The Road to Reductionist Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

On our journey to a low carbon future we are being down the road to a reductionist hell where all problems are seen as separate  issues to be solved, usually by end of pipe solutions, when in reality they are the same, a case of doing the right thing right, every time.

The right thing that will guarantee an organisation’s continuance into the long term future is by necessity, moral and minimises the loss to society resulting from the use and disposal of the products and services created. In conventional terms this is called quality improvement.

One of the main drivers down this road to unsustainability and the collapse of society is the British Standard Institution’s dual role of creator and certifier of standards. A standards industry driven by reductionism in total disregard of the immutability of the ‘one planet equatiuon’

a few years ago, a project called SIGMA attempted to introduce a holistic, self certified, management system for organisations, the link is at for imformation



France steps up drive to sell morality to markets

By Ben Hall in Paris

Published: January 3 2009 02:00 | Last updated: January 3 2009 02:00

France is to step up efforts to instil moral values in the global market economy by urging policymakers to consider fresh ways of combating financial short-termism.

Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, and Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, will jointly host a conference in Paris next week of political leaders and Nobel prize-winning economists to discuss ways of strengthening the ethical foundations of the capitalist system after the financial crisis.

“There is no system of wealth creation without a system of values and this value system has been badly shaken,” said Eric Besson, the French minister for policy planning, who is organising the conference.

“People are prepared to accept others getting high pay and enjoying different lifestyles, but only if they have the feeling that the system is fair and that the law is the same for everybody.”………………..

A Handbook for Sustainable Development– David Jackman, The Ethics Foundation

This is a companion guide to the British Standard BS 8900 ‘Guidance for Managing Sustainable Development’  published in 2006.

This handbook is written for organizations that are concerned with managing their impact on society and the environment more effectively.

One of the most significant issues businesses face is the need for co-operation and direction in facing the global implications of climate change and diminishing resources. BS  8900, Guidance for managing sustainable development provides a road map to help all organizations work towards sustainable outcomes.

The handbook explores how principle-based standards can work, starting by focusing on outcomes. It focuses on practical examples of how difficult issues involving values, principles and ethics can be addressed, and changes implemented in organizations and businesses, to help enhance organizational performance and success.

This publication also gives an approach to defining a set of criteria or value judgements about what is important, and what practices or activities should be avoided.

Standards such as BS 8900 may also have an increasing role in bridging the gap between statutes or regulations and informal industry codes. This has growing importance, as over-regulation is recognized as counterproductive, so standards have value in facilitating deregulation, buttressing voluntary good practice and providing stakeholder reassurance. Finally, ‘softer’ frameworks, encouraging greater engagement, may also have a role in developing local communities and even in strengthening and maturing our decision-making processes at all levels

BS 8900:2006 Guidance for managing sustainable development is designed to help organizations to develop an approach to sustainable development that will continue to evolve and adapt to meet new and continuing challenges and demands. It offers clear practical advice with which to make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development.

This standard guides organizations towards effective management of their impact on society and the environment, along the route to enhanced organizational performance and success.


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