Topic 2: Definitions

Definitions: In the GreenComp, sustainability is defined as  prioritising the needs of all life forms and of the planet by ensuring that human activity does not exceed planetary boundaries. 

  • Planetary boundaries are thresholds that humanity must not cross if we are to avoid environmental degradation at a critical level. The nine planetary boundaries that scientists have identified are: i) biosphere integrity, ii) land-use change, iii) climate change, iv) freshwater use, v) ocean acidification, vi) biogeochemical flows (nitrogen and phosphorus cycles), vii) atmospheric aerosol pollution, viii) stratospheric ozone depletion, and ix) release of novel chemicals (Rockström et al. 2009).

For a more holistic approach that considers both environmental and social aspects, see Kate Raworth’s Dougnut Economics and go to the lesson “Joining the Doughnut Dots”  Here.