The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development

"For American students, who tend to be assigned rather parochial texts for the most part, The Natural Advantage of Nations is an eye-opener to the innovative initiatives occurring around the world. It can serve as a wake-up call for them to waste no time engaging in the tri-sector generation of solutions!"
Janet Graaff, Instructor, University of Colorado Leeds School of Business

Introduction to Sustainable Development for Engineering and Built Environment Professionals

Unit 2 - Learning the Language


Educational Aims

Lecture 5: Efficiency – Resource Productivity Improvement
To demonstrate that efficiency – doing more with less for longer - is a positive first step towards sustainability. To introduce the concept of efficiency and explain how it leads to efficiency gains for firms, increased profitability and other benefits. To explain why efficiency on its own will not be enough to achieve sustainable development.
The topic of efficiency will be further developed in ‘Role of Engineers in Sustainable Development B’ and ‘The Role of Efficiency in Sustainable Development’, discussing in detail how to achieve sustainability benefits from efficiency through providing further checklists and further online resources to assist the engineer and designer.

Lecture 6: Role of ‘Systems’ for Sustainable Development
To introduce the main concepts of Whole System Design (WSD) and show how WSD builds on from and complements design for environment and design for sustainability strategies. To introduce a ten step operational checklist for implementing WSD into engineering practice.

Lecture 7: The Concept of Biomimicry – An Historical Context
To introduce the emerging field of Biomimicry and explains why it is such a powerful tool for innovation. Building on from knowledge gathered over centuries of harvesting and harnessing nature, engineers and designers are now exploring the exciting field of emulating nature’s successes to assist sustainable development. Biomimicry is a tool for innovation to assist engineers and designers to move past efficiency and design sustainable systems learning from nature.

Lecture 8: Green Chemistry and Engineering – Benign by Design
To provide an overview of how chemical engineers, often working with chemists, are applying Green Chemistry and Green Engineering principles to play a key role in assisting business, the economy and society achieve sustainable development.


The engineering profession will play a significant part in moving society to a more sustainable way of life. Recognising this, the Engineering Sustainable Solution Program (ESSP) seeks to provide engineers and built environment professionals with a basic understanding of sustainability issues and opportunities as they relate to their practice. The ESSP is designed to facilitate the effective incorporation of key pieces of information, or ‘critical literacies’, relating to sustainability into engineering curricula and capacity building. This program provides an alert to sustainability principles and activity in the engineering profession.

In the preparation of any education program, and in particular an introductory course, it is a challenge to cover all possible questions or uncertainties that may arise during delivery of the material. In response to this challenge, this program will be supported (in its critical academic rigour and structure) by engineering related material in the publication, The Natural Advantage of Nations, and its companion web site ( along with other key texts.

Required Reading

Hargroves, K. and Smith, M.H. (2005) The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century, Earthscan, London.

The Text Book along with each of the units has an online companion to provide additional supporting material. Optional reading material is provided after each lecture for those who wish to explore the content in more detail.

The development of the Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program – Critical Literacies Portfolio has been supported by grants from the following organisations:

  • UNESCO, Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences, Natural Sciences Sector (with particular support and mentoring from Tony Marjoram, Senior Programme Specialist - Engineering Sciences, and Françoise Lee).

  • The Institution of Engineers Australia, College of Environmental Engineers (with particular support and mentoring from Martin Dwyer, Director Engineering Practice, and Peter Greenwood, Doug Jones, Andrew Downing, Tim Macoun, Julie Armstrong and Paul Varsanyi).

  • The Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (with particular support and mentoring from Terrence Jeyaretnam).

Expert review and mentoring has been received from Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister, The Biomimicry Guild (USA); Paul Anastas, Green Chemistry Institute (USA); Alan Pears RMIT University (AUS); Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute (USA); Tom Conner, KBR (AUS); and Mia Kelly, TNEP Working Group (AUS). We would like to add a special thank you to the Engineers Australia review panel Trevor Daniell, Thomas Brinsmead and David Hood.


