that are changing our world
Researched and written by Hannah Cassidy
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Internet | Economics | Agriculture Development | Education/Community | Ecology
Scientific Principles| Publishing | Technology | Activism | Political/Corporate |
BIG PICTURE TV
A website that streams free videos of global leaders talking about sustainability issues.
Picture TV was first conceived out of the ashes of 9/11. Founder Marcus
Morrell describes the overwhelming sense of fearmongering, anger and
ignorance that followed this event, and says that the media were
“caught out” by the catastrophe. It wasn’t until he heard a speech by
William McDonough that Morrell realised that there was an alternative
mental attitude to the world’s changing circumstances – the option of
seeing ourselves as an innovative species, capable of positive change.
this revelation as a breath of fresh air, he threw himself into
researching sustainability, realising the volume of ideas that were
already ‘out there’, and that a forum was needed for these voices to be
heard at the grass roots.
Morrell describes an
information gap in the media, which has a very ‘day-to-day’ level of
reporting – one catastrophe is thrust into the public consciousness,
only to be quickly forgotten for something new. He realised that here
was a need for a long-term focus.
Although Morrell makes
it clear that every issue covered in the site is interlinked with the
next, he describes a ‘hierarchy’ of issues, with the overarching issue
being that of climate change, closely followed by that of oil and the
impending economic fallout – the need to translate from a carbon to a
A wide variety of the clips have been used within the media and for education.
itself as a “one-stop shop for positive change”, Anti-Apathy is an
initiative that tackles issues such as consumption and ethical fashion
by promoting awareness, encouraging action for social change, and
stimulating engagement with social, political and environmental
THE WEB OF HOPE
educational network, presenting achievable solutions to global problems
and communication links between individuals and/or businesses with a
shared vision of a hopeful future.
of the greatest challenges facing us at this time is the sense of
apathy and negativity that prevents people from confronting global
problems head-on. The Web of Hope website is refreshingly positive and
simple, presenting global ‘horrors’ such as deforestation and the
collapse of the world’s fisheries alongside a corresponding ‘hope’ – a
solution, an alternative, a way forward. The website is also full of
encouraging invitations to join in, either as a volunteer, as a partner
or through making a donation.
Organisations like this make
it virtually impossible to do nothing – the alternatives are not
difficult, and the insanity of our current behaviour and of not
changing it seems ridiculous in comparison.
The Web of
Hope is concerned with educating young people as the shapers of the
future; it combines positive action with real, accessible information,
making ecological solutions more mainstream rather than overly worthy.
Through its unique database it also provides an exchange mechanism for
the cross-fertilisation of sustainability role models, recognising that
people require a platform for their ideas and a shared sense of purpose
in order to achieve real, permanent change.
THE GLOBE PROGRAMME
data-sharing facility, linking students and scientists to projects and
activities, its aim to increase environmental awareness and children’s
scientific understanding of the Earth.
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TRIODOS BANK UK
A pioneering, values-driven bank, financing organisations and businesses that benefit people and the environment.
Bank offers an opportunity for individuals to make a difference through
the ethical management of their finances. Investment projects are
chosen that have a positive impact within three equal and interlinking
fields of investment – environmental, cultural and social – as
represented by the three interwoven loops of the bank’s symbol. Founded
in 1980 in the Netherlands, Triodos Bank now has branches in Belgium,
Spain and the UK. Within the UK alone the bank is lending over £122
million to 556 organisations.
Triodos is committed to
customer care as much as it is to supporting ethical projects across
the UK. Money deposited in savings accounts is invested in these
projects, with an emphasis for the customer on transparency in the
lending process. Customers are even able to take an active role in how
their money is used through the provision of partnership accounts,
where funds are only lent within a particular sector such as organic
A company that aims to reduce greenhouse-gas levels in the atmosphere through ‘offsetting’.
is essentially a process by which you can pay someone to reduce CO2 in
the atmosphere by the same amount that your personal activities add,
therefore making you ‘carbon neutral’. Climate Care achieves this by
funding worldwide projects that replace the use of fossil fuels through
the development of renewable energy sources, reduce carbon emissions
through improving energy efficiency, and absorb carbon in the
atmosphere through forest restoration.
