The definition of “sustainability” is the study of how natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything it needs for the ecology to remain in balance. It also acknowledges that human civilisation takes resources to sustain our modern way of life. Sustainability takes into account how we might live in harmony with the natural world around us, protecting it from damage and destruction.
We now live in a modern, consumerist and largely urban existence throughout the developed world and we consume a lot of natural resources every day. In our urban centres, we consume more power than those who live in rural settings and urban centres use a lot more power than average, keeping our streets and civic buildings lit, to power our appliances, our heating and other public and household power requirements. That's not to say that sustainable living should only focus on people who live in urban centres though, there are improvements to be made everywhere - it is estimated that we use about 40% more resources every year than we can put back and that needs to change. Sustainability and sustainable development focuses on balancing that fine line between competing needs our need to move forward technologically and economically, and the needs to protect the environments in which we and others live. Sustainability is not just about the environment, it's also about our health as a society in ensuring that no people or areas of life suffer as a result of environmental legislation, and it's also about examining the longer term effects of the actions humanity takes and asking questions about how it may be improved.
Primary Goals of Sustainability
- The end of poverty and hunger
- Better standards of education and healthcare - particularly as it pertains to water quality and better sanitation
- To achieve gender equality
- Sustainable economic growth while promoting jobs and stronger economies
- All of the above and more while tackling the effects of climate change, pollution and other environmental factors that can harm and do harm people's health, livelihoods and lives.
- Sustainability to include health of the land, air and sea
Finally, it acknowledged the concept of nature having certain rights - that people have stewardship of the world and the importance of putting people at the forefront of solving the above global issues through management of the environment and of consumption (for example, reducing packaging and discouraging food waste as well as promoting the use of recyclable materials).
Sustainability improves the quality of our lives, protects our ecosystem and preserves natural resources for future generations. In the corporate world, sustainability is associated with an organization’s holistic approach, taking into account everything, from manufacturing to logistics to customer service. Going green and sustainable is not only beneficial for the company; it also maximizes the benefits from an environmental focus in the long-term.
Ensures a Future For All
Regardless of who we are, where we live, and what we do, we all have a moral obligation to each other, our future generations, and other species to sustain the planet. Our present choices and actions have huge long-term impacts on future generations.
Reduced Energy Usage
Sustainable business practices lead to a significant reduction in long-term energy costs. Some quick initiatives, like switching to energy-efficient lighting, according to production schedule, reduce long-term electrical costs.
A Healthy Habitat For All
In the long-term, our society benefits from improved water and air quality, reduced landfills, and increased renewable energy sources. Sustainable actions help make a real difference in society.
Cut Down On Plastic
Every year, thousands of sea turtles, seabirds, and other marine mammals die because of plastic. So cut down on your plastic waste by using reusable bags when and avoiding plastic-made products. Plastic is not biodegradable, so it ends up in landfills unless reused by a brand committed to sustainability.