What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is a word we see a lot lately, but what does it really mean? Many believe it is synonymous with  “green,” and in many cases it can be, but in our new generation of thinking the applications of the word itself has evolved.

The simple Google definition is “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” When we think about it in terms of the environment, “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.”

Sustainability is much more than that and should be achieved in all of the following areas:

  • Energy – specifically conservation and renewables
  • Environmental – protecting our planet for the future
  • Societal – my favorite definition comes from the website Sustainable Degrees
    • “A sustainable society is founded on equal access to health care, nutrition, clean water, shelter, education, energy, economic opportunities and employment.”
  • Technology – new technologies that support a sustainable population
  • Business – balancing the pressure of profit with the well-being of employees and practices that are environmentally sound

Earth Charter defines sustainability as a global society “founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”

If we all start living our lives to accomplish these goals, we will live in a prosperous world that will be sustainable for an infinite number of generations.

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