What is Sustainability

What is sustainability?  According to MIT Sloan Management Review, sustainability is “…the idea that systems…need to be regenerative and balanced in order to last.”  In essence, the world has a fixed amount of resources, so in order for “us” to thrive, we need to find ways to either extend our resources or at least conserve it.  Though readily politicized, sustainability is an issue that affects many.  Whether one’s interest in sustainability revolves around the need to conserve, the need to scientifically innovate, or even encourage economic factors, sustainability can bring people together.

Did you know?

  • In 2010, the U.S. used about 71 million tons of paper & paperboard.  If we could recycle just half of this paper, we would save over 600 million new trees  from being cut down and another 248 billion gallons of water from being used.
  • The state of Florida, according to a 2002 report, hosted nearly 3,700 recycling and reuse establishments, employing approximately 32,000 people, generating an annual payroll of $765 million and netting $4.4 billion in annual revenues.
  • China is not a country that comes to mind when it comes to sustainability.  But it should.  Due to extreme deforestation in the northern front of China, many of their cities on the northern part of this country experiences extreme sandstorms.  In 2006 specifically, winds dumped almost 300,000 tons of sand in one of its major cities stifling economic productivity.  To improve its environment, China has also banned logging in natural forests, started a ten-billion-dollar reforestation project, and announced plans to invest a billion dollars a year over 30 years to expand protected areas [Source:  National Geographic].