A Sustainable Way of Gardening: Community Gardens Essay

A Sustainable Way of Gardening: Community Gardens Essay.

Seattle, Portland, Long Beach, St. Paul, Honolulu, San Jose, Baltimore, Washington D. C. , Anchorage, and Louisville. These are the top ten cities that have the most community gardens. A sustainable community garden is when a group of people in a certain neighborhood or community come together and create a garden using tools that don’t affect the earth in a bad way. Individuals participating in a community garden usually use push reel mowers, rain water, mulch etc. The community usually acts as one to help sustain the garden and help the garden to grow to create produce that is natural to the environment to consume what is grown.

What this does is that the garden makes the economy a little better in terms of money usage. If the planting is right, the produce will most likely be good. Gardens contain plants as well as nutritious types of food. These types of planting must be watched closely, watered daily, and sunlight must be efficient.

Most people would think that gardening is an easy job, but gardening is most definitely hard. Individuals participating in community gardening all should have certain roles. One must turn over the compost, water the plants, mow the lawn, watch over the plants, etc.

These are some roles that one must pay attention to because if one thing goes wrong, the whole garden will most likely suffer. Community gardening takes plenty of work. I learned this through several weeks of working in a community garden with Roland Quitugua, an agriculturalist. He has taught me several things that are important for working in a sustainable community garden, which I will showcase in this paper. There are many benefits to working a sustainable community garden. First of all, working in a community garden can be beneficial for households that have low income.

Individuals gardening can plant taro, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, many different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Community gardens also help with social development by having to interact with a diverse group of individuals. This is not to be certain, but not everyone is from the same cultural and ethnic background. With a diverse group of people, individuals may learn different cultures values. These community gardens help educate the public about how much pollution and wastes there are in the world and environment in which people are currently living in.

To help with the air pollution, gardens also restore oxygen into the air and help reduce air pollution. Gardening is also an active activity. Everyone needs at least one hour of exercise each day to maintain a healthy way of living. The physical activity of gardening is not only planting or watering. In a sustainable community garden, people use mulch, compost, reel mowers, nets and many other things to maintain its sustainability. Using rain water is a very smart way of watering the variety of green in the garden. By using rain water, you are preventing certain types of chemicals to destroy the plant or vegetable you are gardening.

Some might assume that gardening is boring and easily done. From experience, gardening is somewhat challenging. Mr. Quitugua had us garden every Wednesday from 8:30-10:30. Doing this, I have learned that the challenges consist of the type of weather we are going to be blessed or cursed with. To turn the compost, individuals would definitely need some sort of muscle ability. Also, when planting any type of fruit, vegetable or plant, one must be mindful of pests or bugs. What comes with pests and bugs are diseases that will cause whatever that is growing to wilt and die.

Wind directions are also a challenge. When planting something, always remember to balance the plant by knowing which direction the wind is blowing. Another issue with having a community garden is a lack of communication. Some people might overdo one task not knowing that that certain task was already accomplished. When overdoing a task the plant could be overwatered or not watered enough thus helping to destroy the plant. Gardeners must also be aware of the different soil conditions in the different areas in which the garden will be.

If gardeners are not aware, whatever they are planting will not grow sufficiently or may get lost in the weeds if not daily monitored. For example when planting green beans or onions, these tend to get lost in the weeds and eventually die. Therefore, kills the purpose of having a sustainable food production. What is sustainable food anyways? Sustainable food is food that is produced with lack of energy that pollutes the air, harms animals, is humane etc. Basically, food that is produced from planting. What I mean by this is the product of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, taro, etc.

This type of food production also ties into the health of a community and island sustainability. Sustainable food of course is connected with community gardens due to the production of food locally. The health of a community ties in when socially interacting with people of diverse cultures. When interacting with divergent cultures and values, what the community is doing is helping the people of Guam live in a sustainable island. What I mean by this is all this sustainability happening in the island will eventually, at some point in time, become very natural.

The more people that join to help make a community garden, especially a sustainable one, the more voices will be heard and action to take place. With Guam being westernized, people tend to follow what other people do. So when a group of individuals take part in participating in a community garden, eventually more people would want to commit and be a part of this social prolonged event. If ever conducting a community garden, individuals would have to set a venue. What I would do is set the venue at the village’s community center so that locating the garden would be easier.

Most people would know where and would have a schedule as to when to show up and do their part. This type of community gardening could also be used for service learning for the high schoolers in need of hours. For conducting this event, there should be a committee and not only one person having to handle all of the responsibilities. This committee would need to contact soil companies and find productive ways to obtain mulch and planting seeds. There should be one individual keeping track of what is being planted so there is not an excess of one plant or vegetable.

These different committees could all be in charge of watering, planting, compost, etc. That way, everything being planted will be well organized. Committees will also be able to switch so that they don’t get used to just doing one certain task that way they will not get bored. I had some challenges with working in the community garden due to not having any type of knowledge as to what a sustainable community garden was. From working with Roland Quitugua, he has taught me the basic ways of having a garden if not a community garden.

One hassle was having to wake up very early only to sweat and get a tan that was most likely darker than the week before. Having this activity for two hours really strengthened my ability to wake up early enough. Now that I have the basic knowledge of how to plant and when to plant has made me give some advice to my aunties and grandmother. Learning from my experience, maintaining a garden is hard work let alone a sustainable one, which takes a lot of hard work. Having to push the reel mower, turn the compost, making sure there is enough mulch for the plants, and watering the right way.

I’ve learned the basic ways of maintaining a garden and using my knowledge to help my family maintain theirs. Maintaining a garden may seem easier to others than to other individuals. Gardening takes time, work, and effort and of course many sources and connections to obtain certain plants and tools. Gardening has many benefits and disadvantages. A sustainable way of living is more efficient to the earth and global warming rather than using so much energy that pollutes the air. Running a sustainable garden can take months and months of hard work to get the garden to look the way you want.

You must learn the tricks and trade of having a successful one. Not everything you assume will come out the way you hoped, but having a sustainable garden will really help the environment and people on earth. Paul Newman once said “We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out. ”

A Sustainable Way of Gardening: Community Gardens Essay

Sustainability Reporting Essay

Sustainability Reporting Essay.

Executive summary:

Sustainability reporting, alternatively known as CSR reporting, is the annual process whereby companies – public, private; large and small – report on their sustainability performance. Reports typically cover social, environmental, economic and ethical performance and incorporate information on a company’s environmental impact or carbon footprint, staff satisfaction, community investment etc. Sustainability reporting is becoming increasingly important as a tool companies can use to demonstrate accountability to their stakeholders. The value of the company is determined by the quality of the relationship with in its external as well as internal stakeholders.