Through the website
you are able to assess how much CO2 you would need to offset to become
‘carbon neutral’. The personal cost of this process is not as
frightening as some people might fear. For example, if my annual
housing energy bills came to £1,100, I would need to pay a total of
£59.49 in offsets. Of course, if I were to improve insulation, change
over to renewable energy sources, only put as much water in the kettle
as I need, and so on, I would owe even less.
corporations now offering their customers the opportunity to offset
their emissions, the concept is building a raised profile in the public
consciousness, as well as becoming more easily achievable. Crucially,
arguments in favour of businesses signing up for this process are
strong, raising their profile in the eyes of increasing numbers of
investors and customers who are concerned about the environmental
impact of business.
NEW ECONOMICS FOUNDATION (nef)
nef projects running across the UK are time banks and neighbourhood
think tanks. One of nef’s most important current initiatives is that of
Ecological Debt – spotlighting the global burden of our high-consuming
lifestyles in the West leading to an ever-rising dependence on the rest
of the world for resources. The initiative points at an inefficient
trade system and the environmental impact that this system is having on
our planet. In the context of catastrophic climate change a trade
system in which, in 2004, the UK exported 465 tonnes of gingerbread and
imported 460 tonnes of the same product is ridiculous to the point of
CO-OPERATIVE & COMMUNITY FINANCE (ICOF)
lender for social purposes, promoting an ethical policy of
co-operation, common ownership, equal opportunity and sustainable
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INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR ECOLOGY & CULTURE (ISEC)
initiative that promotes discussion on the impact of globalisation on
communities and generates strategies for effective local action.
Norberg-Hodge set up the Ladakh Project whilst living and working in
this remote region of northernmost India. During her time there the
Indian government started to introduce unsustainable Western
agricultural systems to the region, to largely uninformed local
communities. With her fluent knowledge of the language, she became
aware that there was a huge information gap between the industrialised
and the majority world and she felt motivated to fill this gap,
informing local people of sustainable alternatives, such as the use of
solar power to replace diesel generators, and the cost-saving benefits
of establishing a strong organic agricultural system rather than
relying on pesticides. The change of the project’s name to what is now
ISEC reflects the fact that, between 1984 and 1989, Norberg-Hodge’s
work began to spread beyond Ladakh to gain international prominence.
describes herself as having “a bird’s-eye view” of the global economy
and recognises the link between agriculture and culture: how a
community’s method of growing and marketing food shapes it culturally.
Within the UK ISEC has been instrumental in establishing farmers’
markets and localised agricultural schemes, helping to strengthen a
sense of local culture, identity and pride. Norberg-Hodge is clear that
an education is essential when tackling globalisation and the
consequences of this system on both climate change and community.
in issues of transport, urban and rural planning, environmental
management and sustainable development. Also responsible for the
publication of World Transport Policy & Practice, a journal and
medium for original and creative work in world transport.
HERITAGE SEED LIBRARY
One aspect of the work of Garden Organic (HDRA), Europe’s largest organic membership organisation.
millennia, fruit and vegetables have evolved and adapted to their
environment, resulting in an abundance of locally compatible varieties
of the same, basic species. For example, one hundred years ago the UK
supported 120 varieties of tall pea. Since the birth of industrial food
processing, varieties have dwindled. Nature requires adaptability and
variation, with, for example, peas ripening at different times through
the summer to provide season-long crops. In contrast, the industrial
food-processing system relies on economy of scale, using only varieties
that all ripen and can be processed at the same time.
an apparent abundance of food available, HDRA warns that a reliance on
single crops can be disastrous when crops fail and that – in the face
of climate change – local, adaptable food supplies will become
The Heritage Seed Library’s
beginnings were inspired by new EU regulations stipulating that seeds
which were not EU-approved could not be sold. This led to a serious
concern that many less commercially viable varieties would be lost.
approximately 700 varieties are conserved in a ‘living library’. Seeds
can be obtained through a membership scheme, but only once the library
has obtained enough seed samples. The initiative currently has more
than 10,500 members and is working closely with national research
institutions and the UK government on strategic planning of genetic
resources in agriculture. www.gardenorganic.org.uk
THE COUNTRYSIDE RESTORATION TRUST
A farming and conservation charity dedicated to restoring and protecting the countryside.
