The concept of sustainability has some variations, but the most frequently quoted definition was developed by the United Nations in the Bruntland Report: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Considering how various factors impact the environment is a concern of environmental sustainability. The IPAT model, first proposed by Ehrlich and Holdren in the early 1970s, is a way to calculate the impact of humans on the environment. IPAT is an equation that expresses the idea that environmental impact (I) is the product of three factors: population (P), affluence (A) and technology (T). It is a general conceptual model more than a precise quantitative framework.
The IPAT model is a good starting place to consider impact, and from this model we can extend the idea of impact to discuss issues as to how business impacts the environment through its use of natural resources.
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