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New standard for sustainable development

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new standard to improve sustainable development and quality of life within local communities.

BS 8904 aims to improve the cost efficiency and effectiveness of sustainable activities within communities through the engagement, identification, prioritisation and implementing processes.

The standard could reduce negative environmental impact, improve social relations and create a more robust economic resilience, the BSI suggests.

Beneficiaries of the new standard are likely to include local authorities, national and regional community support, social and environmental charities, planners and architects, community health and education professionals.

Professor David Jackman, chairman of the Sustainable Communities Committee commented: “Communities are increasingly leading the drive for sustainable development and this pioneering standard provides a framework for generating new initiatives, building support and getting the most from an action plan.

“It is about building community spirit and involvement, not top-down planning, although local government may find the overall approach very useful.”

John Devaney, committee manager at BSI, said: “This is the first standard of its kind. The new standard will allow communities to respond effectively to the pressure to improve sustainability coming from both individuals within the community, and from international consensus and national Government.

“It is expected that the pressure to improve community sustainability will only increase as climate change targets are implemented.”

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