What is sustainability?
Sustainability has come to mean a lot of things to a lot of people. So how do we at Two Tomorrows define it?
It has been said that only a madman or an economist would predict unconstrained growth in a world with finite resources. The reality, of course, is that depleting resources and cumulative damage from pollution mean there is a limit to the world’s ability to sustain a growing population.
The oft-quoted definition of sustainability – living successfully in the present without compromising our ability to do so in the future – remains a distant dream while so many people live in poverty. The inequalities are growing. Billions of people still go without adequate food, clean water and basic healthcare, let alone ‘disposable income’. This poverty gap fuels resource conflicts and is, in all probability, a major contributor to international terrorism.
As the standard of living and extent of resource consumption grows in countries with very large populations such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, there is a danger that any efforts to reduce the social and environmental consequences of lifestyles enjoyed in more developed economies over the last 100 years will be rendered largely futile.
Many of those we work with at Two Tomorrows already understand these challenges.
Our contribution is to provide practical support to companies worldwide so they can play their part in creating a more sustainable future. We are not saying we have all the answers – no-one does. Rather, we are committed to helping our clients make better decisions so that their actions are more sustainable in the longer term. We support better decisions about the tomorrow we are creating.
Some of our clients are already leaders in the field and recognised as ethical champions for their work on sustainability issues. We are proud to work with them, and for them. The next big challenge for them is to scale up the techniques and technologies they have developed. By rapidly increasing the uptake of more sustainable processes, they will not only create significant business value, but also have a material and positive impact on all our futures.