What is Economic Sustainability? Definition, Importance, and Development

What is Economic Sustainability
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Economic sustainability depends on a number of factors, including the type of economy and the specific goals that are being sought.

However, in general, economic sustainability refers to a situation in which the economy can continue to function without experiencing negative consequences such as inflation, unemployment, or unsustainable levels of debt.

There is no perfect economic system yet, but the current practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting social and environmental needs must be takes as a priority.

This often requires policies and practices that promote long-term growth and stability, rather than those that simply seek to boost short-term economic performance.

Sustainability goals must be taken seriously by the different entities of government, businesses and society by setting minimum standards of behaviours that can help to achieve them to obtain the long-term benefits.

We’re already on the path towards an economically sustainable life, but there are still aspects to keep working in terms of reducing carbon emissions, improve food security, recovering from a recession and creating a better human system that can live according to the principles of sustainability.

Definition of Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability is the ability of an economy to support a desired level of economic activity for the long term.

The concept of economic sustainability is often used in relation to environmental sustainability, as the two are interconnected.

Achieving economic sustainability requires a balance between meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Economic sustainability means the use of various strategies for employing existing resources optimally so that that a responsible and beneficial balance can be achieved over the longer term. (Jernonen, 2020)

Three Pillars of sustainability

The three pillars of sustainability are environment, economy, and society.


The pillar of sustainability environment refers to the environmental aspects of sustainability, which focus on protecting and conserving the natural environment. This includes reducing pollution and waste, protecting natural resources, and promoting green infrastructure and practices.


The economy pillar of sustainability refers to the environmental and social costs and benefits of economic activity. It is the foundation on which sustainable development rests, as it provides the means to achieve sustainable development objectives.

The economy pillar includes issues such as environmental protection and pollution prevention, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, equity and social inclusion, economic growth.


The pillar of sustainability society includes the systems and structures that we use to interact with each other and the natural world.

Society is the driving force that decides how to use the environmental and economic resources at their disposal for a sustainable living.

Why is economic sustainability important?

In 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its annual Human Development Report, which showed that almost 60 percent of the world’s population still lived in “moderate” or “low” human development conditions.

According to the World Bank, around 767 million people lived below the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day in 2013. This number has declined significantly since 1990, when 1.85 billion people were living in poverty.

The Gini index is a measure of income inequality, and according to the World Bank, the Gini index for the world was 0.63 in 2016.

This means that 63 percent of the world’s income was concentrated in the hands of the richest 20 percent of people, while the poorest 20 percent only had 3 percent of global income.

Economic sustainability is important because it ensures that our economy can continue to function in the present without compromising the ability of using resources for goods and services in the long term.

This means that businesses and individuals can continue to prosper economically, and that we can maintain our standard of living.

A sustainable economy also helps to protect the environment, as it reduces the need for resource-intensive activities to avoid water shortages, protect the biodiversity, create proper farming practices and generate a conscious use of fossil fuels.

Economic sustainability involves making sure that our economic activities do not damage the environment or deplete natural resources.

It also means creating an economy that provides good jobs and living standards for all, now and in the future.

Even if economic sustainability can be considered as a myth some people may believe that it is possible to achieve economic sustainability, while others may view it as an unattainable goal.

There is a lack of consensus on what exactly constitutes economic sustainability, making it difficult to determine whether or not it is achievable.

However, some factors that are often cited as necessary for economic sustainability include reducing resource consumption, increasing efficiency, and promoting equitable access to the use of available resources.

Solving the economic sustainability problem

The first step is to develop a comprehensive economic development plan.

This plan should include an analysis of the country’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its potential for gdp growth.

The plan should also set forth specific goals and objectives for the country’s economic development.

Once the plan is in place, the next step is to implement it through sound economic policies.

Living in a given country will have different needs.

Government, society and businesses should be oriented on their local economic priorities to address their present and future environmental impacts of their decisions.

Steps to support long-term economic growth without compromising resources and ecology

Promote sustainable practices:

This includes things like using renewable energy, recycling and conserving resources, and using environmentally friendly technologies.

Invest in green infrastructure:

This refers to investing in things like public transportation, renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency measures.

Encourage responsible consumption:

This means discouraging wastefulness and promoting conservation. It also means educating people about the impact of their consumption habits on the environment.

Support businesses that are environmentally friendly:

This includes things like investing in green businesses, providing tax incentives for businesses that adopt sustainable practices, and penalizing businesses that pollute or otherwise damage the environment.

Business sustainability in action, examples of activities

Many businesses are starting to act more sustainably, in order to protect the environment and reduce their impact on climate change.

This includes measures such as reducing energy consumption, using recycled materials, and investing in renewable energy sources.

Some companies are even setting goals to become completely carbon-neutral.

By taking these steps, businesses can help create a more sustainable future for us all.

Business sustainability is the ability of a business to remain profitable and viable over the long term.

This includes factors such as environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic stability.

There are many examples of businesses that have implemented sustainable practices and achieved success.


One example is Patagonia, a clothing company that has made environmental protection a core part of its business model.

Patagonia has reduced its use of harmful chemicals, minimized its waste, and invested in renewable energy.

As a result, the company has been able to reduce its impact on the environment while also increasing its profitability.

Toms Shoes

Another example is Toms Shoes, which has built its brand around social responsibility.

The company gives away a pair of shoes for every pair purchased, providing needy children with footwear and helping to improve their health and well-being.

Toms Shoes has also supported other charitable causes, such as providing clean water to communities in need.

These efforts have helped the company attract customers who are interested in supporting businesses that make a positive difference in the world.

Bechtle AG

Bechtle AG is one of the leading European IT service providers.

The company offers a comprehensive range of services and products for all aspects of IT infrastructure, including data centre solutions, cloud computing, managed services, and more.

Bechtle AG announced its Climate Protection Strategy 2030, which outlines specific objectives and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality, i.e. net-zero carbon emissions, by 2030.

Bechtle Climate Protection Strategy 2030 covers direct and indirect CO2 emissions as well as upstream and downstream value chains.

The Bechtle Sustainability Strategy 2030, launched last year, has a three-pronged approach of avoidance, reduction and compensation.

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