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Researching Sustainability

The concept of sustainability is a complex one that has evolved over time. Originally associated with the preservation of ecological systems, this has moved on to recognise the multidimensional focus across environmental, economic and social goals.  

In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Advocating for it to deal not only with environmental problems but also with social justice and poverty. 

In other words, using resources in a considerate way, without compromising the ability of nature to replenish itself, and in an equitable way, so that everyone has a fair share.

Sustainability as a value is shared by many individuals, organisations and governments who demonstrate this value in their policies, everyday activities and behaviours.

As you can see from this definition, sustainability is a wide ranging and multi disciplinary concept. 

Use the Search Tools guidance in this guide to explore the various information resources you can use to research this topic. Click on a topic that interests you to see some recommended resources in that field. 

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