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Why we need to be Sustainable

Sustainability can be defined through the 3 pillars approach:



People & Society

Why we need to be SustainableAll 3 must be considered for sustainability to be achieved.

Sustainability has been broadly applied to characterise improvements in areas like:

  • Natural resource overexploitation
  • Energy use and Pollution
  • Consumption on products
  • The direction of investments
  • Our lifestyles
  • Consumer purchasing behaviours
  • Technological developments
  • Business/institutional changes

The definition of sustainable development is:

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising hr ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Being able to meet our needs today while ensuring that what we leave behind for future generations is sustainable, for people and the planet.

Each business should have sustainable development goals and they could include:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Decent and economic growth
  • Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace, justice, and strong institutions.
  • Partnerships for the goals

We have many global risks, and they include infectious diseases, climate action failure, weapons of mass destruction, biodiversity loss, natural resource crises, war, human environmental damage and livelihood crisis.

Key mega trends relate to a wider variety of large scale environmental, social and economic changes, varying across the globe. Trends such as climate change, population change, terrorism, big data, immigration etc.

Al affect all of society, however, some trends are directly related to the status of the economic development such as big data and cybersecurity.

  • Increasing prosperity
  • Urbanisation
  • Technology
  • Increase impact and risk from climate and biodiversity crisis.

Currently the global human population is growing at 113% per year, which results in an average population increase of 80 million per year.

Globalisation has resulted in the growth of middle classes, resulting in improved quality of life, a lot The global middle classes are estimated to grown from 2 billion to 4.5 billion by 2030.

With an estimated population of more than 8 billion by 2030, we will need 50% more energy, 40% more water and 34% more food.

Many of the resources we use are non-renewable or finite e.g., fossil fuels. Research suggests that reserves of oil; and gas will have diminished by 2042.

One solution to scarcity is the recycling and recovery of materials. Electrical and electronic items contain a variety of metals which are valuable and finite including tin, copper and rare earth elements. The number of electrical items globally is expanding rapidly due to economic growth plus many of them from computers to refrigerators.

Global warming and the climate crisis

Climate change is a complex science and causes much confusion.

The greenhouse effect – is the heating of the surface of the earth due to the presence of an atmosphere containing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide, and radiation. Human activity is exacerbating the effect, causing global warning by increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Global warming – is the process by which the average surface temperature of the earth increases. This is caused by an increase in th4 amount of greenhouses gases in our atmosphere.

Climate change – is a change in the long-term distribution and severity of weather pattens caused by changes in global temperature lot of the worlds waste is subject to export to locations where these controls are not in place and recycling processes cause contamination of soil and water with heavy metals.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life.

Biological diversity means of variability among living organisms for more sources, including interalia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are a part. This includes diversity within species between species and of the ecosystems.

Are three principal types of biodiversity, all of which are vital for human and the natural environment.

What is an ecosystem?

The interactions between plants, animals and the environment in which they co-exist and fundamental to human existence. The balance of species in an ecosystem depends on the natural features of the environment’s such as the nutrient status, climatic conditions, water, and light, as well as the relationship with other organism including predators and agents of disease.

Types of pollution

There are so many types of pollution that can affect us and our businesses, I have listed a few here. I will cover this topic in more detail in a future blog.

  • Air pollution
  • water pollution
  • noise pollution
  • odour pollution
  • chemical pollution
Controls on pollution
  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Management and technical controls

ISO 14001 is one of the environmental management systems that is available for measuring and improving your environmental performance.