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Sustainability Principles

Principles drafted in the Sustainability Salon:

1) We discern our systems as living systems, operating under the laws of nature, as

a) expressed in The Natural Step's four system conditions, and

b) perceived as a zero waste cycle.

2) We believe that we can achieve a homeostatic condition of 'managed abundance' through peaceful and cooperative cohabitation.

3) We respect and care for the Community of Life - its diversity and longevity - and we promote the virtues of democracy, sovereignty, and the long-term common good.

4) We support ecological integrity and all the natural processes that sustain life, and we err on the side of caution when long-term consequences are largely unknown or in doubt.

5) We believe in social and economic justice - the inherent good of humankind, the need to eradicate abject poverty, the dignity and wisdom of all people, and the equity that overcomes class and ethnic distinctions.

6) We accept that we are in a major transformational change, a nexus point of irreparable damage to the Earth's systems juxtaposed with intellectual and technical abilities to reverse the damage.

7) When information is available along with opportunities for learning, all people will understand their alternatives and will make choices and commitments that blend individual 'satisficing' with support for the common good.

8) Our goals and action plans must be blended with a deep commitment to our social contract with each other and our support of ecological integrity.

9) It is the role of those in governance to both represent and lead - to alter majority opinion when it isn't in their best long-term interest, and to uphold the wishes of the majority when they are ethically and democratically sound. To legislate or mandate only those changes deemed sustainable.


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