The concept of sustainable development (SD) emerged in the 1980s in response to a growing realisation of the need to balance economic and social progress with concern for the environment and the stewardship of natural resources. The concept of sustainable development was first introduced by the World Conservation Strategy (IUCN et al., 1980) but gained worldwide support with the publication of Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987. WCED was established by UN General Assembly Resolution 36/161 in 1983.
The World Conservation Strategy (IUCN et al. 1980) and the Brundtrand Report (WCED, 1987) explored the concept of development and its relationship with the physical limits of the supporting ecological systems. The Brundtland Report considered sustainable development as
“development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their needs” (WCED, 1987:43).
At corporate level, there are many tools used in steering sustainable development processes which includes international standards such as ISO 14001. Some of the benefits of implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) in accordance with the ISO 14001 standards, includes
- discovering areas for reduction in energy usage and other resource expenditure,
- reducing environmental liability and risk- helping to maintain reliable compliance with legislative & regulatory requirements,
– benefiting form regulatory incentives that reward companies
– showing environmental leadership through certified compliance with an internationally recognized EMS standard,
– averting pollution and reducing waste,
– responding to pressure from customers and shareholders
– improving community goodwill,
– profiting in the market for “green” products,
– respond to insurance company pressure for proof of good management before pollution-incident coverage is issued, and
– demonstrating commitment to high-quality.
Ndaruga A.M. (2015) Education for Sustainable Development Explained. Manilla Publishers, Nairobi
http://www.asrworldwide.com/frequently-asked-questions-about-standards/68-what-are-benefits-of-becoming-iso-14001-certified.html downloaded on 9th September 2015