Smith, M., Hargroves, K. and Paten, C. (2007) Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program: Critical Literacies Portfolio, The Natural Edge Project, Australia (TNEP).

Brief Background Information

What do we mean when we say ‘Growth’?

Why is it important to talk about Growth?
The meaning of the term ‘growth’ and whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is hotly debated and discussed by those across the fields of economics, policy, and development, however, as this course is intended to introduce the language of sustainability, there is not time nor space to explore these issues in full detail here. Instead a brief introductory discussion is presented to cover a range of options for reducing the correlation between physical throughput in our economy (and impacts on our communities), and economic growth - a concept known as ‘decoupling economic growth from environmental and social pressure’.

There are a number of approaches when considering the concept of ‘growth’ within the sustainability field, each of which has its own definition of the problem and related approaches to the growth debate. A key issue in the debate is that some do not differentiate between types of ‘growth’, which can create significant confusion. The word ‘growth’ means different things to different audiences: some understand economic growth to be the amount of economic value and monetary transactions as measured by the GDP (Economic Growth), and some focus on the growth of physical throughput in the economy and its associated environmental pressure, waste production and resource use (Physical Growth).

It is argued in The Natural Advantage of Nations
[1] that it is possible to decouple economic growth from growth in biophysical throughput and environmental pressures/pollution, i.e. the successful efforts to phase out sulphur dioxide (SOx) emissions, asbestos, and ozone depleting chemicals. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to have economic growth while reducing environmental pressures – indeed the ideal would be to have a positive (restorative) environmental and social impact.

The OECD have marked the ‘decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures’ as one of their five goals for their 2001-2011 OECD Environmental Strategy. China has included the recognition that ‘economic growth is not equal to economic development and that growth is not the final goal of development’, which will be included in its 11th Five-Year Plan.

Well Known Angles to the Growth Debate
The arguments of many well known economists do not adequately differentiate between types of ‘growth’, which can create significant confusion in the ‘growth debate’. Much of the confusion arises from a language misunderstanding where some in the debate do not acknowledge that the word ‘growth’ means different things to different audiences.

When businesses and governments talk about growth they generally mean economic growth: that is, (using the expenditure model of measuring Gross Domestic Product - GDP) the amount of economic value and monetary transactions as measured by the GDP. When Daly, Hamilton and some environmentalists talk about growth they focus on the growth of physical throughput in the economy and its associated environmental pressure. But economic growth and physical growth are, of course, not the same thing:

  • Economic growth is acceleration in the production of economic value.

  • Physical growth of the economy means it has a larger material and energy throughput or has a larger stock of physical products, buildings or infrastructure.

Some environmentalists dislike physical growth because it correlates with increased environmental pressures, damage and resource depletion. Paul Ekins, director of Research for Forum for the Future, author of the seminal publication Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability,[2] and Professor of Economics at the University of Westminster, writes that it is vital to distinguish between different types of growth:

  • Growth in the economy’s biophysical throughput.

  • Growth in the economic value of that throughput.

  • Growth in economic welfare/well being.

Having done that Ekins writes,

It is clear from past experience that the relationship between the economy’s value and its physical scale is variable, and that it is possible to reduce the material intensity of GNP. This establishes the theoretical possibility of NGP growing indefinitely in a finite material world.

The Importance of Defining ‘Growth’
Dana Meadows, lead author of the seminal book The Limits to Growth, explains the problem:

It’s entirely too easy to classify things as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ and to keep those classifications fixed. For generations both population growth and capital growth were classified as an unmitigated good. On a lightly populated planet with abundant resources, there were good reasons for that positive valuation. Now, with an ever clearer understanding of ecological limits, it can be tempting to classify all growth as bad. The risk of managing in an era of limits demands greater subtlety and more careful classification.

