The Challenges of Sustainable Development

The most often cited definition of sustainable development is the one from the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”1Working in product development, we may ask ourselves, “What is the route to follow to achieve the goal of sustainable development when we develop a product?” It is important to point out that we need to work within the sustainable development architecture that is formed by the three pillars of sustainability, or the so called “triple bottom line,” a term introduced by John Elkington in the 1990s, that considers economic factor (or profit), social equity (or people), and environmental practice (or planet) when developing a business or a product. 

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Jenny Forrest