The Natural Step

The Natural Step

The natural step is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by the Swedish scientist Karl-Henrik Robèrt. The Natural step has developed what they call “Backcasting from Principles” an approach effectively moves society towards sustainability. The natural step framework is designed to help create a sustainable human society and empower individuals to move towards strategic solutions build on the methodology proposed.   The natural step approach sustainability with a set of four fundamental system conditions helping to stabilize Earth’s biosphere.  The framework four system conditions. In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to:

  • Systematically increasing  concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust
  • Systematically increasing concentrations of substances produced by society
  • Systematically increasing degradation by physical means
  • In a sustainable society, people are not subject to:
  • Conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs

The fourth system condition of the natural step talks about  human needs as described in the “Our common future” (also known as ‘‘the Brundtland Report’’1987) and use the economist Manfred Max-Neef definition to determine their view: subsistence, protection, affection, idleness, identity, freedom, creativity, participation and understanding.  See also human needs in the Eco fashion dictionary a-z


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