Author Topic: What is sustainability?  (Read 104 times)

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What is sustainability?
« on: September 05, 2016, 10:01:55 pm »
There are many definitions about sustainability likewise with the definition of sustainable development. The most popular one is the Brundtland definition from 1987. It was made by a commission of the UN and was in the final report, which leaded to many international discussions: “Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Even if this definition refers to sustainable development, the message is very similar. Generalized we can say that sustainability is the ability to continue a habit defined behavior indefinitely. That means taking from the earth only what it can provide indefinitely and leaving the future generations no less than we have for ourselves.
The main difference between sustainability and sustainable development is that sustainability describes a goal in the future, for example a sustainable world. Sustainable development describes the steps we have to go to reach this goal, like education on this issue, sustainable forestry and agriculture.

Talking about a sustainability issue, we often only think about environmental problems. So if something is “green” or “bio”, it is automatically sustainable, because it is good for nature, isn´t it? But something sustainable has to combine three different factors. They are often called the three pillars of sustainability: The economic, social and environmental pillars. If one pillar is not working, the whole system is unsustainable. So when we are thinking about a solution for a sustainability issue, we have to ask ourselves, if it fits for the economic, social and the environmental needs.

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