Dr. Karl-Henrik Robért, the Swedish Oncologist who pioneered The Natural Step framework for sustainability, wrapped up the Leadership Through Sustainable Innovation speaker series on March 12 before an audience of more than 600 at the Whistler Conference Centre.
Whistlers own sustainability initiative Whistler. Its Our Nature is based on The Natural Step principles, and was inspired by Dr. Robérts last visit two year ago.
If you missed his presentation on Tuesday, Whistler Cable Channel 6 will be airing the presentation nightly at 6 p.m. from March 15 until March 28.
Although he has been kept up to date on Whistlers initiatives, Robért said he was impressed to see the direction things are moving in.
"I think youre in a good place to make a major difference," said Robert. "This is a resort that attracts a lot of people. They are away, so they are relaxed and have time to reflect. Everything you do will hit these CEOs and decision makers. What they see here, they will take home with them, and some will take it to heart."
The support from council and the largest businesses in town is also important, "because change has to come from the top down, people with vision," says Robert.
The core of The Natural Steps sustainability framework is a core of four system conditions that every scientist in the world, no matter where they stand on any particular environmental issue, would have to agree with:
"In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing: 1) concentrations of substances extracted from the earths crust; 2) concentrations of substances produced by society; 3) degradation by physical means; and, in that society 4) human needs are met world-wide."
A number of multinational companies and governments have also adopted The Natural Step, including Ikea, Scandic Hotels, Interface Carpets, Nike, Electrolux, the City of Seattle and the City of Portland, and are using it in their decision making processes.
For more information on Whistlers sustainability initiative or The Natural Step, visit the Whistler. Its Our Nature Web site at www.whistleritsournature.ca.