The word ‘sustainable’ gets thrown around a lot.

Unfortunately, what many using the word forget is its meaning. It’s only sustainable if it’s repeatable.

This means it can’t fail.

Many environmentally sustainable efforts run out of money, then they run out of human passion and work, and then they fail. This is clearly unsustainable, so don’t try and label it as something else.

Projects, systems, organisations, ideas, and industries fail due to failure of one or more foundational pillars; financially unsustainable, environmentally unsustainable, or unsustainable management of human resources.

Treat people well, look after the environment, and your bank account, and you have a business.

Put another way, a farmer isn’t a farmer until they have produced a harvest. A golfer isn’t a golfer until they have played a game of golf. The best swimmer in the world can call themselves a lifeguard if they want, but if they aren’t there to save the person drowning, are they really a lifeguard?

For an effort to be sustainable, it must have sustainable input and management of people, finances, and the environment.