Types of Sustainability


Sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain status or process in existing systems. The most frequent use of the term “sustainability” is connected to biological or human systems in the context of ecology. The ability of an ecosystem to function and maintain productivity for a prolonged period is also sustainability.

Living a sustainable lifestyle is one way to help. In this series pages we will go into what sustainability has to with ecology, recycling, water, and more. We will also reveal what some companies (like Petsmart and Disney) are doing to make a difference by operating their businesses in a sustainable way.


Breaking Down the 4 Types

The four types of sustainability include human, economic, social, and environmental. All four are required to maintain the entirety of life on Earth. Although interconnected, it is important to note the differences of each in terms of its nature and requirements.

Types of Sustainability / Human

The very basic need of human sustainability is good reproductive health and safe childbearing. Those that reproduce have the responsibility of caring for their children, giving them access to proper education, and promoting their health and wellness. At some point, the children should have enough skills and knowledge such that they can sustain their own way of life. It is at that point that they become considered as productive human capital as well as individuals that can go through the process of reproduction and rearing. As long as this process is maintained at a rate that all human systems can support, human sustainability should be no cause for concern.

Types of Sustainability / Economic

In simple terms, economic sustainability is having a set amount of capital for a certain period. Those who consume that capital must also conserve it so that they will continue to enjoy it towards the end of the specified period. This means that we must preserve all our resources as we consume them so that human beings in the future can enjoy them as well. To achieve this, we must regenerate our resources at a rate that is equal to or faster than our consumption.

Types of Sustainability / Social

Social capital is an important aspect of sustainability because it is through communities and civil societies that humankind can easily and inexpensively work together. Without proper levels of social capital, it can easily deplete and violence as well as mistrust can take over. When that happens, societies and everything else that depends on them will be destroyed. Through proper maintenance of and adherence to laws, rules, and values that societies have developed for the common good, social sustainability can be achieved.

Types of Sustainability / Environmental

Environmental sustainability is important because it involves natural resources that human beings need for economic or manufactured capital. Materials taken from nature are used for solutions that address human needs. If nature is depleted faster than it can regenerate, human beings will be left without raw materials.

Furthermore, environmental sustainability also involves ensuring that waste emissions are at volumes that nature can handle. If not, all humans and other living things on Earth can be harmed to the point of extinction.

All four types exist within each other’s realms. We, as humans, are considered individually as private goods whose value is defined by our level of health, skills, knowledge, education, and leadership. We exist within the economy as economies exist entirely within societies.

Societies, in turn, exist totally within the realm of the environment. Considering this, we need to make sure that we manage all aspects of human life within economies and societies in a manner that will not destroy the environment that everything on Earth is dependent on.

Sources

http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/
http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm#sustainability
pdf: www.balticuniv.uu.se/…/610-sustainability-human-social-economic-and-environmental

Thank you for visiting the Types of Sustainability page. For more information on sustainability follow these links:

Why is Sustainability Important

Definition of Sustainability

Sustainability Tips

Recycling Sustainability

Green Sustainability

Natural Resource Sustainability

Living Sustainability

Ecology Sustainability

Sustainability Agroforestry

Water Movement Sustainability

Water Sustainability in Australia

More on Water Sustainability in Australia

Disney Sustainability

Petsmart Sustainability

Wisconsin Sustainability

What is Meant by Sustainability

Definition For Sustainability

Sustainability Questions

Sustainability Ideas

Return From Types of Sustainability to the Benefits of Recycling home page.