An increasing number of nations, communities, academic institutions and businesses are committed to the overall idea of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. CSE helps define and measure sustainability with precision using state of the art metrics and techniques. We help identify initiatives that foster sustainability as well as practices that erode natural, human, built, and social capital over time.
Some recent examples of our sustainability analysis work include:
Industrial Footprint Project for the Pulp and Paper Sector, Washington State
Center for Sustainable Economy is working with Earth Economics in Tacoma, Washington to provide a leading role in Washington State's Industrial Footprint Project (IFP). The IFP is a project coordinated by the State's Department of Ecology (DOE). The project's goals are to develop an indicator system that can be used to quantify the benefits of sustainability investments and initiatives by major industrial sectors in the state. The first sector being addressed by the IFP is the pulp and paper industry. In collaboration with five participating mills, DOE, Earth Economics, and Redefining Progress, Center for Sustainable Economy has developed a set of 93 environmental, economic, and social indicators. The indicators address a wide range of critical issues such as climate change, air and water pollution, regional economic impact, workplace satisfaction, and social investments. CSE has developed a way to consolidate these indicators into an overall sustainability measure - the industrial footprint - and is now working to apply this system to participating mill's data. The IFP is a model program. If successful, it will be applied to other sectors as a tool for making Washington Stateâ€™s industries global leaders in sustainability performance. Read:
- Project Report 2.1 - Key Aspects of Environmental, Economic, and Social Sustainability
- Project Report 2.2 - Evaluation of Sustainability Indicators
- Project Report 2.4 - Aggregation and Scoring System
- Project Report 2.5 - Incorporating Targets into the Scoring System
- Project Report 5.0 - Analysis of Pulp and Paper Industry Waste Stream
- Project Report 6.0 - Resource Efficiency and Pollution Control
- Project Report 8.0 - Sustainability Incentives
Post-2015 Development Agenda
Since the year 2000, the United Nations’ global development agenda has been guided by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of eight broad goals and associated targets and indicators that were designed to inspire actions by international economic, financial, and aid institutions and their counterparts at the national and sub-national levels to advance a balanced vision of sustainable development based on economic growth, equity, and environmental sustainability.
While significant progress has been achieved on a few key goals such as eradicating extreme poverty, improving maternal health, reducing consumption of ozone depleting substances, improving literacy, and reducing the incidence and rate of spread of HIV-AIDS, the world is beset by a host of converging crises that impede progress towards a sustainable global society that maintains well-being for all. The list is long – chronic poverty, sprawling slums, malnutrition, horrific working conditions, gross inequalities, extinction, accelerating climate change, deadly air pollution, loss and degradation of vital ecosystems and growing shortages of food, energy and water to name a few.
The MDGs expire in 2015, and the UN has now initiated a process to establish a new global development agenda. CSE will be engaging with UN system institutions and leaders in member states to advance a Post-2015 agenda that accomplishes three key results: (1) pulling the plug on failed development policies of the past; (2) scaling up local solutions that represent an entirely new paradigm of development, and (3) reforming governance to hold decision makers accountable. Read:
Fiber Footprint Calculators for Promoting Sustainable Cotton
Center for Sustainable Economy and the Sustainable Cotton Project have adapted the Ecological Footprint tool to measure the impacts of cotton production taking into consideration where that cotton is grown, where it is shipped for manufacturing, how much water and energy is required, chemical inputs, transportation, and waste disposal. Our Fiber Footprint Calculators compare the footprint of conventionally grown cotton in various regions of the world with sustainably grown cotton so that buyers and growers can make informed choices. The Calculators provide cotton buyers and growers a breakdown of cottonâ€™s footprint under various growing methods taking into account variations in productivity, use of chemicals, fertilizers, and water, carbon emissions, and distance to market. View: