pp4sd - professional practice for sustainable development  
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Professional Practice for Sustainable Development [PP4SD], originated from a seminar held by the Council for Environmental Education and the Environment Agency in 1998. The purpose of the day was to establish whether there was support for training for professionals, which would equip them with the confidence and competence to effectively integrate sustainable development principles into their working practice.

With unanimous support for the idea, a working group comprising the Environment Agency, CEE, the Institution of Environmental Sciences and the Natural Step developed a proposal for inter-professional learning. The proposal was submitted to the Environmental Action Fund for grant aid and was successful.

When the project began in 1999, the first task was to agree expectations, outcomes and outputs for the first three years. The idea of producing a Foundation Course in sustainable development emerged as the path the group wished to follow. The concept of systems thinking would underpin the training. Developing the Foundation Course was a real inter-professional learning process. The process started with the group producing a Framework to guide activities and the development of two documents; one outlining the business case for CPD in sustainable development and a second to guide the development of cross professional learning opportunities and tools. Both documents are available on the Downloads page of this website.

Now in phase two, the original group has changed and expanded. But the goal remains the same: the integration of sustainable development principles into professional training. PP4SD is extending the professional sectors in which it works and continues to organise cross-professional events. It has also established a strategic link with the Sustainability Alliance, a powerful lobbying body which represents professional institutions on issues of sustainability.

The current members of the project management group are:

John Baines (Independent Consultant)
Gayle Burgess (Behaviour Change Director, London Sustainability Exchange)
Dr Jane Claricoates (Professor of Aquaculture and the Environment, University of Swansea)
Adam Donnan (Senior Executive Officer, Institution of Environmental Sciences)
Sarah Ellis (Research Project Leader, Professional Associations Research Network [PARN])
Kerry Geldart (Acting Chief Executive, Society for the Environment)
Annabelle Lillycrop (Senior Stakeholder and Community Relations Adviser, Environment Agency)
Prof. Stephen Martin (Visiting Professor, Open University)
Paul Murray (Associate Professor & Senior Lecturer, Univeristy of Plymouth)
Glenn Strachan (PhD Student, University of Gloucestershire)
Christina Williams (Head of Research, Professional Associations Research Network [PARN])



The following Professional Organisations have participated in the project:

Building Services and Research Information Association
Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management
Chartered Institution of Wastes Management
Institute of Energy
Institution of Chemical Engineers
Institution of Civil Engineers
Institution of Environmental Sciences
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Professional Associations Research Network
Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Royal Society of Chemistry
Royal Town Planning Institute
Society for the Environment

Other Environmental Organisations which have
participated in the project are:

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Environment Agency
Worldwide Wilflife Fund [WWF]


The PP4SD Framework for sustainable development.
In a sustainable society:

1. Any materials extracted from the earth should not exceed the environment’s capacity to disperse, absorb, recycle or otherwise neutralise their harmful effects to humans and the environment.
2. Synthetic substances in their manufacture and use should not exceed the environment’s capacity to disperse, absorb, recycle or otherwise neutralise their harmful effects to humans or the environment.
3. The biological diversity and productivity of ecosystems should not be endangered.
4. A healthy economy should be maintained, which accurately represents the value of natural, human, social and manufactured capital.
5. Individual human skills, knowledge and health should be developed and deployed to optimum effect.
6. Social progress and justice should recognise the needs of everyone.
7. There must be equity for future generations.
8. Structures and institutions should promote stewardship of natural resources and the development of people.


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