What is Sustainability anyway?


The most common definition for Sustainability/Sustainability Development  is

“sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

(UN Brutland Report 1987).

This is a good definition, but i it can be misinterpreted, especially as many people put too much weight on the first part of “meeting  the needs of the present”, interpreting economic needs as the most important. The part about maintaining and protecting the earth’s future needs for its finite resources (water, materials, resources etc) is not as important.

My Favourite Definition

Videos can tell good stories, and my favorite one on Sustainability is this one  from RealEyes Sustainability.

What is the Difference Between Sustainability and Sustainable Development?

Nothing! I spent awhile trying to figure out the difference –  they are the same thing.

The Business Logic of Sustainability

There are many reasons why Sustainability is good for business, even SMEs,  as discussed in my earlier post.  Here is Bob Willard talking about what business and Wall Street has to do with Sustainability:

One of my Heroes

Communicating about sustainability is really important. It is a difficult thing to do, as people and businesses are tired of hearing about ‘save the planet’ etc. The debate needs to talk the same language as ordinary people, and what it means to them. Otherwise it is just a concept that is happening somewhere else, not in their lives. Here is Ray Anderson from Interface (sadly passed away in 2011).  He led the way for un- sustainability in the carpet business to turn a corner towards a more sustainable business model that works.

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