What is Sustainability?

Sustainability generally means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Our Common Future, a report by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

So what does that mean to me?

The decisions we make every day — as individuals, as organizations, as communities and as a nation — have an impact on our world and the future of its citizens. We all have the ability to make that impact a positive one. In fact, we have a responsibility to do so. We must take care of our own needs in ways that ensure that future generations can meet theirs.

What can I do?

Each of us can:

  • make thoughtful decisions based on what we already know
  • learn more about the long-range and cumulative impact of products, processes and habits
  • consider alternatives to what we think of as necessities; consider sacrificing some of what are conveniences