What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is a concept that has gained significant attention in recent years. But what exactly does it mean?


At its core, sustainability refers to the capacity to sustain or maintain a process or state over an extended period. It implies a balance, a way of living that can be carried on indefinitely without depleting resources or causing harm to the natural world.

The Three Pillars of Sustainability

There are three key dimensions or ‘pillars’ of sustainability, often referred to as the ‘triple bottom line.’ These are environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Environmental Sustainability

This is perhaps what most people think of when they hear the word ‘sustainability.’ Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking actions that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with an emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support life.

Social Sustainability

Social sustainability is about identifying and managing business impacts on people. The quality of a company’s relationships and engagement with its stakeholders is crucial. It involves issues like working conditions, human rights, health and safety, and how well a business gets along with the local community.

Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability involves using the assets of the company efficiently to allow it to continue functioning profitably over time. An economically sustainable business is one that can survive shocks because it is intimately connected to healthy economic systems at all scales.

Why is Sustainability Important?

Sustainability is essential for many reasons. It can help prevent global issues like climate change and biodiversity loss. It can also ensure that resources are used in an efficient and effective way that does not harm future generations.

In Conclusion

Sustainability is not just an environmental concept. It’s a way of thinking about how we use resources, interact with our environment, and build systems that can last. It’s about building a world today that future generations can thrive in.