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Issue 7.2

Sustain This

How should we discuss the most pressing issue: saving our home world? Is it a matter of sustainable resilience or resilient sustainability? Consider circular sustainability.

The terms are often used interchangeably, concurrently, or even as separate objectives.1 In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”2 Sustainability is often expressed through the measured impact on environmental, social, and economic systems. At the same time, resilience is the ability of a system to prepare for threats, absorb impacts, recover, and adapt following persistent stress or a disruptive event. Balancing resources and needs girds sustainability, resilience, and circularity, which realizes sustainability by eliminating waste, circulating products and materials, and regenerating nature.3

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