What are the 3 interesting pillars of sustainability?


Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! I will be digging to uncover the 3 main pillars of sustainabilty. Grab a cup of tea to sip while I pour the knowledge!

How Would You Define Sustainability?

Before we discuss the pillars of sustainability your probably wondering or you may already know what sustainability is. By definition sustainability is the ability to maintain something a a certain level of consistency. For the environment this means to not deplete our natural resources, but instead maintain an ecologival balance. For farmers this could mean not destroying there land or striping it of complete nutrients in one year for profit. Instead the farmers could rotate the crops to keep the soil rich so they can keep farming for years to come.  In business sustainability could mean being able to have consistent cash flow for years vs ups and downs due to high turn around rates of hiring or firing employees.

What Are The Social Factors Of Sustainability?

Social sustainability is one pillar of sustainability that is often over looked. According to ADEC Innovations“Social sustainability occurs when the formal and informal processes; systems; structures; and relationships actively support the capacity of current and future generations to create healthy and livable communities.I believe the reason why this pillar may be over looked is the fact its not as quantifiable as the other pillars of sustainability. Its not as easy to measure the success rate of a local business hiring locally and supporting the local economy by providing these people employment.There are studies that show when companies hire within their community it definitely does improve their local economic growth.

In a business perspective examples of social sustainabilty are

  • equity
  • work life balance
  • fair labor practice
  • community engagement
  • human rights
  • empowerment
  • working conditions.

Some great examples of social sustainability for a business is

  • daycare program
  • team building retreat
  • company sponsored education fund
  • programs resolving racism and discrimination
  • promoting a diverse workforce.

What Is The Environment Pillar Of Sustainability?

According to ThwinkEnvironmental sustainability is the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they cannot be continued indefinitely then they are not sustainable.” Environemental sustainability is more quantifiable and can be easily kept track of. There are different ways we can be more efficient to be environmentally sustainable like using

  • solar energy
  • wind energy
  • water efficient fixtures
  • sustainable agriculture/ forestry
  • recycle reduce reuse

Some good examples in the work place for environmental sustainability could be:

  • go electonically to save paper
  • have refillable water station
  • reuse office supplies instead of buying new ones
  •  conserve energy within the office or building
  • encourage sustainable transportation like car pooling
  • use eco friendly packaging when shipping and recieveing items

What Are Some Examples Of Economic Sustainability?

UMW states that “Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community.” It is very important to shop locally especially at small busineses. When you shop locally your supporting that family and your community with your purchase. That same family will more than likely spend their earned money locally at another store which will feed that family. This domino effect allows communities to thrive and support one another for future generations to come. Some more great examples of economic sustainability are:

  • shopping locally at restaurants and stores
  • shopping at thrift stores
  • micro farming in urban/suburban areas
  • improve waste management for increase in recycling
  • funds for low income families to have solar panels

Some great examples of economic sustainability in a business are:

  • hiring locally when available
  • buying products locally
  • providing living wages to employees
  • partnerships locally
  • giving back to the community

What Are 5 Characteristics Of A Sustainable Business?

  • Suistainability is a main focus of the business (DNA of the business)
  • Resilient to make a change for the better of the world
  •  Highly motivated- encourages their supply chain to also be sustainable
  • Holistic approach- they actually walk the walk and try to make sure their business system matches their mission
  • Compassionate- care about the community and their workers

How Does Outwoken Tea Satisfy These 3 Pillars Of Sustainability?

Social Sustainability

  • Partnered with local Coalition Plastic Free MKE to reduce single use plastic locally for a better environment
  • Partnered with Milwaukee River Keepers and adopted a river in the community and will organize community clean ups
  • Partnered locally with Act greenway which incentiveses people to be green by rewarding them a discount on purchases. Outwoke tea provides a 10% discount through Act Greenway for people being green

Environemental Sustainability

  • All of our packaging is home compostable, plantable, high post consumer use and plastic free.
  • Every single purchase plants one tree in efforts to help with reforestaion to help restore the environment
  • We have offset our carbon foot print for shipping and recieveing thanks to Native Energy

Economic Sustainability

  • Specifically source tea from small farmers in developing countries supporting their economic growth as well as ours creating a circular economic growth
  • 90% of our packaging is U.S.A made
  • We collaborate with local businesess

I hope you were able to learn more about why sustainabilty is important for the people, the environment and our future. Leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts .

By Aureal owner and founder of Outwoken Tea


What is sustainability?

Is the ability to maintain something at a certain level of consistency.

What are the three pillars of sustainability?

The three pillars of sustainability are social sustainability, economic sustainability, and environmental sustainability.

What are characteristic of a sustainable business?

Sustainability is the main focus, resilient to make change, highly motivated, holistic approach, and compassionate.

What is environmental sustainability?

The rate of pollution creation, renewable and non-renewable resources depletion rate indefinitely


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