What are the primary components for sustainability?

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There are four pillars of environmental sustainability commonly recognized: society, ecology, government, and economy.

More specifically, societal sustainability is concerned with the well being of current people but also future generations. Though common reference to societal sustainability is the "seventh generation" stewardship, which requires that in all actions you consider the needs of the next seven generations, not just your and your own generation's needs. It also includes the need to incorporate sustainable practices into cultural norms in order for the society to persist.

Ecological sustainability is concerned with the health of the natural environment, the conservation of natural resources, and the preservation of ecosystem functions performed by individual members and the ecosystem as a whole. It requires that use of natural resources not exceed the capacity of an ecosystem to regenerate them, known as the carrying capacity. Ecological sustainability also includes preservation of biological diversity, which includes genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity.

Governmental sustainability primarily pushes for legislation that furthers the other three components of sustainability, acting as a steward of common resources and the public well being for many generations, not only the present constituents.

Economic sustainability uses the construct known as the triple bottom line, as opposed to the traditional "bottom line", which only concerns itself with monetary success. The triple bottom line considers economic profitability compared to environmental harm or profitability compared to societal harm or profitability.
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