Objective: Describe a method for the application of sustainability in complete context. Occurrence: In an effort to improve global application of sustainable practices, integrating currently available methods and technologies, a thought-experiment around implementation relevant to the Island of El Hierro was used. Core Insight: Incorporating an industrial approach to the technical and knowledge aspects, combined with a community approach to self-sustaining governance offers an extremely promising way of changing the global environmental direction. Working from the ground up and supporting (and stimulating) self-directed efforts by community and individuals, it appears possible to reduce dependence on imposed systems, gradually removing political instability from a society's economical and ecological development. Employment should also improve in quality and quantity.
Executive Summary For decades, on El Hierro steps have been taken towards a sustainable future. Many of these steps have been in the form of specific projects: a tremendous amount of essential and fundamental work has been done. Despite these impressive efforts, at this moment, it is not entirely clear where El Hierro is on the road to sustainability. In order to gain momentum and achieve maximum effectiveness, first the many patches of sustainable activity must be connected. This requires a whole system approach, including a greater transparency and integration of efforts, all linked closely to local needs. This proposal outlines a process which will allow El Hierro to progress quicker and further on the path to sustainability which it elected several decades ago. In doing El Hierro could also serve as a global example of what can be done and how it can be done, reaping the benefits of the previous decades of effort, and much more. Combining three established methods from industry and business as foundation, a chronological road-map illustrates implementation. By building on all the work that has been done already, and helping autonomous ventures fill any remaining gaps, the benefits will far outweigh the efforts necessary. Partial execution of these plans may deliver considerable benefits to the economy and environment in El Hierro; full execution will deliver to the island community a self-reinforcing and sustaining organisation supplying the benefits of sustainability into the long-term future.