What is Sustainability? 

Sustainability is…

 “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 focus on how the planet can withstand and adapt to change. However, we have arguably entered a time when the planet is largely altered by human activity. Newer definitions of sustainability recognise the importance of social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Outcomes for sustainability may include:

  • being more energy efficient
  • improving fair trade initiatives
  • improving access to environmental education
  • reducing carbon emissions.

There are many ways to think about sustainability,  but it ultimately involves both humans and their environment.

 We can only achieve global sustainability through local initiatives. These enable social and environmental development by encouraging community participation and engagement.

 It is time now to ensure that we can live in a safe and fair society, whilst maintaining planetary health. 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. 



Carbon Calculators

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 highlights your carbon footprint against the 2020 governmental targets. It gives 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 calculator will tell you how the growth, production and transportation of different foods impact the planet. It will also show you a comparison with other foods (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 to help reduce poverty, cut waste and tackle social exclusion. Reuse will calculate how your donations will reduce poverty, how much money will be saved, and the CO2 reductions!

Find out how your donations could help people and planet here.