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Lecture 1

ENV310H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Life-Cycle Assessment, Sustainable Development, Civil Society

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Barbara Murck

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ENV310 LEC 1
- Introduction
o Terminology
o What do we mean by the term sustainability
o Sustainability as a business megatrend
Fundamental and persistent shift required in how companies compete
Managers can no longer afford to ignore sustainability as a central factor in LT
Will touch every function of every company
o Course overview
Defining terms
Historical roots of the concept
Eco aspects of sustainability
Soc/cultural aspects of sustainability
Measuring sustainability
Sustainability indexes and indicators
Human development index
UN sustainable development goals
Practices and practitioners of sustainability
Corporations and industries
o Lifecycle assessment and eco design
Civil society and the NFP sector
o Theory of change
Municipal- and community-level initiatives
Campus and youth initiatives
Spiritual and religious communities
Voices of sustainability lectures
- Why define the terms?
o Lack of clarity
o Both terms (sustainability and sustainable development) are vague and malleable
Highly susceptible to being co-opted for antithetical purposes
o Language is the constructive of reality
Words shape how things actually are
The way we talk about things has implications for policies and actions, and thus
for daily life
- Sustainability vs sustainable development
o Sustainability = the goal
o Sustainable development = the process
o Sustainable process or activity that can be maintained without exhaust or collapse
o Development more difficult to define
Iprovig peoples lives
o Sustainable development - Development that meets the needs of the present, without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
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