Sustainability means that we humans live, develop, and do business – always with consideration for the environment, without depleting the natural resources of our planet for the future. A sustainable society must also be socially responsible.

That means quite simply. We show consideration for future generations. We ensure that our descendants live in a healthy environment and enjoy a comfortable life. We act sustainably when we do not completely use up the resources of our planet, which means not consuming more than our earth gives back to us. We pay attention to social justice, which means we pay attention to securing social and economic development.

Why is immediate global action more urgent than ever?

Our planet, and therefore we humans, appears to be in danger if we do not act immediately. Everyone sees it, and everyone recognizes it today. Climate change is changing the world we live in. It has a significant impact on nature, our lives, society, and the economy. Let’s compare it with Europe just 30 years ago: We are all feeling the climate consequences, such as the unstoppable shrinking of the Alpine glaciers, an early start to spring, or the increasing and longer lasting number of Heat days.

Extreme weather events will be more frequent and severe in the future
They are among the direct consequences of climate change, such as:

  • Increased flooding
  • Huge storms, heavy rain, and hail
  • Irregular or lack of rainfall
  • Extreme temperature rises
  • Increased heat waves and recurrent droughts
  • Strong tropical cyclones
  • Rising sea levels
  • Thawing permafrost, glacier melt, the retreat of Arctic sea ice

The effects of climate change in turn exacerbate poverty and hunger
They are among the indirect consequences that affect people and the environment, such as:

  • Increase in poverty, hunger, and water crises
  • Threats to livelihoods from floods, droughts, or forest fires
  • Health risks due to the intensity of heat extremes
  • Loss of biodiversity due to limited adaptability
  • Spread of pests and pathogens


We recognize the impacts of our actions

The importance of sustainability has increased in recent years: More and more people and companies are realizing that the resources of our earth are limited. They realize that we need to stop actions that negatively impact our environment, change the climate or create extreme weather events.

Together we must act boldly, introduce innovations and technologies, and implement them quickly and equitably. We must protect what we have and win back what we have lost. So that we can secure a better, more sustainable future.

The practice of sustainability in companies can take a variety of forms. Companies can produce more environmentally friendly products or design production processes in such a way that little waste is produced and also review their supply chains for sustainable implementation possibilities. Furthermore, companies can support social projects and take care of their employees to make society as a whole more sustainable.

Example Patagonia – A considerate way of doing business
When I think of responsible business (as a mountain lover), Patagonia inevitably comes to my mind. The US outdoor clothing manufacturer has been committed to preserving nature and the environment since it was founded about 50 years ago. Since the beginning, the company has produced high-quality and durable clothing and tried to use environmentally friendly materials. Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle: this is still an important topic at Patagonia today in order to reduce the environmental impact.
The company is not only strongly committed to environmental protection, but also to social justice. This includes fair and equitable treatment of all employees as well as various social commitments of the company.


Together, shaping the world in a sustainable way

The 17 global goals of the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are aimed at everyone: governments worldwide, but also civil society, the private sector, and the scientific community. The 17 goals are subdivided into 169 sub-goals that provide concrete guidance for action for a sustainable world.

The 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world:

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Find more about the goals: →


Blog article was written by: Sylke Bauerschmidt

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