The latest news from the world of sustainability, the latest views from the brains behind Best Foot Forward
Media, 9 October 2012
Ecoislands and Best Foot Forward partner to provide a definitive measure of sustainability for worldʼs island and regional communities.
We all want to do our bit for the planet but how much do we need to do? And how much should we be doing compared to everyone else? Too much in sustainability is uncertain, unclear or undefined. Whether itʼs in the home or on a global scale, when it comes to tackling the challenge of a changing planet, clear and achievable goals are crucial to success.
On the 16 and 17 October, the Global Ecoislands Summit 2012 aims to simplify the journey to a sustainable future down to a very straightforward target - enabling every community around the world to live within their means. The summit will see delegates from island and regional communities from across the globe commit to achieving renewable energy self-sufficiency by 2020 and sustainability by 2030.
In collaboration with Best Foot Forward, who have developed guidance for global organisations including Coca Cola, Tesco, Eurostar and GlaxoSmithKline and who were responsible for footprinting strategy and evaluation for London 2012, the Ecoislands Global Summit will herald a new definition of sustainability that is measurable, tangible and fundamental to our future.
Ecoislands will define sustainability as the point at which a communityʼs ecological footprint is no bigger than the land area that they occupy. Put simply, each island will make a commitment to reach a point where they can live within their means.
“Ecological footprints are not the only answer but they do provide an achievable target that is both comprehensive and comprehensible”, explained Nicky Chambers, CEO of Best Foot Forward.
“If humanity were living sustainably, then our ecological footprint would be the same size, or less, than the planet we live on. Itʼs not. Our ecological footprint, the land needed to produce the resources we use and deal with the waste we produce, is currently estimated at one and a half times our planet”.
The concept can be made clear by looking at the example of the Isle of Wight, the home of Ecoislandsʼ flagship project and the host island for this yearʼs summit. A study carried out by Best Foot Forward had previously found that the Isle of Wightʼs ecological footprint was equivalent to an area of productive land 2.4 times larger than the island itself.
To put this in context, if everyone in the world lived like people do on the Isle of Wight we would need nearly two and a half planets to sustain us. And they are not alone. Subsequent studies have shown that a world of equivalent Scots would need 1.8 earths and Londonʼs ecological footprint spans 48,868,000 global hectares of productive land, a whopping 300 times larger than the city actually occupies.
Natural carbon sinks such as forests and oceans canʼt keep pace with the amount of additional CO2 that human activity pumps into the atmosphere. Each year we take more fish from the oceans, more trees from our forests and more fresh water from our land than can be replenished. Securing our future will require radical changes.
“Although matching your ecological footprint to the same land area as your island or community is a conceptual idea, what it gives you is very real targets in terms of water, waste, energy, food and other resources, allowing islands to match where they are now to where they need to be, and put solid plans in place for achieving those targets”, explains Chambers.
In conjunction with global technology partners including IBM, Toshiba, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Sliver Spring Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy, Toyota, ITM Power and Southern Water, Ecoislands aims to provide the resources, finance and technology necessary to allow communities to achieve these targets within the next 20 years.
“Setting a workable definition of sustainability is an important first step, but the Ecoislands Summit is also focused on providing the necessary resources to turn those targets into reality”, explained David Green, Founder of Ecoislands.
“By bringing together major technology partners, providing access to funding and disseminating learning from our flagship project we will work together to develop a replicable GREENprint that will enable every region around the world to achieve the ambitious target of living within their means”.
The summit will bring together 500 delegates from around the world and across the sector to share progress from Ecoislandsʼ flagship project on the Isle of Wight; showcasing research and development activities, demonstration projects and community initiatives spanning energy, transport, fuel, water and waste management.
Notes to Editors
The ecological footprint of an individual, organisation, product or region measures the bioproductive area (land and sea) required to sustainably maintain current consumption. It is measured in global hectares and expressed as the number of planet earths needed to support a certain activity, which makes it a good tool for communicating environmental impact.
A global hectare is 1 hectare of biologically productive land with world-average productivity.
Best Foot Forward
Best Foot Forward is a sustainability consultancy that helps organisations to cost-effectively reduce their environmental impact in a world of limited resources. The company offers help with sustainability metrics, software solutions and strategy and communications advice.
Ecoislands is a global leader for sustainable communities, which will enable every region around the world to achieve the ambitious target of living within their means. Drawing from their flagship project that will see the Isle of Wight become renewable energy self-sufficient by the end of the decade, Ecoislands is developing a replicable ʻgreenprintʼ that will guide future ecoislands on their journey toward sustainability. By bringing together major technology partners, providing access to funding and disseminating learning from their flagship project, Ecoislands is able to offer the necessary resources to turn vision into reality.
Ecoislands Global Summit
The inaugural Ecoislands Global Summit will unite island and regional communities from around the world on a journey to achieving sustainability by 2030. It is the chance for island communities to take control of their own futures by making the ambitious commitment to living with their means. The summit will invite islands to publicly commit to becoming renewable energy self-sufficient by 2020 and sustainable by 2030 by signing the Ecoislands Accord. The Ecoislands Global Summit 2012 is sponsored by IBM and supported by Cable&Wireless worldwide.
For more information or to make arrangements for attending the summit please contact:
Life Size Media
+44 (0) 207 287 7081
© 2013 Best Foot Forward Limited.The Future Centre, 9
Newtec Place, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE, United Kingdom. Best Foot Forward Limited is a company registered in
England and Wales with comp any number 3409491. VAT number 685888061.
RSS feed Subscribe to our newsletter Tel: +44 (0) 1865 250818 mail@ bestfootforward.com