Sustainability involves meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. [1]

Note that sustainability is a broad term that goes beyond environmental responsibility and includes social ends such as international economic development. This definition is often associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [2]

Financial sustainability occurs when an organization has sufficient cash inflows to cover necessary cash outflows for the foreseeable future. Necessary cash outflows include any outflows that a stakeholder has power to demand. These might typically include cashflows demanded by owners, the government (e.g., taxation), or employees. [3]

See Also

Sustainable innovation
Sustainable marketing


  1. This definition was formally of ‘sustainable development’ and was supplied in the 1987 UN report, “Our Common Future,” commonly called the “Brundtland Report”, see chapter 2, paragraph 1.
  2. The United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), see
  3. Universal Marketing Dictionary Project, 2023.

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