CSR report provides information to various stakeholders like government, investors, consumers, employees, analysts etc. The main purpose of CSR report is;

* to provide detailed information for very specific lobby groups on a range of environmental and social issues; * to provide a balanced view of the organization to consumers or other users of its services; * to articulate a broader view of the organization to prospective employees; * to demonstrate progress on issues on which government may be considering legislation; and * to update the market on leading non-financial indicators of performance and demonstrate understanding of sustainability risks and opportunities.

The main objective of this report is to provide the insights of CSR reporting disclosure. It defines the term CSR reporting from different perspectives. The historical development of CSR report describes the evolution of CSR reporting from early Mesopotamia history to till today.

Then it analysis the nexus between the two terms CSR and Triple Bottom line which has direct relationship with each other. In CSR reporting Global reporting initiatives (GRI) plays an important role in setting standards for CSR accounting in different countries. The report analysis the three important theories viz normative stakeholder theory, legitimacy theory and positive accounting theory in sustainability reporting practices .Along with this the seven best practices in CSR reporting By Perry Goldshein also discussed . Some countries have made CSR disclosure as compulsory and in some countries it is optional. Here you can see the various nations CSR reporting practices along with the Malaysian CSR reporting practice. Then it concluded with the most important recommendation of making compulsory disclosure of CSR practice in all over the world.

Introduction:

In the current business environment, CSR has become not only the ‘right thing to do’, but it has also become the ‘competitive’ thing to do. The deliberate inclusion of CSR principles in the corporate decision-making processes ensures that companies are mindful of public interest particularly in respect to the triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit. Increasingly, stakeholders in the world’s largest corporations are demanding that their companies become more socially responsible and expect them to understand and address the social and community issues that are relevant to them. These issues encompass not only the limited natural resources and global climate change but also ethical and other neglected factors in the public sphere. In olden days corporations have taken every opportunity to make profit regardless of the impacts in the society and environment.

The evolution of the CSR concept was started at 1953 with the publication of Bowen’s ‘Social Responsibility of Businessmen’, which posed the question ‘what responsibilities to society can business people are reasonably expected to assume?’ Writing on the subject in the 1960s expanded the definition, suggesting that beyond legal obligations companies had certain responsibilities to society. In 1984, the celebrated management consultant Peter Drucker wrote about the imperative to turn social problems into economic opportunities.

Throughout the 70s and 80s academic discussion of the concept of CSR grew, but the first company to actually publish a social report was Ben and Jerry’s in 1989, and the first major company was Shell in 1998. In sustainability reporting various elements are associated with in the reporting practices. The main purpose of this report is to discuss these various related elements and different nations’ sustainability reporting practices. Let’s start this discussion with the definition of the term sustainability reporting.

1. Definition:

There is no single, universally accepted definition so far for sustainability reporting. The GRI guidelines, defines “…the practice of measuring, disclosing and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance towards the goals of sustainable development. Now let’s have some look on other definition from different perspective. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication “Making Good business Sense” by Lord Holmes and Richard Watts, used the following definition. “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large” Traditionally in the United States, CSR has been defined much more in terms of a philanthropic model. Companies make profits, unhindered except by fulfilling their duty to pay taxes. Then they donate a certain share of the profits to charitable causes. It is seen as tainting the act for the company to receive any benefit from the giving.

The European model is much more focused on operating the core business in a socially responsible way, complemented by investment in communities for solid business case reasons. This model is more sustainable because: 1. Social responsibility becomes an integral part of the wealth creation process – which if managed properly should enhance the competitiveness of business and maximize the value of wealth creation to society. 2. When times get hard, there is the incentive to practice CSR more and better – if it is a philanthropic exercise which is peripheral to the main business, it will always be the first thing to go when push comes to shove. But as with any process based on the collective activities of communities of human beings (as companies are) there is no ‘one size fits all’. In different countries, there will be different priorities, and values that will shape how business act. And even the observations above are changing over time.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined by the European Commission as the integration by companies of social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in the interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. CSR is about managing companies in a socially responsible manner. Business and society are interdependent. The well being of one depends on the other. Companies engaged in CSR are reporting benefits to their reputation and their bottom line. CSR is a voluntary action that business can take over and above compliance with minimum legal requirements, to address both its own competitive interests and the interests of wider society. From this different perspective definition one can conclude that CSR can be defined as the overall contribution of the business to the society and sustainable development. It provides information about the social, economical, environmental and corporate governance of organizations. It is also called a non financial reporting.

2. Historical development of sustainability reporting:

The history of social and environmental concern about business is as old as trade and business itself. Commercial logging operations for example, together with laws to protect forests, can both be traced back almost 5,000 years. In Ancient Mesopotamia around 1700 BC, King Hammurabi introduced a code in which builders, innkeepers or farmers were put to death if their negligence caused the deaths of others, or major inconvenience to local citizens. In Ancient Rome senators grumbled about the failure of businesses to contribute sufficient taxes to fund their military campaigns, while in 1622 disgruntled shareholders in the Dutch East India Company started issuing pamphlets complaining about management secrecy and “self
enrichment”.

With industrialization, the impacts of business on society and the environment assumed an entirely new dimension. The “corporate paternalists” of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s used some of their wealth to support philanthropic ventures. By the 1920s discussions about the social responsibilities of business had evolved into the beginnings of the “modern” CSR movement. In 1929, the Dean of Harvard Business School, Wallace B. Donham, commented within an address delivered at North Western University: ‘Business started long centuries before the dawn of history, but business as we now know it is new – new in its broadening scope, new in its social significance.

Business has not learned how to handle these changes, nor does it recognize the magnitude of its responsibilities for the future of civilization.’ From the above discussion it is clear that CSR reporting is not a new concept to the business world. In business world it has it emergence from 1970’s.Initially some companies started to issue CSR report as a voluntary disclosure to attract their stakeholders. Slowly this ratio was increased by 72% in 2008. The global reporting initiative plays an important role behind this development .Now let’s see GRI part in CSR reporting.

3. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The Global Reporting Initiative was initially convened by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), a non-profit coalition of over 50 investor, environmental, religious, labor and social justice groups. Its vision is that “reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance by all organizations is as routine and comparable as financial reporting. The GRI has developed a set of core metrics intended to be applicable to all business enterprises, sets of sector-specific metrics for specific types of enterprises and a uniform format for reporting information integral to a company’s sustainability performance. Since its inception, the GRI has become a worldwide, multi-stakeholder network which includes representatives from business, civil society, labor, investors, accountants and others.

