Inderscience Publishers

Methodological approach for the systematisation of the areas of action and the indicators of a sustainability strategy: the integrative sustainability triangle

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Sustainable development has been regarded as a global ideal since, at the latest, the Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. The Johannesburg Conference held ten years later added more specific and detailed information. In this context, many governments have developed strategies to implement the concept of sustainable development. Nevertheless, the approaches are still vague and frequently lack adequate design. In particular, the interactions between the indicators and between the areas of action have traditionally been discussed in isolation from one another. This paper introduces a method that systematises the areas of action and the indicators used in sustainability strategies. The method proceeds from the three pillars of sustainable development (ecology, economy and society), which are conceptually combined in a triangular relationship, the 'Integrative Sustainability Triangle' (IST). The triangle is nsubdivided into fields to represent the various relationships among the three pillars. Various examples are discussed to show some specific applications of the method.

Keywords: sustainable development, sustainability strategy, sustainability indicators, sustainability triangle

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