Countryside Restoration Trust has successfully set up a network of
demonstration farms, now managing over 1,000 acres of land throughout
the UK. These farms are established as a means of inspiring and
educating people to accept that sustainable, modern farming methods can
be combined with historic wisdom to achieve a three-pronged goal:
profitable agriculture, restored wildlife, and a vibrant rural culture.
It has also pioneered an innovative, sustainable land-management system
called Wildfarming, which aims to create/restore wildlife habitats,
protect the environment through efficient use and recycling of
resources, and produce quality seasonal food for local markets.
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Re-weaving the local world by inspiring and activating people to celebrate and care for their everyday surroundings.
Ground has initiated many projects over the last twenty years,
including Apple Day and Trees, Woods and the Green Man, but their Local
Distinctiveness project informs all the others. The project and the
initiative as a whole are concerned with deepening the link between
nature and culture and lifting people’s aspirations to connect with
Understanding what makes our place
different from the next, what accumulations of story upon history upon
natural history give it its uniqueness, helps us to maintain our
attachments, and attachment is more likely to lead to care.
Ground has worked since the beginning across the arts, recognising that
poetry can help us understand and be courageous about saying we love
ordinary things. It has shown that social exploration and celebration
can give people a start in expressing their passions as well as
exchanging local wisdom and tumbleweed knowledge.
Common Ground’s positively parochial projects are picked up in many lands since the ideas have a universal resonance.
THE JANE GOODALL INSTITUTE UK (JGI)
A global environmental initiative founded and headed by one of the world’s most famous scientists.
works tirelessly to promote an understanding of humans, animals and our
environment. Its educational programme Roots & Shoots has a huge
international impact, inspiring young people to adopt an attitude of
care and compassion for the environment. Jane Goodall herself provides
a leading light and offers us four reasons to hope (and to act
positively): the human brain and capacity for understanding; the
determination of young people (and therefore a capacity for change);
the indomitable human spirit; and the resilience of nature.
THE EDEN PROJECT
A project which focuses on the natural world and explores the choices available to us and how those choices shape our future.
Eden Project is a microcosm of our planet and describes itself as a
‘living theatre’, comprising two massive greenhouses (biomes) which
house the humid tropics and warm temperate regions, and a surrounding
‘outdoor biome’. Through living, growing, changing nature and art
(including performance), visitors are able to explore and celebrate
nature, encouraging respect for the things that sustain us.
is a crucial element of the Eden Project’s work, running workshops and
conferences, and it is visited by as many as 250 schoolchildren each
day. Once there, children and teachers can explore and share ideas
about the complex issues that we face, within a motivating and
interactive environment, working towards an understanding that we hold
the decisions that shape the future of our planet.
Eden Project is very much a multisensory experience and art is a
crucial part of this. Many artists have contributed to the project’s
exploration of issues such as our use of natural materials and the
impact of trade and industry on the environment. The artistic
experience at Eden is a multimedia one, incorporating film, theatre,
visual art, sculpture … art that you can walk through, talk about and
interact with. The art reflects ‘us’ within the natural world and
perhaps inspires us to become a more inclusive, more reciprocal part of
THE ASHDEN AWARDS
are awards for sustainable energy, which promote excellence in the
design and development of local sustainable energy solutions both
throughout the UK and worldwide. The Awards recognise and celebrate
pioneering projects at the grassroots, inspiring local innovation and
originality within this critical, global arena.
