Most often when we hear “sustainability”, we quickly cast our mind to environmental protection. However, it is important to know that whatever our thoughts are, the environment is not the only principle of sustainability. It is just one of the three pillars of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
Achieving a world where the quality of life is standard would entail that these three pillars are solid.
This article is going to explore how these pillars work together to create an environment where humans can thrive
Pillar 1: The Environment
This is the largest pillar of the three. It deals with the planet we live on and is therefore prioritized. The environmental pillar ensures that we are living within the means of our natural resources, and within it, are located the social and economic pillars.
However, one of the biggest difficulties in achieving sustainable living can be traced to the environmental pillar. This is because a lower loading capacity of an environment can lower the welfare of the people (society) leading to a low economic output.
Some variables that are considered in environmental pillars include renewable and non-renewable resources, environmental pollution
Pillar 2: Society
The societal pillar aims at the social well-being of a community, country, or organization. It ensures that the social wellbeing of individuals living within a community is being maintained for a long term.
To achieve this, there has to be a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group. The societal pillar ensures we focus on issues like education, gender equality, human health, and sustainable communities. Solving the above issues will go a long way in ensuring that humans live healthily while on earth with all they need to survive.
Pillar 3: The Economy
This refers to the aspect of sustainability that deals with the ability of an economy to sustain a certain level of economic output infinitely.
This pillar looks into the areas of job creation, costs of sustainability efforts in businesses, government rewards for sustainable practices, and market practices that encourage environmental health and social prosperity.
A slack in this pillar often results in suspension of efforts on the environmental pillar. For instance, when a country faces economic challenges, the government shifts its priorities to solving the economic issues, hence withdrawing its attention from the environment.
However, with the increase in environmental awareness, individuals are being educated and solutions that will bring about a safe environment are beginning to emerge.
Businesses are now working towards the reduction of waste and the use of more recycled products. Companies are emerging with innovative technologies that have been providing job opportunities while also building the nation’s economy.
The Future sustainability of our planet depends on all of us ranging from the government down to the citizens. Let us do our part in ensuring that the quality of life on earth is sustained