Sustania: The Business of Sustainable Business
Discussing the environment can be akin to discussing religion or politics, not a place you may want to go with some people. Fingers begin to point, misunderstandings flare and a nice afternoon can go sour in an instant. However, what if there was a chance for the free market to step in and convince many of the naysayers or doom and gloom heads that there is actually hope? This is exactly what the organization Sustania, chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is attempting to do. It is an approach that just may be igniting the idea of a ‘next plateau’ of merging any kind of business with a valid green initiative in any way possible.
What Do They Get Out of It?
Rather than begin with the credentials, mission statement and goals of Sustania it may be best to investigate their agenda. In their own material, after many eloquent words, phrases and descriptions, it seems as though their program is to enable the business world to look at building sustainability as an opportunity. It is a way that may enable companies to view it beyond an arm-twisting ‘green’ acceptance for the sake of the eco-demographic. Essentially, it seems that Sustania is a personal life-coach for wayward, interested, progressive or plain-ole-greedy-but- will-get-on-the-band-wagon-anyway-companies.
Stimulate, Perpetuate, Inundate
Sustania wants to assist businesses of all sizes and genres by stimulating their market for sustainable products. Their targets are broken down into sector guides regarding building structure advancement. Here is an example of a few:
- Sustainable Buildings – Socio-economic benefits of eco-retro-fitting including indoor climate health, resource and energy efficiency and overall quality of life instilled in new structures or revamping old ones.
- Water Management - Educating how the precious resource of water can be used more responsibly and economically within commercial and residential buildings.
- Sustainable Housing – Solutions for ‘off-the-grid’ housing according to surrounding climate zone and society.
- Future Outlook – Laying out designs of future sustainable urban development gives a bird’s eye view of what may become a reality by 2025. Copenhagen is one of the first designs which is already on track to becoming 100% carbon neutral.
Creating guides for all groups and organizations to follow is one aspect of Sustania. The other is encompassing “bold, innovative groundbreaking solutions around the world”. Choosing 100 of the most unique, revolutionary sustainable ideas makes up what is called the Sustania100 list. In their 2012 edition, 45 countries on six continents have contributed a variety of solutions. Sustania describes what the list consist of: “From solar power in Sudan to sustainable fashion in Switzerland; from water-cooling in Canada to solar-cooling in Singapore; from buses in Brazil to smart buildings in Sydney.” By pooling together ideas and prototypes from all over the world, Sustania100 is a collaboration for real change.
As more think tanks and ‘out-of-the-box’ minds like Sustania take to the environmental mission, the more we can ignore the fear mongering that seems to be surrounding us on every news station we choose. Yes, it is a scary outlook but the sooner we embrace intellectual change the sooner we can gain substantial momentum.