The awareness and adoption of an ecologically correct posture are the premises of environmental sustainability.
The word “sustainability” is very present in our daily lives. If we pay attention, we will certainly hear her employed in the most varied and varied subjects, and even that in some moments its use ends up being mistaken or even trivialized.
The concept of “environmental sustainability” was first introduced in 1987 by WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development), a commission formed by members of the United Nations with the aim of uniting countries around sustainable development.
Today, the definition of sustainability can be understood as maintaining equilibrium over time. That is, it is the ability to meet today’s human needs, from the present, without affecting the ability of future generations to do the same, to meet their own needs.
The concept is directly related to the social, economic, environmental and cultural aspects of society as a whole and whose objective is the continuity of development, yet without minimizing or depleting the resources of the planet.
The efficiency of sustainability lies in its possibility to apply to any human project or enterprise, regardless of its size and scope, since to be truly sustainable, a project must embrace the main pillars of sustainability, being economically viable; socially just; ecologically correct; culturally diverse.
It is worth noting that the idea of economic growth cannot in any way oppose the pillars of sustainability, so that organizations need, more than urgently, to adopt sustainable practices in all their actions, maintaining responsible administration policies, seeking by renewable sources of production and promoting actions that prioritize and protect society and the environment, among other attitudes. Awareness and the consequent adoption of sustainability actions will, in the medium and long-term, guarantee a planet with good conditions for the existence and development of the most diverse life forms, including human life.
Understand the Three Pillars of Sustainability
The Three Pillars
Currently, this idea is divided into three main pillars: social, economic and environmental. In order to develop in a sustainable way, a company must act in such a way that these three pillars coexist and interact with each other in a fully harmonious way.
Let us then understand a little more of each of these pillars?
It is all human capital that is, directly or indirectly, related to the activities carried out by a company. This includes, in addition to your employees, your target audience, your suppliers, the community to your surroundings, and society in general.
Developing socially sustainable actions goes beyond, for example, giving vacations and benefits to employees. An environment should be provided that encourages the creation of legitimate and healthy working relationships, as well as favoring the personal and collective development of those directly or indirectly involved.
For a company to be economically sustainable, it must be able to produce, distribute and offer its products or services in a way that establishes a fair competitive relationship with other competitors in the market.
In addition, their economic development should not exist at the expense of an imbalance in the ecosystems around them. If a company profits by exploiting the poor working conditions of employees or the degradation of the environment around it, for example, it is definitely not having a sustainable economic development, since there is no harmony in established relationships.
Lastly, environmentally sound sustainable development refers to all pipelines that have, directly or indirectly, some impact on the environment, whether in the short, medium or long term.
It is common to see companies adopting mitigating measures, such as promoting actions to plant trees after the emission of polluting gases, as if one thing compensates the other.
Sustainable development seeks, first and foremost, to minimize the environmental impacts caused by industrial production. It that’s not the goal, we’re probably talking a lot more about marketing strategies than about sustainability.
Part of the whole
It is worth mentioning once again that sustainability needs planning, monitoring, and evaluation of results, since its three pillars must be aligned with the objectives of the company, and cannot be defined based on punctual or simply compensatory actions.
Sustainable development is a path taken on a daily basis with mutual respect and awareness that all businesses, communities, people and other beings are integral parts of a single ecosystem. Thus, in order for there to be balanced, each part must take into consideration the whole understanding that is is only a small part of an infinitely larger universe, but that it can be affected by its actions.