Economy vs ecology. New protocol will help make "clean zero" a reality

The Sterling Protocol has three main components that must be considered in order to be safe

the environment has been the center of sustainable economic prosperity.

The newly developed framework can be used to analyze whether decisions are being made:

  • ensure prosperity and promote economic growth that is environmentally sustainable;
  • conserve and improve biodiversity and natural resources, and promote progress towards a carbon-free society;
  • improve health and well-being with maximum social inclusion.

If proposals, policies or practices fail to meet these criteria equally, steps can be taken to balance competing requirements.

A simple protocol framework can be adopted inorganizations to analyze a range of activities - from procurement and recruiting to project planning and business development. The flexibility of the protocol means it can be used to stimulate and shape discussion of sustainability issues. Ultimately this will lead to the consideration of new approaches.

Professor Maggie Cusack, Dean of the Faculty of Science, led the study and explained why the new protocol was needed.

It can often seem like there is a conflictbetween the need to tackle climate change and the need for economic growth. When decisions are made, they can often exclude certain segments of the population, and they can also be impractical or cumbersome for small organizations. The flexible approach behind the Sterling Protocol means that it can be used by a range of organizations, large and small, to conduct simple, inexpensive performance analysis, leading to more consistent results.

The protocol is particularly timely as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has given policy and business leaders a reason to consider new options for economic recovery.

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