
All SustainEd personnel are fully trained and experienced and we can offer training to meet your organisation’s needs. We can provide blended learning courses in conjunction with the Blekinge
Tekniska Högskola in Sweden, which in 2009 was voted Europe’s third best engineering college in respect of their education for sustainability.
Learning from the future
SustainEd is a small company with big ideas and experienced staff. We aim to enable change to make the future a better place. Change that will have positive benefits on the environment and society and will make an economic profit in doing so. Our people have vast experience both nationally and internationally and hold a proven track record in systems thinking, collaboration and sustainability.
Learning from the future is our catchy strap line, and no it is not a typo! A sustainable future will be based on a fundamentally different world view and we can’t get there by just focussing on what has worked in the past. The current model we all work to is that the world is like a clock with millions of mechanical moving parts. The new view is more about flow, connectivity, systems and this affects how we define problems and conceive solutions. We don’t reject the past but we don’t need to be hindered by it either. We use a principle based vision of a sustainable future that opens up new opportunities for progress based on what the future is telling us. Learning from the future.
We at SustainEd are systems thinkers. That explains our philosophy and our approach. Systems thinking is a way of looking at the world, a way of approaching a problem, and a way of understanding a complex problem such as sustainability. Many of the issues we face today are, we believe, the product of an outdated world view. The deterministic and mechanistic view that has served us well for centuries is now holding us back from capitalising on a new world of possibilities. Our training and experience allows us to bring fresh thinking to organisational problems and turn them into fruitful opportunities.
Systems thinking has been around for many years and is incorporated into many of the sciences and theoretical approaches to understanding. It is relatively new as an approach to addressing organisational issues. It is a ’30,000 feet’ view focussing on a problem by looking, not just at the part, but rather on ‘what it is part of’. The Natural Step (TNS), with its Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is a unique systems-based approach that has proven to work across countless organisations of all types, sizes and geographies. This Swedish approach has been rigorously tested, both academically and practically; TNS can be used to address many different situations. TNS is based on four scientific principles that set the parameters for understanding sustainability and the FSSD gives a strategic framework for working on the problem that allows established tools and actions to be incorporated into the solutions. We use this approach to re-frame, re-present, re-conceive the issues at hand and to come up with bespoke solutions for clients.