The United Nations definition of sustainability is the reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands - the “three pillars” of sustainability – for the immediate and future well being of individuals and communities.
The business case for sustainability is to try and prove that while decreasing a company’s environmental impact, they are in turn increasing their social impact, as well as their profits. The goal of the business case for sustainability is to enhance profits, comply with regulations, avoid future litigation, reduce resource use, reduce the waste stream, reduce energy use, increase customer satisfaction, increase employee satisfaction, and the good will of the community. In the past, destroying and polluting may have been good for business and the profit bottom line. But today, businesses that are “going green,” can save producers money and also be popular with consumers. With the growing demand for 'green ' products, major new markets have been created in which eco-entrepreneurs are reaping the benefits. Companies known for proactive policies that support environmental regulations are often positively recognized by customers, employees, regulators, the media and others. Because of their
‘Sustainability’ and all its connotations have become the term of the millennium thus far, although it was an idea introduced in the 1980’s. It encompasses many interpretations, and has taken on a very loaded and preconceived meaning. Many have a vision of green initiatives and global warming-based issues, but what does it mean to the in today’s society? Even when narrowed to the disciplines of architecture and planning, it is a multifaceted and loaded concept. Kenny and Meadowcroft discuss a shift in this complex term, stating that
Over the course of the past few decades, humans have truly started to understand and study issues that threaten our environment in great depth. Modern environmental sustainability is defined as “the link between the health of nature and society, population growth, distribution of wealth and the combined approach to development, equity and conservation not new to social and environmental policy” (Oiamo 23). The definition of sustainability has transformed over time along with our knowledge and continually evolving understanding of the word. Sustainable development is a process that goes hand in hand with sustainability, however the definition is widely deliberated. Nonetheless, the most accepted definition was coined from the Brundtland Report in 1987 is “development that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (Oiamo 28). Succinctly, sustainable development is only using the essentials needed to preserve ourselves as of right now, and nothing more. What lead to this present-day concept of environmentalism and sustainability were economic, environmental and social shifts prior to the 1970s.These are known as the three pillars of sustainability and were contrived by environmentalists such as Ebenezer Howard and Rachel Carson.
So what is sustainability? It is the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.
Sustainability is defined as the ability to endure.(1) Though the idea of sustainability can be applied to most anything from a sustainable ecosystem that has survived thousands of years to a sustainable workplace that uses green technologies. Paul Hawken captured today’s connotation of sustainability in saying “Sustainability is about stabilizing the currently disruptive relationship between earth’s two most complex systems—human culture and the living world.” (2) There are countless ways to live, work, and produce sustainably. Sustainability not only needs to be practiced by citizens, but businesses need to join the green movement as well. Without creating, following, and enforcing green policies, negative effects will be evident and innumerable
Put simply, sustainability refers to systems and processes that are able to operate independently over long periods of time (Robertson 2014). Sustainability in terms of development means the maintenance of development over an extended period of time (Elliot 1999). Discussions about sustainability often refer to an idea called the “triple bottom line”, sometimes referred to as the three pillars of sustainability or the “three E’s” (Elkington 2012). The first ‘E’ represents environment and is concerned with the preservation and restoration of the health living systems. The second ‘E’ stands for economy and relates to even distribution of resources over the long term, with each individual being
Governments, environmental agencies, and corporations alike have utilized the term “sustainability” in order to convey their respective agendas for general sustainability in environmental, social, and economic realms. In spite of their initiatives, there has yet to be a generally agreed upon, uniform definition for “sustainability.” This lack of semantic clarity has promoted skepticism among some parties, skepticism primarily focused in the legitimacy of sustainability agendas, as well as the idea of sustainability in itself (Context & Development, 1992). This essay seeks to inspect the concepts of sustainability generated by two
The term sustainability is one that been conceptualized since the early civilizations of humans inhabited the earth. During those primative times, everything that allowed civilizations to thrive came from the earth. Humans during those times were more more in touch with their reliance on the environment. In today's society, the reliance on our natural environment seems much further away due to our insulation from modern conveniences. Nevertheless, this conception could not be further from the truth; we are more reliant now on the world's renewable resources than ever before.
The most widely quoted definition of sustainable development is the one provided by the Brundtland Report, the report says that “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” ( World Commission on Environment and Development,1987,p.43). According to Wall(1997) and Hunter(1995), two important ingredients are included in this statement: human needs and environmental limitations. For the World Commission, the major objective of development is to satisfy human needs and aspirations for a better quality of life for all people. In other words, sustainable development means long term economic sustainability within a framework of long term ecological sustainability plus
Sustainability is a topic that has become very important in recent years. Sustainability is defined as, “the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely.” ("Finding and Resolving the Root Causes of the Sustainability Problem", 2014)
As you know, nowadays, different definitions exist for sustainability in a variety of academic fields and disciplines. What seems to characterize many of these definitions of sustainability is the recognition that the future is important to consider. (Holmberg,1992). Perhaps the most common and well-used definition comes from the Brundtland Commission, which defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. URL1
Sustainability: meeting the challenges of ensuring that future generations can enjoy the same kind of lifestyles people enjoy today.
Sustainable development is defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (IISD, par. 1 ).
Sustainable development is defined in many methods, but the official definition is explained through Our Common Future: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains two key concepts: the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world 's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment 's ability to meet present and future needs.” From my point of view, there are three key points existing in this explanation: the needs of each class in the society, the limitation of development as well as the demands of present and future generation. These three points will be analyzed in detail below.