A driverless taxi is waiting for you outside your house. Cruising through the city, you arrive safely at the airport where you drop off your luggage while ordering a coffee.
Via Monica S Mcfeeters
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|Rescooped by sustainability.wp from Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks|
Modernizing the nation’s largest program that supports Internet access for schools and libraries must be done in a way that does not disadvantage students from rural areas and high-poverty urban areas. That was the message from educators to federal regulators, a message that found receptive ears as the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to modify the program to focus on high-speed Internet and increasingly on Wi-Fi in the next few years.
The July 11 vote came after widespread concern voiced by educators and others over the FCC chairman’s original proposal to change the E-Rate program. As first drafted, the proposal would have threatened the program’s sustainability and its “one-size-fits-all” funding formula would have undermined the equitable distribution of funds to schools, libraries and communities most in need.
Applauding the vote on the modified proposal, Arizona math teacher and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said in statement:
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Environment has been defined as, the sum total of all conditions, influences, circumstances that surround the developmental process and life of living organisms. It is the inter relationship between the organisms and the elements of nature, and how they affect each other. Environment is an integral part of the everyday life of human beings and mankind has a great role to play in the conservation and improvement of the environment for the simple reason of enjoying a better future.
Conversely, unbalanced activities aimed at developmental processes are speeding up environmental degradation and exhaustion of natural resources. This would ultimately account for scarcity of resources and unhealthy atmospheric conditions that would eventually threaten human existence as well as environmental sustainability.
The up keep of the environment is the responsibility of the society at large. Individuals, governments, business houses everyone has their part to play in helping to maintain environmental sustainability. To ensure sustainability people need to be educated about the environment and how to preserve it. As concerns regarding the degradation of the environment have reached its critical levels with issues like global warming and climate change, poor water quality, desertification, over use of land, exhausting fuel resources, governments all over the globe have initiated systems to integrate environmental education into the education system.
Education that looks at different issues of the environment and aims at solving those problems is one of the new focal point of teaching. It is one of the important ways of assisting individuals as well as societies to help resolve primary issues that are leading to the indiscriminate use of present and future uses of the limited natural resources. However, merely by raising awareness through environmental education will not prove to be an appropriate way to bring about rapid change which is required under the present conditions. Education about environment must include ways of improvement and also should stalwartly promote the requirement of social participation as well as personal initiatives to attain the goal of sustainability.
Environmental Education Principles
There are certain principles that should be followed while disseminating knowledge about the environment and sustainable development.
1. Education for sustainability must engage everyone. Irrespective of location, caste, creed, language and physical features everyone should be made a party to the education process that aims at the ecological sustainability.
2. Education related to the ecologic balance is an ongoing process and must be continued lifelong. Learning from past mistakes corrective actions should be taken to make the present and the future better. With time and experience the ability of individuals as well as society as a whole improve in their way of responding effectively towards the environmental needs. Refreshing knowledge and skills with time and using greener approaches towards meeting needs help in sustainable development.
3. Environmental Education must be all encompassing and holistic. It is not necessary that education can only happen in a class room setting. It should be integrated with real life situations and should have an interdisciplinary approach for better understanding.
4. Building proper links of communication is of vital importance for any kind of education. To form a good bond and partnership among the different stakeholders, communication channels for better understanding and sharing of knowledge is of vital importance.
Sustainability education and participation in the corrective process is important for all levels of society members.
5. Education for environmental benefits must be in agreement with economic as well as social and goals. It requires incorporating reality to the subject by aiding people gain knowledge and understanding so that they develop the capacity to influence their surrounding as well as the mainstream society towards a sustainable path keeping in line with environmental objectives together with justifiable economic and social and goals.
A place where luxury and design meet sustainability and adventure, all surrounded by lava fields and glacial lakes.
Iceland is often dubbed "the land of fire and ice"— about the size of Kentucky, Iceland boasts some of the most starkly juxtaposed landscapes in the world. From black sand beaches to glacier fields to jagged peaks, the lava fields of otherworldly green moss to the countless active geysers, Iceland's landscape is stunning—and that's only the beginning. There's no better place to experience these extremes than the ION Hotel.
Consistently awarded for both its design and sustainability, the ION's (slightly) remote location an hour east of Reykjavik makes it the ideal getaway to both relax and explore the country's extremes...
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“Education is human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rests the cornerstone of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development – Kofi Annan
These words are as powerful as they sound. Education is one of the most important building blocks of a sustainable society. In a country like India that has a 1.2 billion population, there is a vast disparity between the kinds of education that is provided. The urban areas in the country are privy to much higher class of education, which is not the case in rural areas. This discrepancy in the quality of education makes it difficult to maintain a sacrosanct rate of development throughout the country.
