Comparing Sustainability to a Good Life and Well-Being: Overlap, Differentiations and Indefinite Overlap

  •  Jerke W. De Vries    


In our society, sustainability has emerged as a major concept in our daily lives and activities, e.g. from reducing the environmental impact of our foods to corporate social responsibility in doing business, and social impact of our activities. The original idea of sustainability was to address human development within social, ecological, and economic boundaries. Nowadays, however, sustainability is more and more extended to other areas of our lives, including aspects of a good life and well-being. The aim here was to compare sustainability, a good life, and well-being and determine their overlap, differentiations, and indefinite or undecided overlap when considering the original definitions. Following from the definition of sustainability, a good life, and well-being, I analyze the overlap, differentiations, and indefinite overlap of these concepts. With this comparison, I show that sustainability is clearly adapting to include more aspects of a good life and well-being (approximately 26% overlap), but is limited to do so from its original definition. I conclude that overlap between concepts exists and by being relatively different they are fundamentally supportive to one another and need to be applied accordingly to further support sustainable development.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.