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  • Adrian Lepiten

The Three Pillars of Sustainability: Environment, Economy, and Society

Updated: Mar 26

A photo titled “The Three Pillars of Sustainability: Environment, Economy, and Society” with three tree backgrounds representing pillars.

Pillars of Sustainability

When discussing sustainability, it is crucial to recognize its root word, "sustain." The current problem of the world can be likened to a circular race—it mirrors the natural processes of nature. It means we are in an unending cycle of energy transfer that sustains life. For this idea, our way of life should also adopt a circular approach to achieve sustainability in our environment, economy, and society, and with the concept of a cycle, these three should be sustained, not just the two or the other.

Sustainability is a pivotal force propelling the progression and development of our lives. This article delves into the Three Pillars of Sustainability, underscoring their indispensability for the well-being of future generations and resilience. These pillars collectively form the foundation upon which a sustainable and harmonious future can be built.

1. The Environmental Pillar of Sustainability

Environmental sustainability has the role of conserving and safeguarding our natural environment through the implementation of policies and practices that do not compromise the availability of natural resources.

To achieve the pillar of environmental sustainability, several key goals must be attained, such as:

  • Biodiversity - The need to treat our environment with care is indisputable, especially regarding the biodiversity it holds. Only with the assistance of environmental scientists can we measure the status of our biodiversity, leading us to the development of an improved approach that can help preserve and protect the planet's biodiversity.

  • Resources - The value of a resource-saving approach should be recognized to achieve sustainability. Both resources and biodiversity coexist in the same area, and we need specialists to establish measurements to understand the actual consumption of our natural resources. This will enable us to set goals and plans to limit our extraction without depleting them.

  • Emission - Addressing emissions is a complex task that requires a holistic approach. A key element of this strategy is enhancing both the generation and use of energy resources. This enables us to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a particular focus on vital sectors such as power generation, industrial processes, agricultural practices, and transportation systems.

2. The Economic Pillar of Sustainability

Economic sustainability is centered on both financial viability and the responsible management of resources. It involves conducting economic activities in a manner that preserves and enhances long-term economic well-being. The goal of this pillar is to establish businesses that not only prosper but also make a positive contribution to the overall health of both the global and local environment.


Attaining economic sustainability necessitates a transition to a circular economy on a global scale. This paradigm not only encompasses responsible resource management but also entails the development of efficient and innovative economic systems and enterprises. Moreover, it involves the implementation of policies and regulations that incentivize energy efficiency. Additionally, promoting eco-friendly economic models aimed at reducing waste and curbing resource exploitation is crucial to ensuring the preservation of our planet and the long-term well-being of its inhabitants.

3. The Society Pillar of Sustainability

The societal aspect of sustainability concentrates on the general welfare of individuals and communities. It involves advocating for equal human rights, ensuring access to healthcare and education, and upholding the right to secure decent employment. This facet deals with the ethical utilization of resources and concerns related to society, including issues like food, basic sanitation, and access to safe drinking water.

Furthermore, social sustainability places a strong emphasis on prioritizing people in the development process. It actively advocates for the social inclusion of marginalized and economically vulnerable populations by empowering individuals, fostering the creation of cohesive and resilient societies, and ensuring that institutions are both accessible and accountable to all citizens.

Keep the cycle connected!

The pillars of sustainability are intricately linked, resembling interconnected cycles of dominoes where each action within one pillar ripples across the others. The environment, social aspects, and the economy are intertwined when it comes to the roles they play on the planet, with the environment supplying resources that the economy transforms into goods and services for society to utilize.

Recognizing this interconnectedness is crucial, underscoring the need for specific measures in resource extraction. Practices like responsible resource management become imperative to uphold the stability of the economy and, by extension, ensure the resilience of the food supply chain. It is in these careful and sustainable practices that we secure the foundations for long-term societal and economic well-being.

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