To ensure that India attains progress on economic, ecological and social level; it is imperative to adapt a sustainable module of living. The best way to promote sustainability is with the help of quality education. The biggest problem in the progress of India is the fact that majority of the population of India resides in the rural areas. Unfortunately, these areas don’t have adequate access to job opportunities, infrastructure or quality education.
Role of Government in Promoting Education
The Indian Government is working towards bridging the gap to provide equal opportunities in terms of education in the urban and rural sector. Various educational initiatives have been introduced that address the major problems that are faced by the people in the rural areas. Here are some of the well known initiatives that help in providing quality education in every corner of the country.Free and compulsory education to allMid Day Meal Programs across all state run schools.Universalized Elementary EducationNation Literacy Mission, which focuses on providing education for citizens between 15 to 35 years of age.
These are some of the well-known and successful educational initiatives that are introduced and executed by the government with an intention to provide equal opportunities to every child in the country. These initiatives don’t just focus on education; they also address other important topics like nutrition, sanitation, gender bias etc, which are prevalent in the rural areas.
Social Support for Education
There is a lot of support in terms of raising funds and volunteerism from the NGO, nonprofit organization and corporate philanthropy segment. The main aim of these segments of the society is to create a sustainable education pattern. This will make it easier for the corporate structure to create a sustainable workforce for the future and also provide equal opportunities for the rural population.
The best way to go about this is not just providing education in the proverbial terms of the word but rather coaching and training students with the necessary skills at an early stage. Rather than training an employee after he joins, it is best to impart relevant skills and knowledge at an early stage (schools and colleges).
Providing scholarships, campus recruitments etc gives the students a firsthand experience and knowledge that can be used at the actual job. So rather than training an employee, the sustainable education program focuses on imbibing the right skills at an early stage. In this manner, the corporate sector is creating a workforce which is ready to assume its role in the organization as soon as they get hired for the job.
Sustainable Education for a Progressive India
“Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something” - Carl Sagan
This may sound like a simple sentence but it is something that every responsible individual should give a thought to and act in a responsible manner. India and the world are on a path of sustainable development, because the fact is without it, there is no real future for the rest of humanity. But the reality is the use of natural resources in India is extremely unsustainable, which has led to rapid ecological degradation.
What is a Sustainable Society?
Sustainability meaning differs from person to person and society to society. In a developing society like India, the consumption of resources is much higher as compared to the available resources. This has led to a deep scarcity of non renewable natural resources in the country. If the same situation continues, then one fine day there won’t be anything left for anyone and this is where the situation gets grim.
A sustainable society is the one which uses natural resources in a manner that it gets efficiently managed for the current and the future generations. Rather than just managing the existing natural resources, a lot of importance is given to creating renewable resources. There are several efforts from the government and the corporate sector to promote sustainability in the Indian society.
Here are some of the common ecological concerns faced in India.Deforestation through excessive logging to create new cities and human dwellingsEnvironmental pollutionOver consumption of non renewable natural resourcesExcess fishingWater pollution by releasing toxic waste and chemicals in to the ocean.Unsustainable farming methodExcessive grazingUsing non renewable natural fuels as opposed to green vehicle technology.
There are several efforts from the corporate sustainability initiatives and the NGO sector to promote sustainability in the country. These efforts may sound simple to begin with but have a great impact on the ecostructure. Some of the common initiatives for sustainable development in India are as follows:
Recycling for converting waste into newer raw materialsWaste management for controlling overall pollution and creating newer sources of raw materialCreating newer forms of renewable energy sources like wind energy, solar energy.Adapting green technology to control the release of harmful gases in the environment and reduce the carbon footprints in the atmosphere.Using energy saving devices like CFL and LED lights that consume less electricityUsing hybrid cars that use biodiesel or ethanol fuel that controls air pollution and are also cost efficient.Adapting renewable energy sources in the industrial and transport sector.
Thankfully, with the amount of exposure that the topic of sustainability has been getting, the general understanding about it in the society too has improved. People are more conscious about their actions but then we are definitely a long way off from being a completely sustainable society. But yes, if each one of us makes an attempt towards doing their own bit for the purpose, there will be a considerable and drastic change in the ecosystem. With this, very soon India will be in league of other sustainable nations around the world.
Be it the environment, development, health care, or education, sustainability issues are in the limelight during the recent times. Developmental sustainability means to encourage development in any concerned field while designing the system in such a way that it can further itself forward without harming the environment while improving lives.
In modern times all the governments around the world while developing their policies take sustainability issues into account. How they set their building policies, run their energy facilities, chalk out farming procedures, and buy their goods and services, most of the decisions are based on sustainable approaches.
