Sustainable development encompasses environmental, social and economic considerations. As such the stakeholders include industry, government, individuals and communities. When designing or operating an industrial plant, it is Insufficient to consider only the economic viability of the facility. This paper examines the background to current sustainability awareness and presents a case study that incorporates sustainability principles in the design of an efluent treatment plant for a textile plant. The likely design of the treatment system (electro flotation followed by filtration) will do more than just meet regulatory requirements, it will maximise possible reuse of water and so minimise environmental impact of the facility.