Revisions to the framework take place through an exhaustive set of committees and subcommittees, but the GRI says that its multi-stakeholder approach does ensure the credibility and trust needed to make a global framework successful. In broad terms, the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines recommend specific information related to environmental, social and economic performance. It is structured around a CEO statement, key environmental, social and economic indicators, and a profile of the reporting entity, descriptions of relevant policies and management systems, stakeholder relationships, management performance, operational performance, product performance and a sustainability overview. Every company who wants to issue CSR report is following GRI guidelines as the base for their report and GRI guidelines are now universally acceptable. 3.1 Criteria for preparing sustainability reports:

Reports on corporate sustainability generally are prepared based on reporting criteria established by an outside organization or the company’s internal guidelines. The most dominant reporting regulations are those of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Launched in 1997 with the goal of “enhancing the quality, rigor, and utility of sustainability reporting,” the GRI began to develop criteria that could eventually serve as the basis for generally accepted reporting standards. The GRI has received active support and input from numerous groups—including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, accounting regulatory bodies (including the AICPA), investor organizations and trade unions—to build reporting guidelines that are accepted worldwide.

The rapid increase in the number of companies around the world adopting GRI standards and issuing corporate sustainability reports, along with the fact that the GRI works closely with the United Nations, gives its reporting criteria the credibility necessary to be considered generally accepted. Overall, the number of organizations reporting under GRI guidelines has grown exponentially since 2000. As of October 2006, nearly 1,000 international companies from more than 60 countries had registered with the GRI and were issuing corporate sustainability reports using some or all of its standards. The sustainability reporting guidelines are the foundation of GRI’s Framework and are now in their third generation. They feature sustainability disclosures that organizations can adopt flexibly and incrementally, enabling them to be transparent about their performance in key sustainability areas.

The G3.1 sustainability reporting guidelines are the latest and most complete version. Launched in 2011, G3.1 completes the content of the G3 guidelines released in 2006. G3.1 features expanded guidance on local community impacts, human rights and gender. While G3-based reports are still accepted, GRI recommends that reporters use G3.1, the most comprehensive reporting guidance available today. The fourth generation of Guidelines – G4 are currently in development and will be launched in May 2013.

4. Assurance services in CSR reporting:

Assurance services or attestation on CSR report by an independent party is required to ensure that the report reflects a company’s CSR activities and the impact of the company’s activities on the surrounding environment and society. By using this service, the company can increase the credibility of the CSR report. However, the survey conducted by KPMG (2002) in Dando and Swift (2003) found that among 100 large companies in 11 countries only 27% of their reports are audited by external parties.

Even with reports which have been verified by external parties, according to Dando and Swift (2003), the reliability, consistence and robustness of these kinds of reports are questionable. This is due to the lack of a generally accepted assurance standard related to CSR reporting. So that assurance services in general use financial assurance standards, which are not appropriate for CSR reports as CSR reports are very broad and usually qualitative (D’Dwyer, 2001).Hence, a common standard of assurance is required so that it can be used as a reference by an external auditor verifying the CSR report. Presently, efforts have been made to develop such assurance standards, as stated by Dando and Swift (2003) where the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability developed AA1000 Assurance Standard, an assurance standard for social, environmental and economic reporting.

Balou et al (2006) further state the efforts of a number of accounting professions (such as AICPA in the US, CICA in Canada, and an accounting profession in the Netherlands) in Developing assurance standard for CSR reporting. In January 2005, the International Auditing and Assurances Standards Board (IAASB) approved an international standard for CSR report. This standard may also be used as a guideline for the data collection procedures by auditors in making their conclusion. A Sustainability Advisory Expert Panel has been established by IAASB to examine the possibility of issuing assurance standard for CSR report.

One main obstacle in auditing CSR report is that some of the information in the report is More qualitative than quantitative, and when the information is quantitative, its reliability is low. As a result, CSR report is difficult to audit or verify so that the aspects or coverage of the report Audited is limited to those which can be audited or verified (Balou et al, 2006). Other alternative Assurance which can be used is limited assurance or at the review level. The decreased coverage of the audited report and the lower level of assurance will certainly decrease the credibility of CSR report. 5. Corporate Social Responsibility and Triple Bottom Line:

Both of the term CSR and TBL have some nexus between them. The term “The Triple Bottom Line’ has been attributed to John Elkington, author of “Cannibals with Forks’’. A triple bottom line report is an accounting of business performance in terms of its impacts on the economy, the environment and society. The term “CSR report” is often used instead of a triple bottom line report, but the two are interchangeable. The theory behind the triple bottom line is that it is in the interests of a business to act as a steward of the environment, society and the economy. The phrase “Corporate Social Responsibility” originates with H. Bowen, who wrote “Social Responsibility of Businessmen” in 1953. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is used to describe businesses’ integration of social and environmental issues into decisions, goals, and operations. Other terms for CSR and are:

* Corporate Responsibility
* Sustainability
* Corporate Citizenship
* Ethical Business Practices
* Social/Environmental Responsibility
* Triple Bottom Line
* Environmental and Social Stewardship

A key concept to CSR and the triple bottom line is the stakeholder. Stakeholders, defined by Edward Freeman, are “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives’’.

6. Theories in Sustainability reporting:

CSR theories and related approaches are focused on one of the following aspects of social reality: economics, politics, social integration and ethics. CSR theories and approaches focus on the interaction and connection between the business and the society. 6.1 Normative stakeholder theory:

The stakeholder theory has a normative core based on two major ideas (1) stakeholders are persons or groups with legitimate interests in procedural and/or substantive aspects of corporate activity (stakeholders are identified by their interests in the corporation, whether or not the corporation has any corresponding functional interest in them) and (2) the interests of all stakeholders are of intrinsic value (that is, each group of stakeholders merits consideration for its own sake and not merely because of its ability to further the interests of some other group, such as the shareowners). A socially responsible firm requires simultaneous attention to the legitimate interests of all appropriate stakeholders and has to balance such a multiplicity of interests and not only the interests of the firm’s stockholders.

