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).
Reaching the goals requires action on all fronts—governments, businesses, civil society, and people everywhere all have a role to play.
To find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals, explore our SDG Knowledge Hub—an online resource center for daily 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.
IISD's focus areas
IISD is guided by five priorities that we deem ripe for transformation, where shifts in policy have the potential to change the nature of the game within this decade.
Build the capacity to act together on sustainability.
Address the causes of climate change and adapt to its impact.
Foster fair and sustainable economies.
Deliver insights that spark action on sustainable development.
Support the sustainable management of our natural resources.
Measuring Progress Towards Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Communication: How communication technology and the internet create both opportunities for and threats to sustainable development
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP): Targets and Indicators and the SDGs
Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through Transformative Governance Practices and Vertical Alignment at the National and Subnational Levels in Africa
Sustainable Development Goals at the Subnational Level: Roles and good practices for subnational governments
Monitoring and Reporting on Sustainable Development Goals: Cross-scale linkages
Down to Earth Podcast
This podcast asks questions about the sustainability challenges facing our planet today and then tracks down experts to help answer them.
How to Deal with Climate Change Without Getting Depressed
This episode explores the impacts of climate change on mental health, and what we can do about it.
How to Turn Fast Fashion into Sustainable Fashion
This episode is about sustainability in the clothing industry and how years of over-consumption and unsafe manufacturing has led to a counter-industry striving to do better.
How Farmers in Zanzibar Are Tackling Climate Change From the Ground Up
This episode reveals how farmers on a small island off Tanzania are finding creative ways to regenerate the local ecosystem and adapt to climate change.