In 1972, the first references on social sustainability appeared in Europe. However, the issue only gained visibility with the publication of the Brundtland Report, also known as the Our Common Future report.
The report was published in 1987 after dozens of meetings of the World Commission on Environment and Development, of the United Nations, led by the Norwegian physician Gro Harlem Brundtland and composed of specialists from various fields.
This document was the first to bring the concept of sustainable development into the political discourse. The report provided data on global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer, themes that were quite new at the time of its release.
In addition, he also indicated a series of goals to be followed by countries to prevent further environmental destruction and imbalance.
After Brundtland, another document that brought up the issue of social sustainability was Agenda 21. It consists of a planning instrument for the construction of sustainable societies, in different geographic bases, which combines methods of environmental protection, social justice and economic efficiency . In this sense, Agenda 21 was the result of the Eco-92 conference that took place in 1992 in Brazil.
As can be seen, social sustainability had as its starting point references totally linked to environmental issues. Therefore, building the concept as it is seen today was a process that has lasted for nearly three decades.