What is Sustainability?
Sustainability refers to a quality and system of life that allows people to meet their current needs without compromising the resources available for future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability rests on the belief that we can coexist with the environment if we work to ensure our actions are not harmful to it. Essentially, it means ensuring that we leave our environment no worse than we found it (and if possible, better).
There are many definitions of sustainability, and all of them have in common the principle of future stability. All definitions describe a future that does not outrun the ability of the earth to support life, nor spiral into collapse.
A succinct definition provided by the Bruntland Commission is:
- Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
This definition balances our current needs (but maybe not our wants and desires) with the needs of our children, grandchildren, and many future generations.