Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Cradle-to-Grave and Sustainable Development

  • Tanja SrebotnjakEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_274


Sustainable development is commonly defined according to the Brundtland Commission as development that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Cradle to grave refers to life cycle of products from the sourcing of raw materials to the product’s final disposal. It is typically linked to life cycle assessment, which is a set of methodologies and principles for capturing the full environmental and/or social impacts of a product throughout its life span. Thus, cradle-to-grave assessment is a necessary step toward sustainable product design.


The Brundtland Commission in 1987 defined sustainable development succinctly as “development that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland 1987). This definition enshrines that societal activity, such as economic growth, must allow allpeople to meet their...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental DesignHarvey Mudd CollegeClaremontUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Madhavi Venkatesan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA