Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Sustainability is the foundation for today’s leading global framework for international cooperation – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Each of the 17 SDGs has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. The goals and targets are universal, meaning they apply to all countries around the world, not just poor countries. Reaching the goals requires action on all fronts – governments, businesses, civil society and people everywhere all have a role to play.
Discover how IISD's work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals using our interactive tool. See how Canadian cities are measuring up in our indicator portal. Or explore our SDG Knowledge Hub, an online resource center for the latest news, original commentary from our experts, guest articles from key actors in SDG implementation, and a calendar of upcoming events related to the 2030 Agenda.
Dr. Mostafa Tolba: Architect of the Montreal Protocol, IPCC and Biodiversity Convention
A tribute to the life of Dr. Mostafa Tolba, who sadly passed away on March 28, 2016. Dr. Mostafa Tolba led the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for almost 20 years, and played a pivotal role in setting the global environmental agenda.Read More
Seven Priorities for the New Canadian Federal Government: The Environmental and Sustainability Agenda
A long list of priorities awaits the new Canadian government, topped by federal climate mitigation policies in the lead-up to the Paris climate...Read More
IISD Brochure: The Knowledge to Act
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank championing sustainable solutions to 21st–century...Read More
Regional Sustainable Development: Lessons in integrated policies (speech)
IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan spoke at the International Symposium on the Yangtze River Economic Zone and the Construction of Three Gorges...Read More
IISD's 2014 / 2015 Annual Report
Fast Forward to Sustainable Development.In this critical year for sustainable development, IISD’s robust, integrated, and applied research is more...Read More
Montréal et la nouvelle économie verte (discours)
Le président-directeur général de l’IISD, Scott Vaughan, discute de l’importance de Montréal (Canada) en tant que centre pour la nouvelle économie...Read More
IISD in Canada: Your partner in building a sustainable future (brochure)
Sustainability is no longer an issue left to policy-makers, environmental activists and scientific researchers.Leading businesses are becoming...Read More
Arctic Initiative: Empowering bottom-up transformations to sustainability (brochure)
IISD has identified the Arctic as an area of critical importance to our vision: equity and a healthy planet.We envision an Arctic that respects and...Read More
Telling Our Stories, Writing Our Future 2013-14 IISD Annual Report
IISD's 2013-2014 annual report tells some of the many stories of how we have successfully achieved sustainable development outcomes....Read More
Accountability and the Post-2015 Agenda (Speech)
IISD President Scott Vaughan's speech at the President of the 68th Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly’s Interactive Dialogue “Elements...Read More