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of the world’s leading centres for ecological studies. Participants who
are lucky enough to attend a Schumacher course are likely to find their
lives and attitudes irreversibly altered. The experience is unique,
combining opportunities for learning, reflection and the exchange of
ideas with immersion in a sustainable lifestyle, whereby individuals
share in essential activities such as cooking and gardening. This is a
refreshing, holistic approach to learning or training. Shared tasks
bring a sense of cohesion and vibrancy to a group and create a perfect
environment for real learning and self-improvement.
are, on the whole, run by guest teachers. These are people who work at
the leading edge of their fields and who contribute to the creation of
sustainable ways of living. As a result of this, as well as the
transformative ethos of the college, participants have left Schumacher
ready to make massive personal changes that are shaping our future. A
few have set up pioneering initiatives of their own. Others have
campaigned for changes towards sustainability within their companies or
offered their services or skills to existing ecological initiatives.
Those who attend Schumacher with a pre-existing commitment to
ecological issues leave with a renewed sense of shared purpose and
empowered by new knowledge.
THE GAIA FOUNDATION
international non-governmental organisation and registered charity
dedicated to the protection of biological and cultural diversity.
Gaia Foundation was co-founded in the early 1980s by Liz Hosken, Ed
Posey and a group of social and environmental pioneers from Southern
hemisphere countries, including Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Vandana Shiva
(India) and José Lutzenberger (Brazil), with the recognition that, in
the West, material gain through an expanding globalised trading system
was being achieved at the expense of species, ecosystems and future
generations. They proposed a new definition of wellbeing, based on
health and an understanding of our living planet rather than on
possession of material goods or economic gain.
particular, the Gaia Foundation works to empower local and indigenous
communities, especially those in critical ecosystems, to resist threats
to their cultural and biological identity through, for example,
privatisation of rights and natural resources. Through the provision of
support for grassroots initiatives, fund-raising and strategic
planning, learning exchanges, information and research, awareness,
lobbying and advocacy, the Gaia Foundation helps strengthen community
processes, and partners can gain an international arena and participate
in the formation of key policies that will affect their futures.
GREEN & AWAY
Europe’s only tented, environmentally sustainable conference centre.
unique venue aims to inspire and motivate by providing a natural,
eco-friendly environment. It is powered by renewable sources and
doubles as an organic smallholding.
CAMBRIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE
A university-hosted environmental initiative to promote understanding of environmental issues across all areas of research.
Environmental Initiative (CEI) is at the cutting edge of research and
the development of an understanding that will help propel us,
hopefully, into a sustainable future. It has recently been awarded
funding of £2.38 million for research into, amongst other things,
developments in fuel emissions and energy technologies. CEI is an
effective tool for informing some of the world’s greatest young minds
of environmental issues and for
sharing the latest research.
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THE GAIA HYPOTHESIS
Scientific justification brought to the ancient concept of Mother Earth.
1979 James Lovelock has written five books on the Gaia Theory, the
latest being The Revenge of Gaia (2006). The theory is based on the
idea that the Earth is a living, self-regulating system, a coherent
assemblage of physical, chemical, geological and biological forces with
the single goal of maintaining habitability. He describes the Earth as
a single living organism that is fighting to establish a stable state.
This balance is being affected by human action, particularly the
burning of fossil fuels. The rate of human consumption of the Earth’s
resources is unsustainable and almost certainly irreversible, with the
Earth now moving of its own accord towards a new, hotter, stable state.
CONTRACTION AND CONVERGENCE (C&C)
A global climate-policy framework based on the principles of precaution and equity.
principle of contraction and convergence (C&C), created by Aubrey
Meyer, can be simply broken down into three parts: first, the Earth can
only sustain a limited amount of CO2 emissions and this amount can and
must be judged scientifically within a set timeline; secondly, every
individual inhabitant of this Earth has a right to an equal share of
the air; thirdly, that equal, sustainable CO2 emissions can only be
achieved over time.
There is a huge discrepancy between
the annual carbon emissions of the average North American (20 tonnes)
and, say, the average sub-Saharan African (less than half a tonne). In
the past, suggestions have been made that more energy-hungry countries
such as the US should have higher emissions targets than their less
rapacious counterparts, so targets are calculated relative to current
emission levels. According to the principles of C&C, this is
unfair. When a target has been set for emissions, and a sustainable
level of emissions worldwide has been calculated, this should be
divided by the number of people on the planet, each of whom is
allocated an equal entitlement.