6.2 Legitimacy theory:

It argues that organizations can only continue to exist if the society in which they operate perceives that the organization is operating within the bounds of a value system acceptable to society (Dowling & Pfeffer, 1975). Legitimacy theory suggests that management can influence the perceptions which the general public has of the firm. Therefore, legitimacy theory implies that, being legitimate, to a large extent, is controllable by the corporation itself. This attempt at managing legitimacy may take many forms, from the corporation changing its activities so that it is consistent with social perceptions through to attempts to influence processes which may cause a change in social perceptions or values. Lindblom (1994) identified four forms of legitimating, or legitimating tactics, that firms could adopt in order to manage legitimacy.

These are:

1. Seek to educate its stakeholders about the company’s intentions; 2. Seek to change the stakeholder’s perceptions of issues/events; 3. Distract or manipulate attention away from the issue/event of concern; or 4. Seek to change external expectations about the company’s performance. Lindblom (1994) indicated that whichever of these tactics are used to manage legitimacy, to be Successful a communication must be made to stakeholders, the content of which is dictated by the tactic chosen. Thus a corporate environmental disclosure in the annual report may be a response to an environmental issue, and the purpose of disclosure may be to legitimize the corporation’s actions, in relation to the issue, in order to create congruence with society’s perceptions of the issue.

There appears to be two specific aspects of legitimacy theory which differentiate it from Stakeholder theory. The first is the belief that the greater the likelihood of adverse shifts in the social perceptions of how a corporation is acting, the greater the desirability on the part of the corporation to attempt to manage these shifts in social perceptions (Guthrie & Parker, 1989, Patten, 1992). Stakeholder theory does not appear to extend to the management of stakeholder issues.

The second is that the concept of legitimacy extends to the very existence of the corporation and its actions being in congruence with society’s values, whereas stakeholder theory is aimed at identifying stakeholders considered important to achieve the objectives of the firm. Identifying important stakeholders is crucial in both theories but, while there is obvious overlap Between stakeholder and legitimacy theories, and empirical evidence often clouds the boundaries of where stakeholder theory ends and legitimacy theory begins (Guthrie & Parker, 1989, Patten, 1992, Roberts, 1992), legitimacy theory offers a broader ‘societal’ perspective in attempting to explain increased environmental disclosures than does the more ‘corporation’ focused stakeholder theory. These are the similarities and differences between these two theories.

6.3. Positive accounting theory:

Accountability theory is probably more correctly labeled as an accountability framework model (Gray et al, 1996) under which all social theories fit. In this context, accountability is the duty to Provide an account of those actions for which one is held responsible. There exist two Responsibilities; one to undertake certain actions, or not to take other actions; and two, to Provide an account of those actions. Accountability is based on relationships between principals and agents, but it includes relationships between any accounted (principal) and any account or (agent). As such it is much more expansive than the pure agency relationships discussed under market based motives for environmental disclosures. From a corporate social responsibility perspective the framework would indicate that whoever the agent is they must act in a manner the principal approves (or at least does not disapprove) of and they must provide a report about how corporate social responsibility was discharged.

7. Trends and Best practices in CSR reporting:

In today’s competitive market, companies that incorporate social and green policies can leave a lasting impression on the consumer. People will trust a company more if it is socially/environmentally responsible. According to Perry Goldshein seven best practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR) are discussed below.

1) Set Measurable Goals:

Return on investment has always been a difficult thing to measure. In order to accomplish this in policy, Goldschein suggests implementing small changes close to home, such as improving employee policies that decrease turnover and improve recruitment. Simple steps, like minimizing waste and resource use are changes that can be developed into a memorable story about how sustainability efforts support your company’s overall corporate strategy.

2) Stakeholder Engagement:

Leaving their stakeholders out of the loop is one of the top mistakes companies make when trying to jump on the green/socially responsible bandwagon. In order to articulate its values, missions, strategy, and implementation in the creation of the CSR plan, it is important for everyone to be on the same page. Stakeholders can help by partaking in the regulatory approvals process, improving relationships proactively, or solving CSR roadblocks and potential crises. Inclusion of the stakeholders from the start of the consultation process and sidestep moving forward with developments in which they would otherwise have little influence over or information about.

3) Sustainability Issues Mapping:

This approach uses interactive maps to help prioritize and narrow down key issues, save the company time and money during the initial research stage. For instance, Sir Geoffrey Chandler, founder and chair of Amnesty international UK, praises sustainability issues mapping as “a most stimulating approach. It brings together things which ought to go together, but too frequently don’t.”

4) Sustainability Management Systems (SMS):

Develop a framework to ensure that environmental, social, and economic concerns are considered in tandem throughout the organization’s decision-making processes. Start by identifying and prioritizing sustainability aspects and impacts. Take it one step further by looking at legal requirements related to these impacts and evaluate the company’s current compliance. Collaborating with an environmental consultant can help during this process. Next, outline the company’s goals and objectives. Finally, educate and train the employees on using the SMS, and also periodically run audits to ensure that it’s carried out in the most effective manner possible.

5) Lifecycle Assessment:

Product design is critical. Gone are the days where the immediate product the only thing that matters, without any given thought to its afterlife. A cradle to cradle exhibits the company’s creativity and innovation and can, consequently, improve the bottom line. Whether it’s re-using the product or designing it in a manner that will keep it out of the landfill, build customer rapport and brand loyalty by taking the pressure off the disposal process for the products.

6) Sustainability/CSR Reporting:

CSR reporting has increased in popularity over the past few years, due to increasing government regulations as well as self-regulation by forward-thinking companies. It’s important that the consumer base has easy access to the latest and greatest efforts, in a way that doesn’t minimize what companies are doing. A simple and environmentally-friendly way to do this is to post the CSR reports on the website, in an easy to download PDF file or other accessible format. This is another area to ask for feedback from the number one fans: the stakeholders.

7) Sustainability Branding:

Transparency is key in sustainability branding. For example, Clorox Green Works, when endorsed by the Sierra Club, was able to capture 42% of the market share in their first year! The market for natural cleaning products has since increased, paving the way for smaller brands like Seventh Generation and Method to reach to a broader customer base. These are the seven best practices of Perry Goldshein.Even though one should be very cautious while implementing these practices in their organization’s Because no one size fits for all.

8. CSR report –Voluntary or Mandatory:

In the US and EU, the CSR reporting has so far been a voluntary activity (Tschopp, 2005), However, some member countries of EU (such as France in 2001 and Spain in 2005) have made it mandatory for public companies to issue CSR reports. India and china hasn’t made CSR reporting as compulsory. Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Canada, the Philippines, Namibia, Germany, and the United States were the nine countries who developed their own methods of environmental accounting during 1970’s and 1980’s.

