Definition of Sustainability

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition was created in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development.

Over the past 30 years, the concept of sustainability has evolved to reflect perspectives of both the public and private sectors. A public policy perspective would define sustainability as the satisfaction of basic economic, social, and security needs now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base and environmental quality on which life depends. From a business perspective, the goal of sustainability is to increase long-term shareholder and social value, while decreasing industry’s use of materials and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

 

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