Sustainable sufficiency - an internally consistent version of sustainability
Lamberton, G 2005, 'Sustainable sufficiency - an internally consistent version of sustainability', Sustainable Development, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 53-78.
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Sustainable development has achieved widespread acceptance throughout the world as an appropriate goal for humankind. Applying the concept at both government and corporate levels has proved difficult due in part to an inherent conflict between the ecological, social and economic dimensions contained within contemporary interpretations of sustainable development. This paper describes a version of sustainability that provides clear and unambiguous direction for decision makers. Replacing the typically Western neoclassical economic perspective contained within most interpretations of sustainable development with a Buddhist perspective of economics leads to an internally consistent version of sustainability referred to as sustainable sufficiency. A study of a decision process within an organization operating within a sustainable development framework is used to provide contrast with decision making within a sustainable sufficiency framework. A conclusion of this paper is that the sustainable sufficiency concept reinforces the view that neoclassical economic principles provide a barrier to achieving the social and ecological objectives contained within contemporary interpretations of sustainable development. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.