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Lecture 1

ENV 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: The Natural Step, Noora

Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENV 1101
Sonia Wesche

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Mayers 1
Sustainability literacy
Sustainability literacy is defined as the knowledge and mindset that help compel an
individual to become deeply committed to building a sustainable future and that allow him or her
to make informed and effective decisions that reflect positively on the environment. The term
was first mentioned by the environmental consultancy Forum for the Future, an organization that
has worked extensively with the higher education sector in recent years in exploring the
implications of sustainable development. They suggest that a sustainability literate person is
someone who understands the need for sustainable development, has the abilities to act in favour
of it, and can recognize others’ decisions and actions that favour it. It isn't about improving
education, but rather about changing moral attitudes and behaviour.
What is expected to come from spreading awareness on sustainability literacy is, an increase
in caring about the future of society and intergenerational equality, the empowerment of students
and a heightened belief that they can make a difference and, an increase in personal willingness
to participate in solving societal and environmental problems. Expressed at the highest level, a
sustainability literate person would be expected to understand the need for change to a
sustainable way of doing things, individually and collectively have sufficient knowledge and
skills to decide and act in a way that favours sustainable development and, be able to recognize
and reward other people’s decisions and actions that favour sustainable development. A
sustainability literate person will have sufficient knowledge and understanding to talk to others
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