Why the Natural Step?

05/02/2021

Why the Natural Step is different than other sustainability frameworks?

The Natural Step framework is a way to organise our thinking and information in such a way that we discuss and plan clearly and strategically how we are moving towards sustainability. We need to understand how our systems work. This relates to having a margin for manoeuvre in the system we are dealing with. In the case of a football or football match, the system is the pitch, the players, the ball and its components. In terms of sustainability, it is the entire biosphere, including ourselves. [Sources: 5] 

    
The 5-Level Framework (5LF) is a comprehensive model for planning and decision-making in complex systems based on holistic thinking. It comprises 5 levels of system success (strategic action) and 5 tools. It is used to analyze complex systems of all kinds and scales. It can be applied to socio-ecological systems, societies and biospheres and is known as the Natural Step Framework (FSSD). [Sources: 0] 
    
The Natural Step Framework consists of four systems of conditions: (a) backcasting, (b) C-ideological, (c) TNS and (d) funnel. The first three conditions relate to how man interacts with the planet. The last condition is how to achieve a sustainable global society. These four systems have been developed by scientists from all over the world. They define the basic conditions that must be met in order to achieve and sustain sustainability. [Sources: 4] 

    
As in 1987 in our Joint Future Report (a.k.a. The Natural Step Framework differs from the basic human needs because they satisfy real needs created by desire (Manfred Max NEEF). It attempts to satisfy real or created human needs are the root cause of many social (incl. Natural Step believes that the root causes of unsustainability should be taken into account when developing sustainable solutions to meet basic needs. These causes stem from a scientific understanding of our socio-ecological systems and the interaction between humans, society, humans and their organisations and ecosystems. [Sources: 0] 
    
The Natural Step is one of the best frameworks for creating and implementing sustainability plans for companies and organizations. It is based on scientific knowledge and uses best practices and methodologies. The natural step works as a general overarching system of goals and specific tactics and measures to achieve sustainability. [Sources: 2] 
    
The ABCD planning method, a framework for strategic sustainable development and other uses of the Natural Step are based on backward-looking sustainability principles. The ABCD consists of four steps that are repeated as the organization moves toward sustainability. The first step is to align the organization with a common understanding of sustainability, identify the entire system and context of the organization, develop a common language for sustainability, and develop a vision of what the organization looks like in a sustainable future. [Sources: 5] 
    
The Natural Step is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable development. It acts as a catalyst for society to bring about systemic change by providing decision-makers with a common science-based understanding of sustainability and a framework for sustainable decision-making, be it social, environmental or economic. [Sources: 8] 
    
Connecticut, USA, integrated the TNS framework with the definition of sustainability into a 1999 law, the Act on Good Environmental Management Systems. The law foresees the benefits of such systems on both sides of the permit, from expedited permits and the waving of certain fees to organizations certified to ISO 14001 to demonstrate that they have adopted TNS frameworks and recognized sustainability principles. [Sources: 4] 
    
One can imagine the 4 principles as rules of the game - like chess, football, football, etc. It is easy to get to the part where you do not understand the principles, you go through them step by step and skip them while we are developing a strategy for achieving sustainability. By creating a common framework based on the trunk and the branches, we are all on one side, understand the rules and move on to the branches, and the details are left to a common mental model. A real dialogue can begin and remove the usual confusion. Details need to be clarified over time in order to act within the framework, but the measures are coherent and moving towards a common goal. [Sources: 7] 
    
This model focuses on the entire system of the Earth and aims to create a common mental model of sustainability and a framework for decision-making and communication. Other design methods and approaches to sustainability, such as permaculture, build on this basis to determine what a sustainable design function looks like in different situations. [Sources: 6] 
    
To do this, we need an understanding of how our systems work. The funnel metaphor is the core concept that levels the notion that we are operating in a system in which natural resources and ecosystem services are declining due to demand for them, owing to increased population growth and consumption patterns. This leads to increased economic, social and environmental pressure, which is represented by our metaphor of closing the funnel wall over time. [Sources: 1] 
    
The phrase "enhanced system conditions" deserves clarification. Natural system complexity is built to maintain a biosphere that maintains systemic equilibrium within a given range. If we recognize that man contributes to the accumulation of CO 2 in the atmosphere, which brings the climate into a new equilibrium, we can adapt. [Sources: 3] 
    
The net increase in the material quality of the earth derived from solar energy has existed since ancient times. The Earth is a closed system in relation to matter, but it is an open system in relation to energy. There is no need for external energy input to establish order. [Sources: 3] 
    
This cyclical system is at the heart of the TNS framework. The earth receives light from the sun and emits heat into space. The difference between these two forms of energy creates the physical conditions for the biosphere to have a thin surface layer along which energy and the necessary components for life as we know it mix along the path of the sun. [Sources: 3] 
    
We combine our experience in management consulting, our entrepreneurial knowledge, our market intelligence and our capable network of senior professionals. We offer various types of solutions based on the application of FSSD to help you understand the value, make it more concrete and help you reach your full potential. [Sources: 8] 
    

Sources:
    
[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
    
[1]: https://thenaturalstep.org/app...
    
[2]: https://www.econation.co.nz/th...
    
[3]: https://saylordotorg.github.io...
    
[4]: https://www.gdrc.org/sustdev/c...
    
[5]: https://bsahely.com/2016/04/24...
    
[6]: http://www.holocene.net/tnsart...
    
[7]: http://naturalstep.ca/understa...
    
[8]: http://www.future-proofinc.com...
    

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