On Day 2, we went through a crash course in the 9 planetary boundaries and then moved on to my favorite topic of climate change. I wanted them to be as interested in climate impacts and solutions as I am, so I gave every ounce of energy I could muster to convey just how urgent the climate crisis is and what a challenge we have ahead of us to fix it.
It came as a surprise to me that not one of the students in the class had heard of the concept of unburnable carbon and the potential that fossil fuels will become stranded assets. Watching them fully comprehend that revelation was a real moment for me -The kind of moment that makes you love teaching.
Even better, I got to share the day with my former student and now climate colleague, Gar Tyrrell. Listen to our 2.5 min chat about what happened:
What's happening on Day 3 (March 31)?
- We’re starting the morning off with a guest lecturer from Dr. Natasha Williams O’Hanlon of Oriflame Cosmetics. She’ll be explaining how the cosmetics industry addresses sustainability.
- We’re going out in the field, interviewing people on the street to find out what they think sustainability is. We’ll see if I’m right about just how confusing this term can be!
- We’re looking at the Brundtland definition of sustainability and how it applies to business, including the UN Global Compact and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- We’re resolving the differences between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Sustainability
- We’re looking at the emerging Irish bioenergy sector and what it needs to do to aspire to true sustainability.
- We’re looking at agriculture and food production and trying to figure out how to feed the 9 billion people while available arable land declines.
- All that talk about food made us hungry, so after a lunch break we debate on the concept of decoupling. Is it really possible or is George Monbiot right when he calls it a “false promise”? And if so, what’s the alternative?
- In the afternoon, we’ll look at different kinds of environmental legislation, the impacts to business, and the guiding principles and tools of environmental legislation.
- We’ll look at ISO-14001 as a standard for environmental management using Tata Global Beverages (makers of Tetley Tea) as a case study.
- We’ll finish off this section with an explanation of the Equator Principles for financial institutions and how if more banks signed on to such a concept, we might alleviate recent environmental and human rights conflicts.