With the issuance of the Corporation Law No. 40 of 2007, the Indonesian government has explicitly made it mandatory for companies dealing with natural resources to perform their social and environmental responsibility, in addition, all companies are required to submit their annual environmental and social activities report. Compared to other countries, Indonesian government is quite bold in issuing this regulation. The detailed regulation should also take into consideration how prepared are Indonesian companies in performing the social and environmental responsibility. It will be almost impossible.

Some countries Company Law obliges all companies to make report on the implementation of Social and Environmental Responsibility in their annual
report. The availability of this report is one form of the company’s accountability in social and environmental activities; however, as Cooper and Owen (2005) state, a mere writing of the report is not enough to achieve accountability, as it is also important that stakeholders are able to access it and evaluate it for them to determine appropriate actions based on their evaluation. For public companies, the general public is able to access the report, otherwise, the report is accessible only for the shareholders. Therefore, to comply with the spirit of the Article 74 of the Law, the general public should be able to access the report on Social and Environmental Responsibility of a company dealing with natural resources.

8. CSR reporting practice in Malaysia:

CSR Malaysia, a unique network of corporate and academic institutions, committed to Advancing responsible business strategy and practices was launched in November 2006. The body is expected to have a triple bottom line impact – people, environment, and economies. Its strategies are built to raise the level of CSR consciousness amongst corporate Malaysia, increase the capacity and capability to combat environmental and social concerns to promote responsible businesses are part of the solution towards sustainable development.

A number of companies who share similar beliefs and aspirations have become corporate members of CSR Malaysia and others have indicated to follow suit. They already members include Nestle Malaysia, BP Malaysia, BAT Malaysia, Shell Malaysia, YTL Corp, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Maxis Communication, Digi, TNB and Telekom Malaysia among others. While among the key areas of immediate concern is raising awareness and building capacity on responsible business, CSR Malaysia also aims to encourage Malaysia companies to adopt global CSR Principles and best practices such as signing up to the UN Global Compact .

The BM has provided a framework for the PLCs to help them in the practice of CSR. However, the organization has confessed that it neither provides the complete story about CSR nor the answer. It has called it as “a one size fits all”. The criterion provided does not apply uniformly to all companies as each has to choose on the one relevant to its field of business in order to gain competitive advantage. The framework focuses on 4 dimensions:

• Environment: Climate Change, Energy (Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Biofuel), Waste Management, Biodiversity, and Endangered Wildlife; • Community: Employee Volunteerism, Education (Schools Adoption Scheme), Youth Development, Underprivileged, Graduate Employment and Children; • Marketplace: Green Products, Stakeholder Engagement, Ethical Procurement, Supplier Management, Vendor Development, Social Branding and Corporate Governance; and • Workplace: Employee Involvement, Workplace Diversity, Gender Issues, Human Capital Development, Quality of Life, Labor Rights, Human Rights and Health & Safety.

In Malaysia, there is no accounting standard for disclosing CSR information. In the Absence of such standards, CSR disclosures in Malaysia would be entirely voluntary in nature. Thus, companies have full discretion as to the annual report disclosure. It is feared that this Slack of standards may mean that any existing CSR disclosures will be very much public relations oriented.

10.Conclusion and Recommendation:

CSR can play its role to substitute government in performing its duties. A company Implementing CSR strives to reduce its negative externalities and increase its positive Externalities. Therefore, government should encourage CSR. However, too much regulation on CSR may hamper business competitiveness. Accordingly, government should create infrastructures that are conducive for CSR. Further, since companies tend to report CSR only for public relation purpose and not for accountability purpose, the role of regulator is to establish infrastructures that support for accountable CSR reporting which include: a. the existence of globally accepted reporting standard/guidance on CSR reporting, b. the existence of globally Assurance standard for CSR reports, c. the practice of good corporate governance,

d. supportive regulation on CSR, and
e. the existence of public pressure on CSR.

In CSR disclosure companies have to take some self regulation. Because Companies understand the major impact on managing energy, water and carbon emissions has on their bottom line results. Using natural resources efficiently reduces costs associated with energy and water consumption, waste generation and carbon regulatory compliance. It also helps minimize the risk of fines and penalties, operational disruptions and negative impacts to their corporate image. By avoiding these unnecessary liabilities, companies are also increasing operational efficiency by directing their efforts towards strategic planning and revenue-driving initiatives.

Some recommendations to increase the level and quality of CSR reporting are proposed below. First, since the Corporation Law has taken effect, the government need to issue further Regulation which will explicitly state:

* Business sectors which are obliged to perform social and environmental responsibility, * When a company can be verified as having performed their responsibility, * The coverage of the CSR report which has to be submitted.

Further, CSR reports of large companies whose business is related to natural resources Need to be accessible by the public and are desirably to be audited by independent external Parties. Secondly, regulators around the world should agree on a global CSR reporting standard so that companies in different countries have one standard to refer in preparing their CSR report. Third, regulators around the world should also promote the development of a generally accepted assurance standard for CSR reporting by taking into consideration the different characteristics of CSR report from financial reports. Fourth, regulators should establish rules that encourage companies to change their governance system to a more accommodative system for the performance and reporting of a company’s CSR activities.

For example, the compensation system for the Board needs to be revised to also be based on the company’s CSR performance indicators. Fifth, government should continuously put effort to increase the public awareness on the importance of sustainable development and on the fact that social welfare and environmental preservation is the responsibility of all members of the society. Therefore, education curriculum from the elementary level to the university level needs to be designed to develop this awareness and responsibility. By implementing all these in practice one can serve to the society and the environment for their self benefit and their nation’s development.

References:
Corporate social responsibility reporting in United States By lianna cecil CSR in a comparative perspective BY Cynthia A. Williams University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Corporate social responsibility: a trend and a movement, but of what and for what? By Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson “Count me in: The Readers’ take on sustainability reporting”, prepared by KPMG and Sustainability for GRI, 2008. Corporate social responsibility reporting in Malaysia. An analysis of website reporting of second board companies listed in BM- Chen Shirley, Ang gaik suan , Chan pau lend, Maurice O.AOkoth and Ng Bee Fei – Segi university Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory Elisabet Garriga, Dome`nec Mele´

Sustainability Reporting Essay

Environmental sustainability of Nestlé Essay

Environmental sustainability of Nestlé Essay.

