What is environmental sustainability and why is it important?


What is environmental sustainability and why is it important?

Sustainability is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. And though you may have heard this before, many people do not know the origins of this definition in particular.

In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission published this particular definition of sustainability in the Brundtland report, which called for a strategy that united development and the environment. Over the years, alternative definitions have emerged, but the Brundtland report’s 1980s take on the explanation is still commonly used.

The “Three Pillars of Sustainability” is another popular framework used to describe what sustainable development is. This tool conveys that sustainability consists of environmental, social, and economic factors that are vital when discussing the topic:

  • Environmental sustainability is perhaps the most obvious of the three pillars, as it symbolises the importance of things like natural resources and biodiversity to support life on Earth.
  • Social sustainability places importance on social structures, well-being, and harmony; all factors that poverty, wars, and injustices can affect.
  • Economic sustainability describes the ability of an economy to grow. This is especially important in today’s societies, at a time when many sustainable initiatives require financing and a strong economic rationale.

How can we maintain environmental sustainability? Read more HERE.

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