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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT043Spencer's innovative promotion whereby - if you takeyour old M&S clothes to the Oxfam shop - you get anM&S voucher for new clothes in return. This generatedmillions in extra profit for Marks and Spencer as well as tackling the key issue in UK landfill of clothing waste. This is another point we always lookfor when judging these awards: What is the broadersignificance? What do we learn as a society in general?How does it create a more receptive culture? Abeautiful example of cultural impact was the GrandPrix winner of 2010. The campaign created adifferent public attitude to walking in China (ratherthan driving) by creating an artistic spectacle. Largecloths were laid out at road crossings printed withpictures of bare trees. The "leaves" were added tothese trees through the pedestrians' footprints (padsof water-based green ink at the edge of the road).Without any words, the campaign imparted a sense ofwonder at how human beings can create a nicer, morenatural environment by walking. It was (literally) rolledout across China with impressive scale and reach.Not all of the green heroes we celebrate in the awardsare as showy as these examples. One of my personalfavourite entries was from Interface Flor. Its CEO, RayAndersen (who, sadly, died this year), was one of thefirst business leaders I heard speak eloquently andpersuasively about creating a better world with our dayjobs - in his case a carpet company - rather thanrushing off to work for Greenpeace. Several decadeslater and his message seems to have got through.Unilever was a notable entry this year, whosecommitment to the true (net effect) green is stunning:aiming to double their business in size, while reducingtheir environmental impact. It will take manybreakthrough innovations for this to be achieved and Iexpect the same factors of creativity and co-operationto be key. One idea I discussed with Unilever someyears ago is: why do we not all go back to usinglaunderettes? The challenge is then to make thesemore fun to visit than bars, gyms or clothes shops.Nothing can be ruled out, if it meets the same need(clean clothes) in new ways.When I was drafting my recent book on these themes(Co-opportunity, 2010), I applied the same co-operative principles myself, posting draft chapters forcomment online at One rather famousrespondent who commented during this process wasVinod Khosla, the venture capitalist. Khosla's pointwas that it was in some ways premature to write aboutall this; in that we need bigger, more startlingsuccesses to guide us. Khosla himself has invested in technologies such ascarbon sequestering concrete (Calcera). He certainlyputs his money where his mouth is and I see Khosla'spoint but I do not entirely agree. Few of our effortstoday may look substantial compared with tomorrow'sinnovations, but they are a start, and worthrecognising as such. After all, only if we have inspiringexamples of what a better world looks like, can westart to excite people, organisations and governmentsabout moving towards it. I look forward to seeing evenmore groundbreaking entries in 2012. Congratulations to this year's winners for their efforts todate. Their names will be announced on Thursday 24November at the Natural History Museum in London.See for more details. n

WHAT DO WE REALLY MEAN BY GREENGROWTH?The idea of "green growth"; like that of "sustainabledevelopment", and "addressing climate change",seems simple and positive. Go beyond the headline,however, and there are very different views of what thisterm really means. Whereas some see it as simplystating that economic growth needs to go hand-in-hand with environmental protection, others see it as anattempt to impose a particular economic model, and arestriction on the use of natural resources to supportdevelopment. In our view, the concept becomes clearer when we thinkabout the real bottom line of green growth -people.While nature is the original source of the resources andecological functions on which we all depend, andeconomies transform these into goods and services -the ultimate objective of green growth should be longer, healthier, better lives, for current and futuregenerations. We would do well to go back to the firstArticle of the Rio Declaration, and put humans back atthe centre of concerns for sustainable development.This should give us the guidance that we need both toconserve and manage natural resources, and ensurethat our economic systems genuinely work to sustainand improve human wellbeing.So far, we are not doing as well as we should. Despitethe economic growth of recent years, over 5 millionchildren still die every year. WHO estimates thatapproximately 25 per cent of all deaths and diseaseglobally are due to avoidable environmental risks -including urban outdoor pollution, indoor smoke fromthe burning of solid fuels and biomass in poorcountries; unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene;chemical exposure, occupational diseases, andclimate change. In other words, people suffer thesedisease burdens where we have not had enough "greengrowth" to both lift populations out of poverty, and toensure healthy environments.In pursuing green growth to improve human lives, weneed to recognise linkages between related problems,and look for synergies between different objectives. Forexample, addressing climate change will be achallenge for decades to come. But it is not a stand-alone issue -it will only be addressed by changing theways in which we achieve other goals, such asproviding transport, energy and housing. The aimshould therefore be to identify opportunities tosimultaneously provide these economic goods andservices, reduce our impact on the environment, andenhance human lives.GREEN AND HEALTHY GROWTH IN THEMODERN WORLDIncreasingly, these critical decisions will be made incities. The world is rapidly urbanising with significantchanges in our living standards, lifestyles, socialbehaviour and health. Thirty years ago, four out ofevery 10 people were living in cities, but by 2050 thisnumber will grow to seven out of 10, about 6.4 billionpeople in total, with most of the world's urbanpopulation living in Asia and Africa. Much of thispopulation explosion is currently happening in urbanslums, and much of the growth in urban land area isthrough horizontal, uncontrolled sprawl. This horizontal growth of cities and megacitiesdramatically increases the environmental health risksof urbanisation. It does so by making provision ofHEALTHBENEFITS OFGREENECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT044HEALTHDR MARIA NEIRA, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANDENVIRONMENT, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION" ""GREENER" DEVELOPMENTMODES FOR HOUSING, TRANSPORT ANDLAND USE NOTONLY CAN HELPREDUCE CLIMATECHANGE AND SUPPORT ENVIRONMENTALSUSTAINABILITY,THESE MODES ARE FAR HEALTHIER FORPEOPLE LIVING IN CITIES TODAY"Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainabledevelopment. They are entitled to a healthy and productivelife in harmony with nature."Article 1 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992