A sustainable society is one that ensures the health and vitality of human life for present as well as future generations.
The sustainable society recognizes that there is one primary environment — the physical environment — within which all other environments function.
The current socio-economic model of developed countries is becoming increasingly unsustainable for our individual well-being, society and ecosystem. The current trends are that the people of industrialised nations consume more than their needs and, in the process, are depleting the natural resources necessary for a sustainable society.
In this briefing, we discuss the characteristics of a sustainable society, the ways to achieve sustainability (and the existing challenges), major constituents of a sustainable society, and relevant examples.
We assert that the dominant anthropocentric approach has been responsible for the current unsustainable lifestyle, through overconsumption and continuous deterioration of natural resources.
The steady increase in population growth across the world is a causal impediment to progress towards achieving sustainability.
The briefing highlights the urgent need to stabilise the population, and the importance of the pace of stabilisation to ensure the availability of natural resources to mankind.
It is noted that cities not only pose a challenge to sustainability but also offer opportunities to overcome these challenges, through sustainable urban agriculture, better public transport, affordable housing and poverty alleviation.
The relevant issues of social justice, organic farming and use of renewable energy in the context of sustainability are also discussed.
We conclude by emphasising the need to realise, minimise and neutralise our use of natural resources, in order to restore the balance between humanity and the natural ecosystem, and thus attain a sustainable society.