Some people desperately need more food, shelter and material goods. Some people, in a different kind of desperation, try to use material growth to satisfy other needs, which are also very real but non material: needs for acceptance, self importance, community and identity. It makes no sense, therefore, to talk about growth with either unquestioning approval or unquestioning disapproval. Instead, it is necessary to ask: Growth of what? For whom? At what cost? Paid by whom? What is the real need here and what is the most direct and efficient way for those who have that need to satisfy it? How much is enough? What are the obligations to share?

The answers to those questions can point the way toward a sufficient and equitable society. Other questions will point the way toward a sustainable society. How many people can be provided for with a given throughput stream within a given ecological footprint? At what level of material consumption and for how long? How stressed is the physical system that supports the human population, the economy and other species? How resilient is that support system to what kinds and quantities of stress? How much is too much?

Decoupling Economic ‘Growth’ from Resource Use
The results of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 show that it is vital that all nations achieve more rapid decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressure. In 2001 the Australian Government committed to this goal through the then Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill’s
[5] active participation and support for the 2001–2011 OECD Environmental Strategy which included ’achieving decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressure’ as the 2nd of five key objectives.

For decades business people and environmentalists have mistakenly believed that the more you do for the economy the worst off the environment will be and the more you do for the environment the worse off the economy will be. But this does not need to be the case; business and government can decouple profits and economic growth from environmental pressures. Already the world has shown through its efforts to phase out asbestos, ozone depleting chemicals, sulphur dioxide emissions and leaded petrol, that it is possible to achieve significant reductions in pollution (close to 100 percent decoupling) without harming economic growth. The OECD have already adopted decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures as the recommended framework for all OECD nations.[6]

The program of emissions control adopted by the Second Sulphur Protocol is a great example of what could be done for all major pollutants. The environmental objective of the Protocol was to eventually bring sulphur depositions in Europe within the critical loads of receiving ecosystems, which is a fundamental principle of ecological sustainability. The emission reduction required was of the order of a factor of ten. Initial perceptions were that it would be incredibly costly but the removal of subsidies from coal industries and the arrival of cost effective low sulphur fuel and technological innovations changed the cost situation such that the sustainability standard was attained with essentially no negative impact on economic growth at all. In this case economic growth and ecological sustainability were quite compatible.[7]

Figure v. Sulphur dioxide emissions from energy usage versus GDP from 1980-1998.
Source: OECD Secretariat (2002)[8]

Redefining Growth
The Chinese Government has launched a landmark 11th five year plan which for the first time places ‘scientific’ (sustainable) development as its primary goal rather than economic growth. The Chinese People’s Daily newspaper stated under a heading of “From ‘Growth Rate’ to ‘Sustainable Development’”:[9]

The recognition that economic growth is not equal to economic development and that growth is not the final goal of development, will be included in a Five-Year Plan for the first time [said analysts]. Top leaders have criticized old concepts of economic growth many times, saying that ‘economic development at the centre’ does not mean ‘with speed at the centre’. Blind pursuit of economic growth has led to blind investment, damage to the environment and false statistics. The country's helmsmen are worried that without changing China's concept of growth, the economy might develop an unbalanced structure with a lack of driving power. In the 11th Five-Year Plan, the economic growth will be defined as ‘Serving the people to improve life quality.’

Pan Yue, a vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, was quoted in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, saying,[10]

This [Chinese economic] miracle will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace. Acid rain is falling on one third of the Chinese territory, half of the water in our seven largest rivers is completely useless, while one fourth of our citizens do not have access to clean drinking water. One third of the urban population is breathing polluted air, and less than 20% of the trash in cities is treated and processed in an environmentally sustainable manner. Finally, five of the ten most polluted cities worldwide are in China.

