Sustainable DEvelopment: The Key for Future Generations

Sustainable Development The key for future generations Definition Although there are many definitions about what sustainable development (SD) is, the most widely accepted one, is the one stated by the Borderland Commission in their report ‘Our Common Future’ (also known as the Borderland Report). “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ” (Borderland Commission, 1987) Within this definition, SD exists out of two key concepts.

First the concept of ‘needs’, in reticular the essential needs of the world’s poorest people, to which should be given first priority and secondly, the limitation of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet both present and future needs. The central idea of the Borderland Commission’s definition is that of the equity between all generations: the needs are basic and essential and economic growth will facilitate their fulfillment, where equity is encouraged by the effective participation of the citizens. Borderland Commission, 1987) Pillars SD is about continuous development, without significantly damaging the environment ND exhausting natural sources where human beings depend on. It should preserve the environment to meet the needs not only in the near future, but also for our next generations. SD depends on three main pillars: the economic growth (profit) , the environmental protection (planet) and social equality (people). Profit Within the framework of SD, profit is seen as the real economic benefit relished by the host society.

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It is about the economic impact an organization has on its environment and therefore not limited to the internal profit. Planet This pillar is about sustainable environment practices. An organization should not harm its environment and should try to benefit the natural order as much as possible. It is important that the organization tries to reduce its ecological and carbon footprint. The ecological footprint represents the human impact on earth. It is a measure AT mean Tort natural goods Tanat malign De In contrast Walt ten planers ecological capacity to regenerate.

It stands for the amount of biologically productive sea and land areas to supply the resources all civilians consume and the waste associated with it, that needs to be absorbed. (Nonfat, n. D. ) According to Weidman ND Minx (2008), a carbon footprint stands for ћa certain amount of gaseous emissions that are relevant to climate change and associated with human production or consumption activities. ” People The focus within this pillar lies on the social well-being of all civilians. An organization should execute fair and beneficial business practices towards labor, community and region in which the organization is situated and operating.

The Triple Bottom Line If we want our future generations to have the opportunity to use the resources we have today, we need to change things drastically. We want our economy (profit) to grow and create social equality between civilians (people), but this should not take place at the expense of our environment (planet). Sustainability is therefore all about balancing economic growth and social needs with the natural environment. Open Sustainability, 2012 Coca Cola To explain the link between the three main pillars in a more practical way, we will have a look at one of the world’s best known companies: Coca Cola.

Sustainability is in the eyes of the CEO Mutter Kent a business imperative: ћOur company can only be s healthy as the people and the communities we strive to refresh. If we are to achieve our 2020 Vision goal of doubling system revenue and servings over the course of this decade, we will need to grow in a way that continues to enrich the world around us. ” Some of Coca Cola’s initiatives; Water stewardship The company is trying to reduce the amount of water per liter of product, even if they increase the production volume.

They also recycle wastewater, which sometimes returns even cleaner than they found it. Around 23 percent of the water used in the finished beverages are replenished or being offset. Energy efficiency and climate protection Coca Cola wants to grow its business, but does not want to grow its system wide carbon emission in manufacturing operations. To cut on the emission of carbon, Coca Cola developed among others a ten high-return, low-risk energy best practices for bottling partners and a new combined heat and power plant went online.

The system reduced already two percent of their carbon emission. Workplace and human rights Humanely Tort coca cola’s corporate culture Ana Imperative Tort a sustainable business is respecting human rights and the protection of the workplace for employees. Therefore the company does everything to make sure that all people are treated with dignity and respect. ћWe expect our Company, our bottling partners and our suppliers to avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts as a result of business actions, and to address such impacts when they occur. Sustainable packaging Coca Cola is constantly looking for new ways to make their packaging more sustainable. They are working towards a vision called ‘zero waste’. To advance this vision, Coca Cola designs consumer-preferred, resource-efficient packaging, eliminate asset to landfills and are using recycled and/or renewable materials. Corporate giving The company understands that they are part of a community when operating in different cities, towns and villages all over the world. They feel that they are a responsible member of these communities and like in all communities, being a responsible member means giving.

Via their Coca Cola foundation they give back money, time and unique expertise. As seen in the sustainable initiatives above, The Coca Cola Company is balancing ‘people’ and ‘planet’ to grow their ‘profit’. They are e. G. Reducing and recycling water o sustain the environment, but Coca Cola also respects human rights and provides a safe workplace in order to sustain social well-being and equality. Together they serve for economic growth for the company in a sustainable way. My Sustainability If everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need, according to my ecological footprint, 2. 1 Earths. Since we only have one earth, I need to reduce my ecological footprint in order to sustain the resources of the earth. Carbon Footprint Since I live in Bread I do not own a car anymore, as everything I need is within biking distance. I never take the bus when I can do it by bike as well and only use public transport if I need to cover a greater distance. I do love to travel intercontinental and although traveling by airplane creates a large carbon emission, there is no alternative which is more environment friendly.

Something I never do is unplugging electronics when not in use and I also do not defrost my refrigerator/freezer, both too much hassle. Something positive: I did choose for green electricity instead of the grey variant. Food Footprint When buying my groceries, I do not specifically buy local, organic or in-season food an I always snoop It at one store (no Tatters market etc. ). Packaging Is also something I do not look at and although I wish I could grow a veggie garden, I do not have the space for it.

The positive side is that I am not a meat fan, so my greenhouse gas emission will be lower. Housing Footprint In my apartment, I do not make use of a solar system or a rainwater catchments, they are either too expensive or not convenient enough. At the moment I save water with my low flow toilet, but not with a low flow shower. Since a few months I only wet my hair in the morning instead of taking a ‘complete’ shower, which saves water. I also do not run my washing machine if it is not full, because this costs too much water and energy.

When I leave my apartment, I turn off the heating as well. But when I bought my furnishings, I bought everything new and did not pay attention to sustainability, nor do I do this when purchasing cleaning products. Goods & Services Footprint Buying new goods and services is something I do not do when it is not necessary, but when I buy new goods, I do not pay specific attention on the sustainability of a product. This counts for everything from electronics to clothes. Neither do I really cycle my waste, since everything goes into one bin, except for carton.

Reason: it is easier than having to separate everything. Composting food waste in my garden is not an option, since there is no space for it. Looking at the graph and my explanation regarding the different footprints, I could easily reduce my ecological footprint by paying more attention to sustainability. Especially on my Food Footprint, by e. G. Buying more at local, organic and in-season food. My personal ecological footprint opened my eyes and I will definitely look more at the sustainability in my way of living from now on! Reticence Borderland Commission, 1987.