Our main focus is to measure the impact of interventions within municipalities.
The increasing municipal arrears in South Africa is the business symptom of unsustainability that we use as the starting point in our method.
In our various presentations to municipalities we show that low cost interventions such as hotboxes to reduce cooking costs, more efficient water dispensing devices, gray water recycling systems etc. can achieve significant cost savings at both municipal and individual household level.
Whatever is cost reducing or empowering is a candidate intervention and the key service we offer is in measuring the collective effect of these interventions at household and municipal level.
As we are data mining specialists and are already in the business position of delivering municipal applications we have added the impact measurement as a natural extra.
For example, we can track the performance of households over many years regarding energy and water consumptions, and most importantly their ability to pay.
Thereby we create 'before' and 'after' intervention perspectives, which we update month by month - very naturally as we are already processing much of this data for other reasons.
NGOs promoting food security in the form of household vegetable gardens would be just some of the many interventions that we seek to promote by measuring their impact.
Our role then is to measure, and the partners in this overall scheme would be any and every NGO that is in some way or another promoting either cost savings or empowerment.
The following page puts this into more perspective:
However, Sustainability is not purely an environmental factor.
One has to consider the socio-economic and political dimensions as well.
Green is just the logical symbolic colour of Sustainability and wherever there is oppression, tyranny, unfairness, etc. it is unlikely that Sustainability will be truly achieved.
For example, incarcerating non-violent law breakers and potentially breaking the bread-winning cycle of a household has as much to do with Sustainability (in a negative way!) as household vegetable gardens do in a positive way.
Zero tolerance with a community service sentence is less costly to the state and less damaging to the law breakers household. So some of our articles are quite specific on such topics.
Many of these ideas are obvious but in practice there are many obstacles to their acceptance and therefore their implementation - especially here in South Africa.
The sum total of all the extra pluses and fewer minuses in such a multi-dimensional approach leads to a critical mass that tips towards the positive - as far as Sustainability is concerned.