Industry Sustainability Using a New Visioning Process – Panel Discussion“Intro to Sustainable Development & the Process” by Maria Wellisch Flax Day 2010 Saskatoon, SK January 11, 2010
Key Points • What is sustainable development (sustainability) ? • Why care about sustainability ? • How is the flax industry addressing sustainability ? • Sustainability Visioning Project • see Brochure in Registration Package • see www.saskflax.com
What is sustainability anyways ? • Brundtland Commission (1987) defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". • Our Common Future – World Commission on Environment and Development • 1980s: high economic growth but serious environmental problems and poverty was far from eradicated • “can’t keep doing what we are doing, especially with a growing population; we need a different path”
Social Bearable Equitable Sustainable Environment Economic Viable SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT • present and future generations • (intra and intergenerational equity) • not static, situation is constantly changing
Why do it ? • Seeking continued economic growth • One Earth – already compromised, might change significantly in some places (e.g. poles) • Rising population who wants “more” • Questioning well-being / happiness of current system ? “More ≠ Better” It’s necessary and it’s expected by next generations.
A few examples … biomass production issues (i.e. inputs and GM) • Food Security - Traceability • US Keystone Center “Field to Market” • Biofuels – “food vs fuel” • Sustainability certification • OECD guidelines on sustainability assessment of bioproducts • Walmart (July 09) – greening of its value chain - More widespread access to information - Less trust – i.e. consumers want valid claims (no green washing)
How is the flax industry addressing sustainability ? Q: What is it ? What do you want to achieve ? • What does sustainability (complex concept) mean for the industry ? • Sustainability Visioning Project • Limited resources and time • What tools could we draw on ? • The Natural Step - Sustainability Principles Approach : Go back to basics, fundamentals to define what you want to achieve
Oilseed Flax - Multiple Purpose Crop 350,000 – 450,000 hectares (Saskatchewan) 500-5,000 kg straw/ha could be collected 10-15% of straw is currently collected Seeds mostly exported to EU; Crushed for oil and meal (ind + nutritional) Source of values: AEGP June 2008
Define General Value Chain Breeding & Agronomy Use & End of Life – Seed Prod Sec Processing Seed Products Prim Processing Seed Transportation Oilseed Flax Production Prim Processing Straw Use & End of Life – Straw Prod Sec Processing Straw Products Transportation Inputs (fuel, chemicals, etc.) Phase 1 - Expertise (participants)
System viewed through the sustainability lens Pr 1. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of substances extracted from the Earth's crust Pr 2. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of chemicals and compounds produced by society General Flax Value Chain Pr 3. eliminate our contribution to the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes Pr 4. eliminate our contribution to conditions that undermine people’s capacity to meet their basic human needs The Natural Step: 4 System Conditions (sustainability principles)
From Principles to Actions Complete plant utilization • Flax and flax products are solutions for sustainability Pr 1 ACTIONS - short/ medium/ long term Pr 2 Flax Industry Value Chain • Flax is considered by producers to be a “crop of choice” Pr 3 • Production and transformation have a net positive impact on natural and social systems Workshop Report (May 2009) Pr 4 • Regional transformation of flax seed and straw
For more information: • Linda Braun, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission firstname.lastname@example.org • Members of the Sustainability Visioning Group • Maria Wellisch, Natural Resources Canada email@example.com Join us tomorrow in the Alberta Room 9 am for breakfast !