The need for sustainability has become increasingly important. A study done by Southern Cross University reports that 93% of participants expressed general concerns regarding the condition of the environment, and 77% wanted to learn more about sustainable living. Though on the bright side, a majority of the respondents already practice eco-friendly acts like recycling and avoiding single-use plastics. Even then, with so many environmental issues rising today, the need for action is necessary. And sustainability is one of the answers on people’s minds.
What is Sustainability?
Our article on ‘The Need to Achieve Sustainability’ highlights how the continued growth of economies has caused problems like climate change, the lessening of natural resources, and growing pollution. This is due to the fact that many of the processes used in production and consumption have negative effects on the environment. However, these can be countered by sustainability.
UNESCO defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” However, in today’s economy, development is measured solely by productivity. And it is harmful metrics such as these that justify methods and actions that harm the environment.
That said, it is crucial to note that these processes of development and consumption can be done in a way that does not harm the environment. Some examples include ethical sourcing of materials and finding ways to create fewer carbon emissions during the manufacturing stages. After all, sustainability entails finding solutions that ensure these production processes have no dire ecological repercussions. But this endeavor can only succeed if people from different sectors and industries make joint efforts.
As explained in Maryville University’s sustainability program primer, environmental issues affect our society at all scales, from local to global. This means that sustainability should be looked at through a comprehensive, practical, and cross-functional lens. When experts from different disciplines collaborate towards finding solutions, they are able to take into account every conceivable factor. They can create solutions that not only work but also empower people to participate.
The Benefits of an Interdisciplinary Approach
Laws and policies will be more comprehensive
When experts from different fields collaborate, they will be able to create policies that target real problems. An example of this can be seen with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to address different issues countries may have. The metrics released by the organization take into account more than just environmental factors, but economic, social, and political ones as well.
Partnerships between sectors will be fruitful
Sustainability is a movement that must be forwarded together. In line with this, an interdisciplinary approach ensures that partnerships between sectors will be effective. This is because they will be able to create compromises that can work for all parties without sacrificing their goals. These collaborations will, in turn, be more fruitful and will be more enduring for the future.
Innovation will be widespread
When experts from different fields start working together, they can come up with creative and innovative solutions that will aid in the path to sustainability. This means that all forms of sustainable development will be more accessible to everyone. Moreover, if an interdisciplinary approach is taken, countries and communities that struggle with sustainability will gain access to the resources and innovations needed to achieve sustainability.
The world as it is now is in need of rehabilitation. And it is obvious that sustainability will be one of the most effective solutions to today’s problems. But it will not amount to anything unless people work together towards achieving this. Together, we can create resolutions that will truly make a difference in creating a better future for everyone.
Molly Jansen for thinksustainabilityblog.com