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what is sustainability

Key Points:

  • Sustainability is being able to live and breathe on this planet for the foreseeable future by conserving natural resources and ecosystems. 
  • There are three pillars of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
  • Natural resources include air, water, light, plants, animals, minerals, soil, stone, and fossil fuels. 
  • Being sustainable and enforcing sustainability practices takes time. 
What is Sustainability?

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is a diverse word that can be used in various instances; however, its message remains essentially the same. It refers to being able to continue a task, a resource, or an act for a longer period of time.

In the sense of the environment, sustainable practices mean being able to live and breathe on this planet for the foreseeable future by conserving natural resources and ecosystems.

These natural resources include air, water, light, plants, animals, minerals, soil, stone, and fossil fuels. These nine resources are the basis of life on Earth. 

Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been exploiting these natural resources to the point where more exploitation can make life on Earth unsustainable. This is why sustainable practices are needed now more than ever. It is understandable that not everything, everywhere, forever, can be sustained, but small, consistent acts of mindful usage and living on an individual level can have a significant impact on the future of our planet. 

Being sustainable can take many forms. For businesses, sustainable practices include having:

  • Sustainable packaging that is reusable, recyclable, and reduceable
  • An optimized supply chain that is kinder to the environment 
  • Technology that reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, preserves and utilizes water efficiently, and discards waste safely.

Enforcing these sustainable practices for businesses may take some time and capital. However, introducing these practices is crucial in showcasing what the business stands for and whether it is willing to play its part in bettering our planet’s resources. In such situations, businesses must rely on someone who measures and optimizes sustainability practices for them, and Clima does that and so much more. Clima helps businesses calculate their carbon footprint, participate in carbon offset projects worldwide, and finally, help engage the customer base through integrated engagement solutions.  

Sustainability Takes Time

Implementing sustainability practices at the environmental and economic levels will take time. Conserving natural ecosystems and fossil fuels, decreasing world population and pollution, amending levels of greenhouse gases in the environment, and many more cannot be achieved instantly. 

What is worse is that reaping the sustainability benefits will take even more time. Even if we become a 100% sustainable race with great natural resource conservation practices and an appropriate population-to-product ratio, the planet will still need time to adjust and undo the atrocities once done upon it. This is why it is crucial that we start living sustainably today so that our future generations have a place to call home.

The Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability  

The triple bottom line refers to three elements: environment, society, and economy. For sustainability, these three elements need to be balanced meticulously, and this can be done by ensuring that firstly, environmental conservation supports economic and social growth; secondly, the social policies are designed to promote economic and environmental development; and lastly, the economic growth does not destroy the societal or environmental well-being. These pillars generally depend on each other and are interconnected. A sustainability revolution based on these pillars requires much effort, education, consistency, and changes in societal and economic norms, but it is not impossible.

FAQ:

Is Being Sustainable a Necessity?

Yes, being sustainable is no longer a choice but a necessity. The planet and its resources have been exploited for way too long. Either mend our ways as soon as possible or wait for our lives to get much warmer and more chaotic. Small but consistent efforts on an individual level can help us live better lives and sustain our planet’s natural resources. 

What Can Businesses Do to Become Sustainable?

To become sustainable, businesses can take several essential steps:

  1. Energy Use: Use less energy or switch to green energy sources like solar or wind power.
  2. Waste Management: Minimise waste generation and implement recycling/composting programmes.
  3. Sustainable Travel: Encourage eco-friendly commuting options and offset carbon emissions from business travel.
  4. Procurement: Source from suppliers with sustainable practices and transparency.
  5. Carbon Offsets: Invest in projects to neutralise unavoidable emissions, like reforestation or renewable energy.

Introducing these practices is crucial in showcasing what the business stands for and whether the business is willing to play its part in bettering our planet’s resources.

Can Sustainability Be Measured?

Sustainability cannot be measured as there is no unit for measuring it in any metric system. However, various frameworks and indicators related to an act can give an idea of how sustainable the act is and what its effects are on the environment. Sustainable practices can, however, impact many factors which can be measured, like temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sustainability is a collection of practices that keep any process from stopping. Environmentally, being sustainable means conserving our natural resources and global ecosystems so our planet remains livable for generations. The triple bottom line of sustainable practices includes environmental, societal, and economic elements. These three elements must work together to bring about a revolution in global sustainable practices. Lastly, sustainability takes time, so it is crucial to make sensible choices today. 

Further Readings 

By Clima