What Is Environmental Sustainability?

Understanding environmental sustainability is essential to reducing your carbon footprint and living a greener, more Earth-friendly lifestyle, but we must hold corporations to account.

Our overall health and wellness are tied to the health and wellness of the planet. It has been reported by the World Health Organization that, throughout the world, nearly one-quarter of all deaths can be linked to preventable phenomena caused by the environmental crisis. Without unpolluted air, potable water, and habitable, non-toxic living spaces, people experience significantly higher mortality rates, and while this is more obvious in undeveloped regions, it is becoming evident in wealthy developed countries, too.

We are only starting to see the impact of unfettered industrial production and fossil fuel consumption, and the need to mitigate the terrible outcomes becomes evermore evident as we strip the planet of its resources, causing unimaginable hardship for future generations. Corporations must begin to engage in environmentally sustainable processes if we expect to reverse our dangerous course and ensure a bountiful, healthy planet for our children and grandchildren.

But what is environmental sustainability, really?

Ultimately, the concept of environmental sustainability refers to any practice that allows for the regeneration of the resources that we use to survive. It is the protection and conservation of the natural reserves that ensure our current and future wellbeing. The fact that the activities that contribute to ecological erosion often benefit entire economies in the short term and do not appear to cause immediate damage makes (and has made) implementing sustainable initiatives a challenge.

Implementing environmental regulations is critical to ensuring organizations adhere to environmental sustainability initiatives. However, regional environmental, economic, and social circumstances make setting standards difficult at the federal level. (The current blackout and water crises in Texas illustrate the difficulty in implementing regulations when the regional social, economic, and cultural will does not exist. The outcomes can be — and have been — devastating.)

It has never been more clear that businesses have an obligation to their workers, consumers, and society at large to engage in environmentally sustainable processes — and such processes will not necessarily interfere with productivity or prevent meeting organizational objectives. Correctly implemented environmental sustainability should foster more efficient and lean operations.

Unfettered use of resources creates environmental ruin, economic inequality, and the rise of global pandemics. Organizations need to be made to prioritize sustainable and socially responsible practices, from offering fair wages, to clean energy use, to supporting initiatives that promote restoring natural environments.

Forest Founders was conceived in response to the effects of the climate crisis and is dedicated to helping environmental organizations protect and regenerate global forests. For more details about how you can take part in fighting against the climate crisis, please visit our information page.