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Concept of Sustainability Essay

According to Sustainable-development.gov.uk (2007), a very popular definition of sustainability accepted world wide is “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

There are many principles that and policy areas that are covered, some of them are explained as follows,    

  • Ecological – The ecology is being affected by climate changes. If this is not managed properly then it will lead to the imbalance in the eco system. Emission of carbon dioxide and Carbon related products need to be drastically reduced (Sustainable development Commission, 2007).
  • Ethical – Issues here can be as to the ethical usage of products. Reducing the negative environmental impacts of the product that we use in our day to day life.
  • Social – There is going to be drastic reduction in employment opportunities if there is no sustained development. Another point being, “Many resource-rich, rural communities in the U.S. are stressed by poverty. Communities that once relied on their forests, bays, ocean shores, or mineral lodes for a steady and dependable source of employment and income are seeing jobs disappear as the resource becomes costlier to harvest, or shifts in markets and technology make their resources obsolete. Without the ability to substitute manufactured capital — machines, buildings, learned skills — for their bounty of natural capital, a community’s reliance on the stock of natural capital becomes more critical. When communities expend their capital stock, or it no longer satisfies an exported demand, their economies suffer” (Smutko.L.S, 2007).
  • Legal/political – In regard to the legal issues policy makers can “improve their effectiveness by taking a normative approach that sees the Charter, the courts and, increasingly, international law and related international developments as policy drivers with a critical impact on how policy is formed” Lemaire.D, Eliadis.P (2004).
  • Technological –Science and Technology in the coming years are gong to everywhere. “Based on the results of a technology assessment study we show that pervasive computing could amplify already existing problems related to the environment, human health, and society. Power consumption for digital networks, e-waste streams, and exposure to non-ionizing radiation may all increase. Furthermore, social sustainability could be threatened by the technology if it is applied in a way that restricts consumers’ privacy and freedom of choice” Koehler.A, Som.C (2005).

Read about H&M Sustainability Competitive Advantage

ASDA and its Concept of Sustainability

According to Creative Match (2006) ASDA has made a lot of effort in the area of sustainable development. Some of their contributions are as follow,

  • ASDA announced in July 2006 that will “stop sending waste from its stores to landfill sites.”
  • ASDA will also help customers to “reduce the amount of rubbish they throw away each week” by reviewing its label packaging which consumers throw away.
  • ASDA also committed “that everything the supermarket disposes of at the back of its stores will be recycled, reused or composted instead of being sent to landfill.”

Learndirect is indirectly helping ASDA contribute to sustainable development. Learndirect’s view point is, “As more and more research is being undertaken on global warming, climatic change and the use of the Earth’s natural resources it is becoming clear that countries and organisations need to tackle these problems as a matter of urgency. All people want to live in a clean, healthy and stable world.

Sustainable Development seeks to achieve this by encouraging better Social, Environmental and Economic policies and practices for all people across the world to secure a better future. This online course provides a holistic view of Sustainable Development. It will help the learner to look at how to do their bit, whether they are looking at individual, community or business needs” Beddow.A.(2002).

According to ASDA, Environment (2007), ASDA covers different areas; some of their accomplishments are as follows,

