Sustainability is a characteristic or condition of a process or a system that allows it to remain, at a certain level, for a certain period. Lately, this concept has become a principle according to which the use of natural resources to satisfy present needs cannot compromise the satisfaction of the needs of future generations. This new principle has been extended to the term “long-term sustainability”, an indefinite term “long term”.
Sustainability can also be defined as the ability of human beings to interact with the world, preserving the environment so as not to compromise the natural resources of future generations. The concept of sustainability is complex, as it meets a set of interdependent variables, but we can say that it must have the capacity to integrate social, energy, economic and environmental issues.
Social issue: it is necessary to respect human beings, so that they can respect nature. And from a human point of view, he himself is the most important part of the environment.
Energy issue: without energy the economy does not develop. And if the economy does not develop, the population’s living conditions deteriorate.
Environmental issue: with the degraded environment, human beings shorten their life span; the economy does not develop; the future is unsustainable.
The principle of sustainability applies to everything from a single enterprise, through a small community (such as ecovillages), to the entire planet. For a human enterprise to be considered sustainable, it must be:
> Environmentally friendly
> Economically viable
> Socially fair
> Culturally diverse.
The term “sustainable” comes from the Latin sustare (sustain; defend; favor, support; conserve, care). According to the Brundtland Report (1987), the sustainable use of natural resources must “meet the needs of the present generation without affecting the ability of future generations to meet theirs”.