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Article in Voice

Twenty ways to achieve sustainability

Voice is the newspaper of the University of Melbourne. It is published monthly and distributed on the University’s campuses. It is also published as a supplement in the Age on the second Monday of each month and is available online and by free email or hard copy subscription. Following is a copy of the article published on 11 June 2012:

“Twenty specific actions that enable media, governments, individuals and businesses to contribute to a sustainable future by 2020 have been documented in a new book by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI), with contributions from Australia’s leading public thinkers.”

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“2020 Vision for a Sustainable Society was edited by MSSI Director Craig Pearson, and includes chapters by Nobel Prize winner, Peter Doherty; Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Kate Auty; Chair of Moreland Energy Foundation, Monique Conheady; and former Victorian Premier John Brumby. Professor Pearson says he hopes the book – a copy of which will be sent to all Victorian state secondary schools – provides a practical way for everyone to make a contribution at home, at school or at work. “Achieving sustainability requires a mind shift by everyone,” he says.”

“”Recall the lesson from history: all great transformations start with a few people with vision who inspire many. Now is the time for each of us to make a difference.” The book’s aim is to “steer” Australia towards sustainability. coverage and act responsibly “In suggesting twenty actions by 2020, it provides a map to a more sustainable future – in a society that is healthier and happier but not radically different to what we enjoy today. “In the lead-up to the Rio+20 Conference, this book aims to provide Australian delegates with answers to the burning question of the 21st century: “Where to from here?” Author of the Garnaut Report on Climate Change and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne Professor Ross Garnaut, who wrote the foreword to the book, says what Australians do over the next few years will have a significant influence on humanity’s prospects for handing on the benefits of modern civilization to future generations.”

“This book will help Australians to understand their part in the global effort for sustainability.”

Actions for sustainability

What individuals can do:

  • Engage personally
  • Own less
  • Reduce waste

What business can do:

  • Integrate sustainability into core business culture
  • Provide accurate product labeling
  • Lead globally with innovative design to reduce GHG emissions
  • Create zero carbon landscapes
  • Design for climate change
  • Reduce disaster risks

What governments can do:

  • Teach ethics
  • Tax non-renewables
  • Introduce water-trading
  • Go solar
  • Provide universal childcare
  • Value culture that supports sustainability
  • Promote the transport pyramid
  • Restore ecosystems
  • Plan for population increase

What the media can do:

  • Factor sustainability into media coverage and act responsibly
  • Involve the public as a knowedge base.

— By Katherine Smith