Sustainable Development Club

Introduction

The concept of "Sustainable Development" was first given its definition in 1987 in a report entitled "Our Common Future". This report was the result of the work carried out by the World Commission on Environment and Development, mandated by the United Nations and led by Mrs Gro Harlem Brundtland, a norwegian politician who held various ministerial positions in her country as well as intternational leadership roles. Known as the Brundtland report, it will serve as the basis of the discussions that took place at the subsequent Earth Summit of Rio in 1992. Sustainable Development is then defines as:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it tow key concepts: the concept of "needs", in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

Bringing together the economic, social and environmental issues, as well as their interactions, a new "business-oriented" concept was developed during the subsequent decade, as the one of Triple Bottom Line (TBL or 3BL). This concept aims at to create a semantic relationship with the familiar concept of "bottom line", regularly used in the financial community to report on profit and losses. The three elements of the TBL approach are often nicknamed as the 3Ps, standing for People, Planet and Profit, and corresponding to the social, economic and environmental criteria, respectively.

This Sustainable Development Club aims at stimulating discussion and increasing awareness and knowledge on these issues for its members, and particularly to assess how the aviation sector behaves with regards to the corresponding indicators: what are its challenges (mainly with regards to its environmental impact), its opportunities and what are its added value and its purpose.

Some documented studies and international guides help understanding what the stakeholders' expectations are in terms of sustainable development (such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 by more than 190 countries of the United Nations) and how the aviation sector can best answer these expectations in its current or future (to be evolved) structure

 

Guides

A few documents to initiate our thoughts and serve as the basis for our discussions:

- The Brundtland report, in html format : http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm to reach directly the chapters you are most interested in

- The Brundtland report, in PDF format https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5987our-common-future.pdf 

- The ISO 26000 standard : http://www.convergence-lr.fr/userfiles/files/ISO%2026000%20V2010.pdf (French version)

This standard is not available for free but shall be purchased from the ISO members' sites like AFNOR (Agence Française de Normalisation). A French version was found for free on the above web site. The ISO 26000 (not meant to be certified) is actually a document with guidelines elaborated on the basis of 7 key central questions. This guideline should help any organisation in integrating the principles of sustainable development in the organisation's strategy. It is joined by other standards (leading to a certification) on key subjects of the ISO 26000. For instance the ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System), the ISO 45001 (Occupational Heath and Safety), the ISO50001 (Energy management system) and ISO37001 (Anti-bribery management system), to name a few

- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/ 

- Flying in Formation: https://aviationbenefits.org/media/166149/inside_abbb2017_atag_web_fv.pdf this document developed by ATAG (Air Transport Action Group) about the links and the answers of air transport sector to the SDGs. ATAG se is "the only global industry-wide body to bring together all aviation industry players so that they can speak with one voice – it works to promote aviation’s sustainable growth for the benefit of our global society".