What is sustainability?
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.
Why is sustainability important?
Sustainability, at its core, is a way to make our communities more livable by integrating and balancing economic, social and environmental needs. Sustainability is about practices that make good business sense and good environmental sense. It is balancing the economic, social and environmental needs of a community.
What is the basis of sustainability?
Sustainability is responsibility for the impact that the organization exerts on its surroundings, in business, environmental and social terms. Conscious management of the impact translates into lower costs, improved external relations and better managed risks.
Why should I care about sustainability?
Simply put, sustainability means that our society can continue without negatively impacting future generations’ quality of life. At its core, it’s about finding the right balance of development between society, the economy, and the environment. However, the problem is that we’re far from meeting this ideal.
The economic growth our society has enjoyed was made largely possible to natural resources. However, exploitation of these resources is jeopardizing the future of our planet.
Given that the economy affects the way we live as a society, we need to ensure that growth benefits everyone. If we are not mindful of economic development as it relates to sustainability, the 21st century could be a century scarred by social instability, environmental disasters and irreversible harm to the planet.
What are the benefits of sustainability?
When it comes to the benefits of sustainability there is a lot to consider as to what does that look like? Will it benefit us socially or environmentally? Is it good for business and will it bolster the bottom line?
Benefits for sustainability can be achieved and several areas but also some that may be able to be fully quantified.
The following list are some areas we see that can benefit from a sustainability practice:
Sustainable means a reduction in energy usage
More efficiency often means less waste
Less waste means less pollution
Sustainable practices can translate to lower operating cost
Sustainability doesn’t always mean green – So many benefits to social conscious
Sustainability means new opportunities
Sustainable businesses attract better quality investments
Garner community and customer appreciation
Build a relationship with government agencies
Position yourself as an industry leader
Position yourself for tomorrow
Is being sustainable difficult?
It’s not always easy trying to make sustainable choices in a society where overconsumption and endless consumerism is encouraged, not only by the world’s biggest corporations, but also by some governments.
However, more companies and governments are paying attention to sustainability than ever before, making it easier to make more informed and ethical choices. It may require a bit more research, but the benefits are endless.
Does it cost me more to be sustainable?
There is the thought that practicing a sustainable lifestyle is more costly. There are now a lot of sustainable products flooding the market and at first glance it appears that there is a premium apply to these products in the form of price. This certainly makes it appear costly to be sustainable, but it needn’t be the case.
Living a more sustainable lifestyle can be derived from the desire to actually save money; for example, using less energy, not buying unnecessary products, recycling and not wasting food. Yes, purchasing products that are deemed sustainable is certainly part of the equation but by no means all of it. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle is more about making the right choices and changing behaviors.