Hans Carl von Carlowitz
Der sächsische Oberberghauptmann Hans Carl von Carlowitz, der Begründer der Nachhaltigkeit

Hans Carl von Carlowitz was the first who formulated the three pillars of sustainability: environmental equilibrium, economic security and social justice. His concept o of sustainable forest management gave rise to modern forestry in Germany and established the country’s reputation as the cradle of sustainability. The concept was initially focused on timber, but it was gradually developed and expanded to encompass forest services.

Today sustainability economics involves ecological economics where social aspects including cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects are integrated. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Despite the increased popularity of the use of the term "sustainability", the possibility that human societies will achieve environmental sustainability has always been questioned—in light of environmental degradation, climate change, overconsumption, and societies' pursuit of indefinite economic growth.

Ulrich Grober: Sustainability – a cultural history