Frequently Asked Questions


 

What does the BAR in BAR Sustainability stand for?

B.A.R. is an acronym for the Principal’s (Brian Anthony Reyes) full name.

 

What is sustainability?

It depends on who you talk to.  The definition of “sustainable” as per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

"  adjof, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged    { sustainable techniques} { sustainable agriculture} " 

Academically, a commonly utilized graphic shows the harmony achieved between the social, environment and economic spheres of confluence; however, this is not widely accepted, as many are redefining and adding more spheres.  Others will talk about human population issues and minimizing resource consumption to reach a better equilibrium with our environment.  All are valid and there is no one answer.  Nonetheless, actions are being taken and best practices are currently available, such as by BAR Sustainability, to work towards a more sustainable future.  

 

Where can I find information on the science, impacts, and recommended mitigation strategies regarding climate change?

Please visit the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website, which is updated annually.  The IPCC provides the most recent and peer-reviewed scientific literature regarding global warming and climate change.

 

What is a climate action plan?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a climate action plan (CAP) “lays out a strategy, including specific policy recommendations that a state will use to address climate change and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions”.  Communities (e.g., cities/towns/counties) typically write and adopt CAPs as a way to identify near and long-term emission reduction strategies specific to local conditions.  In some cases, the document may act as a legal document to show a local government’s intentions to mitigate climate and/or environmental impacts.

 

What is the difference between sustainability “domestically” and sustainability in the “developing world”?

Based on BAR Sustainability’s experience, it is a difference in approach.  We feel approaches adopted and  implemented are a function of the following variables: the ability to adapt, the resources available (e.g., environmentally, economically, socially plus within a community) and the need.

In the developed world, for example, there may be financial mechanisms and incentives, and/or low-risk loans available from government, non-profit, or grant-making organizations to help communities implement technology-based capital projects.  These technologies, such as solar photovoltaic and energy and water conservation projects among others, typically focus on reducing the impact from the built environment – trains, planes, and automobiles, plus roads and buildings. 

In the developing world, for example, it’s simply about hand-to-mouth.  These communities are more climate vulnerable.  Furthermore, the ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change are not simply contingent  on whether technology can be deployed, but, rather, whether the immediate needs of beneficiary communities can be met.  First, there is neither rarely a governing structure nor the resources (e.g., money, educated labor force, infrastructure, etc.) to deploy and operate such complicated technologies and/or programs.  Secondly, community “need” is paramount.  Addressing immediate needs typically focuses on the provision of such services as healthcare, clean water, sanitation and basic education.  BAR Sustainability provides strategies and implements long-term programs in climate vulnerable rural communities taking into account need, limited financial resources, cultural considerations, and education and environmental resources.  We build capacity among local leaders and adult and youth populations to disseminate long-lasting and replicable programs to form more sustainable and adaptable communities.

 



What is climate mitigation?

In context of a CAP, climate mitigation is seen as strategic plans and investments an organization may implement to reduce emissions.   For example, the planned installation of solar PV on a series of government owned rooftops is a greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy, hence, mitigating the government’s contribution to global warming.