Environmental sustainability defines a boundary for us to satisfy our current needs without anyway compromising the quality of environment/ecosystem so that it remains equally capable of supporting the future generations too.
At ASTEM Foundation we approach to environmental sustainability as following:
- Long-term health of ecosystems. Protecting the long-term productivity and health of resources to meet future economic and social needs, e.g. protecting food supplies, farmland and fishing stocks.
- Intergenerational decision making. When making economic decisions, we should focus on implications for future generations, and not just the present moment. For example, burning coal gives a short-term benefit of cheaper energy, but the extra pollution imposes costs on future generations.
- Renewable resources: Diversifying into energy sources that do not rely on non-renewable resources. For example, solar and wind power.
- Prevent the consequences of man-made global warming. Policies to ensure the environment of the planet does not deteriorate to a point where future generations face water shortages, extreme weather events, excess temperature. – All factors that could make living in parts of the world very difficult if not possible.
- Protection of species diversity and ecological structure. Sometimes medicines require elements within specific plant species. If some species go extinct, it limits future technological innovation.
- Treating environmental resources as if they have intrinsic rights and value. In other words, we shouldn’t just rely on a monetary value, i.e. we should protect rainforests because they deserve to be protected rather than using a cost-benefit analysis of whether we gain financially from protecting rainforests.
- Targeting social welfare/happiness and environmental sustainability above crude measures of progress such as GDP.