Sustainability is spreading like wildfire.
Small to medium enterprises and even big corporations have adopted the buzzword and changed their ways to meet sustainability standards, which were supposed to be fundamental in the first place.
Left and right, people have been talking about the progress of sustainability, along with issues and flaws that hound companies. Thousands rejoice over fresh new brands, and fashion enterprises have given sustainability advocates a run for their money with what is hopefully not greenwashing. But, do we really know what sustainability is? Here, we give you the lowdown on the basics of this phenomenon.
An ecosystem in equilibrium
Basically, sustainability studies the function of the human-ecological system wherein the natural resources produced and acquired should be in equilibrium. In other words, we shouldn’t be acquiring more than what nature can provide. (And that’s exactly the source of ecological issues at present.) Meadows et. al stated in their book Limits to Growth (1972) that human species cannot survive if the natural resources are limited and development leads to environmental degradation.
Preservation that is mindful of the future
With that in mind, the World Commission on Environment and Development proposed sustainable development which is defined as development that meets the present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. This tackles the three pillars of the sustainability nexus which are economic, social, and environmental — wherein decisions need to address the protection of the environment while providing the basic resources of society without compromising their well-being (James, 2015).
The ideals presented by sustainable development would be useless if they weren’t put into action. Thus, in 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to end poverty, conserve the environment, and attain peace by 2030.
These sustainable development goals have guided conscious businesses the world over, but others have yet to follow suit. As consumers, it is our duty to express our concern for the environment, to learn more about the brands we support, and to take a stand against the irresponsible use of our natural resources.
James, P. (2015). Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice: Circles of Sustainability. New York, N.Y.: Routledge.
Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., Randers, J., & Behrens, W. (1972). Limits to growth: A Report to the Club of Rome. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Associates.
Sustainable Development Goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ph.undp.org/content/philippines/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html