uring the last year, resiliency is becoming a recurring word discussed in West Michigan sustainability circles. While there is a connection between the words sustainability and resiliency, they are not interchangeable. Sustainability concepts deal with obtaining desired results and outputs over extended periods of time, from one generation to the next, with the expressed desire to put the world back in balance.
Resiliency and its concepts come into play a when our complex systems are teetering on the edge and likely to be out of balance, like they are today. What happens when a significant disruption takes place and desired results and outcomes are threatened? Hurricane Sandy had devastating effects on the East Coast of the United States. The City of Grand Rapids recently experienced the worst flooding in 100 years. Resiliency addresses the issues of vulnerability, threats, and disruptions by establishing mechanisms to manage complex systems in an unbalanced state.
Fox example, we now experience warmer temperatures, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, and other severe weather conditions and patterns on a more regular basis. What is the ability of our ecosystem, as well as our existing infrastructure, to “weather” these storms?
Moving forward triple bottom line sustainability planning will continue to drive business model success in the marketplace. However, resiliency planning will also have its place. Forward thinking companies and organizations have begun to implement best practices in:
Ensuring success in the future will require both sustainability as well as resiliency planning.