Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED 1987). It incorporates many elements, and all sectors, including the health sector, which must contribute to achieve it.
Reference: Our common future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 1987. Health and Environment in Sustainable Development. Five years after the Earth Summit. WHO, Geneva, 1997
Human beings are at the centre of sustainable development. Sustainable development refers to the use of resources, direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional development in ways which ensure that the current development and use of resources do not compromise the health and well-being of future generations.
There is no single best way of organizing the complex development-environment-health relationship that reveals all the important interactions and entry points for public health interventions. In health promotion, sustainable development is particularly important in terms of building healthy public policy, and supportive environments for health in ways which improve living conditions, support healthy lifestyles, and achieve greater equity in health both now and in the future.