Sustainability beyond the triple bottom line

sustainabilitySustainability is the idea that people must be able to survive and thrive on this planet in perpetuity.

We recognize economy and society as aspects of a greater living system and design solutions that work for the whole and not just one part.

Four Sustainability Principles to Support Systems Thinking

To keep from interrupting the balance of nature and ensure that we aren’t hurting society, we can follow four sustainability principles, as outlined by The Natural Step.

To become a sustainable society we must…

  1. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust;
  2. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of chemicals and compounds produced by society;
  3. eliminate our contribution to the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes; and
  4. eliminate our contribution to conditions that undermine people’s capacity to meet their basic human needs.

The Natural Step

Our Work

  • DC’s Comprehensive Energy Plan

    Loop Strategies was engaged by DDOE, as part of a team of consultants, to work on the District’s 5 year Comprehensive Energy Plan. As part of the planning team, Kara: wrote, designed, and built the project web site; assisted with outreach strategy and community meetings; and contributed to or co-wrote different sections of the plan.

  • Community Planning

    Kara has been active in community sustainability efforts in DC, including Green Living DC and Envision Adams Morgan. Both efforts support the city-wide initiatives outlined in the Sustainable DC plan.

  • Sustainability Education

    Kara has presented to William and Mary and UDC classes as a guest lecturer and spoken on panels on the topic of sustainability at the Anacostia Smithsonian Museum, the College of William and Mary, and Punchrock DC. She has also served as a mentor to students participating in the global Sustainability Jam through the University of Maryland and presented at the LeNS conference on Sustainability in Design in Bangalore, India.