Applying the Framework
The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development creates a unifying view of the activities necessary to achieve sustainability. It converts theory to practice using logical, practical criteria for consistent decision making. It helps organizations act strategically to achieve goals throughout the organization.
The Framework evolved over 20 years of experience, successes and challenges, with the influence of many different management concepts. Successful application involves
a strategic process that is a guiding compass, providing direction and flexibility.
Change is about creating and maintaining momentum in dynamic groups of people. Each practitioner may approach implementation differently, but we share a common vision for change.
Understanding the organization’s relationship to the whole – the biosphere. In chess, this level is governed by the rules of the game and the shape of the board. When we understand this, we begin to understand what is possible. Those possibilities will probably deviate from historical practice.
Understanding of possibilities allows us to define success within this system. What is the organization’s vision for success, filtered through the four principles or system conditions of a sustainable society? Define principles.
Not all ideas generated align with the sustainable principals or with the organization’s goals. Through a process called Backcasting, we work backwards from the ultimate goal to establish the steps and prioritization of actions to successfully achieve the vision.
With clear strategies in place, step by step coordinated actions are possible, building each success on the previous. This alignment of actions reduces misdirection, conserves resources and improves overall organizational performance. Equipment, real estate, vendor contracts, carbon offsets – all actions are guided by a sustainable strategy.
These are the management tactics and metrics, the means to monitor our actions to execute strategies and arrive at success within the system.
At the beginning of a chess game, we don't know what the final moves will be. But, each decision is guided by a clear understanding of the definition of success - checkmate. It is the same with sustainable development. Applying the principles of sustainability within the system is a step-by-step approach to achieve those principles of success.