challenge of sustainability requires a vision to
guide the evolution of the industrial system. From an industrial
ecology perspective key elements of this vision include:
operates within the limits of
global, regional, and local carrying capacity, maintaining a cautious
margin for error.
- Diversity of life and health of ecosystems
preserved as the foundation for the viability of the whole system of
- Damaged ecosystems are restored.
- Both private and public decisions are
by the precautionary principle, avoiding innovations that inflict
irreversible damage on natural and human systems.
- Industry reflects ecological and biological
principles in the design and operation of its activities, from the
farm, mine, and shop floor to the executive suite.
- Materials are cycled through the economy to
optimal degree, approaching a closed-loop system.
- Major energy sources are renewable and
- Effective transition strategies guide the
phasing out of fossil fuel uses.
- Use of renewable materials is in balance
their production and non-renewable materials are conserved and valued.
- Industry and consumers use all energy and
materials with highest possible efficiency.
- Industry views its basic economic role as
serving the real needs of people and communities, not multiplying
- Efficiency and productivity are in dynamic
balance with resiliency, assuring continued capacity to adapt to change.
- Farming and food processing at every scale
operate according to ecological principles.
- Societal well-being is measured
indicators of the achievement of these values, along with the other
core values of sustainability: equity and participation in governance.
- Societies make the transition to this state
the economic viability of systems for extraction, production,
distribution, transportation, and services.
- The transition supports
development of more viable communities, with improved quality of life
around the planet. (Note: Once basic needs are met, improved quality of
life does not demand increased material consumption.)