Can Natural Step promote sustainability in Organisations? There are three examples where companies have used The Natural Step and the outcomes prove whether it promotes sustainability. The examples shown are Stena Metall AB, an industrial recycling, trading and shipping company. The second example is Scandic Hotels and example three is Interface, a manufacturer of commercial floor covering.
The Natural Step is a non- profit environmental education organisation with sight of the socially and ecologically sustainable society. Karl Henrik Robert, a cancer doctor in Sweden, discovered Natural Step in 1989. He noticed an increase in childhood leukaemia cases and seen and understood an association between human illnesses and toxins. The approach for The Natural Step is to develop their framework, and put it to use in companies and other organisations. They intend to support it, plus
Work towards becoming role models in the domain of sustainable development.Internet.
The Natural Step promotes sustainability, and to define sustainability this is when materials are used in continuous cycles, reliable sources of energy is used continuously, and qualities of being human is sustainable. Examples would be as follows: creativity, co-ordination, appreciation, and spiritual and intellectual development.Internet
The Natural Step sets out a framework to guide companies and organisations in a direction towards sustainable development and defines the framework it lays out. The purpose of the framework is to explain in the simplest terms so that companies can understand it and integrate in their everyday work. It includes four core processes:
i. Understanding the nature of business and society that is unsustainable and the interest of inspiring towards sustainability.
ii. Understanding the principles for sustainability, i.e., the four systems Conditions.
iii. Strategic visioning through back-casting from a desired sustainable future. Back- casting is determining steps required reaching the desired state.
iv. Identify the desired vision for the company and putting forward strategic steps to move the company in.Book, The Natural Step for business, Brian Nattrass & Mary Altomare.
The Natural Step framework is used to integrate environmental considerations in to businesses every day work. It assists in creating goals to move companies towards a sustainable direction.
It is important that organisations and companies move in this direction, as the human population is around six billion. Humans carelessness has caused life-supporting systems such as croplands, wetlands, the ozone layer, forestry, fisheries and groundwater to decline, and companies that close their eyes to environmental reality are likely to hit the wall.
In todays society, visible forms of molecular garbage, waste and visible waste is producing and accumulating in the air. What happens is societal demand increases, and room to meet those demands decreases, in other words there is no where to store the resources. More people are coming in to the world, resources are required to facilitate and there are increased pressures on the capacity of the ecosphere to absorb waste. If we do not create a sustainable society eventually, our businesses will hit the wall. The only option is the restoration of cyclical processes, where wastes become new resources for society or nature. However, if humans realise that the ecosystem has limits, and they work towards the four systems conditions, this could be avoided and chances of a sustainable future might be possible.Internet
In knowing what the framework contains, you also need to keep in mind the four systems conditions that guide companies and organisations in the direction of a sustainable future. Dr. Karl Henrik derived them. The Natural Step concepts and methodology shows the discipline of sustainability in the basic laws of thermodynamics. The purpose of the four systems conditions is to find a framework for discussing sustainable human activities through non-overlapping first order principles. To come up with the principles, research was on human activities, and how they could destroy or deteriorate the ecological system that we depend on. In a sustainable society, this would not happen.Internet
The four systems conditions do not tell the company what to do, it provides the first order principles that must be met for sustainability. The framework where this sustainability can take place are derived through the four system conditions which are as follows:
i. Substances from the Earths crust must not systematically increase in nature.