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Sustainability can be seen as the capacity for a society to endure. One of our beliefs is that, in a healthy state, society is sustainable. This belief is very concise and general, in part because we recognize that people do not necessarily agree on what exactly constitutes sustainability.

Wild ecosystems

Wild ecosystems play an essential role in maintaining an environment suitable for human society to thrive, in terms of regulating climate, providing a buffer against pollution, and providing natural products that can be harvested to benefit society.

We have discussed the goal of leaving 70% of the land used by our organization as intact wild ecosystems. Wild ecosystems help promote sustainability in numerous ways, and also protect biodiversity. Biodiversity is important to protect, in terms of sustainability, because new species only develop over very long time-scales, and the negative human impacts on biodiversity have been much greater, over shorter time-scales.

Efficiency in resource usage

Resource usage is related to sustainability because many resources, including energy and various material resources, are either partially or fully non-renewable, or have negative impacts on environment or society associated with their use, production or extraction, or storage. An example would be pollution caused by electricity generation. We often talk about sustainability with the implicit understanding that saving energy or increasing the efficiency with which resources are used is one way of promoting sustainability.