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Social Sustainability for Inclusive Growth

The most commonly known three pillars of sustainability are social, economic and environmental. These pillars are an integral part of any business which wants to adopt sustainable practices. These concepts of three pillars of sustainability were first mentioned in the Brundtland report, and they are also known as people, planet and profits. This blog will shed light on the concept of social sustainability as well as some of the features of social sustainability.

Definition of Social Sustainability

Sustainability is best described as the ability to meet the current generation’s needs without compromising future generations’ ability to fulfil their own needs. The environment is an important consideration, but it is not the only consideration within sustainability. Human welfare, for example, is another equally important factor of social sustainability. In simple words, social sustainability can be described as a part of the bigger scope of ESG. [1]

Social sustainability is largely ignored in mainstream media’s sustainability debate, but it is a critical component of a society’s longevity and well-being.   Particularly in the context of planning, housing, and communities, where policy and investment have concentrated on renewable resources, low-carbon communities, etc., economic and environmental sustainability have been prioritized. A community is made up of both the people who live there and the places where they do; it is both a physical environment and a social environment. That is why social sustainability should also be given the same level of priority as economic and environmental sustainability.

In simple words, social sustainability can be defined as a method for designing a thriving, sustainable community that fosters wellness by considering what inhabitants want and need from their homes and workplaces. Social sustainability integrates physical and social design, including social amenities, methods for citizen participation, and space for people and places to develop. It also includes infrastructure to support social and cultural activity.

If communities want to succeed as places where people want to live for the long term, they need to attract and retain residents from a wide range of backgrounds and ages. The basic motivation behind people moving to a new community is a better quality of housing, more space at the same cost and better job prospects.

social sustainability

Four Principles of Social Sustainability

The four social sustainability principles are Quality of life, equality, diversity, democracy and social cohesion.

  • Quality of Life

Quality of life has a big role to play in ensuring social sustainability. The term “quality of life” refers to a broad topic that includes a variety of factors that influence our ability to live. For instance, access to support services, affordable housing, physical and mental health care, educational and training possibilities, work options, and, of course, safety and security.

  • Equality

Equality is known as reducing disadvantages for particular groups or assisting those groups in overcoming obstacles so they can have more control over their life. It also entails figuring out how to lessen disadvantages by recognizing their sources and causes. This is an important defining characteristic of social sustainability.

  • Diversity

This social sustainability dimension is crucial in ensuring that every community gets adequate representation. Finding needs from many diverse groups of various groups of people, evaluating those requirements, and providing education are all part of the concept of diversity.

  • Democracy

Proper and fair administration is required to ensure that the community’s budget and resources are adequate to sustain sustainability programs.

  • Social Cohesion

Social cohesion ensures participation from every group in the community. Social cohesion entails encouraging individual participation within a target group as well as facilitating access for target groups to public and civic organizations. Building connections between various target groups in a larger sense by encouraging target groups to make contributions to society as well is an important factor.

Things to Know About Social Sustainability and Inclusive Growth

Over the years, multiple challenges have compromised efforts to reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth. Most recently, these challenges came in the form of covid-19[2] and the associated economic crisis that came with it. These factors have reversed the progress made thus far and spotlight long-standing systematic inequalities and exclusion. Social sustainability and inclusion reflect the importance we put on addressing these challenges. Here are five things to know about social inclusion:

  • Social sustainability creates inclusive societies where citizens take proactive measures, and the administration responds. The foundation of social sustainability resides in inclusive and just societies. These societies promote growth and poverty reduction.
  • Social sustainability works parallelly with economic and environmental sustainability. We have seen that in the past, there has been a trend of emphasizing economic and environmental sustainability. But that has changed with the growing awareness of the challenges of fragility, inequality, discrimination etc. Now social sustainability has been recognized as a central factor affecting inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Advancing Towards a Sustainable Tomorrow with Schneider Electric

At Schneider Electric, we are dedicated to making sustainable practices accessible to all our clients. Sustainability is at the core of our purpose, and we work relentlessly to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world. Since we rely on natural resources and ecosystem services, Schneider Electric understands the significance of nature and biodiversity for human survival. Our goal is to enable everyone to maximize their efforts and resources in order to balance development that is both sustainable and forward-thinking for all. Specifically, the Schneider Sustainability Impact 2021- 2025. At Schneider Electric, we are set to become completely carbon-neutral in our operations by 2025.

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