International Institute for Sustainable Development –
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
- the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
- the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”
I found this quote while researching several major companies which operate in the area of sustainability. I like the quote as it perfectly sums up the ideal of sustainable practice, the ability to continue progressing socially and meeting people’s needs, while limiting consumption to a level that would allow the environment to replace what we take from it. This would result in an uninterrupted equilibrium allowing us to prosper in the present and future.
After further research, I found that this quote was borrowed from the Brundtland Commission. Formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), the mission of Brundtland Commission was to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together. The Chairperson of the Commission, Gro Harlem Brundtland, was appointed in December 1983. At the time, the UN General Assembly realized that there was a heavy deterioration of the human environment and natural resources. To rally countries to work and pursue sustainable development together, the UN decided to establish the Brundtland Commission. Gro Harlem Brundtland was the former Prime Minister of Norway and was chosen due to her strong background in the sciences and public health. The Brundtland Commission officially dissolved in December 1987 after releasing Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, in October 1987, a document which coined, and defined the meaning of the term “Sustainable Development”.