What is Sustainable Development?
- Updated on 28 Nov 2022
- Samadrita Chakraborty
- 3 mins read
Table of Contents
What does your mother do if you want to have cake and your brother wants to have pulao? She considers both of your requirements and arranges for your favourite items. Be it your cake vs pulao or nature vs technology. A balance of both keeps every situation under control. This is called sustainable development, where a country’s economic development happens without damaging the environment. This damage may surpass the advantage of having more quality output of goods and services. Even before a decade, this theory was not in function, and economic development was at the cost of soil erosion, land degradation, water and air pollution, deforestation, etc.
At the beginning of the 21st century, environmentalists saw that a large scale of industries was growing quickly at the cost of a decaying environment. If the process continues like this, soon, there will be no balance in nature, and all the natural resources will be drained out. So, the industrialists and the United Nations signed a pact where they promised to keep a balance between nature and technology.
They promised to follow some basic science for sustainable development challenges and prospects. The existing industries are already using solar energy and groundwater to keep this promise.
What is Sustainable Development Goals?
“With great power comes great responsibility.” The uncle of Peter Parker said it right in “Spiderman 1”. The growth of technology is inevitable, and so is the business. The industrialists must fix a balance between the two. They must take fundamental responsibility for environmental development and sustainability to grow their business. The United Nations have set a clear goal for that, and every industrialist must abide by them. These goals include:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good health and well-being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Reduce inequalities
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land
- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the goals
Types of Sustainable Development
Everything stands on a base. Sustainable development is no exception. The four pillars of the sustainable theory are:
- Social: Social sustainability looks after preserving social capital by investing and creating services that constitute the framework of our society. Culture, communities, and globalisation are the focus of the concept. It means to preserve future generations and to acknowledge that our today’s decisions or deeds may have an impact on our future generations. Sustainable development goals 2030 are about improving social quality with concepts such as cohesion, honesty, reciprocity, and the importance of relationships amongst people. The principle of sustainable development stands on the economy and society as the economy, community, and ecological systems are interdependent.
- Human: The critical elements of society are humans. Development can only happen with their direct participation. Seventeen critical points of sustainability include mainly human development. The social structure and some long-practised unhealthy habits must also be removed from the system to meet this goal.
- Economic: The capital cannot be kept intact without economic sustainability. Therefore, financial sustainability is crucial to obtain the goals of “No Poverty” and “Zero Hunger”. Maintaining economic growth without harming nature is the only way to improve the standard of living. In business, it refers to the efficient use of assets to maintain company profitability over time. Critics of this model acknowledge that a significant gap in modern accounting practices is not to include the cost of damage to this planet in the market price.
- Environmental: Protecting natural capital is as important as restoring economic prosperity. Environmental sustainability ensures the requirements of the future generation and the present age. Environmental sustainability emphasises how businesses can achieve positive financial outcomes without harming the environment.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Sustainable Development
Every coin has two sides, and so does sustainable development. Some of the strategies for sustainable development are still in progress. After applying the existing system, the leaders have found some advantages and disadvantages. First, we will focus on the benefits:
- Reduces the impact of technological invention on the environment by lowering the rate of air, soil, and water pollution.
- It ensures a better quality of life for both present and future generations.
- It helps in achieving long-term economic growth.
Some disadvantages of sustainable development are:
- The unemployment rate is going higher
- Fragile and impractical commitments
Sustainable development is possible if done strategically. People are adapting to this system gradually. The way pollution is increasing; it’s a do-or-die situation now. Therefore, industrialists are trying hard to abide by all the regulations fixed by the United Nations, and start-ups are in continuous need of finding an alternative way to help this planet sustain itself.