This might mean that some
people in non-industrialised countries can actually increase their
emissions to reach their target, whilst those in the West would have to
cut them considerably to create a convergence to equal shares per
person by an agreed date.
To imagine how we might achieve
this over time, it is best to imagine a staircase on which, each year,
we get closer to our goal – a sustainable, fair society and a healthy
planet on which to co-exist.
TRADABLE ENERGY QUOTAS (TEQs)
A revolutionary theory based on the concept of carbon as currency that can be bought and sold within an international market.
Fleming first published the system of TEQs in order to develop a common
purpose in response to two problems relating to energy: climate change
(the impact of carbon emissions on our planet) and energy supply
(dwindling natural resources leading to economic and social/political
fallout). Where there exists a principle such as that of contraction
and convergence, there must also exist a process by which this
principle can be implemented. TEQs provide just such a process.
very simply, everyone is given a fair, sustainable quota of energy per
year. If they save energy, they can be left with carbon credit which
they can then sell. If they are an above-average energy consumer, they
must purchase extra credit. This process could, argues Antony Turner
from Carbon Sense, alleviate global poverty as well as reducing carbon
Nature can absorb approximately two tonnes of
CO2 per person per year. Due to huge discrepancies in emissions, there
is an opportunity for people living in non-industrialised countries to
sell carbon credit and improve their quality of life. This also
provides them with an incentive to establish sustainable methods of
industry and agriculture in order to continue gaining from the world
carbon economy. It also, of course, provides a financial incentive for
the industrialised world to shift towards a more sustainable way of
life, led by business and government.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
F. Schumacher’s radical rethinking of the economic system, orientated
towards regional development strategies; local production for local
use, to alleviate poverty. Promoting the concept of a larger, global
economic system made up of multiple small, local economies, or
“smallness within bigness”.
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A leading environmental magazine founded by Edward Goldsmith.
one of Edward Goldsmith’s most infamous pieces of writing was A
Blueprint for Survival, which was published as a special issue of The
Ecologist in January 1972. This was a seminal work which outlined a
path towards a stable and sustainable society, warning of the ‘extreme
gravity’ of the global situation.
The success of The
Ecologist is due to the quality of its publications and journalism. A
non-profit organisation, it spares no expense in the publishing process
and refuses to compromise on advertising, accepting only ‘green’ or
‘ethical’ advertisers. As with many non-profit organisations, it relies
heavily upon the dedication and shared ethics of its contributors. The
result is that it looks professional and established; it demands that
the reader take it seriously. It also reads well, ensuring that the
principles and ideas outlined within its articles are comprehensive,
clear and accessible.
The Ecologist helps to reduce
confusion over how to be an ethical consumer. By creating connections
between a wide range of subjects, from pharmaceuticals to war, it
encourages critical thinking and provides the reader with the
information necessary to make informed personal decisions that can, in
turn, have global implications.
WE ARE WHAT WE DO
Sharing ideas and achievable goals to enable people to tackle environmental and social issues in their daily lives.
We Are What We Do team surround themselves with volunteers, creatives
and advisers in order to create products that are fresh, clear and
inspirational. The success of their first product, the Change the World
for a Fiver book, and related projects, such as their website for
teachers, speak for themselves. The team are bombarded with emails and
letters telling them how their work has affected people’s lives,
creating a knock-on effect and a movement for change, both in the way
that people understand and treat their environment, and in the way that
people treat one other. The initiative has had a far-reaching impact at
Now at the printing stage of a new
book, Change the World 9 to 5, We Are What We Do is really spreading
its wings. Through the development of a deceptively simple concept it
is building a bridge between the scientific and environmental world,
and communities across the UK and internationally.
initiative was first envisaged by David Robinson, founder of the
charity Community Links, which deals with issues of social exclusion
within the communities of east London. The charity had gone through a
branding process and it was through this that Robinson came up with the
concept of creating a ‘brand’ for social inclusion that would inspire
young people. The result is that, to the common cry, “How can I make a
difference?” there are now some exciting answers.
