Sustainability 

OUR GUIDE

Sustainability 

Definitions:

"The avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance."
 

"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

"To protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our way of life."

"The process of maintaining change in a balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations."

 

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What is sustainability? 

Sustainability comes down to the 'triple bottom line'.

The triple bottom line is then broken down further by 'The UN SDGs'.

 

The SDGs are...

"“A shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future....an urgent call for action by all countries...to recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

Read more - https://sdgs.un.org/goals

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"Emissions is the term used to describe the gases and particles which are put into the air or emitted by various sources."

Emissions 

Carbon Neutral refers to a policy of not increasing carbon emissions and of achieving carbon reduction through offsetting your activities. 

Net Zero is a step better than Carbon Neutral as it means making changes to reduce carbon emissions to the lowest amount before considering offsetting.

Net Zero requires science-based targets, based around Gov guidance to 1.5°C warming target. 

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Breakdown of emissions

Where do they come from?

30%

20%

20%

12.5%

10%

5%

2.5%

Electricity & heat

Industry

Farming, agriculture & land use 

Road & sea, transport & travel

Fugitive

Food Waste

Aviation

Green Fields
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Waste 

Zero waste is a practice. It involves;

Reducing - by saying 'no' or making less

Reusing - design out single use 

Repairing - make do and mend

Recovering - how do we get things back?

Recycling - what can be manufactured?

Residuals - managing what's left over 

Zero waste to landfill means waste is incinerated for energy instead of being sent to landfill.

Waste hierachy 

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Plastics & recycling 

What does 'biodregadable' mean?

  • Biodegradable materials are petroleum-based plastics with a chemical additive that makes them break down 'quickly'.

  • 'Quickly' is ambiguous, there is no set time requirement. 

  • They must be industrially composted and cannot be recycled. 

What are 'bioplastics'?

  • Derived from biomass (like corn starch or wheat)

  • Cannot go in home composting, must be industrially composted

  • Cannot be recycled.

 

What does it mean?

  1. The 'Tidy Man' - Reminder to dispose of waste in a bin ​

  2. Mobius loop - Capable of being recycled. Doesn't mean its been recycled before.

  3. Check locally - Not all councils recycle it.

  4. Compostable - Place in your garden waste bin.

  5. Widely recycled - Widely recycled. May be conditions e.g. rinse the packaging, remove a sleeve.

  6. Plastics - Tells you what type of plastic it is. PET is widely recycled. 

  7. Forest Stewardship Council - This product has been made from wood & is sourced from a responsibly managed forest. 

  8. Financial contribution - Manufacturers have made a financial contribution towards the recovery & recycling of packaging in Europe. 

  9. Aluminium - This product is made from recyclable aluminium e.g. a drinks can. 

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Useful documents: