Championing the four pillars of sustainability


September saw a series of events throughout Melbourne built around the theme of sustainability. 

What was interesting was to hear the range of discussions considering human, social, economic, and environmental sustainability. These are the four pillars of sustainability. 

  • Human sustainability considers how to improve people’s health, education and training and access to services so that we can improve the human capital in society. 
  • Social sustainability is about improving society through sustainable development including developing social cohesion and equality in the community. 
  • Economic sustainability aims to improve the standard of living while addressing environmental and social risks. 
  • Environmental sustainability has at its core achieving positive economic outcomes without doing any harm, in the short- or long-term, to the environment. 

We need to think about all four of these concepts together when exploring how we plan to live more sustainably.

In a practical sense many of the activities of the Southbank Sustainability Group (SSG) try to integrate these four concepts. Our events bring together people of Southbank for a common purpose, building cohesion and knowledge, often saving money, and reducing our environmental footprint. 

Our next event is a free workshop (supported by grant funding from the City of Melbourne) designed to teach you the art of caring for and repairing your winter woollens. It is on Saturday, October 14, 11.30am to 1pm in the Assembly Hall at the Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Rd. You can book a place on Eventbrite. Numbers are limited so you will need to book a place. More details can be found at our Facebook page.

And, there is another great Southbank focused event coming up in November, with the nationwide Garage Sale Trail initiative coming to Southbank on Sunday, November 12. 

As part of this there will be the Re-love Festival, which will feature a pre-loved market, repair workshops, kids’ activities, food, local entertainment and more, making this is an event for all the community.

The organisers are currently looking for stallholders keen to turn their stash into cash and host a stall at the event. It’s free to book plus tables and chairs are provided. Find out more and book a stall at or contact the organisers at [email protected]

We are seeing the benefits of the efforts of members who have been tending the community garden at the Boyd Community Hub. We have been harvesting turnips. Radishes, lettuces, and kale. The crop of broad beans is well under way, and we are seeing lots of bees and insects enjoying the lavender and other flowers.

And, if you would like to learn a little about three of the members of SSG and what they enjoy about Southbank go online and read about them at

Visit our Facebook page if you are looking for information on how to live more sustainably. There are guides on subjects as diverse as sustainable travel, reducing the impacts of your pets on the environment, volunteering and food composting.

About the group

SSG is a solutions-focused community group of Southbank residents working to bring positive change in sustainability practices. Reach us at [email protected] or

If you are interested in getting involved with SSG, send us an email or come to one of the upcoming fortnightly Saturday meet-ups on October 14 or 28. •

Join our Facebook Group