Sustainability

Quaker witness means that we act in faith to create the better world we believe to be possible. This includes our commitment to the sustainability of our planet, and human life. As Quakers, we believe that “we do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will...Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life” (BYM Advices & Queries 42) Therefore we need to reassess human relationships with the Earth, including how we use resources – ranging from energy and water, to plastic and land – rather than just asking how we can replace dwindling materials.

 - QCEA celebrates the leadership that the EU has shown in the context of its climate and energy goals. But much more has to be done.

- QCEA aims to stimulate greater scrutiny of how our economic systems relate to environmental problems, particularly unsustainable resource use, growing inequality, and the primary focus of the need for economic growth.

- We call for policies that prioritise the well-being of people and planet over the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) and private profit.

- We seek to model and promote the circular economy (which aims to maintain the value of resources for as long as possible, through re-use and recycling among other techniques) and appropriate valuation of the natural inputs into our production and consumption systems.

- QCEA calls upon the EU to accept responsibility for, and to acknowledge, its dependence on the environment and to recognise that an essential factor in promoting sustainable energy security for all people is for those of us who use more than our fair share to reduce our demand.

- QCEA calls upon the EU to ensure that it does not neglect its responsibility for human rights worldwide in sourcing its energy.

Recent work

QCEA works to develop an environmentally focussed circular economy policy at the European level, working together with a number of other Environmental NGOs. QCEA also examines the links between trade and sustainability, particularly problems related to the environment and economy.

You can find previous publications on sustainability here and click here to read our blog posts on sustainability!

One of our most popular publications describes using the Quaker Business method to transform an impasse.

QCEA’s has also worked on sustainability issues related to our work with the European Investment Bank and corporate social responsibility

In 2011-2012, QCEA worked on Sustainable energy security, including energy efficiency. You can find our sustainable energy security publications here.

Consultations

QCEA has responded to a range of consultations by the European Commission, on various aspects of the EU’s energy, climate and environment policy. We have contributed to the concepts of the green economy and the circular economy, as well as to the role of corporations in creating the world we want.

Consultations provide opportunities to present information tailored to specific questions. When the European Commission opens consultations on sustainability, QCEA sometimes provides model answers and alerts subscribers to the opportunity to send their opinion to the Commission. (To sign up for our action alerts, write to our Office Manager here.)