Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment and nature, economics, health, property, information, theology, etc.
History of the term
Stewardship was originally made up of the tasks of a domestic steward, from stiġ (house, hall) and weard, (ward, guard, guardian, keeper). Stewardship in the beginning referred to the household servant’s duties for bringing food and drink to the castle’s dining hall. Stewardship responsibilities were eventually expanded to include everything the domestic, service and management needs of the entire household. Commercial stewardship tends to the domestic and service requirements of passengers on ships, trains, airplanes or guests in restaurants. This concept of stewardship continues to be referenced within these specific categories. Stewardship is now generally recognized as the acceptance or assignment of responsibility to shepherd and safeguard the valuables of others.
In business, it has been used by CEOs to denote the concept that "as a steward, you try to leave the company in better shape for your successor than it was handed over to you by your predecessor."
See also the definition in international standard ISO 20121 - Event sustainability management system - Requirements with guidance for use; par. 3.20: "responsibility for sustainable development shared by all those whose actions affect environmental performance. economic activity, and social progress, reflected as both a value and a practice by individuals, organisations. communities, and competent authorities."