Sustainability Definition and Principles

Sustainability Definition and Principles


“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”      (UN 1983)

For the Rural City of Wangaratta, this means understanding the interdependence of the community, the environment and the economy.   Management and operational decisions and actions taken by the Rural City of Wangaratta must optimise the use of resources to maintain organisational viability, improve the environment and enhance social values and community engagement. 


Our approach to sustainability is built on the following principles:

Integration: Environmental, social and economic considerations should be effectively integrated into planning and decision-making.

Decision Making:   It is necessary to balance easily identified short-term economic costs with more difficult to quantify long-term social and environmental costs.

Community Involvement:   Progress towards sustainability requires the support and involvement of the whole community.

Precautionary Behaviour:   Where evidence indicates the risk of serious or irreversible community, environmental or economic damage, a lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone remedial action.

Intergenerational Equity:   Present and future generations should have fair and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Continual Improvement: Continual improvement in performance will be based on accountability, transparency and good governance.

Ecological Integrity: Actions will maintain biological diversity, essential ecological processes and life-support systems.

Natural Resource Use:  Production and consumption must be based on appropriate use of sound technologies and effective demand management. 

Last Updated: 17-06-2011

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