The governments have various sustainability indicators to measure the progress of the country, like the GDP shows the economic progress. The social indicators would be life expectancy, health facilities or provision for housing. Similarly to weigh the balance of the environment the governments include indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, non renewable energy consumptions, water pollution levels and wildlife populations to see whether the development of the country is taking a toll on the natural recourses in a way that is sustainable or not.
Industries have been blamed for causing the most harm to the sustainability of the natural environment and in turn are now expected to take up responsibility in ensuring its well being through sustainability initiatives. Businesses in the modern world have also come ahead to join hands with government through various sustainability approaches. Many sustainability development examples can be seen in initiatives taken towards greener buildings, reduced water usage, management of waste water, recycling of waste, reduced waste, cutting down emissions, responsible and sustainable procurement in various industries.
Corporate include many sustainability initiatives that do not directly earn profits for them but in the long run gain a good name and loyalty from the customers. Businesses that are based on a sturdy foundation of ethics and values and incorporate benevolent approach towards good citizenship run their business with veracity, environmental sustainability and also take community and social initiatives to build a stronger nation and make their presence felt globally. They allocate separate funds which are used for the betterment of the larger society through projects and developmental activities which are priorities in particular areas.
Most corporations fund schemes that are taken up to benefit the ecology, education, healthcare, disaster situations, development of backward sections of the society and sustainability of the environment. They often run various social and environmental developmental projects through NGOs or trusts that are dedicated to some particular causes. Several of the businesses also involve their employees towards these initiatives through voluntary programmes. In India big names in industries covering all sectors are actively engaged in such projects that cater to the well being of the larger community. Most of them cover remote areas surrounding the factory locations to develop facilities of education, healthcare, forestry, farming opportunities which benefit the local communities. These initiatives definitely help the government to share its load and also ensure reduced opportunity gaps among different classes in this sprawling country with innumerable diversity.
Organizations all over the world big and small have begun to make a steady and influential move toward sustainability as most of them have started to recognize the growing convergences between environmental and economic welfare. One popularly evolving accelerator in the process which is being used by companies is to involve employees in assisting to accomplish sustainability goals. Sustainability program designed individually by companies are being utilised to achieve this objective.
The term corporate responsibility generally relates to a company’s effort that goes in maintaining sustainability in environmental, social, and economical parlance.
It may also be referred to as "corporate citizenship" and generally involves short-term costs which do not bring about any instantaneous financial benefit to the business, but as an alternative support constructive social as well as environmental changes. Corporate responsibility is important for businesses in India and all around the world. Industry Canada plays an important role in promoting and facilitating sustainable and responsible practices. Businesses have the power and the means to help promote sustainability through sustainability programme aimed at the betterment of society and environment. It is important in today’s multifaceted, unified world that corporate recognize, categorize and deal with their economic, environmental, social and material impacts.
The Key Corporate Responsibility Issues:
The main corporate responsibility issues include eco-efficiency, environmental protection, responsible sourcing, fair practices of human resource management, human rights, health and safety, social equity, anti-corruption approaches, gender balancing, consumer protection, good governance, community participation, employee training, liberal patronage to social and environmental causes, sound business ethics and transparent stakeholder relations. Sound principles towards corporate social responsibility and actual practices can make companies more productive, dynamic, and creative generate healthy competition.
An appropriately designed and executed corporate social responsibility idea may prove to be advantageous to a business giving it enhanced productivity, better quality, greater access to markets, superior reputation, improved sales, cost savings in business operation processes, competent support in human resources, finer brand image, greater customer loyalty among many other related benefits.
Pre -requisites to a Good Sustainability Program:
Studies reveal that companies which effectively include employees in the sustainability programs flourish in their endeavour better than the others by extensive margins. The bonding between their employees is better and the effects are long lasting than the others who do not involve their human resource base in the planning or execution of their programs.
Organizations which allow their employees to participate effectively in planning and execution through open communication channels and permit to communicate ideas for sustainability engagements have better chances of achieving their goals than businesses that simply expect employees to execute ideas that have been conveyed to them.
In a world that expects corporate to access and utilize natural resources responsibly, access and handle the impacts their business creates on the environment and the society, appreciate and address concerns of stakeholder, and also to chip in to the sustainable policy goals, sustainability programs have to be designed to suit the local and immediate environment. Issues that need immediate attention have to be the centre of focus which may vary from health, education, environmental protection or related issues. Accurate information needs to be assessed and acted upon depending on the requirement.
With corporate houses working towards the benefit of the environment and the larger society along with governments and individuals, sustainability could after all become a viable option.
