ABSTRACT

Introduction The need for humanity to live sustainably, that is, for there to be a sustainable world, has roots that date back thousands of years in concerns expressed at the environmental damage humans cause (Hughes 2001). Contemporary sustainable world discourse is, at least from a Western industrialised world perspective, often dated from the 1880s and the response to environmental damage that paralleled the emergence of the industrial revolution, and the subsequent progression of environmental thought through to the advent of the modern day environmental movement in the 1960s (Pezzoli 1997; Mebratu 1998). International prominence of the current day sustainable world concept, commonly expressed as sustainable development, is often attributed to the 1987 release of the World Commission on Environment and Development’s report ‘Our Common Future’ (Speth and Haas 2006; Blewitt 2008). Sustainability issues have now become well embedded in political circles, both nationally and internationally, in the business sector, in the agendas of a broad range of NGOs, social groups, and research organisations, and in many academic and professional disciplines.