The Sustainability Compass
The SUSTAINABILITY COMPASS is the tool for managing indicators and assessment, and the stakeholders who need them. North, East, South, West become the memorable Nature, Economy, Society, Wellbeing — the Sustainability Compass, developed by AtKisson and now used around the world. Companies use Compass to unify and communicate their sustainability management systems, and to assess their strategic progress. Schools and universities use Compass to teach a systems approach to sustainability, and to bring teachers and administrators together on a common vision. Compass combines a simple and effective communications tool with a sophisticated approach to the science of sustainability measurement, so that you can find your way to your sustainability goals.
The Compass framework was developed by Alan AtKisson, and draws on the pioneering work of sustainability theorists like Herman Daly and Donella Meadows.
The Sustainability Compass Points
Nature refers to the ecological systems and natural resources, examples which can include biodiversity levels, habitat and ecosystem health, environmental quality and pollution, natural resource management, aesthetics, nature awareness, appreciation and ecological literacy, among others.
example: Houses increase in size over time which in turn effects the environment adversly. Larger houses use as much as 6% more energy than smaller older designs. see the below websites for more detail:
comparison of house sizes across the world
example: where does our material come from, is it sustainable?
We use timber from harper timber, their timber is from plantation timber and is sustainably sourced. check out there website for more details.
The plastic we use is called Polymethyl methacrylate® (PMMA) belongs to a family of synthetic polymers. It is better known as acrylic and is sold under brand names such as Akrylon®,Altuglas®, Lucite®, Perspex®, Plazcryl®, Plexiglas®, Oroglas®, QuinnAcryl® and Quinn XT®. To find out if it is sustainable read the following articles.
Economy is the process by which resources are put to work to produce the things and services that humans want and need. This Compass dimension can include things like jobs, wages, markets, production and consumption, energy, research & development, investment, income and debt, distribution, etc.
example: we are using pine sourced from a local supplier that is environmentally sustainable, we are inputting money into the local economy. We do this by supporting the saw mills that cut up the timber, the forestry industry, and the environmental certification bodies as well as all of the workers from these industries.
Society is the collective and institutional dimension of human civilization, incorporating everything from governments to school systems to social norms regarding equity and opportunity. Things like cultural heritage, cohesion among groups, governance, laws, policies, infrastructure, education systems, public services, and more can fall into the Society dimension.
example: we have designed a building that uses design principles that allow us to live in a harmonious way with our family, and interact with our neighbours in a healthy way.
Well-Being is refers to satisfaction and happiness of individual people — their physical and socio-emotional health, their overall wellness, personal level of life satisfactions, their primary relationships, and the opportunities they have to develop their full potential.
example: we have chosen to use sustainable resources we have helped improve the environment, which in turn has allowed us to help protect our
User entered design
sustainability on YouTube
Awesome slideshows on sustainability
Useful websites and other models and ways of understanding sustainability