Short and long-term environmental effects

Some business activity can cause short-term environmental costs which can be put right in the longer term. For example, the impact of cutting down forests for timber is much reduced if young trees are planted in their place and left to grow into maturity.

A forest of pine trees.

Some trees, such as pine, grow quickly and can be considered a renewable resource. Other resources, such as mahogany, take hundreds of years to grow and so are non-renewable in our lifetime. Resources like oil that can only be used once are non-renewable.

Business activity - such as intensive fishing in the North Sea - can compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and is unsustainable. Sustainable growth means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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