Introduction

The environmental and sustainability report has become more and more important information to reflect the corporate social responsibility of the company. The companies, in particular the big multinational companies listed in the public, have paid much attention to disclose the relevant information recently (Environmental Leader, 2008). Nestlé is one of the famous food manufacturing company, and this present paper is to study the relevant environmental and sustainability of Nestlé accordingly.

Environmental sustainability of Nestlé

Based on the sustainability report of Nestlé, the relevant environmental sustainability performance information of Nestlé has been clearly laid out, including government and systems, life cycle approach, the impact of water, climate change, air emissions, transports and distribution, packaging optimization, waste and recovery and biodiversity (Veritas, 2012).

In light of the information provided by Nestlé, the value of Nestlé in relation to the environmental sustainability is to enhance its environmental performance and efficient operations, decrease the negative impacts on the natural resource, and constantly employ the cost saving approaches in terms of raw materials, water, etc.

Meanwhile, the goal of Nestlé is to supply the delicious food and beverages, as well as obtain the better environmental performance, with a view to enhance the efficiency of business operation and environmental impact accordingly (Veritas, 2012).

In Nestlé’s report of environmental sustainability, it has introduced various actions that Nestlé carried out this year in order to achieve the environmental sustainability goals. The actions taken by Nestlé include investing CHF 143 million in environmental improvements, performing the relevant project to enhance the environmental impact by reducing water use, non-renewable energy consumption, GHG emissions, avoiding waste and enhancing the utilities of the products, such as the packaging. In addition, Nestlé also has worked with the suppliers to improve the performance of its supply chain (Veritas, 2012). Nestlé has provided the quantity information of its performance environmental sustainability since year 2001, including reducing 17% GHG emissions, reduced by 58% and 42% per tonne of product in terms of water withdrawals and energy consumption respectively. Meanwhile, the renewable energy consumption has reduced to 12% of total energy consumption, and the water discharges has reduced by 64% per tonne of product.

The efforts that Nestlé put into the environmental sustainability may increase the cost of its business, but on the other hand, those efforts can also generate more production volume. For instance, the total on-site energy consumption slightly increased by 0.5%, while the total production volume increased by 73.3% over the same period since year 2001. Furthermore, Nestlé has obtained various awards and recognitions of its performance in environmental sustainability, such as 2011 Stockholm Industry Water Award, 27th World Environment Center Gold Medal award for its commitment to environmental sustainability (Veritas, 2012). Based on the information provided by Nestlé, it has demonstrated that Nestlé has paid much attention to the environmental issue and Nestlé has the high social responsibility of the environment impact.

Meanwhile, there are various elements that heavily influenced the operations of Nestlé, and Nestlé needs to face the relevant challenges of those impacts, including the access of the clean water, constant innovation for the tasty and nutritious food and beverages for the growth population, reducing GHG from its operation, etc. (Veritas, 2012). In the end, the efforts and resources that Nestlé engaged has not only obtained the long terms positive impact of its corporate profits, but also established the favorable corporate image of its brand and obtained the highly reward for the public (Kolk, 2004).

Conclusion

To sum up, Nestlé has established a systemic approach in environmental sustainability and has disclosed the comprehensive environmental sustainability reports to the public. Nestlé is not the company that only simply chases the growth of its financial revenues, but it also focuses on the environmental impact caused by its business. The release of the relevant information that the company engaged in sustainability activities can make the shareholders and the public know much about the value of company, and generate the positive influences in the long term.

Environmental sustainability of Nestlé Essay

Urban Planning Essay

Urban Planning Essay.

In his book Urban Geography, Michael Pacione, discusses the “Future City-Cities of the Future”. In his analysis there are several principles that must be included in the future city in order for it to strive and be successful, “by 2025 65 percent of the world’s population will be in urban areas” (Pacione 2005) The need for the city of the next 100 years to be sustainable in all aspects is paramount for its success and its citizens to live in peace and harmony. The factors that will play a large part in deciding the fate of our future cities are addressing population growth, the economics of cities, or making cities economically competitive, the effective managing and creation of various modes of transportation and mobility and managing the largest pollutant most inefficient parts of of our cities: buildings.

All while maintaining high ecological and environmental standards including proper reduction and disposal of waste . The city of the next 100 years must be successful in managing the impacts of all of these stated areas.

I will highlight current cities that are struggling with some of these areas and what must be done for the future to prepare for the next century.

I. Population

There is wave of urban migration and population explosion particularly in 3rd-world nations. The projection of future growth in Lagos, Nigeria from the current city to the future city is projected to put Lagos as the 3rd largest city in 2015 behind Tokyo and Bombay. (Lagos State Government 2011) To stem and manage such growth city planners and local authorities must be diligent. Below is a picture of the daily traffic in the main city center, this is an example of the current situation when unfettered growth and poor or lack of planning are present.

While this may be an extreme example two of the projected largest cities by 2015 are both located in developing nations-Lagos being one of them and Bombay in India the other. The basic needs of the population must be met for these cities to become prosperous for its own success and for its inhabitants. With such large masses of population of people located in nations that currently have challenges handling the basic needs of its people the challenge will be to grow while still addressing these concerns. The solution to this problem of massive population growth and how to sustainability-as a city develop and grow can be found from William Rees from the University of British Columbia.

He and his team have developed an ecological footprint analysis which can be used to gauge and measure whether the current natural environment can sustain the growing population. In short, breaking down the consumption of what people use into five categories: food, housing, transportation, consumer goods and services. In addition, there are also land-use categories: fossil energy land, consumed land, food land and forest land. While I will not recite the entire analysis, what is important that can be extracted from this is the characteristics of sustainable future cities, as it relates to population growth. Preserving natural capital, minimizing the ecological footprint (this can include mixed-use development, 3-4 story apartment buildings along commercial streets). (Walker, Lyle and Rees, William 1997)

II. Buildings

Building and how we are currently operating them in the United States alone account for 40 percent of all energy consumption. The city of New York alone emits more greenhouse- gases, more automobile exhaust and more trash per square foot, than any other U.S. city. (Fettig 2006) In the future city of the next 100 years energy consumption of buildings must drastically be reduced. While there are some new groundbreaking solutions such as The United States Green Building Council that have developed a system of measuring energy consumption of building and providing a rating as to the effectiveness and usefulness of its energy consumption and sustainability. While this may be a great start and possibly a platform or model for future development it is simply not enough.

