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What does sustainability mean to you?

How do we define sustainability? In this article we discuss the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and create a clear definition of sustainability.
United Nations Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals
© International Culinary Studio

Defining sustainable development

The Oxford Dictionary defines Sustainable Development as:

“Economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.”

The concept of sustainable development was described by the 1987 Bruntland Commission Report and adopted by the United Nations as:

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

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Understanding the 17 Sustainable Development Goals enables us to unpack the definition and understand the fundamental concepts of sustainable development. You can download the App getting news on your favorite goals, what you can do to achieve them, create your events and invite others to join you in sustainable actions and events.

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Have you been a part of any sustainability events? What type of events interest you? Does your company or community have any events that you could join?

So, what is sustainable development?

Sustainable development calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future for people and the planet.

To achieve sustainable development, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected, and all are vital for the well-being of individuals and societies.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. Promoting sustainable development, inclusive and equitable economic growth and creating greater opportunities for all is a prerequisite for reducing inequalities, raising basic living standards, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems. Source: United Nations

If you are hungry, would you care about sustainable development?

Homeless Jim

So why is it important to see these three core elements as interconnected? Imagine Jim, the street dweller who lost his job. He doesn’t have a place to live, he has no income and has had to resort to begging for food or scratching in dirt bins to survive. Do you think Jim is worried about sustainable development, not littering, for example? Most likely not, would he not be more concerned about his safety and survival?

As a business owner, you buy locally, contributing to the local economy, you hire Jim. With a job, he can find somewhere to live and can buy food. He is much more likely look after the environment.

What does sustainability mean to you?

When we define sustainability, we are not talking about saving planet earth; it will always exist. So, what do we mean? What are we concerned about when we talk about sustainability? Who and what are we trying to protect and why? Please create your own definition of sustainability and share it with us.

© International Culinary Studio
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Introduction to Sustainable Practices in Food Service

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