The following is an excerpt from an article by Kendra L. Arnold printed in Natural Awakenings® magazine,
April 2008. This offers a good description of how sustainability is interconnected on three levels.
☼ Social sustainability focuses on social interaction and cultural enrichment. It is about
how we make choices that affect others, including a business’ operations and its effect
on employees, suppliers, investors, local and global communities and customers. Social sustainability
also relates to the most basic needs of human nature, such as, happiness, safety, freedom, dignity
☼ Economic Sustainability requires that companies provide a decent standard of living
to their employees, as well as providing fair market value for stocks and products. An economic
sustainable company might also be called fair-trade.
☼ Environmental sustainability is the ability of the environment to continue to function
properly indefinitely. The goal of environmental sustainability is to minimize environmental
damage, as well as halt and reverse current environmental damage. In general, the term “sustainability” requires
that human activity only use natural resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.
"Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each
generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources
and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future."
Charles A. Lindbergh
New York Times Magazine, 23 May 1971