No single blueprint of environmental sustainability exists, as economies, social systems, cultures and ecological conditions differ widely among countries and from person to person.

However, within a range of available definitions everyone can find a framework to work towards improving the environmental sustainability of our world.

An early definition of sustainability by The Brundtland Commission in 1987.

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The Oxford dictionary definition is:

“The property of being environmentally sustainable: the degree to which a process or enterprise is able to be maintained or continued while avoiding the long-term depletion of natural resources.”

A number of other definitions are given in Patrick Longfield’s blog post on Sustainability >>


Perhaps you are interested to work out how environmentally sustainable your project is ?  This could be whilst planning, whilst the project is in action, or following implementation ?  A second paper discusses a proposed 4 principles (simplified below) and concludes with a number of pertinent questions to check the sustainability of any project.

Does it:

  • reduce extractions from the earth’s crust;
  • reduce concentrations of substances produced by society;
  • reduce the degradation of nature; or does it
  • undermine capacity to meet basic needs

Read more in John Green’s blog post on the 4 Principles >>


PDF Articles:  Sustainability’and Environmental Sustainability 4 Principles