The Greenleap Principles


1 May 2003
Version 1.e 

People involved in the Greenleap program share the following principles or foundational ideas:

We are motivated by concern for: 

  • all people locally and globally
  • all future generations
  • all of nature
We realise that to avoid ecological unsustainability, society mustn't systematically:
  • increase the concentration of substances in nature that are sourced from the earth's crust or from the economy
  • degrade nature by physical means.

We are concerned about the achievement of sustainability and genuine progress in the environmental, social and economic domains.

We are trying to actually achieve sustainability, rather than just aiming to move forever ‘towards’ sustainability.

In the pursuit of sustainability and genuine progress we are working vigorously and creatively for outcomes that involve no major trade-offs.

To be able to do all this we are considering:

  • what a sustainable society and economy might look like, in fundamental terms
  • the scale of necessary change
  • the speed of necessary change.

As a practical way of giving effect to the principles above, especially in relation to ecological sustainability, we are taking action to achieve: 

  • profound resource efficiency or dematerialisation aiming for an appropriate Factor ‘x’ improvements (current estimates for some issues range from Factor 10-Factor 50)
  • a closed-cycle materials economy (ie. zero waste)
  • profound detoxification (aiming for zero toxicity)
  • sustained biodiversity (aiming for approximately zero extinctions)
  • a sustainable population (not systematically increasing over the long-term and not too large)
As an intrinsic part of the effort to achieve sustainability we are working to restore:
  • nature to a viable condition to ensure that all native species can survive and flourish in the wild in perpetuity. 
  • the capabilities and conditions of society so that human communities can flourish 
and we are working to reign in pressures on nature that currently apply and that are already ‘in the pipeline’ to bring them down to levels that nature can cope with.

To minimise the cumulative environmental damage and to allow for a democratic transition we think it's worth trying to achieve an ecologically-sustainable economy in 30 years or less (with 2003 taken as the base year).

Please email us your suggestions for how to improve these principles.

To return to the Greenleap webpage click here.

To return to the Green Innovations homepage click here.