The high cost for seeking the highest standard for Existing Buildings –Platinum has pushed many building owners away from this concept. The sustainability of buildings is not only defined as installing solar panels on the roof or collecting rain water it must start with the design of our work places and homes. It’s changing how we live, how we work, architects must have knowledge not only of the aesthetic but knowledge and understanding of maintaining a high level of efficiency and sustainability. The buildings of the city can and must be an ecological master of sustainability. How we construct our buildings currently are: “the best possible product at the cheapest possible cost.” (Fettig 2006) An example of this is the construction of federal buildings across the U.S.- most of our federal buildings are large blocks of concrete with little or no efficiency or aesthetic value.

The General Services Administration is the branch of government which is responsible for the construction, development and managing all federal buildings. They are the largest developer and manager of commercial space in the US. (Fettig 2006) Recently, efforts led by architect Thom Mane of Los Angeles, he was tasked with developing the San Francisco federal building located at 7th Street and Mission Ave. The building is constructed with no central air conditioning, the building is naturally ventilated. The elevators strop on every 3rd floor with stairs for use between floors. There are no corner offices/edge offices. In addition, there is mostly all natural light only. Below is rendering of the building.

While the building may not be the standard from a perspective of beauty or function it mixes both the architectural form and user function and efficiency that his necessary for buildings for the future city of the next 100 years.

III. Economic Competitiveness of the City.

“Environmental quality is often cited as a goal that stands in opposition to economic activity. (Skinner 1997) The thinking that sustainability and environmental awareness stifles economic growth is a great myth in this county. The two can go hand in hand, and must do so for cities to grow its local businesses, create jobs for its residents, while also maintaining a high quality of life for the residents of the city. The Porter Model highlights four areas that a businesses must maintain in a city for it to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Having a strategic location, local market demand, and integration with regional clusters and utilizing human resources. (Porter 1990) For the next-century city the local businesses must play an important factor in creating jobs within the inner city that will attract residents and help create a better quality of life.

Skinner maintains that “local governments have large-broad powers to regulate businesses and they various types that are allowed to operate, therefore allowing more sustainable and environmentally-friendly industries into the city.” Various particular local examples of this in the region of S. Florida is in the city of Boca Raton. The city has created a local city organized group called Boca Raton Green Partners. The makeup of the group that meets monthly are local businesses committed to sustainable practices and reviews methods that city can take and policies they can recommend to foster a practice of sustainability for the residents and businesses.

The state of Florida also has a rebate program for residents to install solar panels on their homes and businesses. Residents can be reimbursed up to 20, 000 for homes and up to 100, 000 for businesses against the cost of installation. This in effect also created hundreds of local jobs for contractors and businesses this may be somewhat viewed as a public/private partnership. Environmental quality and economic vitality can be viewed as a singular entity that can fully support each other for the city to usher into the next 100 years and truly be a future city.

IV. Transportation

The above picture speaks volumes about the traffic problems most current cities face everyday. Smog, congestion, traffic noise, are just a few of the health consequences of our reliance of cars and the use of fossil fuels. When looking at transportation and the city it is not a one size fits all solution. There must be many options for residents and creating “accessibility rather than mobility.” (Fettig 2006) Some of the problems current cities face is large investments in highways and roads. For many years local and regional official’s solution for solving the traffic problem was building more roads. Within the city the use the public transportation is the most effective and environmentally-conscious way of mobility.

While this is nothing new to many readers what may surprise is that in some cities like Paris, France the local government is taking an active role in reducing the number of cars on roads. There has been a push for residents to use more public bikes, roads have been removed and trains or trams created in their places. These simple steps have allowed public transportation to move 3-4 more times the people on the same road previously used by cars. (Fettig 2006) The goal of the city is to reduce pollutants by 40 percent by the year 2020. By building a city non-reliant on the car for mobility not only will you generate less pollutants in the atmosphere but also a higher quality of life for residents.

In conclusion, the future city of the next 100 years has many challenges it faces. But these challenges can also be viewed as opportunities for innovation and change that can bring forth lasting economic and environmental benefits. By addressing these four main points: population growth, building efficiency, economic competitiveness of cities and transportation and mobility the city can be primed for the next 100 years.

Works Cited
E2. Directed by Tad Fettig. Produced by Elizabeth Westrate. 2006. Lagos State Government. November 30, 2011. http://www.lagosstate.gov.ng/index.php?page=subpage&spid=12&mnu=null (accessed November 2011). Pacione, Michael. Urban Geography, Ch. 30 The Future of the City-Cities of the Future. Routledge, 2005. Porter, Michael. “The Competitive Advantage of Nations.” Chap. 3, 69-130. McMillian, 1990. Skinner, Nancy. “Economic Development as a Path to Sustainability.” In Eco City Dimensions, 66-79. New Society Publishers, 1997. Walker, Lyle and Rees, William. “Urban Density and Ecological Footprints.” In Eco City Dimensions, 96-112. New Society Publishers, 1997.

Urban Planning Essay

Snuggie vs. Slanket Essay

Snuggie vs. Slanket Essay.

1) What marketing tactics and strategies can Slanket use to reposition its brand to retain market share in the increasingly saturated industry? 2) Summary of the key points from the case (approx. 4-5 key points) -Snuggie’s pricing methodology and viral infomercial marketing (“comfort food of the clothing line”) has overcome its lower-quality product and enthralled the public as well as purchase influencing reference groups and opinion leaders. -Clegg’s business model was well-defined in its early stages; consistent CSR to African clean-water initiative, personalized and customer-oriented service (handwritten note), -In the long-term, Slanket’s sustainability is ensured by official partnerships (NFL, MLB, Skymall), with market leaders in various industries that complement Slanket’s positioning.

-However, Snuggie’s popularity has been projected as the whimsical impulse purchase of consumers in a bad economy (fad) and subjected to mockery of TV idols (Bill Maher). – Clegg refuses to put trust in infomercial marketing model and the concept of costs hidden in shipping charges, but he can emulate Snuggie’s strategy of creating foot traffic in social media.

3) First mover in a market has the opportunity to capture market share and gain economies of scale, effectively dominate their pioneered niche. Second movers enter the market having observed and learned from mistakes of the first-mover. They hold a myriad of opportunity to differentiate themselves from the existing perceived ‘monopoly’ through the likes of price point, ease of distribution, or stellar client service relationships. Second-movers also don’t have to incur high R&D costs, and their marketing is focussed more on differentiators from the first-mover, rather than educating consumers about the product attributes.

Snuggie vs. Slanket Essay

Locavore Movement Essay

Locavore Movement Essay.

