Sustainable development is about meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. It is about improving our standard of living by protecting human health, conserving the environment, using resources efficiently and advancing long-term economic competitiveness. It requires the integration of environmental, economic and social priorities into policies and programs and requires action at all levels - citizens, industry, and governments.
Achieving sustainable development (SD) in Canada is intimately connected with achieving SD around the world. There is growing understanding of the interconnection between global ecological, economic and political/social systems. It has become an imperative to consider economic prosperity in an integrated way with social development and environmental protection. It is also an imperative to consider the long-term as well as the short term impacts of any action. To make SD a reality, there must be cooperation and change by governments, businesses and communities around the world.
Sustainable development is about ensuring that the decisions we make as citizens, consumers, investors and governments contribute to an excellent quality of life for us and for future generations. Reaching this goal requires striking a careful balance on a range of issues, namely economic growth, environmental protection and social development, and implementing policies and programs that support our commitment to this balance.