Blog Action Day 2009: Preparing Communities for Climate Change through Local Business and Manufacturing

Posted on 15. Oct, 2009 by in Clean Tech, Design & Culture, Entrepreneurship, Events


Today is Blog Action Day!  Held on Oct. 15 every year, it’s an event that unites thousands of bloggers worldwide, highlighting a particular issue. This year’s theme is climate change. One of the most salient points regarding climate change and how to prepare for it is green business.  With upcoming legislation from local, state, and federal governments for a greener society, business is of the biggest and most adaptable sectors to transition to sustainable systems with a positive impact on the environment.

What is the environment?  Perhaps it can be defined in many ways, but let’s look at the environment through the lens of the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, and Profit.  Of course, you may say “planet” is solely the environment.  However, when you take all three into consideration as well as the interaction and interdependencies between and among each one, the environment can be broken down into social, political, business, and private landscapes.  Out of awareness for Blog Action Day 2009, this blog will highlight the importance of local business and manufacturing as a generative point for sustainable culture and green business. Let’s look at sustainable communities from the perspective of the past, present, and future.

According to the Global Development Research Center, “making a community sustainable means integrating economic development, community development and environmental protection.”  The benefits of local manufacturing and business can improve both economic development and gas emissions.  The City of Santa Monica, California started a recent campaign for local business called “Buy Local Santa Monica.” Interestingly, for every 100 dollars spent on local business, an average of 45 dollars stays in the community.  The city of Portland, Oregon also realizes the importance of sustainable communities and recognizes its leaders in sustainable business for small, medium, and large business.  Recently, the International Trade Administration started a nationwide campaign called “Sustainability 360: An Aerospace Supply Chain Event” to recognized leaders for local business for sustainable manufacturing in the Aerospace industry.  The benefits of multiple campaigns aiming to highlight sustainable community development helps share models, tools, ideas, and increases the incentive for businesses to transition to greener operations through public merit.

Here are a few more organizations and companies striving towards sustainable operations through local business, local manufacturing, and community development:  Toshiba is currently visiting local communities throughout the country for community clean up and tree planting.  ICLEI-Local Government for Sustainability aims to form coalitions of cities and communities that are preparing for climate change.  Local Works and the Sustainable Communities Act have provided a legal system to citizens, communities, and councils to press for sustainable community development.

As move into the future, innovation will be the driving force for cleaner and more efficient technology, systems, models, and tools.  Luckily, there are leaders of innovation out there actively spreading their ideas to whoever is willing to listen, learn, and act.  Take a look at William McDonough’s TED Conference video on designing ecological infrastructures, comprehensive sustainable communities, and business design with positive impacts on the environment.  He looks at the intention of our species and the strategy for change.  He believes “our goal is a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world, with clean air, water, soil and power–economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed”.  He is striving for cradle to cradle design.

As climate change continues to be a significant factor in our society, we must find a way to prepare.  The local community is a generative starting point.  Businesses, government, and communities at the local level will help organize a comprehensive and working system of sustainable living and long term development.  Innovation will help shape and organize future action, however, it must be applied at the community level.  Simple and effective actions can have both immediate and long term impact.  As the government continues to press for top-down transmission of sustainable development, the local community can generate bottom-up emergence of sustainable development through local business and manufacturing.

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One Response to “Blog Action Day 2009: Preparing Communities for Climate Change through Local Business and Manufacturing”

  1. Floost

    15. Oct, 2009

    Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.

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