What is Sustainability?
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Report, 1987)
Traditional definitions of sustainability have discussed the ability for planet Earth to withstand and adapt to change whilst remaining diverse and productive. However, we have arguably entered a time whereby the planet is largely altered by human beings. So, definitions of sustainability have shifted to recognise the interconnectedness and importance of bettering social, economic and environmental outcomes. This may involve anything from being more energy efficient to improving fair trade initiatives, from increasing environmental education access to reducing carbon emissions. Sustainability comes in many forms, but ultimately determines the simultaneous development of both humans and the environment.
Although achieving increased levels of global sustainability is undeniably important, this would not be possible without locally-based sustainability initiatives which encourage and enable both social and environmental development through participation and engagement.
Sustainability has reached a crucial crossroad, and ensuring humans live on a safe, fair planet whilst maintaining planetary health has never been more relevant. The model below shows the intricacies of maintaining a ‘safe and just space for humanity’, proposed within ‘The Doughnut’ by Kate Raworth.
For a more detailed explanation of how ‘The Doughnut’ works, watch the video below.
WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator
Use this WWF calculator to see how many planets’ worth of carbon you’re using in your day-to-day life! This calculator is great for highlighting your carbon footprint against the 2020 governmental targets, giving you a breakdown of the more carbon-intensive aspects of your life. WWF provides you with useful, personalised tips to help you lower your CO2 emissions according to your results!
Click here to calculate your CO2 footprint
BBC Dietary Carbon Calculator
Ever wondered how your diet impacts on the planet? This nifty BBC carbon calculator will tell you how the growth, production and transportation of individual foods impact the planet and how other foods compare (from equivalent energy examples to water usage)!
Intrigued? Click here to find out more!
Reuse Network Donations Calculator
Reuse Network are a charity accepting household item donations in an effort to reduce poverty, cut waste and tackle social exclusion. Reuse will calculate how your specific donations will reduce poverty, how much money will be saved by the recipients, and the CO2 reductions associated with reusing furniture and appliances as opposed to buying them brand new!
Find out how your donations could help people and planet here.