Sustainability has some main pillars or rather aspects and these aspects were identified in the year 2005 during the world summit on social development. These aspects contribute to the social science and philosophy of sustainable development. These aspects have formed the backbone of dealing with the main areas that the world focuses on. As described by Brundtland commission, sustainability is a development aspect which meets the present needs with no compromise of the future generations’ abilities in meeting their needs (Holden and Linnerud, p 175). Therefore the future has to be considered while making present decisions. The main two aspects include economic development ad environment aspects.
Most people have had disagreements based on political ideologies regarding what is and is not economically sound. It has thus proven to be very problematic. The manner in which this aspect affects business, jobs and employability is also still a debatable issue. Economic development mostly deals with the process of how business incentives are provided in situations where such businesses and other organizations are supposed to adhere to the sustainable guidelines that are found beyond their normal requirements for legislation (Ellis and Moarif, p 11). This aspect also encourages and fosters incentives for an average person in which they are able to do their activities to the much they can. It’s seen that an individual may not achieve as much as a group would have because for some effects to be felt they have to be cumulative.
The consumer nature of the supply and demand market has made the need for many resources in the modern life to be very high on a daily basis. From the environmental aspect what matters most is how we get whatever that needs to be consumed. Therefore if people are given whatever they want with no compromise to the quality of life then this is referred to as economic development. This is more relevant in the developing countries where reduction in the financial burden and the ‘red tape’ of doing things right is still a big issue to deal with (Chan and Lee, p 249). For economic sustainability to be felt the human community in the globe should be able to sustain their independence and gain access to the required resources as well as finances so as to meet their needs with ease. The systems of economy ought to be intact and all the activities be made available to everyone for instance their needs to be sources of livelihood that are secure enough.
The economic sustainability is involved with ensuring that businesses in place are able to make profits and their operations do not in any way create environmental and social issues which are likely to harm the success of the business which may be envisioned to be long-term. If any nation focuses on environmental and social issues the profitability of the economy will definitely flow. This is because most of the social initiatives tend to have a great impact on the behaviors of commodity consumers as well as the performance of employees (Perrini, Russo and Tencati, p 291). On the other hand environmental initiatives like efficiency in energy supply and mitigation of pollution has a direct impact on waste reduction creating a good environment for the economy.
Most people know what they need to do to protect the environment and especially from pollution. However the small things that have been neglected are some of key contributors to environmental pollution and thus loss in terms of sustainability. Such things like recycling, reduction in power consumption through switching off power when not in use, walking some short distances as opposed to using vehicles if assumed can lead to great environmental destruction. There are regulations for businesses in which they are supposed to keep the carbon emissions low as well as prevent pollution. Incentives exists which promote projects for installing power sources that are renewable in businesses and homes. This aspect is thus the main concern regarding the future of humanity (Dempsey, p 257). This aspect offers definition on how the environment should be protected and a lot of focus is placed on elements that seem to stress the environment. It’s concerned with how technology can be used to drive a future that is green.
The developments that focus on biotechnology and technology are important to attaining environmental sustainability and thus protect the future environment from any damage that may be caused by technological advances (UNPF, p 7). To attain environmental sustainability ecological integrity has to be maintained. The earth’s environmental systems need to be kept in balance and the natural resources in the environment need to be consumed by human beings at a rate in which they can replenish themselves. The systems and activities in place should also be able to reduce the impact of the environment on the environment. When it comes to the resources that are renewable the rate at which they are harvested is not supposed to exceed the rate at which they regenerate back (Maslow, p 58). In relation to pollution the rate at which wastes are generated from the ongoing projects should not go beyond the capacity for assimilation by the environment.
In case of the nonrenewable resources their depletion requires the development of substitutes that are renewable. Such goals include zero waste by the organization, reduction in the use of plastic bags and coming up with initiatives that reduce carbon footprint through management of energy consumption (Ebner, p 8). Some organizations like Nestle have identified the main priority areas regarding environmental sustainability such as agricultural raw materials, water, packaging that is specific to their beverages and food and manufacturing and distribution. In relation to energy use Verizon company has initiatives that aim at environmental sustainability like the recycling of telecom equipment and reduction in energy use through provision of flexible working conditions at work, it has also worked on reducing intensity in carbon and getting some more efficient solutions to its fleet that is eco-friendly (Jackson, P 21). Therefore this environmental aspect aims at acknowledging the necessity of enhancing and maintaining the biophysical systems which sustain life with a focus on the natural ecosystem structure and the interactions which exist among them.
