What do we mean when we say Sustainability?
The original definition of Sustainable Development comes from the Brudtland Report Our Common Future:
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
But what does this really, in practice, in a way we can actually work towards a sustainable world? My colleagues and I agree that a more nuanced definition is often needed, and this is where I am collating any reasonable definition I come across.
If you have one to share, then drop me a line.
Definitions of Sustainability
“the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible planning and management of resources” – Dr Suneel Sethi, from article “Myths About Sustainability“
“Sustainability is a broad concept examining how societies live, interact and operate. It means trying to find ways for humankind to live, work and play that do not interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life. It considers our economic, social and environmental needs and involves taking responsibility for the local, regional and global impacts of our way of life. It also requires that we take a longer-term view when making decisions to ensure meeting our own needs does not compromise the needs of others both today and for future generations.” – (Cathy Berry, 2011), pg 1
“a material resource that is harvested and used so that it is renewable and not permanently depleted, while “sustainable living” is lifestyle that doesn’t deplete non-renewable resources.” – CasaSugar
“Sustainability is about how products are sourced, made, distributed, and how the people involved with the products are treated and paid. It is also about the bigger picture of cause and effect on the global community.” – Gael O’Brien The Challenge of Sustainability
“Sustainability – (big S) – to act in a manner that maintains a long term ecological and social balance
sustainable – (small s) – able to be maintained. Ideal scenario – to create big S in a commercially viable small s way. Supply Chain Sustainability – an operation that is profitable, where risks are actively managed, and minimises resource usage” - From a 2degrees webinar on Supply Chain Sustainability