Sustainability is a key concept when we discuss the effects of human population and activity on nature and the biosphere. Still, especially in Europe, for years it has been used in many other senses both in economics and sociology. Its original meaning has been greatly distorted and extended; it has been misused and abused. This paper examines why this happened and what is the new meaning (if any) of the concept. It also discusses the interpretation of the concept sustainability on different levels—global, national, industrial, and corporate—as the author sees it. Emphasis is placed on the difference between environmental protection and sustainability.

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