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Back to Basics: What is Sustainability?

By: Sabrina Clarke

· Sustainability,Strategy


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Before continuing my Social and Economic Sustainability focus, resetting and getting back to basics is essential. So, let me lay a foundation.

What is sustainability?

In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Following this, The Sustainable Development Goals were designed and provide a framework for how lives could be improved and how the man-made effects of climate change should be mitigated while driving innovation, equity and community. The goals form three pillars: environment, social and economic sustainability.

Sustainability in business takes the UN's foundational definition and applies it specifically to the business and investing context. Hence, Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) also being developed as a tool for good and business.

All of these terms are not the same and come together in concert to drive sustainability. This, of course, is a very brief overview, you can refer to your friend Google if you'd like to learn more.

My niche is Social and Economic sustainability with a focus on the supply chain.

I am launching Build Global Updates, where I share thought leadership and insights that challenge the status and forecast the future of crucial Social and Economic Sustainability issues. The spaces will be intentionally limited, Chatham House rule and will not be recorded given the subject matter.

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I will share more information about the event soon; in the meantime, sign up.