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Sustainability Terminology: Societal Requirements

Delving deeper into a range of terminology and frameworks for sustainability.
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(upbeat music) <v ->So now, you know</v> what we think is a good definition of sustainability. Remember it already, the possibility that humans and other forms of life on earth will flourish forever. As you said, Torian, unfortunately it’s not the only term in the field of doing good, that causes confusion. You may also hear terms like eco-friendly, environmental sustainable development, SDGs, regeneration, climate change B-Corp, Net-Zero, non-financial disclosures, impact investing and lots more.
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I can tell you all of these terms do have a place, and once you understand them and how they relate to each other it will be much easier to follow conversations and also make it easier for you to figure out where you can focus or even what you can start with as a leader in this space. And that is where we would really like to get you to in this course. So before we go any further talking about leadership we want to first come to a common understanding of at least some of these terms. The easiest way to start is by looking at the grouping of the terms as most related to one of three things.
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One is societal and planetary requirements and goals. Two, is business management and performance tools. And three is reporting requirements for businesses against one or two really. Let’s start with the first group, societal and planetary requirements and goals. Societal in its core, according to the Cambridge dictionary it means relating to or involving society. Planetary according to the same dictionary means relating to planets. But in this context of sustainability it’s at the moment only referring to our planet. So earth. Some key global commonly used terms in relation to our global needs and requirements are the UN Sustainable Development Goals United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs. Planetary boundaries and climate change.
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Obviously this is only a very short version of all the terms. Every nation will have their own key terms like in New Zealand where the government introduced the wellbeing budget and the living standards framework focusing on many different societal wellbeing requirements. As this is only a short course, we will focus on one of the globally most accepted frameworks to talk about global societal requirements, the SDGs. The sustainable development goals, or SDGs as they are more commonly known are an attempt by the United nations. And it’s 193 member States as part of what is known. Yes, here’s another term, Agenda 2030.
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Agenda 2030 is the plan developed and accepted in 2015 which introduced the 17th sustainable development goals and the 163 targets that sit underneath these 17 goals as a holistic plan to eradicate poverty globally and save our planet earth for future generations. The 17 goals are interlinked. They drive global action and systemic change. Yes, this is another term that you may want to dive deeper into later. Across five key areas people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The word interlinked is very important in the previous sentence. All goals need to be achieved to create this regenerative equal future without poverty.
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The different goals impact one another, I.e resolving SDG one, no poverty will have an impact on MBE inspect by many of the goals like SDG two, no hunger SDG three, good health and wellbeing SDG 10, reduced inequalities SDG 13, climate action and SDG 16 peace, justice and strong institutions. Planetary boundaries are literally the boundaries that we have to survive as humans on planet earth. It is a term that was proposed in 2009 by a group of scientists to show different boundaries that we know exist and how far we are away from crossing those boundaries are or are already over it. Climate change.
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Well, I am not sure if I need to explain this term for all of you who are undertaking this course as I’m sure you’re all well aware but according to the Oxford dictionary climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns in particular change apparent from the mid to the late 20th century onwards, and attributed largely to an increased level of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. A big definition, but we all know what we’re talking about. (bright upbeat music)

Now that you have uncovered a definition of sustainability and we are going to dive a bit deeper into the commonly used terms that you might see or hear, both during this course and as you explore other material on sustainability.

In the first of the videos we have started introducing some commonly used terms in the sustainability ecosystem. We explain a way of grouping the terms and introduce the first group of terms: Societal and Planetary Requirements and Goals.

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Leading Sustainable Communities and Organisations

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