As defined by the Brundtland Commission, sustainability is "meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

In other words, sustainability is about meeting our current needs while ensuring that future generations can meet their needs. It is about balance.

The Three Principles of Sustainability

There are three key principles that underpin sustainability: social equity, economic development, and environmental protection.


Social Equity Pillar

The social equity pillar refers to the need to create a just and equitable society. This includes ensuring everyone has access to the resources they need to live a good life, such as food, water, shelter, and healthcare.

It also includes ensuring that people have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Economic Development Pillar

The economic development pillar refers to the need to create a thriving economy that meets the needs of both present and future generations.

This includes creating jobs and businesses that are environmentally and socially responsible. It also includes using resources wisely and investing in renewable energy sources.

Environmental Protection Pillar

The environmental protection pillar refers to the need to protect our planet and its resources. This includes reducing pollution and waste, conserving energy, and protecting habitats and species.

Why Is Sustainability Important?

The main thrust of sustainability is to improve our quality of life now while also ensuring that future generations can enjoy the same or better quality of life.

There are many reasons why sustainability is important:

Sustainability Protects Our Environment

The environment is the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live on. It is also the plants and animals that make up our ecosystems. Sustainability helps us protect these things for future generations.

Sustainability Improves Our Health

When we pollute the air, water, and land, it negatively impacts our health. Sustainability helps us reduce pollution and exposure to toxins, which leads to better health for all.

Sustainability Strengthens Our Economy

Investing in sustainable practices can create jobs and help businesses save money. It also helps to attract responsible investors.

Sustainability Builds Social Equity

Sustainability helps to reduce poverty and inequality and build a more just and equitable world.


Corporate Sustainability

Corporate sustainability is the practice of businesses taking responsibility for their impact on society and the environment.

This includes reducing pollution and waste, investing in renewable energy, and creating products and services that are environmentally friendly.

Corporate sustainability also includes creating social programs that improve the lives of employees, customers, and communities.

Corporate Sustainability vs Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often confused with corporate sustainability. However, there is a key difference between the two terms.

Corporate social responsibility refers to the voluntary actions that businesses can take to improve society. This can include charitable donations, environmental protection, and workplace diversity.

On the other hand, corporate sustainability refers to businesses' sustainable development. This includes reducing their environmental impact and creating social and economic value for all stakeholders.

Companies Practicing Sustainability

Many companies are now incorporating sustainability into their business models. Here are a few examples:


The LEGO Group is a well-known toy company that is committed to sustainability. In their endeavor to reduce environmental impact, the company commits to phasing out single-use plastic in all their boxes by 2025.

The company has various sustainability ambitions, including sustainable packaging, promoting diversity and inclusion, responsible engagement with children, maintaining a family-friendly workplace, and working with a responsible supply chain.


IKEA is another company that is working towards a more sustainable future. The furniture giant has committed to using renewable and recycled materials by 2030.

The company also aims to reduce its climate footprint by an average of 70% per product.


Apple is one of the most valuable and sustainable companies in the world. The tech giant has been carbon-neutral since 2020 and aims to be completely carbon-neutral by 2030.

Apple is also working on creating more sustainable products. An example is the iPhone 12, which is made from recycled tungsten and is the first product made with a majority of recycled rare earth elements.

Making the Switch for a Sustainable Future

Although businesses have a big role to play in sustainability, individuals can also make a difference.

Here are a few things you can do to live a more sustainable life:

Reduce Your Consumption.

This means buying less stuff and only purchasing items that you need. When you need something, try to choose environmentally friendly products.

Reduce Your Waste.

One way to do this is by recycling and composting. You can also bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping.

Conserve Energy.

This includes turning off lights when you leave a room and unplugging electronics when they are not in use. You can also save energy by insulating your home and using energy-efficient appliances.

Final Thoughts

With climate change and environmental degradation becoming increasingly urgent issues, it is more important than ever to live sustainably.

Dependence on fossil fuels, wasteful consumerism, and pollution are all major problems that must be addressed.

Fortunately, more and more businesses and individuals are beginning to realize the importance of sustainability. As awareness grows, hopefully, we will see even more progress toward a sustainable future.


1. How is sustainability measured?

There are a variety of ways to measure sustainability. Some common indicators include carbon footprint, water usage, waste reduction, and renewable energy use.

2. What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, organization, or product.

3. How can I make my business more sustainable?

There are a variety of things businesses can do to become more sustainable. Some common sustainability initiatives include reducing energy consumption, using environmentally friendly materials, and investing in renewable energy sources.

4. What happens if we do not practice sustainability?

If we do not practice sustainability, we will continue to damage the environment and deplete resources. This can lead to climate change, species extinction, and various other problems.

5. How can individuals participate in sustainability?

Individuals can participate in sustainability by reducing their consumption, waste, and energy usage. They can also support sustainable businesses and products.

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