Innovative ideas have contributed a lot when it comes to ensuring sustainability is achieved in different sectors such as environment, economic sector and even the social sector. Such innovations include; innovation from new light technologies have invented air carbon which is a plastic material that is carbon neutral produced from greenhouse gases such as methane (Eurostat P 15). This is used in the packaging and furniture industries in which it matches oil based plastics both in performance and price.
This innovation has helped solve the issue of non biodegradable nature of plastic bags. High energy savings have also been archived by the use of view intelligent window. This window regulates the light and temperature of the room in which it’s used. It’s been mainly designed for commercial buildings so as to eliminate the need for shades and blinds. Outerwall Company has recently introduced outerwallecoATM which is a network of recycling kiosks that are automated for the tech products (Jacobs P 36). Customers can easily follow simple steps and be able to recycle old tablets and phones and any other electronics and receive cash in exchange. Powwow energy is an innovation in which unnecessary losses of resources especially water are prevented. The powwow energy detects any water leaks from an irrigation system that is used in agriculture and informs the farmers immediately for repair. The Retroficiency software is designed to fight losses of energy in buildings. The data sets are used by Retroficiency to make suggestions on energy saving ideas for both businesses and homes.
It works on the combination of both energy analytics and the models of buildings with the use of data that they get from the already existing energy audits to give out ideas relating to energy saving. The BioTrans system is used in restaurants where it’s installed to collect and grind any leftovers into a biomass that is homogenous (Jenks and Dempsey, P 175). There has been the invention of DessoThe AirMaster a form of carpet which is used to capture pollutant particles and fine dust from rooms thus providing healthier indoor climates. It’s made of recycled carpets and proves to be better than the hardwood flooring when related to prevention of allergies.
From the discussion above its evident that sustainability is not just matters environment but in the many definitions of sustainability we are able to find the concerns about social equity and the development of the economy. It’s in this regard that the motivations behind sustainability are in most cases diverse, complex and personal. It is almost unrealistic for one to come up with a list as to why many people are working hard to achieve this goal. Thus sustainability in most cases boils down to the future the current generation is leaving for the next generation.
These aspects of sustainability are therefore shared by many people who aim at demonstrating their importance in developing many policies. It’s therefore the duty of the people in today’s generation along with those of the future to create solutions that are adaptable and aim at fostering sustainability. When a company chooses to define sustainability with the two aspects in mind then it’s easier to determine its own successful road that is sustainable. If any one of the aspects is weak or given less attention then the whole system of an organization may become unsustainable since they are both interlinked.
Chan E, and Lee GKL. 2008. Critical factors for improving social sustainability of urban renewal projects. Social Indicators Research 85: 243–256.
Dempsey N. 2008b. Quality of the built environment in urban neighbourhoods. Planning Practice and Research 23: 249–264.
Ebner D. 2008. Assessing Corporate Social Responsibility in Industrial Firms: the CSR-Assessment. Pg 8. Montanuniversität Leoben
Ellis, J. and Moarif, S., 2009. GHG mitigation actions: MRV issues and options. Draft for review. OECD/IEA Project for the Annex I Expert Group on the UNFCCC, Paris.pg 5-15
Eurostat, 2009. Measuring progress towards a more sustainable Europe. 2009 monitoring report of the EU sustainable development strategy. Pg 13-19. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.
Holden E, and Linnerud K. 2007. The sustainable development area: satisfying basic needs and safeguarding ecological sustainability. Sustainable Development 15: 174–185.
Jackson, T., 2009. Prosperity without growth? Transition to a sustainable economy. Sustainable Development Commission, London p 21.
Jacobs M. 1999. Sustainable development as a contested concept. In Fairness and Futurity: Essays on Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice, Dobson A (ed.). Oxford University Press: Oxford; 21–45.
Jenks M and Dempsey N. 2007. Defining the neighbourhood: challenges for empirical research. Town Planning Review 78: 153–177.
Maslow, H.A., 1968. Toward Psychology of Being, 3rd Edition 1999. John Wiley and Sons, New York. Pg 55-61.
Perrini F, Russo A and Tencati A. 2007. CSR strategies of SMEs and large fi rms. Evidence from Italy. Journal of Business Ethics 74(3): 285–300.
UNPF (United Nations Population Fund). 2007. State of World Population 2007: Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth. UNFPA: New York. Pg 4-10.
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