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Sustainability Report Card

374 words 2 page(s)

Sustainability is a future focused concept that has permeated many area of out lives. The purpose of sustainability is to develop practices that are not resource intensive and that can sustain themselves, rather than result in depletion. In the report, Progress Toward Sustainability: A Report Card and A Recommended Agenda, Dernbach addresses the state of sustainability in many different areas. These include consumption, population, poverty, natural resources, waste and chemical management, land use, transportation, international trade, finance, education, and governance (Dernbach, 2009). Although this report is comprehensive and covers a wide area of topics, there are still some areas that were not addressed.

One of the key areas is increased global consistency and standards for sustainability. LEED ratings originated in the United States, but it now being adopted in other countries. The same can be said for Energy Star ratings for appliances. ISO 50001 for energy management is the accepted standard released by the International Organization for Standardization. The world may not achieve a single standard, but they have adopted a common vocabulary (Probst, 2011). These groups’ standards advanced the concept of sustainability by providing a common set of standards so that progress can be made on a global basis in a way that is measurable and meaningful.

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Cloud data storage is a sustainable solution of the storage of computer files. Cloud data storage reduces carbon emissions through efficient energy usage and the number of inputs needed. Cloud storage has the added benefit of lower need for maintenance, upgrades, and travel. The data is readily available anywhere that it is needed (Matthews, 2013). This concept advanced the idea of sustainability by reducing our use of natural resources. Many areas of computing have also allowed the ability to go paperless, which reduces dependence on forestry products.

The third and final area of sustainability that was not addressed is the practice of “agroecology”, which focuses on the design of crop management systems based on local conditions and farmer preferences. This allows farmers to produce more food using fewer resources. This protects the environment by using water harvesting, adding in small livestock, careful nutrition management (SciDevNet, 2013). This movement advances the concept of sustainability by conserving natural resources and allowing the same number of farms to feed a greater number of people.