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💫 5 sustainability visuals to help make sense of complexity

The October Spark

This is the monthly newsletter from Bemari where we talk about how to not get lost in sustainability. This month we use the language of visualisation to help break down complexity.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Images speak to a different part of our brains so we remember them better and engage with them more than text. This month we wanted to share 7 powerful sustainability visuals to bring some of the concepts to life that can help you in engaging your audiences.

  1. Climate Conviction Curve But really, you could apply this to any other crisis we are facing right now. You may find yourself in the Abyss of Despair (the more you know, the less you sleep?) but this is normal - and there is a way out. We just need to focus on what we can do within our areas of control and influence - take your time to figure out. If you have already figured it out, just keep going - one step at a time.

  1. System change We often hear that collaboration is the key to unlock the solutions and accelerate the transition and systems transformation, which is what is needed to address the triple crisis. Yet, it is not always easy for organisations to understand what this collaboration might look like and how to do it without losing competitive advantage. There are in fact multiple levels where collaboration and action are needed - no none sector, actor, organisation can make the change as we are all interconnected. Whilst not everyone can play in all these spaces, playing in all these spaces by multiple actors is what is needed.

  1. Degrowth, Post-growth are not the end of growth. These are often scary words, but they do not mean the end of growth and neither do they mean recession. They cover managed evolution and transformation rather than a temporary shock - it is a reimagining of what our economy can do if it were to be in service of our wellbeing, rathe than feed on the wellbeing. So the questions is, what role does your organisation want to play in it?

  1. Perspective is everything One of the key concepts that traditional economics teaches the business is that everything is a resource for the business and the people (including people being a resource), and often these resources are assumed to be infinite and sometimes even free. If we flip the perspective from “all in service of humanity and our wants” to one of “an interdependent eco-system”, it can help give a better understanding of the role various elements of the ecosystem play, the impacts business decisions and individual actions may have and where as a business we can fit in a way that maintains the balance.

  1. Livestock dominates the mammals on the planet. When the conversation about meat food choices is raised, this is why it is so crucial. With livestock dominating the land (taking 80% of global agricultural land), livestock related emissions and environmental impacts (e.g. feed, land use, emissions from natural digestive processes, water etc) play a huge role.

  1. Value shared is not always shared value. In the economy that is reliant of a network of supply chains, it is easy to forget where stuff comes from and who makes it all happen. Cocoa supply chains are notorious for misplaced value distribution - it often looks similar in other commodity based supply chains. Social justice is an integral part of the just transition.

  1. Nature knows better. Nature-based solutions offer multiple benefits and can help address more issues than carbon. Mangroves is one example of this - Not all trees are created equal!

For your toolkit

Climate & nature action delay justification Bingo - how many have you heard in the last month? 

Turning data into visual magic - Visual capitalist, Information is beautiful and Climate.gov

Visualising the future - our climate and energy choices shape what our tomorrow would look like

Climate is always changing - when you need to demonstrate why this climate change is not like the ones before use this cartoon

Cartoon of the month

Do you have lessons learned from your sustainability efforts that someone would benefit from? Please share by emailing [email protected].

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