The program is free to join and will involve wine-related businesses from the Scenic Rim, Stanthorpe, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Burnett areas. Each business will receive 1-1 assistance and coaching (via phone, internet and where possible, face-to-face) with Cluster facilitator and Ethos Foundation consultant from Canungra, Mark Pickard.
The cluster is currently recruiting members and Scenic Rim Wineries are invited to submit an application to the Ethos Foundation before March 16.
‘Sustainability’ can be a big, fuzzy word. It’s been used, abused, muddled and sometimes made meaningless, so don’t be too worried if you’re not sure what it means right now.
Basically, sustainability is about the ability to endure or keep going. Even better, it is about the enduring health of all living systems like families, communities, forests and waterways.
When we think about our modern, busy lives we can easily forget that all life depends on:
- clean air, clean water and healthy living soil to nourish life;
- the flow of sunlight energy to provide energy (including ancient, fossilised sunlight such as coal and oil);
- as much diversity as possible to support resilience and innovation.
These are the basic and essential building blocks of life on Earth and have been supplied and restored naturally by the Earth – a living, complex system – for billions of years.
Let’s think about water for a moment. We live on the ‘blue’ planet – named this because over 70% of the Earth is covered with water. This same water has been part of the Earth and travelled around and under and over and through the Earth for over four billion years.
Think about this: the water you drank or showered in today is the same water that has been circling the Earth one way or another for billions of years. The dinosaurs drank it in...and excreted it back out. So too did the ancient Egyptians, Jesus Christ, Henry the VIII, William Shakespeare, Gandhi and even Kylie.
No water – no life.
This is just one essential foundation for life on earth and it is vital for us to remember that a healthy, functioning natural environment is essential to sustainability and the flourishing of our own households and communities.
On top of this base are a few other important things that help to create enduring health (sustainability) in human communities:
Healthy, connected relationships and equal opportunities for people – social sustainability
The healthy exchange or trade of goods, services and ideas between people and enterprise which enables local communities, businesses and economies to prosper – economic sustainability
Wise, openly democratic and active governance – participatory sustainability
Sustainability is the ability of current generations living on Earth to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations of all species to meet their needs.
Sustainability is about living within our means – particularly in alignment within the systems, resources and services provided by the Earth such as water, energy, food and soil; as well as ensuring we don’t destroy the Earth’s ability to absorb the effects of human activities.
To learn more about sustainability, here are some useful links:
- Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability
- CSIRO: http://www.csiro.au/science/Sustainability.html
- Swinburne University of Technology, National Centre for Sustainability: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/ncs/whatissustainability.htm
- Sustainable Development Commission UK: http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/pages/about-sustainable-development.html