The Sustainability Initiative

Sustainability is a societal ideal and criterion for development which resembles other widely accepted but conceptually challenging human goals, such as justice and freedom. Because scientific understandings of how nature functions change over time, and because value judgments are involved, it is impossible to define precise conditions for sustainability once and for all. Nonetheless, it is possible to discern its general orientations, which include pursuing economic prosperity while living within the carrying capacity of ecosystems and achieving social equity.

All organizations from each of the private, public, and pluralistic sectors have important roles to play, not the least of which is attending to the environmental impacts of their decisions and actively seeking to minimize harms or even improve ecosystem functioning.