What is Sustainability? The most recognised and understood definition of Sustainability is the one created by the Brundtlandt Commision, defining sustainability as the development that meets the needs of people today without affecting the needs of future generations (WCED 1987). Sustainability is broken down into three main aspects, Environmental, Social and Economic. Although this is the most widely understood definition of sustainability, it can be too generic, therefore making it difficult for organisations to derive guidelines from (Carter and Rogers 2008). Environmental Sustainability stands for the ideology that human activities are not allowed to degrade or erode the Earth’s land, air and water (Bansal 2005). Some ecosystems are not replenishable and therefore any devastation to it must come to a halt.
Social sustainability stands for the ideology that all members of society are granted equal access to resources and opportunities (WCED 1987). With regards to organisations, this means that social issues have to be addressed in their supply chain, such as doing business unethically or dealing with unethical business partners, producing undesirable products that may harm people or even resorting to child labour (Huisingh 2008). With Economic sustainability, a good quality of life can be achieved through the organisations’ production capabilities and the individuals of the society.
Economic sustainability states that an organisation needs to make a profit to ensure its survivability in the future. When economic sustainability The total environmental impact of a community or of mankind as a whole is dependant on both population and impact per person, which in turn depends on what resources are being used and whether or not those resources are renewable, and the extent of human activity relating to the carrying capacity of the ecosystems. By achieving sustainability, environmental footprints can be reduced and the worlds natural resources preserved....
References: 1. World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). 1987. Our common future (The Brundtland Report). Oxford University Press for UN WCED: Oxford.
2. Queensland Government – Department of Environment and Resource Management. 2012. http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/environmental_management/sustainability/index.html
3. Schein, E.H. 1990. Organisational culture. American Psychological Association, 45 (2): page 109-119.
4. Bansal, P. 2005. Evolving sustainability: a longitudinal study of corporate sustainable development. Strategic Management Journal, 26: page 197-218.
5. Carter, C.R., Rogers, D.S. 2008. A framework of sustainable supply chain management: moving toward new theory. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 38(5): page 360-387.
6. Huisingh, D. 2008. Sustainability and supply chain management – An introduction to the special issue. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16: page 1545-1551.
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