The commonly understood definition of sustainability, as coined in the 1987 Brundtland Report, is satisfying the needs of the present without adversely affecting the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.
At a high level, sustainable development addresses needs for social and economic improvement that protects the environment and supports equality. Our economy, society and the ecological system are all dependent on one another, hence the United Nations created specific goals that are a blueprint for creating and maintaining a sustainable future for all. All people, companies, and organizations should help realize these global goals that affect our lives locally. Companies have a huge impact on our planet today, so it’s important that they integrate sustainable business practice to ensure they treat the Earth’s inhabitants and its resources with care and respect.
Personally, sustainability relates to how we as individuals are sustainable in our daily lives. It can mean many different things and is not limited to ´just´ being eco-friendly, like sorting household garbage into plastic, glass, and aluminum. What it means to be more sustainable as an individual will vary depending on someone’s personal context, it could mean practical examples ranging from simple lifestyle choices such as buying from companies that have a more sustainable production policy or modern labor policies that treat employees fairly, or it could be helping children in your community to read and write, or avoiding wasting water or unnecessary excess usage of other precious resources such as food and electricity.
The bottom line is sustainability is about behaving respectfully towards the planet and its inhabitants equally. Everyone creates an impact, and our behaviors and actions have a greater collective impact. We are all responsible for contributing to a sustainable future.