Social sustainability goals usually relate to the health (care), education, economic and social security, and social participation (see e.g. the UN Millennium Development Goals). In a sustainable society all people live and work in healthy environments, have access to health care and education, and exercise their influence in society under democratic forms.
These various aspects may be defined in terms of minimum levels for e.g. economic security (wages and benefits), education or health care. Concerning health, for example, people should at least have access to basic health care and also not risk getting ill from being exposed to serious health risks or injuries.
Even for social participation minimum levels could be defined, that have to do with civil rights as voting rights, freedom of expression, the right to organize trade unions, etc.
But sustainability is not just about minimum levels, it is also about the fair distribution of access to the above utilities. If there is a certain amount of, for example, health care or education available, this amount should be distributed in an equitable manner. This makes it specifically interesting to look at groups that are already ‘low’ in relation to one good or several of them. Which option means an increased equity in the distribution of these?
Fair procedures is a further aspect, since it is not only the current or final goal fulfillment that determines the degree of sustainability in a community. Also the political (democratic) and social procedures are important. Who can join and make their voices heard when decisions on important conditions in the local and national community, and in e.g. schools or workplaces, are made?