Together with the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, the concept of sustainable Development is a very important topic in our project. Sometimes, companies and institutions tend to use the two term as synonymous. Yet, they are quite different concepts.

In 1987, a very interesting document published by the United Nations gave a clear definition of sustainable development. It defined sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs. In other words sustainability balances resource usage and suppliers over time. The moral imperative that grounds sustainability is the need to balance the short term and the long term supply and the demand of resource. Security short term success should never risk long term survival.

Some years later, at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 was established that sustainable development could be obtained with the strength of the United Nations. The goal was to create multilateral agreements among all states and people. The agreements should try to cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the healthy integrity of the earth ecosystem. In this sense, sustainable development means also to reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and to promote a proper demographic policies.

The summit in Rio was just the starting point for a flourishing set of goals that nowadays we call the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030). The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.

And you, can you think about some goals that could eliminate unsustainable patterns in the world? Write them in the comments!

For more information about CSR + in Europe, read the EU CSR + Report or write an email to

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