A lot of very good work is being done in the name of Sustainability Ã¯Â¿Â½ even though most of those doing the work couldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t give you a decent explanation of why that work is being done.
Yes Ã¯Â¿Â½ we all know that we have an energy crisis, but itÃ¯Â¿Â½s actually two crises that are facing in opposite directions, but they donÃ¯Â¿Â½t cancel each other out. Instead, we have a devilÃ¯Â¿Â½s synergy. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½ve created a crisis of abundance and scarcity at the same time. We burn fossil fuels at such a rate that weÃ¯Â¿Â½ve altered the planetÃ¯Â¿Â½s weather patterns and crops are wasting in the fields (and, yes, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s still raining!), while at the same time we are seeking out more reserves of the same stuff, despite the difficulty and cost of extraction. This is not a sustainable situation.
Our rate of consumption is creating a situation whereby one country buys the landscape of another country in order to enhance its mineral reserves (China has bought a mountain in Peru for its copper deposits). And at the same time as weÃ¯Â¿Â½re stripping the land of its natural resources, weÃ¯Â¿Â½re throwing away millions of tons of Ã¯Â¿Â½oldÃ¯Â¿Â½ stuff. This is not a sustainable situation.
Charles Dickens gave us Wilkins Micawber and his Ã¯Â¿Â½something will turn up.Ã¯Â¿Â½ And we have political, business leaders and scientists who still believe the same thing. We have more analytical tools than the human race has ever seen and a future that is a state of acute peril. But there are still people of great influence who prefer not to believe whatÃ¯Â¿Â½s happening in front of there eyes and say Ã¯Â¿Â½something will turn upÃ¯Â¿Â½; cars running on water; nuclear fusion, mining the moon, alien technology Ã¯Â¿Â½. something will turn up and we will be FREE!
So we continue to take and waste, applauding our attempts to do the same old things Ã¯Â¿Â½more efficientlyÃ¯Â¿Â½ Ã¯Â¿Â½ rather than wondering that, perhaps, there are some things best left undone.
Which is where Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) comes in. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½re locked into a weird mind-set whereby the future will be secured by some, as yet unknown, technological marvel (and it really would need to be a marvel). What we need is a different mind-set; one that sees a wider picture and takes in a far wider view of whatÃ¯Â¿Â½s happening.
CSR understands that sustainability is bigger than a low-energy widget; itÃ¯Â¿Â½s a low-energy widget that is designed, made, distributed and re-claimed as par of a single process. CSR involves not only the economic bottom line, but requires similar emphases on the social and environmental drivers that make up the fabric of human interaction.
True sustainable action via CSR recognises goals and principles that involve:
positive action on human rights and labour practices
protection of the environment
accepting full responsibility for the development of goods
social drivers (such as anti-corruption and fair trade action)
community involvement and development
This issues are managed under a system of Corporate Governance, ensuring that sustainability begins in the boardroom and filters right through the organisation.
SUSTAINABILITY may be the end, but a programme of CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is the means to achieve it.
Greenwashing: a guidline for good behaviour
The elephant box in the room
What Lighting Designers Should be Looking For . . . and Asking For
The Children's Fire
Products That Last - Redux
Products That Last - Review No.3
Products That Last - Review No.2
Products That Last - Review No.1
Products That Last
Talking about Waste - as we were . . .
Sustainability - They Seek it Here, They Seek it There . . .
Sustainability - the core message
The Life and Times of the LED - a series in ten parts
Sustainability: They Seek it Here; They Seek it There . . .
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room