This has major implications globally as the economic growth of China is a significant factor in driving global economic growth currently. In addition to acknowledging sustainable development as its primary goal, the 11th five year plan also includes commitments to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by about 20 percent lower than the energy consumption measured at the end of the 10th five-year plan period. Furthermore, as a result of mounting concerns, the Chinese Government has committed to adopting Green GDP accounting. Xu Xianchun, director-general of the Department of National Accounts at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in China, stated in 2004 that at the first stage, the NBS plans to adopt the calculation methods the United Nations enshrined in its comprehensive environmental economic account system.

Xu stated that,[11]

China is facing problems of over-consumption of resources in pursuit of rapid economic growth, adding that the pure concept of GDP fails to reflect the influence of economic growth on the resources and environment… The green GDP can help people understand the costs of resources and environment during the economic development, urging people to realize that it is unreasonable to purely seek economic growth while ignoring the importance of the resources and environment.

Talking to Business – New Terms and Models

It is fundamentally important that the key emerging sustainability language and terms are understood before discussions around sustainability take place. The engineering and built environment profession must make sure that we are all ‘playing on the same playing field’, otherwise it is difficult to make sense of discussion, and progress may be unnecessarily slowed.

  1. ‘Triple bottom line’ (TBL): TBL is about dropping the financial bottom line as a meaningful indicator of where you stand in the market place, and replacing it with a bottom line that properly acknowledges the interplay of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of our lives.

    • The concept is often extended to an ‘Integrated Bottom Line’ concept, where it is recognised that ultimately business likes a single ‘bottom line’ for their finances. An ‘Integrated Bottom Line’ implies that the financial statement includes a holistic and integrated analysis of social, environmental and economic factors.

    • ‘Triple Bottom Line Plus One (TBL+1)’: The concept of the TBL has been extended by adding the governance dimension (TBL +1).

  2. ‘Triple Top Line’: This is a term coined by McDonough and Braungart[12] (leading sustainable development experts), to summarise a new design perspective that creates triple top line growth: products that enhance the well being of nature and culture while generating economic value. This is an extension of the Triple Bottom Line concept, used by businesses to try to balance traditional economic goals with social and environmental concerns.

  3. ‘Natural Capitalism’: This is a set of trends and economic reforms to reward energy and material efficiency, and remove professional standards and accounting conventions that prevent such efficiencies.

  4. ‘Service and Flow’: Service and flow helps introduce the motivations behind the shifting industry trend from being a manufacturer of products to a provider of services, therefore retaining the product end-of-life responsibility - as a way of dramatically reducing waste, improving resource efficiency, and increasing value to the customer.

  5. ‘Product Stewardship through Life-Cycle Analysis’: Engineers and designers need to keep in mind the short and long term implications of their work. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a means of identifying the materials and waste streams throughout the life of a product or process and hence its impact on the environment.

Business Language - Triple Bottom Line or Integrated Bottom Line
If we are to achieve our environmental goals, they must be pursued in a holistic context, blending advancements in social, environmental and economic areas.

As former Australian Senator, Robert Hill, stated,

We need to develop decision-making processes which take into account not only the financial costs and benefits of our actions, but also the social and environmental consequences. Those processes will need to shift the focus away from short-term economic gain toward long term economic, social and environmental impacts: the triple bottom line.

Robert Hill, former Australian Senator, 2000[13]

Society therefore needs to pursue its environmental, social and economic goals simultaneously. In order to achieve sustainable development across such a triple/integrated bottom line spectrum we have to ask, in relation to each domain (environmental, social and economic), what do we want to sustain/maintain and why? Society is interested not only in maintaining environmental, social and economic values (i.e. sustaining things or attributes that it values), but also in improving on past conditions (i.e. achieving genuine progress).