THE GREEN PARENT MAGAZINE
family-run magazine with a readership of more than 10,000, The Green
Parent supplies alternatives to mainstream parenting based on a belief
in building a brighter, cleaner, simpler future for our children. The
magazine uses green printing processes and is printed on recycled
first carbon-neutral printer in the world, Beacon Press has dedicated
the last decade to pioneering innovations in the printing process, for
example, in energy saving, water conservation, reducing chemicals and
emissions and waste minimisation.
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CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY (CAT)
leading eco-centre dedicated to the research, development and promotion
of practical solutions to environmental problems.
first volunteers that started CAT in a disused slate quarry in
mid-Wales lived in difficult conditions and it wasn’t until 1975, and
the opening of the visitor centre, that the project managed to attain
any level of recognition from the outside world. Volunteers then and
now provide CAT with a huge range of skills and experience, staying for
between a week and six months they generally gain as many skills as
they bring with them. Working within any area of the project, from
publishing to engineering, volunteers gain experience in sustainable
The seven-acre site now welcomes around
65,000 visitors per year, with working features such as a wave machine
and a straw-bale theatre. CAT informs and inspires, leading to a
gradual movement within mainstream technology towards sustainable,
CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES
of Ulster University, the Centre for Sustainable Technologies
facilitates multidisciplinary research into emerging, existing or
alternative technologies. Their research covers areas of renewable
energy, building design, construction materials and environmental
modification technologies. The centre is internationally recognised as
a key contributor to the development and research of pioneering,
sustainable energy solutions.
A similar initiative is
hosted by Loughborough University: CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy
Systems Technology), contributes to the development of renewable energy
options through their work with research institutions and industries.
by Jeremy Leggett, the UK’s leading provider of photovoltaic and solar
thermal solutions. Through research, manufacturing and installation its
aim is to revolutionise the global energy market. It provides expert
advice on all aspects of solar energy, from available grants to
maximising energy efficiency.
by the radical economist E. F. Schumacher, this UK-registered charity
works with poor communities to develop sustainable technologies and
provide practical answers to poverty.
aspect of Practical Action is that they start by looking at the people,
rather than at the problem. As a consequence they are able to develop
practical solutions based on the specific needs and skills of a
community, who ultimately must be able to shape and control these
By selecting appropriate
technology, building on existing skills, knowledge and cultural norms,
Practical Action aims to achieve lasting, positive change. Appropriate
technology is, according to Practical Action, one that “enables people
to satisfy their basic needs whilst making the most of their time,
capabilities, environment and resources.”
THE CARBON TRUST
Working with businesses and the public sector to cut carbon emissions and develop commercial low-carbon technologies.
up as part of the UK’s Climate Change Programme, the Carbon Trust have
been pivotal over recent years in their role as advisors and
facilitators to businesses across the UK. Through analysis, insight,
debate and the provision of solutions, they help organisations to
respond to climate change effectively and gain from potential
commercial opportunities, “making business sense of climate change”.
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of the world’s leading non-profit environmental organisations, with a
presence in forty countries and some 2.8 million supporters worldwide.
began in 1971 with a group of dedicated activists facing up to a
superpower. This first protest saw a small group of its founders
sailing in a fishing boat to the northern Alaskan region of Amchitka,
where the US government was carrying out nuclear tests. The group took
the approach of ‘bearing witness’, a process of nonviolent action and
observation/presence that has served them well in the interim years. In
Amchitka their actions sent a message to the US government – “We see
you” – reminding it of its accountability and culpability in the eyes
of the world. This also set off a wave of public protest which resulted
in only three of the planned seven nuclear tests being carried out, and
the establishment of Amchitka as a nature reserve.
then Greenpeace has become an international organisation and has
inspired millions of people across the world to act against the issues
that threaten our planet, from whaling to sustainable trade.
SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE (SAS)
non-profit organisation that has been campaigning for more than a
decade for an end to the discharge of sewage and toxic waste into our
seas and waterways. Often overlooked as a ‘serious’ environmental
group, SAS have a successful record of pressuring councils and
government to implement strict controls on waste.
