zweikern Lexikon
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What is sustainment?


In the context of project work and the sustainable achievement of goals within companies, sustainment refers to the ability to design and implement projects and their outcomes in a way that ensures their long-term integration into the company's processes, yielding continuous positive impacts. It encompasses strategic planning, integration into existing workflows, resource allocation, and the development of measures to ensure that project objectives can be sustained over an extended period. In this context, sustainment means that the progress and changes achieved within the company remain durable and effective, ensuring long-term improvements and positive outcomes.


The term "Sustainment" has its origin in the forestry sector and is derived from the German word "nachhaltig." It was first used in the 18th century, particularly by foresters and forest managers, to describe environmentally friendly and long-term sustainable forest management practices. The idea was to use wood in a way that allows forests to regenerate and maintain their existence over generations without causing permanent damage.

However, the significant breakthrough of the term "Sustainment" outside the forestry sector occurred in the 20th century, particularly through the publication of "The Limits to Growth" by the Club of Rome in 1972. This report emphasized the Earth's limited resources and the necessity to promote sustainable development to prevent environmental issues and resource scarcity.

Since then, the concept of "Sustainment" has evolved into a key concept in various fields, including environmental conservation, economics, social sciences, and corporate governance. It now represents a holistic approach aimed at aligning ecological, social, and economic goals to ensure long-term prosperity and quality of life.


  • Maintenance
  • Continuation
  • Support
  • Perpetuation

Additional Interesting Facts

Sustainability Management in Projects

Within the framework of project management and corporate strategy, sustainable management requires that companies pursue not only financial goals but also ecological and social goals. It is about finding the right balance between people, planet, and profits, ensuring that all aspects of the Triple Bottom Line approach (Economy, Ecology, and Social) are considered.

Practices and Strategies

Companies implement sustainable practices and strategies, such as:

  • Energy-saving Measures: Reducing energy consumption and using renewable energy sources.

  • Waste Reduction and Recycling: Implementing recycling programs and measures to reduce waste generation.

  • Employee Well-being: Creating a healthy and inclusive working environment and promoting the well-being of employees.

Advantages of Sustainability in Projects

Integrating sustainability into projects can have various benefits:

  • Long-term Economic Benefits: Savings through more efficient processes and resource use.

  • Brand Differentiation: Building a positive corporate image and improving market position.

  • Employee Satisfaction: Improving working conditions and increasing employee satisfaction and retention.

Challenges and Solutions

However, companies also face challenges when implementing sustainable practices in projects. These challenges can be lack of resources, resistance from stakeholders, or unclear sustainability goals. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to set clear goals, involve stakeholders, and integrate sustainable practices into the corporate culture.

Education and Development

Sustainable project leadership requires continuous education and development of employees and leaders regarding sustainable practices and principles. Training and workshops can help sharpen awareness and impart the necessary skills to successfully lead and implement sustainable projects.


Sustainability in project work and in a corporate context is more than a trend; it is a necessary approach to ensuring long-term success and prosperity. By considering ecological, social, and economic aspects, companies can contribute to shaping a better and more sustainable future.