• Environmental

    Social Sustainability for Environmental Practitioners

    When I’m running face-to-face training courses one of the areas that students sometimes struggle with is the social aspect of sustainable development. Generally the courses I deliver are based around environmental management and delegates usually grasp this side of sustainability. However we should not forget that sustainability has two other subjects related to it: social and economic. Leaving economic sustainability for another time, I thought it would be interesting to identify social issues and how they relate to sustainable development. I’ve noticed over the years that having knowledge of social issues is becoming more and more important as social issue management is increasingly being added to the role of environmental…

  • Environmental

    Life Cycle Thinking 101

    Every product has a life cycle and understanding the components of the lifecycle is important for getting to grips with its true environmental impact. Traditionally, environmental impact assessments have considered just the manufacturing phase of a product – this would include direct impacts. Direct impacts are those that are physically released by the organisation itself. For example emissions from a boiler on site that causes air pollution or the discharge of oil into a nearby river causing damage to the river. They generally include pollution issues. These can be significant for some organisations and obviously need to be carefully assessed and controlled. Upstream Impacts However, considering direct impacts does not…