What is Sustainability?

I bet you have some idea about what sustainability is, but understandably, it can be a rather confusing concept. So let’s provide an introduction and explain why we, at KindGoods, put the “kind” in sustainability.

Quiz time:

Is sustainability about…

  1. Recycling more and using less water?
  2. Saving the polar bears from melting ice caps?
  3. Ethically sourcing materials?
  4. Recruiting employees with different backgrounds?
  5. All of the above?

Yup, you guessed it, the answer is e. But there’s a little more to it…

Sometime in the 80s the United Nations met and issued a precedent for sustainability, also known as sustainable development, defining it as meeting present needs while ensuring future needs aren’t compromised. Simply put, we need to make sure we aren’t using all of the resources we have today, so there’s enough left for future generations.

No problem, right? Well, just a little more…

Are you tired of seeing the word sustainability? Or eco, green, social responsibility, etc? Well, hang in there because they do have a purpose. And while some want to exploit these trends for deceptive marketing purposes, known as greenwashing, many are embracing the change. Sustainability as a concept has many parts, so to make it easier, let’s break it down three ways: Environmental, social and economic.

Environmental Sustainability: maintaining a balance of the planet’s natural resources where consumption does not override production. This can be achieved through long-term ecological diversification and production.

Social Sustainability: maintaining and ensuring that people across the planet have access to resources and support systems that will help them thrive in society.

Economic Sustainability: maintaining a balance of economic productivity that’s accessible to communities across the planet.

While each part has its own definition, the whole of sustainability won’t work unless they are all working together. It’s like individual cogs in a machine, if just one of them isn’t lined up correctly, the machines fails to work. To make things even more interesting, let’s throw in individual citizens, big corporations, small businesses, governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and tell them to all pitch in to make sure each cog is working to power this big machine we call planet Earth. Okay, so that might sound like the start of a bad joke. But really, this is the condensed version of sustainability.

Sustainability is a process, and to drag out the cog and machine metaphor…

Our cog would be labeled “kind”. The KindGoods team is backed by the same team behind Conversio (plus a little outside help) and we know what it’s like to be a small business, hooked in to an international audience, and overwhelmed by change. That’s why we encourage small steps where small actions can end up making a big impact. Being kind is the perfect first step.