Generally speaking, sustainability is the continuing and ongoing endurance of a system or process. Various definitions and descriptions refer to sustainability or sustainable development, but overall, four main sectors are associated and interconnected – these include ecology, economics, politics, and culture. Today, sustainable development is focused on the idea that while we satisfy our present-day needs, we need to ensure that future generations will be able to satisfy their needs.
Many progressive companies, in all sectors of the economy, are becoming more and more sensitive to creating what we now call a “sustainable society”. In tandem with established non-profit groups, these forward-thinking companies are dedicated to sustainability principles. But more importantly, they practice those principles when making corporate and business decisions. The principles are straightforward – it’s the commitment and guarantee of continuity that makes the real difference.
Sustainability principles dictate that society shouldn’t be exposed to the continuous and increasing utilization of the earth’s natural resources, like fossil fuels and heavy metals. As well, a commitment to reducing usage of man-made substances, like VOCs, CFCs, and dioxins. And finally, putting a stop to the constant degradation of the natural environment. The truth is, every individual must address the challenges, and everyone must participate, not just the members of business and industry.
For those who concur, we are currently living life beyond the earth’s capacity to deliver. The results are quite evident: our resources are diminishing; our eco-systems are rundown; and our collective waste is overwhelming the air, land and water. And while we have created many viable solutions, we need to do much more. Essentially, we all need to transform the way we work, live, and play. As many of the experts in the field remind us – doing what we’re doing is just not sustainable.
Sustainability affects everyone, and it’s therefore everyone’s responsibility to be active. Natural resources are at the root of everything, and our personal choices about buying, using, and throwing away affect nature directly. That means that as consumers we can influence change through our daily actions, choices and decisions. In practical terms, it means that we should choose companies, products and services that are committed to a safe, secure and healthy environment.
As consumers, we should be supportive of companies and businesses committed to sustainability principles. These are business people who recognize the importance of the environment, and who care about the air we breathe and the water we drink. As well, they are businesses that offer products and services that typify these values. And when companies carry on business in this fashion, everyone wins – the consumer, the employees, and the community at large.
Companies that talk the talk, should also walk the walk – they will substantiate their commitment to sustainability in their operations and in the way they provide for their customers. They will focus their efforts on renewable resources; carbon-neutral transportation; reducing emissions; and waste management that is responsible. The companies who have proven their commitment and intent are worthy of continued customer loyalty.