World Commission definition
In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development created a definition for sustainability. It reads: “To meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Put another way, sustainability recognizes that the planet’s resources are finite, and that if we want to be responsible stewards of the earth, we have to use those resources wisely, so they last indefinitely
Social, economic, and environmental behaviors which endeavor to permanently preserve and maintain our global community. Policies and procedures which honor human being’s rights to a safe workplace and livable wage. Sustainability at its best, considers all available resources be utilized in a manner of cooperation, conservation, and balance whereby we meet current needs without compromising future generation’s ability to meet theirs.
In a broad sense
Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term improvements in wellbeing, which in turn depend on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.
Sustainability has become a wide-ranging term that can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, from a local to a global scale and over various time periods. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. Invisible chemical cycles redistribute water, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon through the world's living and non-living systems, and have sustained life for millions of years. As the earth’s human population has increased, natural ecosystems have declined and changes in the balance of natural cycles has had a negative impact on both humans and other living systems. (source: wikipedia)
"Listening to all the chatter, it seems we've almost forgotten the meaning of the word "sustainable." We've lost sight of the real goal: a permanent, healthy home for humanity within the ecosystem we share with the planet's plants and animals." (Mother Earth News, August/September 2009)
"We share the earth not only with our fellow human beings, but with all the other creatures." - The Dalai Lama
"We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to." - Terri Swearingen
"Modern man no longer regards Nature as in any sense divine and feels perfectly free to behave toward her as an overweening conqueror and tyrant." - Aldous Huxley
"We still have to learn how to live peacefully, not only with our fellow men but also with nature and, above all, with those Higher Powers which have made nature and have made us. " - E.F. Schumacher
"We are living in an interminable succession of absurdities imposed by the myopic logic of short-term thinking." - Jacques-Yves Cousteau