What Is Sustainability?

There are many definitions in existence, including the widely adopted definition laid down in the Brundtland Report. Everyone will have his or her definition and what it means to them.

Some people may lay more emphasis on aspects like:

  • Healthy people and figures
  • Regeneration of land and communities
  • Fighting poverty
  • Education, food and water for all
  • Human rights
  • Agriculture, farming and Fair Trade policies
  • Climate change and energy resources
  • Building, housing, construction and infrastructures
  • Waste minimization
  • The environmental impact and performance of the business

It is common sense. The existence and supply of water, energy, paper, petrol, food, travel, peace, health and well-being just to mention a few things, is very much taken for granted, especially by those of us living in developed countries. It is easy to see how the non-existence or non-availability of one of these items can seriously impinge on the existence and well-being of another. But how many of us stop and think of the consequences if they were no longer available? The sad fact is that this statement could become reality if we do not Act Now to prevent this "out-of-stock situation".

As a result of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, governments worldwide are having to face the stark reality that economic development and growth have had a high price tag to pay - overconsumption of energy and environmental destruction.

Two major problems in respect of this are:

  • The depletion of natural resources
  • The end-of-life disposal of consumer goods

As a result of the Rio Earth Summit, the governments of the United Nations around the world have signed up to Agenda 21 to stop this destruction of our natural environment and protect it from human impact. Look up here It is widely acknowledged and accepted that our current levels of living, consuming and producing are unsustainable and so we all must make an effort to think, live and act differently. It is never too soon to start!