The developments of the past decades have made it clear that the potential of our long-term viability on this planet has to do with our maintenance of our planet, its natural resources and the people that live in it.
However, as the world’s population has increased and continuously relied on the earth’s natural resources, its “capital” – meaning natural ecosystems and creatures – has declined. Our world has reached the point that we're using up and destroying the earth's resources faster than they can be regenerated. Therefore it seems inevitable that we have to change the way we live, consume and conduct business on this planet.
The three pillars of sustainability are social, environmental and economic sustainability – also referred to as the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Among these pillars, environmental sustainability is considered most important. If environmental sustainability is not maintained, then no matter how hard we try the other pillars cannot grow strong because they are dependent on the greater system that encompasses them: the environment.
Sustainability as a concept for responsible business management is more than green, and more than corporate social responsibility (CSR). It refers to integrated processes, the identification and management of key environmental, social and economic risks and opportunities to develop responsible and innovative solutions that will create value and help preserve the future.