It’s World Environment Day and so here’s a picture of… a doughnut!

Why a doughnut?

The doughnut model was first introduced by Kate Raworth in 2012 as a framework to bring together the social and environmental aspects of sustainable development.

The doughnut helps us visualise two sets of boundaries that we need to stay inside if we want to meet the needs of humanity without destroying the Earth.

Planetary boundaries

The outer ring represents the planetary boundaries – nine aspects that we have to keep below a certain level if we want the Earth to remain habitable for humans. These include climate change, biosphere integrity and biogeochemical flows, for example, and you can read more about them here.

Social foundation

The inner ring of the doughnut represents the social boundaries. These are twelve areas, derived from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, where we need to stay above a certain threshold in order to meet the needs of humanity – such as water, food, health, education and so on. For more on the Sustainable Development Goals, have a look here.

If we can stay within the two sets of boundaries, humanity can continue to thrive and develop into the future.

The doughnut model is a great way of visualising what we need to do to achieve both environmental sustainability and social justice. Read more details here, have a look at Kate Raworth’s TED talk on the subject or try this one-minute animated introduction.

I think I need a doughnut now! Happy World Environment Day!