In March 1987, Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Norwegian prime minister, gave the United Nations a report entitled Our common future. The text introduced the term “sustainable development” which had not been used very much until then. The concept was defined as follows: « Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.»
This text follows many others, amongst which we can note the Meadows report, published in 1972 by the Club of Rome entitled Limits to growth.. It was published the year the Stockholm conference took place; it was already trying to reconcile the environment and economic development.