Definitions abound about what constitutes sustainable
development, yet we see only a handful of successful applications.
Is sustainable development a buzzword or a concept that has
yet to mature?
When institutions highlight 'sustainable development,' they
rarely share materials in a timely manner and even less so with
the interested reader in mind. The result is that sustainability
is not very accessible, let alone interesting.
I once asked a major foundation
if they would provide a transcript of an important forum on
development issues. The director was incredulous and replied,
"What? Make it available to everyone?"
Such trickle down sustainability is the major disappointment
of the past century. Hopefully, such closed-door mentalities
Planeta.com launched the
Sustainable Development Index in 1996 to assist researchers
and journalists covering environmental business and sustainable
development. Daily reporters generally do not have the time
to investigate or report on long-term developments so this index
has become quite popular.
Ideally, we should see more up-to-date information on criteria
and implementation. Institutional websites ought to be much
better by providing the information they have on hand.
Some sites do a great job exploring the breadth and depth of
sustainability. Others have found that their own operations
were not sustainable. Consequently, some excellent initiatives
-- such as Communication for a Sustainable Future (csf.colorado.edu)
We are very interested in seeing how projects are born and
mature. We would like to see public analysis of work that has
failed to meet objectives or satisfy the stakeholders. These
lessons teach as much as reviews of good practices.