Ensure Operations are not only Efficient and Productive, but also Sustainable
Sustainable development is a complex term that encompasses institutional, economic and ecological factors - it has many definitions but is broadly defined as: meeting the needs of the current populace without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.
The United Nations adopted the term ‘Sustainable Development’ in a document named ‘Agenda 21’ which was released in 1992 at the Earth Summit (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) held at Rio de Janeiro. Five years later the general assembly of the UN determined that little progress had been made to prevent the deterioration of the global environment and to address inequality of income. In the 2002 Earth Summit met in Johannesburg and this meeting affirmed the UN commitment to full implementation of Agenda 21 alongside other international agreement – however the absence of the United States at this summit was a major drawback to realistic implementation on a global basis.
Sustainability is achieved when global economic, social and environmental development are interlinked i.e. dependent on each other to form one complex global system. This approach helps the way in which we assess our approach to business; it helps to open up or modify perceived barriers or boundaries. The horticultural world for example is associated with many such boundaries i.e. protectionism, tariffs etc. In order to encourage sustainable and equitable global development these barriers would need to be re-defined or removed where at all appropriate.
There are many ways in which successful Global Sustainable Development can be encouraged. Following are ways that this may be achieved and encompasses:
- Ways to give all people a higher quality of life – i.e. eradicating poverty.
- Ways that improve quality of life and protect human capital, without compromising the environment or the loss of natural capital.
- Ways to protect and restore natural resources.
- Ways to alter demand – ie. unsustainable over consumption which leads to unsustainable over production.
- Community participation and equality – gender, social or cultural backgrounds should not be a limiting factor. Training should be provided for poor communities in environmentally sensitive areas in ways to protect that environment. This is particularly relevant to the farming community. In urban areas people should be trained to prevent waste and contamination.
- Biodiversity conservation.
- Best practice –a standardized approach to the way things are done; a philosophical, but useful and flexible concept that engenders continuous learning and improvement of processes through time and evolution.
- Recognition of risk.
- Good governance.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
People who may be interested in this course include those who are work in, or who hope to work in:
- Horticulture retail
- Horticulture wholesale
- Plant nurseries
- Landscape businesses
- Garden maintenance