  • Packaging
    • “Undertaking a complete review of our own label packaging to reduce the amount of household rubbish which shoppers throw away each year.
    • All of the products we sell under the ASDA brand are being redesigned, with the aim of reducing the weight and volume of packaging they produce by at least ten per cent.
    • We have already successfully redesigned all of our salad bags reducing the thickness of the plastic by 15%, and removed an unnecessary cardboard sleeve on a selection of our ready meals.
    • The redesigned packaging is now being rolled out across dozens more food products” ASDA, Packaging (2007).
  • Recycling
    • “Our first pilot zero waste to landfill store at Canford Heath now diverts 70% of waste to composting.
    • In 2005 we opened four purpose-built recycling facilities at a cost of £32 million in Lutterworth, Wakefield, Skelmersdale and Bedford enabling our fleet of delivery trucks to collect cardboard and plastic packaging from the back of stores.
    • Last year we recovered and recycled 140,000 metric tonnes of cardboard (8% of the UK cardboard market) and 5,500 metric tonnes of plastic packaging from store waste.
    • Last year we teamed up with children’s TV character Bob the Builder to launch the ASDA Big Recycle, highlighting how customers can recycle cardboard packaging, glass bottles, tin cans, mobile phones, printer cartridges and old clothes.
    • We also carried out environmental audits with more than 600 local schools encouraging pupils to consider how they can reduce waste and save energy in their schools by recycling paper and turning off classroom lights on sunny days” ASDA, Recycling (2007).
  • Waste management
    • “Hazardous wastes, including paint and fluorescent tubes are segregated and collected, while waste meat and fish (animal by-product waste) is rendered with the tallow extracted and sold on to soap manufacturing and the remaining product turned into pet food. The heat during the rendering process is also extracted and the energy produced converted into power and sold on to the National Grid.
    • Waste photographic chemicals are collected by ASDA to recover the precious metals contained in them such as silver” ASDA, Recycling (2007).
  • Energy and water use – ASDA’s new buildings will have
    • “Wind turbines
    • Solar panels
    • Source heat pumps
    • Timber frames and cladding
    • Sunpipes
    • Biomass boilers
    • Efficient glass-fronted fridges
    • New ventilation systems to reduce the need for air-conditioning
    • North facing sky-lights on the roof that will let in light but not heat” ASDA, Energy Efficiency (2007)
  • Transport
    • “ASDA is the leading supermarket for using rail within its distribution operations, and has taken 22 million miles off the roads since 2002 by switching long distance freight movements to rail.
    • 5 million road miles are being saved each year thanks to our Import Centre at Teesport which is closer to our Distribution Centres and stores than the ports in the Southeast.
    • ASDA has purchased a fleet of double-deck trailers which will save 2 million road miles per year
    • By the end of 2007, 25% of ASDA’s trucks will be fitted with automatic gearboxes and the latest euro 4/5 clean engine technology; significantly improving both fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. By the end of 2010 this will be 100% of ASDA’s trucks” ASDA, Transport & Distribution (2007).

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According to Sustainable-development.gov.uk (2007), ASDA’s parent company in America, Wal-Mart, “promised more than a year ago that it would cut greenhouse gas emissions from its global network by a fifth by 2012”

ASDA is making efforts in providing its staff, employees and managers access to learndirect courses. These courses give the employees an “opportunity to learn and develop new skills – anything from basic computing to more specific courses specially designed for their industry” Beddow.A.(2002).

Bibliography

Sustainable-development.gov.uk. 2007. What is sustainable development?

http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/what/index.htm

Sustainable Development Commission. (2007). Climate Change. Viewed on December 2, 2007.http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/pages/climatechange.html

Smutko.LS (2007). Measuring the Regional Effects
of Sustainable Development Alternatives. Viewed on December 2, 2007.

Lemaire.D, Eliadis.P (2004). Normative Approaches to Policy. Integrating Legal Policy Perspectives. Volume 6 Number 4. http://policyresearch.gc.ca/page.asp?pagenm=v6n4_art_07

Koehler.A, Som.C (2005).Effects of Pervasive Computing on Sustainable Development.  http://www.patmedia.net/tbookman/techsoc/Koehler.htm

Creative Match (2006). Asda sponsors the best Green packaging award. http://www.creativematch.co.uk/viewNews/?92720

Sustainable-development.gov.uk (2007). Whatever next? SD-scene newsletter January/February 2007 feature. http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/what/newsletter/jan-feb%2007.htm

Beddow .A. (2002). Ufi and learndirect – a new way of learning

http://www.timsoft.ro/ejournal/ufi.html

ASDA, Environment (2007). Viewed on December 2, 2007. http://www.asda-corporate.com/environment/

ASDA, Recycling  (2007). Viewed on December 2, 2007. http://www.asda-corporate.com/environment/recycling.asp

ASDA, Energy Efficiency  (2007). Viewed on December 2, 2007.

http://www.asda-corporate.com/environment/energy-efficiency.asp

ASDA, Transport & Distribution (2007). Viewed on December 2, 2007.

http://www.asda-corporate.com/environment/transport-distribution.asp

ASDA, Packaging (2007). Viewed on December 2, 2007.

http://www.asda-corporate.com/environment/packaging.asp

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