Understanding and Defining Sustainability Essay

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Understanding and Defining Sustainability

In your own words describe what you understand what is meant by sustainability.

The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary definition of sustainability is - 'causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time'.

My view of sustainability when concerned with the manufacture of products is that during manufacture, the materials used are abundant, their usage is able to be replaced or replenished by environmental management such as Forestry Commission tree planting etc. Waste products are kept to a minimum and any produced are non-toxic and can be disposed of safely or recycled. Any packaging must also be
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Disposability of the product at the end of its life is important as in order to be sustainable; it should be either recyclable or biodegradable.


Stakeholders are various groups who are all affected by and involved in the life cycle of a product. Sustainability is important to the manufactures because if the abundance of a material is reduced, the production of the product will be limited and therefore the profits will be affected. During the process of manufacturing waste products may be produced. Disposal of waste products must be carried out under strict government guidelines, which costs money, manufacturers would want as little waste products produced as possible to maintain their profits. Anything that would affect the sustainability for the manufacturer would consequently affect the designer because if the product is unsustainable he would not be able to sell his idea to the manufacturer. Consumers these days are becoming more aware of the environmental issues surrounding the production of goods, but also products that are readily available and can be easily replaced are in higher demand by consumers, sustainability of goods are therefore important to the consumer.


As a designer sustainability, to me, is vitally important. If a product I design is unsustainable then any manufacturer will be unwilling to produce the product for it will not be cost
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