Connect with HW Fisher

Sustainability is a civil right

Since then our understanding of the damage being done to the Earth by mankind has improved dramatically, and the environmental degradation of the world has been slowed down but not stopped.

Many battles have been won but the war is still being lost. There are more people working in environmental and sustainability roles today than at any point in history. Many of them are doing wonderful jobs, but simply put we are collectively failing.

The question is what can be learned from this?

It has been estimated that somewhere around 15-18% of people in Western countries rate the environment and sustainability as one of their primary decision making factors. These people are the most likely to choose behaviours or purchasing decisions that limit or improve their environmental impact.

The challenge now is how to reach the next 50-60% of the population who sometimes consider sustainability in their decisions. They know its importance but somehow cant quite act on that knowledge.

When we look at history it is evident that there are numerous ways that the world has radically changed from the status quo. Often this takes time and involves great sacrifice. The civil rights movement is probably one of the most successful modern examples where over a period of time things that were viewed as normal were transformed to become immoral and often illegal.

Just as the environmental movement must learn from the civil rights movement, sustainability needs to become a civil right.

Such a radical change involved winning the hearts and minds not only of those in positions of power but also of wider society as well. Many people with vested interests in keeping things like slavery, racism, sexism, and inequality had to be challenged and convinced that their behaviour and views needed to change.

The sustainability world needs to learn from this model, and to adopt the techniques that were successfully employed before so that the great changes that are needed in our world occur regardless of where our current thinking and behaviour tells us what normal is.

Just as the environmental movement must learn from the civil rights movement, sustainability needs to become a civil right.

Jae Mather
Director of Sustainability
T 020 7874 7985
E jmather@hwfisher.co.uk

Windfarm