“Social advance depends quite as much upon an increase in moral sensibility as it does upon a sense of duty” – Jane Addams
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India is making its presence felt in a bold manner. In general terms, CSR expects to follow the rule and law of the region and the international green tech standards. With time, things have changed and apart from the basic CSR rule, corporates have now started their own philanthropy programs, which are focused on social welfare and making a difference in the society.
Most of the companies in the corporate sector have now started their own corporate responsibility initiatives to give back to the society. The contribution of India Inc. is substantially increasing by the year and as per statistics, private giving has increased by more than 50% since 2006. Of all the social CSR initiatives, Social Responsibility is the most important, in terms or doing good for the society.
Here are some of the core responsibilities under Social Responsibility of Business in India Inc.Quality Education for every child in IndiaSpecial attention towards the less privileged and differently abled populationFocus on improving the infrastructure in the remote and rural areas of the countryRaising money for healthcare facilities for the less privilegedSpecial attention towards the education of the girl childFocusing on nutritional needs of children from less privileged backgroundsCreating a sustainable education system and job opportunities for everyone in the society.Volunteer programs for causes like social welfare and rehabilitation work
These are some of the major areas where India Inc has started working on their various philanthropic initiatives.
Philanthropic Programs in India Inc
Corporate Philanthropy in India is coming of age and in a brilliant manner. Believe it or not but as per statistics, India is a leader in giving and donating for the betterment of the society. Philanthropic programs in India ranks much high than that in most other developing countries like China and Brazil. This wave of philanthropy is more prevalent in the corporate structure as more than 70% are first time donors.
The main focus of corporate philanthropy is to raise funds for various nonprofit initiatives in the society. These funds or donations can be used for various social, cultural, educational or environmental reasons. There is no ulterior motive of promoting their business or brand value in a philanthropic cause and the intent is just to work towards the betterment of the society.
Most of the money raised in such drives comes from single donors, who are usually high ranking officials in the firm. However, there is a definite rise in the number of employees who have pledged a certain percentage of their monthly paycheck towards such causes. Some organizations also have pledged a certain percentage of their profits towards these social causes. On a whole Social Responsibility of Business is definitely up and coming in India and has become the most significant CSR initiative in the Indian society.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children – Chief Seattle
This saying is one of the best ways to explain the concept of sustainability. It has been already established that sustainability is the need of the hour, especially in developing nations like India. The problem in India is the population is too high, and the resources are fast depleting.
The concept of sustainability is universal and can be adapted in different aspects of the society. The most important aspects of sustainability in every society are ecological sustainability, social sustainability and economical sustainability. All these sustainability initiatives are equally important for a society to progress. However, the most important of them all is ecological sustainability, also known as environmental sustainability.
Concept of environmental sustainability
A sustainable environment is the one that promotes the utilization of all natural resources in such a manner that they don’t get depleted and the future generations get access to them. The problem in India is the excess consumption of these non renewable natural resources which directly affects the sustainability factor. The population is not just responsible for consumption, the other side effects are also equally responsible – pollution and waste. The more we consume the more waste we produce and add to the pollution in the environment.
The sad truth is the ecological sustainability across the world is in doldrums and the effects of the same are for us to see. More than using nature, humans have abused it and the results of the same are devastating. However, a little effort from everyone can help in reducing the stress on nature and thereby help in promoting environmental sustainability.
Here are some of the simple ways to make amends and help maintain a sustainable environment
• Avoid consuming non renewable natural resources wherever possible, use alternative energy sources that can be recreated for consumption.
• Opt for green energy sources like Turbine Energy, wood or solar Energy etc.
• Recycle to reduce waste and to limit the use of raw materials for production
• Water Conservation by methods like rain water harvest and recycling water
• Prevent deforestation, excessive grazing and promote sustainable fishing
• Use Hybrid cars that run on electricity.
• Reduce the consumption of toxic and non-biodegradable materials like plastic
These are small steps that can help in making a major difference in bringing about a sustainable change in the environment. These are individual efforts that can make a difference. Beyond this, there are many efforts that are undertaken by the corporate sector that promote environmental sustainability. Some of those are as follows
• R&D to create renewable energy sources
• Reducing carbon footprints by avoiding the use of non renewable energy sources
• Using digital technology to save data and reduce hard copies
• Promoting Green Tech initiatives in the production facilities
• Having control over waste management
These initiatives from the Corporate Sector help in promoting a sustainable environment to a large extent. When followed by the corporate sector, it also helps in promoting social and economic sustainability.
Indonesia has the highest deforestation rate in the world, according to a study published in the journal "Nature Climate Change" in June. Continue reading →
This really very bad towards nature
A driverless taxi is waiting for you outside your house. Cruising through the city, you arrive safely at the airport where you drop off your luggage while ordering a coffee.