Introducing EcoPractice: Activating Sustainability & Creating Sustainability Culture

With great pleasure, I can now introduce our new service called EcoPractice: a suite of programs designed to activate sustainability and create sustainability culture in all parts of your organisation and its programs, projects, processes or actions.

I have developed the EcoPractice suite as a result of my PhD research program under Professor Peter Newman of Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and Dr Brad Pettitt of the Institute of Social Sustainability at Murdoch University. The PhD program drew on my experience of working in sustainability for over 30 years, connecting my ideas of sustainability as fundamentally cultural with my belief that sustainability should be seated in holistic practice.

I believe that although sustainability has been adopted as a framework for development in many domains, we often don’t approach it as a holistic practice: we still approach it as if we can achieve the outcomes we want through linear, sequential action. As a result, we often fail to achieve the outcomes we hope for.

As it is fundamentally cultural, sustainability is therefore complex and emergent. Much of the sustainability work carried out to date has focused on relatively simple actions; yet it has still taken over 40 years to achieve such successes, principally due to our failure to appreciate the influence of culture and complexity.

EcoPractice is principally designed for organisations which have carried out many of the common sustainability actions, particularly in resource efficiency; however, the true test of an organisation’s embedded sustainability culture lies in how they deal with complex, or “wicked” sustainability problems. Through the Ecoplexity program, the “flagship” of EcoPractice, organisations can learn to navigate multiple pathways through complex issues.

The foundation of EcoPractice recognises that at any point in the life of an organisation, the extent of sustainability culture will be uneven: developed in some areas, at the beginner stage in others. Therefore the suite of programs includes ones design for organisations at the beginning of the sustainability path and others in transition.

And within organisations, individuals need to develop their personal practice of sustainability. Thus EcoPractice incorporates a range of programs to support individuals, from beginners to champions.

Further details of the EcoPractice suite can be found here.

If you want to find out more, feel free to contact me: I look forward to talking to you about creating sustainability culture in your organisation, community group or team.nDr. Matthew Parnell

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