In American society, the environmental movement has gained the attention of many people. One of those movements is the “locavores”. Although some benefits are gained within this movements, there are also several less-examined effects of this movement that should be noted as well. People might think they do less harm to the environment, but they are misguided. They might help out their community but they end up hurting the other nations, they don’t really reduce the gas emitted by transportation and there nutrients in food is a small portion larger.

There are many definitions of locavore, from advocates arguing for political boundaries, to using quasi-geographic terms, but the one we’re talking about is those who purchase their food from a 100-500mile radii(Roberts). Looking at source G, some people might be confused on what a locavore is, thinking that buying any kind of food from a location within a 50-100 mile radii is acceptable. What it really means is that buying food that comes from a 50-100miles radii farm.

Some of their most obvious benefits of being a locavore include eating healthier and tastier foods, consuming fresher, helping out the economy and environment, preventing bio-terrorism and reducing pollution(Maiser). When bought from local farms, the money spent goes back into the local community, which doubles in terms of local economy(Maiser).

This is true, money spent locally does benefit the local economy, but the national economy not so much. All of this economic profits helps out the farmers, reviving small farms and increasing federal funds to local agriculture as stated in Source E. However, source C explains that locavores can end up hurting farmers in other parts of the world where the economy depends on agricultural exportations Some regions in the US cant even farm due to their environmental location, they rely on imports from farmers around the world.

Balancing the combination of national and local communities keeps the US agricultural economy healthy and wholesome. Another thing to consider is the effect on a global scale. For example, in “on my mind”, the smallest shift to local produce in the UK could starve some of the 1.5million bean farmers in Kenya. Shutting down international trade burst both countries involved and doing so even worsened the crises during the 1930’s Great Depression. Clearly, international produce is an important factor. Besides hurting outer nations by not purchasing their foods, locavors fear the feul emitted by transportation.

Locavors fear that by not buying locally, they are harming the environment by forcing long distance transportation and causing fuel consumption. Buying local farm products doesn’t necessarily reduce their carbon footprint. In Maisers web log, it states that the air pollution from transportation outweighs any benefits. This isn’t necessarily true, by looking at the chart in source D, transportation has a relatively small amount of gas emissions compared to production and wholesale/retail. It seems to be less than 25% for every kind of food/drink purchased. It isn’t the distance that food travels, but the efficiency of transportation. Source C describes it measures in ‘apples per gallons” and not just miles traveled. Since locavors buy food that comes directly and quickly from farms, their food tends to have more nutrients in them.

Since local food is picked within 14hours(Maiser), it is tastier, fresher, and more nutritious than other foods picked from around the world.. Even though it has more nutrients, the nutritional difference between local and long-distance food is “marginal”(Source B). Still, one cannot deny the claim that locavores enjoy a tastier healthier foods. Smith and Mackinnon book states local food is harvested at the peak of ripeness, ensuring a fresher more nutritional product.

Even though locavores help out their local community, they don’t help out their national economy. It not only hurts us but every other nation that depends on national food trade. Buying locally doesn’t save that much carbon from being put out into the environment, it’s only a small fraction of the whole system. If many communities started being locavores, it would lead to national disasters on a global scale.

Locavore Movement Essay

Eco – Cities Essay

Eco – Cities Essay.

This week, unlike previous weeks, we face societies who could effectively manage their cities, in terms of environmental aspects. Their success is, mostly, linked to strong mayoral leadership and people’s active participation in city programs; purchasing city-issues bond or even collecting garbage. These actions showed their commitment to sustainable development. But, this couldn’t be done without good understanding of local culture.

Besides, these residents have a complete understanding of the link between good urban development planning and a better quality of life and the result can be seen in their application of innovative solutions to enhance quality of their city and economic productivity and growth, while minimizing environmental impacts.

They were able to solve environmental/urban issues without time-consuming construction. In some examples, despite scarcity in land and natural resources, coming from population growth, comprehensive and integrated management of these two issues helped sustainable targets to be achievable.

Approaches to Sustainable Development environment goals can be listed as below:

* Environmentally efficient transport
* Sustainable energy use
* Sustainable land and water use
* Waste treatment with minimal environmental impacts
* Healthy indoor environment

Some cities may cut expenditures by reducing waste, while generating revenue from the recyclables and by-products resulting from waste treatment.

Some protects water resources and plants trees to improve their urban ecology in response to their most important issues like: Water scarcity and high temperature.

Still traffic and mitigating usage of private vehicles are points of concerns for governments. Rapid vehicle ownership in result of low prices causes rising traffic volume. Consequences of this increment reflect on sustainable related problems, air pollution, GHG emission, depletion of open space, degradation of local neighborhood and quality of life. Thereby, efficient public transportation is one of the environmental goals in compact cities. All kinds of public transportation from mini buses and airport shuttles to mass transit technologies and elevated trains are implemented in order to provide an improved environment.

Traffic calming major objectives are to:

* Reduce the severity and number of accidents in urban areas * Improve the urban street environment for noncar-users * Reduce the cars dominance on roads by reclaiming road space for living space * Reduce the barrier effect of motor traffic on pedestrian and cycle movement * Enhance local economic activity by creating a better environment for people Sustainability is achieved within a sustainable city in which urban design and planning along with architectural aspect do their best to be green. Sustainable city can feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and power itself with renewable sources of energy. From the architectural and urban design aspect, cities have to be human-scaled.

Form an identity of a metropolis should integrate historic context, unique ecologies and comprehensive regional structure. Streets must be pedestrian and friendly. Sidewalks have to have trees. Building entries and parallel parking must shelter and enhance the walking environment. We as human being need towns rather than sprawls, so solutions to decrease urban sprawl, by seeking new ways of allowing people to live closer to the workspace should be considered, access to better public transportation which should be efficient/safe and mixed used development are important options. Sustainability and sustainable approaches, treatments and management are something that should penetrate to all aspects of our life. We can definitely green our green planet again.

References
Eco2 Cities – Ecological Cities as Economic Cities; Part 3, The Field Reference Guide (p. 165 – 224). S.M. Wheeler & T. Beatley (2004). The Sustainable Urban Development Reader (Routledge, NY); “The Next American Metropolis,” (Peter Calthorpe, 1993); “Transit and the Metropolis: Finding Harmony” (Robert Cervero, 1998); “Traffic Calming,” (Peter Newman & Jeffrey Kenworthy, 1999). J.H. Kunstler (1993). The Geography of Nowhere (Simon & Schuster, NY), Ch. 11 (Three Cities) 189-216.

Eco – Cities Essay