Sustainable development

Sustainable development

We all depend on what nature provides, fresh air to breathe, water to drink, food, fuel, raw materials for all the things we need.

The uncomfortable reality is that a lot of the damage done to the natural world in recent times has been mainly because of pressures from people, especially the increasing demand for natural resources.


Globally, people are using about 25% more natural resources than the planet can replace. In the UK, we’re consuming three times our fair share of the planet’s natural resources. We face an ‘ecological overshoot’ that will have severe consequences for both people and nature unless we humans change the way we live.


Although advances in technology have helped people to produce things more efficiently, the benefits have been swamped by ever-higher levels of consumption by affluent Western economies and the growing middle classes in the developing world.


Some 70% of humanity’s global footprint arises from carbon emissions; other pressures are linked to commodities such as crops, meat, fish and wood, and the freshwater we take from rivers and lakes.


CARD Europe is seeking a planet where both people and nature thrive within their fair share of what’s available. We are developing a range of One Planet sustainability initiatives to support this goal, helping to bring sustainability and equity to production, trade and consumption.


If we’re going to reduce poverty in the long term, we need to recognize how it’s linked to the environment.


Ecosystems and poverty

Poorer communities are most affected by this decline since they are most directly reliant on ecosystem services for their well-being. The livelihoods of more than one billion people depend directly on natural resources.