What is sustainability?

What is sustainability?

Posted by Poko and Oki on 2nd Feb 2023

A lot of people think of it as a buzzword for the environment. But in reality, it's so much more than that. It's about the future of our planet and the generations to come—and our personal health and well-being.

Sustainability is about preserving what we have for future generations and protecting the environment, economic growth, and social progress so we can all thrive on this planet together. It's an ongoing process that involves making responsible decisions. It requires continual effort and evaluation of progress.

The Brundtland Commission first defined sustainable development in 1987 as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

This definition has been further refined by UNEP's 1996 publication Our Common Future, which defines sustainable development as meeting three overlapping criteria: social equity, environmental protection, and economic growth (or wealth creation).

The concept of sustainability can also be applied to many areas of life. For example:

  • Sustainability in business means making sure that a company's products are made with materials that have been sourced responsibly; it also means being environmentally friendly and supporting fair trade practices so that workers are treated well while they are doing their jobs.
  • Sustainability in economics focuses on reducing waste by only purchasing what we need instead of buying things just because they're cheap or convenient (which often ends up costing more in the long run).
  • Sustainability in energy means finding ways to power our lives without harming the environment. For example, solar panels can generate electricity for homes; wind turbines can produce energy from natural forces like wind and waves.

Sustainability is also not about finding one solution for all problems--it's about making conscious decisions about how we conduct our lives to reduce our negative impact on our environment and other people around us. It involves making choices as individuals, families, businesses, and governments that will benefit everyone involved in these choices. The right balance between the environment and the economy is essential to creating a sustainable future for everyone on this planet.