Ecological sustainability includes everything that is connected with the Earth's ecosystems. Amongst other things, this includes the stability of climate systems, the quality of air, land and water, land use and soil erosion, biodiversity (diversity of both species and habitats), and ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and photosynthesis). When it comes to the ecological systems, it is often possible to give quite a good definition of sustainability.
Production of goods and services must not compromise the carrying capacity of ecosystems, i.e. nature has to be able to regenerate utilised resources.
Amongst other things, ecological sustainability relates to the functioning of the Earth's biogeochemical system, which includes the following:
- Water (pollutants, groundwater levels, salinity, temperature, alien species)
- Air (pollutants, particles, ozone layer, climate system, noise)
- Land (pollutants, erosion, land use, alien species)
- Biodiversity (species and habitats (natural habitats), GMOs)
- Ecosystem services (e.g. pollination, photosynthesis, water purification, climate control)
Ecological sustainability sometimes also includes human health, to the extent that it is affected by the external environment in terms of pollutants, noise, etc.