Summary: Philip Sutton is the Manager of RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation), a non-profit organisation that engages in strategy development and engagement to catalyse the urgent initiation of a full scale transition to a sustainable economy – focusing especially on the very rapid emergence of the necessary social and political commitment to make this transition possible . He is co-founder of Safe Climate Australia and past-President of the Sustainable Living Foundation and the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics. Philip co-authored "Climate Code Red", which puts forward a case for emergency action on climate change. Philip was the architect of the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act passed in Victoria in 1988.
Philip Sutton is currently:
Manager of RSTI Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation) (from 2011)
Manager of the Greenleap email information service
Member of the Transition Decade Guiding Team (2009 – present)
Founding member and candidate for Save the Planet (2013)
Member of the Council of the Australian Conservation Foundation (1973-1976 (!); 2009 – 2015)
Co-founder and Board Member of Safe Climate Australia (2009 – present)
Founder and Director-Strategy for Green Innovations (1991 - present)
Philip's work is focused on strategies for very rapidly achieving an ecologically sustainable economy. Of special interest are the ideas of (a) rapid mobilisation of the economy through carefully structured crash programs, (b) programs of fundamental innovation, and (c) the idea of formally defining a state of "sustainability emergency". Philip is also working on social engagement processes of "saturation mobilisation". These new interests complement earlier work on the management of sustainability-promoting organisations and sustainability-orientated environmental management systems.
Philip was the architect of the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee legislation passed in 1988. He also worked on the Victorian Government Energy Strategy (1982-3) and the Victorian State Conservation Strategy (1983-4). He worked for a year in 1991 in the Victorian Office of the Environment to develop strategies for achieving a successful green economy.
Philip has been a member of:
Yarra Valley Water's Environmental Strategy Advisory Committee (2005 - 2008)
the Reference Committee for the development of the Environment Management and Renewable Energy Industry Plan undertaken for the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (Victoria) (2002)
the Reference Committee for the Audit of the Environment and Renewable Energy Industries undertaken for the Department of State and Regional Development (Victoria) (2001)
the Victorian Government Wood Products Working Party - a joint industry/conservation movement working group (1992-93)
the Victorian Premier's Fibre Processing and Sustainable Development Jobs Council (1992)
the Manufacturing Working Group of the Prime Minister's Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) process (1991)
the Federal Government's Endangered Species Advisory Committee (1990-93)
the Steering Committee for the Victorian Government Timber Industry Strategy (1986)
From 2009 to 2011 was Convenor of the Climate Emergency Network. From June 2008 – September 2009 Philip was Assistant-Convenor. Was a co-founder of CEN in 2008.
From 2004-2008 Philip was President of the Sustainable Living Foundation. He was a member of the SLF Strategy Collective from 2005 – 2009) and is currently a member of the SLF Transition Decade team (2009 - ).
In 2008 lectured on Global Warming Science and its Implications in the MSCP Evening School program (attached to the University of Melbourne)
In 2007 Philip taught a Masters level subject at RMIT University on Strategies for Sustainability.
In 2006-2005 Philip was a conference speaker and trainer for the UNESCAP*/Seoul Initiative on Green Growth. The program was aimed at the theory and policy frameworks needed to transform economic growth in Asia so that it is truly ecologically sustainable (* United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific).
Philip was for several years (~2004-2000) a member of the editorial board of the UK-based journal Greener Management International.
In late 2003 Philip developed the idea of the Race to Sustainability and he is now working with the Sustainable Living Foundation to turn this into global program to mobilise whole communities across the world to achieve sustainability as fast as possible.
From 2001-2003 Philip was the President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics (ANZSEE).
Philip was selected in 1991 by the Age Newspaper/Melbourne University Politics Department 'Agenda Project' as being one of the twenty most influential people in Victoria in the environmental policy arena.
Philip has written on sustainability-orientated environmental management systems, economic development strategies, economic growth, ecotaxation, industry policy for the timber and plastics industries and energy and urban policy. He initiated the Greenleap email list in 1997 and has been the manager of the list since that time.
In 1980 Philip published “Victoria's nuclear countdown: State Government plans for a nuclear Victoria”. This book kick-started the campaign that led to the banning of nuclear power in Victoria.
Philip has developed a number of innovative management and economic concepts, including:
safe climate - as the key goal of climate policy (co-developed with David Spratt - this idea is developed in the book Climate 'Code Red')
sustainability emergency (this idea is developed in the book Climate 'Code Red' and the associated action program)
double-practicality (see description in the dual-track management paper, via link above)
achieving ecological sustainability before 2030 (this timing is now outdated, and has been replaced by Lester Brown's idea of a Turn-around Decade; many of the ideas in the paper are still relevant for this tighter timeframe.)
holistic customer (5-in-1 customer) service philosophy
"no major trade-offs" decision-making
transformative financing (the third wave of ethical investment)
Information on these ideas can be found in the papers listed on the Green Innovations website.
Philip's paper Greenleap: Innovating to an ecologically sustainable economy in 30 years or less summarises and set in context much of his work on the creation of an ecologically-sustainable economy. Philip's more recent work suggest that the timetable for major physical change to the economy to deal with issues of climate change, peak oil, water and food supply and biodiversity conservation needs to be a good deal shorter than implied in this paper - a ten year physical transformation to achieve a sustainable economy seems like a more environmentally realistic objective.