“Sustainability Is More than Reducing Greenhouse Emissions”: Different Perspectives on Sustainability

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Public Health book series (BRIEFSPUBLIC)


Sustainability can be defined in many ways. This chapter describes various dimensions of environmental sustainability including the impact of the climate, human use of land, water and other resources, biodiversity, eutrophication, and the impact and relevance of these dimensions to food systems. It highlights the importance of social and economic sustainability, illustrating how food security, nutritional quality, ethical issues, cultural sensitivity, and human health are all part of sustainability. Challenges in measuring and evaluating the different dimensions of sustainability are discussed. The chapter concludes that despite many gaps in knowledge we already know enough to develop more sustainable food systems and consumption patterns that can contribute to healthy dietary habits for people and can ensure a healthy planet. Multidisciplinary, intersectoral, and systemic approaches are needed to achieve this.


Planetary boundaries Climate change Biodiversity Sustainable food systems Life Cycle Analysis Food 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Helsinki, Ministry of Social Affairs & HealthHelsinkiFinland

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