The importance of the sustainability paradigm has been gradually gaining acceptance since 1987 when the United Nations World Commission on the Environment and Development proposed the above definition for sustainable development.
Twenty years ago, the Commission’s report, Our Common Future, identified many economic, environmental, and equity issues that just recently have attained high priority status among corporate, government, and nonprofit decision-makers. For example, in January 2007, BusinessWeek defined sustainability as "meeting humanity’s needs without harming future generations," and observed that, "it’s at the top of the agenda of growing numbers of U.S. CEOs."
Sustainable development… meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.