Sustainability is about protecting and improving the natural world and society while ensuring a quality of life. It is also about developing human capacity and promoting social justice.
The International Sustainability Council defines sustainability through seven basic principles. These include the precautionary principle, the Polluter Pay Principle, the best practice, the science of sustainability, and the three pillars of sustainable development.
A concentric circle is the most accurate method to visualize the pillars of sustainability. The principle of effectiveness and efficiency encourages decentralisation of resources. This allows for better management of natural resources.
The best practice of the precautionary principle requires well structured procedures and policies. This will help minimise waste.
The science of sustainability is the study of self-sustaining social systems. Sustainable design takes into account both the social and ecological consequences of economic activity.
The three pillars of sustainable development are the economy, the environment, and society. They are interrelated and dependent on one another. Economic sustainability is about ensuring that human communities have access to the resources they need to prosper.
Having a healthy ecosystem helps a society to be robust and resilient. Keeping it healthy involves reducing waste and pollution.
Among the most interesting aspects of sustainability is that it can be applied to both the public and private sectors. For example, if companies use recycled material in their products and pay their employees livable wages, it will reduce the amount of non-renewable materials they use. Moreover, a company that uses filtered tap water will minimize transport and packaging waste.