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Hannover Principles for sustainability from 1992

China, India, and East and Southeast Asia: Assessing SustainabilityAs we prepare for Rio +20 and the launch of the full 10 volumes of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, I was glad to come across another document from 1992, by the acclaimed designer William McDonough. Some of these would be excellent for classroom discussion, and we’re planning to put together lots more material that teachers will be able to use along with the hundreds of articles in the Encyclopedia of Sustainability.

1. Insist on rights of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
2. Recognize interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend upon the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognizing even distant effects.
3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between
spiritual and material consciousness.
4. Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems and their right to co-exist.
5. Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of products, processes or standards.
6. Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems, in which there is no waste.
7. Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from  perpetual solar income. Incorporate this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
8. Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not as an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
9. Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and users to link long term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.

Read more about The Hannover Principles by clicking here.

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