The “Sustainable Development” concept emerged during the 1980s in the literature concerned with the problems of the environment and its relationship to development. The report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), which was published in 1987 under the title “Our Common Future”, was the first to define sustainable development as being the "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This means suitable and fair distribution of resources, rights and of wealth among individuals over time and mutual equality between different generations and between members of the same generation.

The concept of equality among the generations is based on the premise that the present generation undertakes to maintain the necessary factors to ensure the quality of health conditions, biodiversity and natural resource productivity or increase them for the benefit of future generations. Sustainable development requires improving the living conditions for all people without increasing the use of natural resources in a way that goes beyond the capacity of planet Earth. Sustainable development focuses on three main areas, namely economic growth, conservation of natural and environmental resources and social development.

In order to promote and achieve the concept of sustainable development, the United Nations has implemented a range of global programs in this regard, including mainly the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations 2015, and the Ten-Year Framework Program on Sustainable Consumption and Production. Moreover, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has recently been approved.