Sustainability & Sustainable Development

"Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm, It’s about doing more good."

-Jochen Zeitz

One might ask, what is the difference between sustainable development and sustainability? Sustainability is often thought of as a long-term goal (i.e. a more sustainable world), while sustainable development refers to the many processes and pathways to achieve it (e.g. sustainable agriculture and forestry, sustainable production and consumption, good government, research and technology transfer, education and training, etc.)

There are four dimensions to sustainable development

  • Society
  • Environment
  • Culture
  • Economy
which are intertwined, not separate. Sustainability is a paradigm for thinking about the future in which environmental, societal and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of an improved quality of life. For example, a prosperous society relies on a healthy environment to provide food and resources, safe drinking water and clean air for its citizens.

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

-Bruntland Commission Report (1987)

Sustainability for Better Lives & Future

Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, the new Agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.

The SDGs also explicitly include disability and persons with disabilities 11 times. Disability is referenced in multiple parts of the SDGs, specifically in the parts related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and the monitoring of the SDGs.

The year 2016 was the first year of the implementation of the SDGs. These goals upto 2030 will work to promote the mainstreaming of disability and the implementation of the SDGs throughout its 15-year lifespan with objectives to:

  • The concept of sustainable development was described by the 1987 Bruntland Commission Report as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
  • Raise awareness of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs for persons with disabilities;
  • Promote an active dialogue among stakeholders on the SDGs with a view to create a better world for persons with disabilities; and
  • Establish an ongoing live web resource on each SDG and disability.

The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world are described in proceeding below.

No Poverty

No Hunger

Good Health & Well Being

Quality Education

Gender Equality

Clean Water & Sanitation

Affordable & Renewable Energy

Good Jobs & Economic Growth

Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

Reduced Inequalities

Sustainable Sites & Communities

Responsibble Consumption

Climate Action

Life Below Water

Life on Land

Peace & Justice

Partnerships For the Goal