As Phillip Sutton, Director of Green Innovations, writes,[14]


The term ‘sustainability’ alone is not about the integration of ecological, social and economic issues, nor is it about improving quality of life. It's about maintaining or sustaining something, literally the ‘ability to sustain’. Many environmentalists mean 'ecological sustainability' when they say 'sustainability' and many business people mean 'economic sustainability'. But when we use the term 'sustainability' the inferred meaning is 'ecological, social and economic sustainable development' (a combination of the three plus the dynamic aspect of improvement encapsulated in the word ‘development’). What we need to bear in mind, is that over the long term, financial and economic outcomes are not sustainable unless genuine progress is made to develop and restore nature and social capital. And that it is not possible to achieve a desired level of ecological, social or economic sustainability (separately) without achieving at least a basic level of all three aspects of life and society, simultaneously.

Philip Sutton, Green Innovations, 2000[15]

A key word search on the internet reveals a surprising array of organisations that report in this way. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an example of a guideline on ‘how to do’ TBL reporting. The GRI is a multi-stakeholder process and independent institution, whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines.

Triple Top Line
The triple bottom line has been, and remains, a useful tool for integrating sustainability into the business agenda. By balancing traditional economic goals with social and environmental concerns, it has created a new measure of corporate performance. However, a business strategy focused solely on the bottom line can obscure opportunities to pursue innovation and create value in the design process. New tools for sustainable design can refocus product development from a process aimed at limiting end of pipe liabilities to one geared toward creating safe, quality products right from the start.

The new ‘triple top line’ design perspective is proposed by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart and seeks to create triple top line growth: products that enhance the wellbeing of nature and culture while generating economic value. Design for the triple top line follows the laws of nature to give industry the tools to develop systems that safely generate prosperity. In these new human systems, materials become food for the soil or flow back to industry forever. Value and quality are embodied in the products, processes and facilities, which are so ecologically intelligently designed, they leave footprints to delight in rather than lament, as McDonough and Braungart put it. When the principles of ecologically intelligent design are widely applied both nature and commerce can thrive and grow.

Natural Capitalism
Natural Capitalism is a new business model that involves four interrelated shifts in business practice:

  • Principle 1: Radical Resource Productivity - radically increase the productivity of natural resources (e.g. by ‘factor 4’ (75 percent reduction), ‘factor 10’ (90 percent reduction), etc.) through a Whole System Design mentality that fundamentally changes facilities, production processes, and products.

  • Principle 2: Biomimicry - shift production to biologically inspired patterns that close materials loops, eliminate waste and toxicity, and minimise throughput.

  • Principle 3: Solutions Economy Business Model - move to a solutions-based business model that delivers value as a continuous flow of services rather than the sale of goods. This model rewards both the provider and the customer for doing more and better with less for longer.

  • Principle 4: Reinvest in Natural and Human Capital - reinvest in natural and human capital, which is ultimately the basis of future prosperity, yet it is in increasingly short supply.

Service and Flow
As consumers, we don’t necessary want a lump of coal, a beam of aluminium or a container of toxic chemicals – we want the services they provide (such as power, shelter, mobility or cleaning services). Thinking in this way creates a distinction between what is made as a product, and what need it is intended to satisfy. In the 1980s analyst Walter R. Stahel
[18] and green chemist Michael Braungart[19] proposed an industrial model different to the version manufacturers traditionally used. Instead of an economy comprising of making and selling goods, Stahel and Braungart proposed what they called the ‘Service Economy’.[20] In a service economy, manufacturers are deliverers of a service (rather than producers and sellers of products), aiming to provide longer lasting durables and offer a take-back and reuse service at the end of the product’s useful life.

Shifting from a ‘cradle-to-grave’ product (a product that is made, used, and transferred to landfill at the end of its useful life) to a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ product (C2C – a product that is made, used and reused) can bring information on the product’s performance back to the designer to enable improvements. Ideally the product would last as long as it can with the consumer and then return to one of two metabolisms to be reused – either in the biological cycle or the technical cycle.[21]

Business benefits of service and flow:

  • Resource efficiency gains - on average, three times as much energy is used to extract virgin or primary materials as is used to manufacture products from those materials, and hence reusing these products saves a lot of energy, cost and greenhouse emissions.