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
largest international network of environmental groups in the world,
covering more than 54 countries with over 226,000 members.
of the Earth’s first protest in 1972 was against Schweppes’
non-returnable bottles – a pioneering reaction against the dumping of
non-reusable waste. As a campaign network Friends of the Earth provides
people with the information to assess local environmental causes and
possible solutions, and also provides a forum through which people can
then be heard by ‘decision makers’. There is an Italian saying, “Union
makes the force” and it is this principle that is key, that individuals
can sometimes make a difference, but groups of individuals are
impossible to ignore. The truth behind this is reflected in Friends of
the Earth’s many successes; for example, the introduction of the Road
Traffic Reduction Act, which requires local authorities to set targets
for reductions in traffic levels and act upon them. Friends of the
Earth have also played a pivotal role in maintaining pressure on the
government to keep their commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 20% by
2010. These successes demonstrate how local action can lead to real
changes at a national, governmental level.
their mission statement, Friends of the Earth are fighting for their
vision of a sustainable society, “where environmental protection,
economic prosperity and social justice go hand in hand.” Individuals
can join local campaigns and share their ideas through joining local
groups and/or accessing community websites. Local groups can then act
upon the many environmental and social issues that concern them,
whether that be the proposed closure of a train service or supporting
the development of renewable energy.
grassroots network committed to taking action and building a movement
against climate change. Rising Tide have initiated key campaigns such
as Art Not Oil, with exhibitions across London aiming to raise
awareness through protest artworks.
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FORUM FOR THE FUTURE
UK’s leading sustainable development charity, responsible for bringing
sustainability firmly into the heart of government and business.
Forum for the Future was founded by Jonathon Porritt, Sara Parkin and
Paul Ekins ten years ago it has succeeded in giving a practical meaning
to the concept of sustainable development and raised the profile of
corporate social responsibility so that it is now a key aspect of good
business practice embraced by some of our largest corporations. Perhaps
more than any other organisation, Forum for the Future has brought
sustainability into the realms of major corporations, government
bodies, universities and professions.
states that the economy must be ‘fixed’ to create and distribute wealth
in a way which does not exacerbate inequality or damage the planet. So
it seems that, business, not government, must provide the guiding force
with government taking on a more temperate role – ensuring through
legislation that businesses are not lured by the money that can always
be made out of exploiting the environment rather than protecting it.
Porritt, in his book Capitalism as if the World Matters, states that
capitalism must be retooled to deliver a sustainable future as it is
the only global force able to get the world out of the trouble that it
is now in. Although he expresses deep concerns about contemporary
capitalism, which has been such a destructive entity in the past, he
also describes it as “formidably flexible” and able to recreate itself
in many forms, even a potential force for good.
CARBON DISCLOSURE PROJECT (CDP)
project that aims to contribute towards the stabilisation of greenhouse
gas emissions in the atmosphere by harnessing the support of
institutional investors and corporations.
Dickinson was inspired to start the CDP after attending lectures by
Stephan Harding – one of the world’s leading experts on the Gaia
Hypothesis – at Schumacher College in 1997. Paul left his job to
dedicate his energy fully to tackling the threat of climate change.
basis for the project’s success is that wise investment must recognise
climate change when planning for the future. Investors have a vested
interest in the future of the planet and their investments. Through the
representation of investors CDP gives them a shared voice, requesting
annual carbon emissions disclosure from the world’s 500 largest
CDP helps investors to avoid corporations
“molesting governments”. CDP currently represent 211 investors with
assets of £31 trillion, whilst maintaining a deliberately neutral image
THE GREEN PARTY
The UK’s only green political representation.
Green Party represents many positive and inspiring principles and
policies that could prove key to any movement towards a sustainable
future. For example, they support the concept of Convergence and
Contraction and Tradable Energy Quotas, the re-nationalisation of our
railways and environmental taxation on air travel. Their core
principles strike a note which is missing within mainstream politics,
one in which we can envisage a better quality of life due to thriving
local business, personalised education and a health service focused on
the prevention of illness through the provision of a healthier
environment. The Green Party provides the sustainable choice. www.greenparty.org.uk
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Hannah Cassidy is a freelance writer and editor.