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Sustainability Defined...


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 and affection.

☼ 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

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