  • Stabilising business cycles - customers require services continuously throughout the year, whereas products are typically bought only during good years.

  • Reduction/elimination of inventory - removes the burdens associated with over- and under- capacity. Providing services means omitting delivery or backlogs of products.

Safety Kleen[23] are in the business of providing industrial cleaning and environmental services, and managing the transport, use, recovery and disposal of chemicals in oil collection and re-refining, containerised waste, cleaning products, ink and paint stripping, parts washing, and vacuum services. Recently, the Austrian government, in conjunction with several companies, commissioned two studies into the potential for service based chemical leasing. These studies concluded that:[24]

  • Four thousand Austrian companies, with 2250 in the cleaning/degreasing industry would qualify for chemical leasing programs.

  • Austria’s annual use of 153,000 tons of chemicals could be cut by 53,000 tons per year, immediately reducing cost, emissions and waste.

  • The reduced solvent use would result in environmental benefits, distributed as 10 percent air emissions, 15 percent water emissions and 75 percent waste.

  • An average company could expect cost savings of 15 percent, or about €6,100.

Product Stewardship through Life-Cycle Analysis
Engineers and Designers must take a long term approach to the design of their solutions – what societal, environmental, and economic impacts will the design have over the short, medium and long term?

  • Social implications – who does the solution affect, now and in the future? Example: Prolonged greenhouse emissions from automobiles will lead to inevitable climate change – the life-threatening effects of climate change may not be experienced in our lifetime, but definitely in the lifetimes of our future generations.

  • Environmental implications – what effect does the solution have in the long term? Example: Wind turbines are one of the cleanest generators of electricity available. The optimal materials for the turbine blades are plastic composites, which are extremely difficult to separate and recycle at the end of its life (average wind turbine blade life is 25 years). How can we recycle these composites, or make wind turbine blades out of a recyclable material, to prevent stockpiles of composite plastic waste in the future?

  • Economic implications – what are the future costs associated with the design? Maintenance costs, waste management costs, costs relating to increases in utility rates, and dependence on resources which may increase in costs over the coming decades?

  • Return on investment – how fast can the solution recuperate the costs associated with implementing the solution? Example: Implementing a new energy efficient manufacturing technology may require greater initial costs compared to maintaining the current technology. However the savings associated with reduced energy costs and high productivity/less maintenance may over a short period of time (e.g. 2-3 years) repay the initial costs associated with implementing the new technology, and create increased profits for the manufacturing company.

According to the ISO 14040 series, LCA is conducted by 1) developing an inventory of all inputs (materials, energy) and outputs (waste, emissions, other environmental impacts); 2) evaluating potential impacts based on inputs and outputs compiled in inventory; and 3) interpreting results. , Using the example of making a t-shirt, step one might look something like this:

  1. Raw Materials – fertiliser, energy, water

  2. Processing – energy, cleaners, dyes

  3. Manufacturing – energy, waste

  4. Packaging – paper, plastics, waste

  5. Transport – energy

  6. Use – bleach, detergents, water, energy

  7. Either one of 1) Disposal, 2) Reuse (go back to point f.), or 3) recycle (go back to point a.)

If businesses take a life cycle approach to their daily activities, they not only take into consideration the finished product or service by the inputs and outputs at each state of the process (or production or service delivery), but also how it will impact the environment and community. A lifecycle approach helps us to engage in whole systems thinking – both understanding the complex interactions between energy and material throughout the life of a product, and thinking in the long term about the impacts on the environment and society. LCA ultimately helps industry, government and the consumer make informed decisions about product purchasing.

