3 Pillars of Sustainability
We often associate sustainability with the protection of the environment but sustainability cannot be achieved in isolation,but is rather the combined development of three factors. Just like all components of an ecosystem are interdependent, in the same way true sustainability can only be achieved by paying equal attention to its three facets. Sustainability itself refers to systematic development of all aspects of life and hence its determinants also come from all these facets. Society, economy and the environment are three facets of development that need to be considered when targeting the goal of sustainability. The basic requirement of the concept is to ensure the productive harmony of nature and man to fulfil social and economic requirements for the present and future generations.
The first Pillar - The environment
It is the first thing(and usually the only element) that people associate with sustainability and yes it is one of the pillars of sustainability. Considerations like the air and water quality, resource integrity, ecosystem preservation are facets of this pillar of sustainability. So when institutions and organizations talk about achieving carbon negativity and going net zero, they allude to this pillar of sustainability. The environment pillar includes the biosphere all living things reside in and hence to some measure it is one of the most important pillars when we talk about sustainability. Changes in the environment have a cascading effect that can be felt by every living being in the biosphere. Some representations of the three pillars of sustainability might define environment as the broader term which includes within its ambit the pillars of economy and society. And even though it is the vastest pillar of sustainability it is the most vulnerable at our current state, and its detrimental condition is felt by all living things, more profoundly by the disadvantaged people and animals.
The second Pillar- The Society
The concept of sustainability exists for the future of the society, to ensure that all development is aligned with the goal of preservation of the society’s future. The road to achieving the goal of a sustainable community one must always consider the social pillar of sustainability. This pillar emphasizes the need to balance the needs of the individual with that of the group. Concentrating on this pillar can ensure that people all around the globe lead better lives. The main areas of concern for this pillar include increasing the quotient of quality of life, human health, environmental justice and others. The outbreak of war, social injustice, widespread poverty not only push back the impending environmental concerns but also worsens the existing problems. By enabling communities with the necessary resources to take positive action to secure their futures is essential. Information and knowledge are essential to bringing more comprehension and investment in sustainability. The promotion of sustainable communities through alteration and advancement of existing societal constructs is the key to achieving sustainability.
The third Pillar- The Economy
The economy requires special focus in association with sustainability because several issues that plague our lives and futures are the creation of the modern economy. Mindless consumption of limited economic resources to fuel economic development has disregarded the needs of the planet and has in turn put our futures in jeopardy. Targeting this pillar is essential to ensure sustainable development as it provides the right people with the needed resources to drive a positive change. Providing solutions that are beneficial to the economy as well the environment is essential for establishing a regime that favours economic sustainability over plain profits.
While it might be said that all the pillars are capable of driving positive change in their own regards, development in tandem with the others promotes a more holistic approach to sustainability. The future of the planet relies on sustainable development and everyone must do their part to contribute towards this shared goal.
Sources & References