Since the industrial revolution and the promotion of a continuous economic growth, our societies have kept on implementing policies and practices which are not always sustainable and which sometimes affect the environment. The huge technological and scientific progress allows an unequal speed enhancement, while the notions of the natural resources exhaustion and the irreversible impacts on environment seem well-founded.
Promoting, for centuries, the only economic dimension of the development plunged humanity into a worrying situation in terms of environment as well as in terms of social disparities.
However, today, the inverse drift of «any environment» would push us to reproduce the past errors, by privileging only one pillar of development. Future generations might blame us for having penalized their potential of growth, and their capacity to create wealth.
Hence, the question is: How is wealth and how can it be created? In other words, is it possible to perpetuate an exponential development of productions or consumptions without causing damages to environment, and without provoking inequities between the nations, territories, social groups or generations? Therefore, interrogations are about the components of wealth, in terms of the use of different forms of capital (human capital, physical capital and natural capital) and the role of R & D et and innovation, namely their capacity to offer substitutes to environmental resources (GMO, pesticides, etc.).