[1] Hargroves, K. and Smith, M.H. (2005) The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century, Earthscan, London, Chapter 3: Asking the Right Questions, ‘How should we measure growth?’ pp 43-45. See ‘What is meant when we speak of ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’? pp 45-47, for further reading. (Back)

[2] Ekins, P. (2000) Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability, Routledge Publishing, London. (Back)

[3] Ibid. (Back)

[4] Meadows, D. (1972) The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind, Universal Books, London. (Back)

[5] OECD Environment (2001) Meeting of EPOC at Ministerial Level. Available at Accessed 3 January 2007. (Back)

[6] OECD Secretariat (2002) Indicators to Measure Decoupling of Environmental Pressure from Economic Growth, OECD, Paris. (Back)

[7] Ekins, P. (2000) Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability, Routledge Publishing London, New York, Chapter 10: Sustainability and Sulphur Emissions: The Case of the UK, 1970-2010. (Back)

[8] OECD Secretariat (2002) Indicators to Measure Decoupling of Environmental Pressure from Economic Growth, OECD, Paris. (Back)

[9] Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in the United States of America, (2005) ‘New 5-Year Plan to see revolutionary changes’, 10/11/05. Available at (Accessed 3 January 2007). (Back)

[10] Environmental News Network (2005) ‘In China's Dash to Develop, Environment Suffers Severely’, July 25, 2005 — By Tim Johnson, Knight Ridder Washington Bureau. Avaiable at Accessed 3 January 2007. (Back)

[11] Peoples Daily (2004) ‘Green GDP system to debut in 3-5 years in China’. Available at Accessed 3 January 2007. (Back)

[12] McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2002) ‘Design for the Triple Top Line: Tools for Sustainable Commerce’, Corporate Environmental Strategy, vol. 9, no. 3, Elsevier Sciences Inc. (Back)

[13] Hill, R. (2000) An address to The International Society of Ecological Economists by the Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Senator the Hon Robert Hill, Australian National University, Canberra, July 6, 2000. Available at Accessed 3 January 2007. (Back)

[14] Philip Sutton is the director of policy and strategy of ‘Green Innovations’, a non-profit environmental-policy think tank and consultancy organisation promoting global and local ecological sustainability. Sutton’s work focuses on environmental-management systems for sustainability-seeking organisations and also on strategies for an ecologically sustainable economy. He has written on sustainability-oriented economic-development strategies; economic growth; eco-taxation; industry policy for the timber and plastics industries; and energy and urban policy. Available at Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

[15] Green Innovations (2000) Sustainability: What does it mean?. Available at Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

[16] Abstract from McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2002) ‘Design for the Triple Top Line: Tools for Sustainable Commerce’, Corporate Environmental Strategy, vol. 9, no. 3, Elsevier Sciences Inc. (Back)

[17] Hawken, P., Lovins, A.B. and Lovins, L.H. (1999) Natural Capitalism: Creating the next Industrial Revolution, Earthscan, London. (Back)

[18] Walter R. Stahel is a Director of the Product Life Institute. Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

[19] See Michael Braungart (n.d.) Braungart Home Page. Available at Accessed 7 June 2006. Braungart is also co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

[20] Hawken, P., Lovins, A.B. and Lovins, L.H. (1999) Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Earthscan, London, pp 11-14. (Back)

[21] McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2002) Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, North Point Press, New York. (Back)

[22] Hawken, P., Lovins, A.B. and Lovins, L.H. (1999) Natural Capitalism: Creating the next Industrial Revolution, Earthscan, London, pp 142-143. (Back)

[23] Safety Kleen, Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

[24] Perthen-Palmisano, B. and Jakl, T. (2004) Chemical leasing – the Austrian approach. Available at Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

[25] Madu, C. (2001) Handbook of Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing, Kluwer Academic Publishes, Norwell, Chapter 17. (Back)

[26] UNEP/SETAC (2004) Why take a Life Cycle Approach?, United Nations Environment Program, Paris. Available at Accessed 7 June 2006. (Back)

The Natural Edge Project Engineering Sustainable Solutions
Program is supported by the Australian National Commission
for UNESCO through the International Relations Grants
Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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