What Is Sustainability

Environment, Social Equity, Economy

Here's What You Need to Know

Sustainability has many definitions. The common theme is that a sustainable practice enriches the community, economy, and environment. In other words, sustainable practices or systems conserve or enhance resources of Earth and society. It's often simplified to the three E's or the three P's:

  • Social Equity / People
  • Environment / Planet
  • Economics/ Profit

All three components must function together for a system to thrive now and in the future. Otherwise, the system will fail to regenerate natural systems, meet human needs, or deliver goods where they are needed.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Our Common Future (aka Brundtland Report), 1987

 

Team photo
Social Equity
When people as individuals and as members of businesses, non-profits, and other organizations foster a safe, healthy, and equitable environment for people, it benefits society. Diverse perspectives and rich exchange of ideas stimulate social connections, cultural growth, and resilience.
The greenhouse booth
Economy
A sustainable economy facilitates the movement of goods to the people who need them while maintaining the integrity of the resources needed to produce those goods and services. When an economy functions sustainably, people and the environment flourish while the businesses within it maintain financial feasibility and ethical principles.
Team member working with grass
Environment
When we nurture and respect the ecosystems we live in, it protects waterways, plants, and animals, and it impacts our daily lives. Healthy environments contribute to human health, thriving communities, vibrant ecosystems, and abundant resources.