Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SUSTAINABILITY - WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Welcome to the Students for Sustainability Club!

S4S wants to make this blog a valuable source for you to learn more about sustainability and topics related to the subject. Therefore, this first blog post will be dedicated entirely to the meaning of sustainability.

We are confronted with the word sustainability more and more every day through politics and the media, but what does the term really mean? 

Terminology wise sustainability means to "maintain", "endure" and "support". In 1987, the Brundtland Report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) developed a definition, which is still widely known and used today to define the concept behind sustainable development: 

"Sustainable development seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future."

Based on this definition the 2005 World Summit defined the environmental, social and economic demands as the "three pillars" of sustainability. These pillars need to be reconciled to accomplish sustainable development today and in the future. 

It becomes evident that sustainability and sustainable development is very complex and connects to many different fields. For example, each dimension of the pillars has many sub-dimensions, which again have an interdependent relationship with each other.
Given this complexity, sustainability can be looked at through the perspective of the planet earth or the perspective of one's individuals behavior.

The following video can give you a better idea of how different fields interact and affect millions of people around the globe negatively and simultaneously it shows solutions to be more sustainable: 

Given the world's constant development in areas such as technology, engineering, and transportation we can be sure to hear more about sustainable development in the future and  we as individuals will also be affected more by its measures. 

Is there anything that you already do today to be more sustainable and that you could share? 

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