A look at the ideas behind this concept
The official definition in the 1987 Brundtland Commission Report ‘Our Common Future’ states that:
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
the concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.