Make sustainable lifestyle choices
A widely-used definition of ‘sustainable development’ is: 'development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. (Karl Brundtland)
The past 20 years have seen a growing realisation that the current model of development is unsustainable. In other words, we are living beyond our means. From the loss of biodiversity with the felling of rainforests or over-fishing to the negative effects our consumption patterns are having on the environment and the climate. Our way of life is placing an increasing burden on the planet and mankind.
The increasing stress people, businesses and organisations put on resources and environmental systems such as water, land and air cannot go on forever. Especially when you consider the world's population continues to increase and we already see a world where over a billion people live on less than a dollar a day. To tackle this challenge we need to make sure that we live within environmental limits. It is unreasonable to expect the developing world to carry the burden that the Western world has caused.
The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations. Unless we start to make real progress toward reconciling these contradictions we face a future that is less certain and less secure. The worlds population is forecast to grow from 6.4 billion to 9 billion by 2050. As populations develop, the numbers of peiople that could be defined as middle classes increases and their desires for material goods and services can be expected to grow similarly.
We need to make a decisive move toward more sustainable development. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is in our own long-term best interests. It offers the best hope for the future. Whether at school, in the home or at work, we all have a part to play.
Our small everyday actions add up to make a big difference.
Living today with tomorrow in mind.
There are four key areas of sustainable development that we can influence that have been identified:
- sustainable consumption and production: changing the way in which products and services are designed, produced, used and disposed of – in short, achieving more with less
- climate change and energy – reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and worldwide whilst at the same time preparing for global climate change that cannot be avoided
- natural resources – understanding the limits of the natural resources that sustain life, such as water, air and soil
sustainable communities – looking after the places people live and work, for example, by developing green, open spaces and building energy-efficient homes.
Our Sustainability Team can help you to do your bit to help shape the future.