Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment, economics, health, property, information , theology, etc.
Stewardship was originally made up of the tasks of a domestic steward, from stīġ (house, hall) and weard, (ward, guard, guardian, keeper).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.
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."
^Chapin, F. Stuart III, Gary P. Kofinas, and Carl Folke (eds). 2009. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer. ISBN 978-0387730325.
^Hendee, John C. and Chad P. Dawson. 2002. Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values (3rd Edition). Fulcrum Publishing. ISBN 978-1555918552.
^Peter Block, Peter. 2013. Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest (2nd Edition). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. ISBN 978-1609948221.
^Curtis, Gregory. 2012. The Stewardship of Wealth, + Website: Successful Private Wealth Management for Investors and Their Advisors. Wiley. ISBN 978-1118321867.
^Robinson, Joe Sam, M. Sami Walid, Aaron C. M. Barth (Editors). 2012. Toward Healthcare Resource Stewardship: Health Care Issues, Costs, and Access. Nova Science. ISBN 978-1621001829.
^Meidenger, Errol E. 1998. Laws and Institutions in Cross-Boundary Stewardship. pp. 87-110 In: Knight, Richard L., and Peter Landres (Editors). Stewardship Across Boundaries. Island Press. ISBN 978-1559635158.
^National Academy of Sciences Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age. 2009. Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age. National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309147828.