Sustainability – What does it mean to me?

By Shuba Karun, Head of Environment Social and Governance (ESG) & Sustainability, MDEC

Perhaps the best-known definition of sustainability is that in the Brundtland Report “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”.

Like me, you have probably also seen an increasing number of remarks in the media along the lines of “we must build back better, greener, and fairer”. While admirable statements, it does make me wonder about what it all means exactly for you and me and how we can truly make a difference individually.

In particular, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to reduce my personal carbon footprint through more sustainable living. More buzzwords I’m afraid, but I didn’t have to look very far for my inspiration to do this – my parents.

Shuba Karun, Senior Manager of Environment Social and Governance (ESG) & Sustainability, MDEC

For them, it’s all about their mindset and attitude. Central to this is their lifestyle: they lead simple but rewarding lives where everything is valued and reused. They don’t do this just to save money but because they believe that it is the right thing to do.

If I take an honest look at my lifestyle, I’m sure that I emulate some of their values. However, like me, I’m sure that many of my generation confuse wants and needs in our rush to buy the latest gadget or item that we simply must have as it’s become “essential” to our lifestyle. Taking a quick look around my home, I will be the first to admit that I’m guilty of that!

So what’s next you may ask? My personal sustainability journey will start with small steps, as I believe that these add up and can really make a difference. From today, I will make a personal pledge to greening my daily actions to protect the environment.

This will range from simple things like switching off lights, fans and air conditioning when not needed, to turning off the tap while cleaning my teeth, to reusing and recycling everything that I can, to asking myself if I really need this new gadget! I hope you will join me in this journey!

*This piece was first featured on MDEC’s newsletter, Connecting

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