What is sd?
Looking at sd
Sustainable PVC
Quizzes and links


What is sd? Earth report People, planet, profit Are you sustainable?

Wind turbine


Principles of sustainability: People, planet and profits


Sustainable development looks at three areas:

  • People (social)

  • Planet (Environment)

  • Profits (Economic)


Sustainable development needs to look at all three areas. They must all be sustainable.

Roll over the pillars to see more about each area.



Three pillars of sustainable development

Sustainable or not?

Look at the three examples and judge how sustainable they are.

Think about the three areas: environmental effects, economic development and social opportunity. How could each example be made more sustainable?

Tick the boxes to show your selections.


A new office block is being built in your neighbourhood. It uses recycled building materials and will employ people when it is completed.

The building has been designed to use solar power, has good insulation and uses the minimum amount of water possible.


Very sustainable

Quite sustainable

Not sustainable

A farmer produces vegetables which she sells in a local farmers market. She uses organic methods to fertilise her crops and control pests.

She grows less than if she used intensive farming methods but can sell her vegetables at a higher price to make a reasonable profit.

She thinks that all food should be made organically.


Very sustainable

Quite sustainable

Not sustainable

A new, out-of-town shopping centre has just opened. It is close to a motorway and about 10 miles from the centre of town.

Each day thousands of people travel there in their cars to do their shopping. The centre is a major employer and has helped to regenerate the local economy.

Very sustainable

Quite sustainable

Not sustainable