New genomes are no longer science fiction. The ability to design and control biological organisms and processes is well on its way and has the potential to become one of the most powerful tools to benefit the move toward a sustainable world. It also has the potential to cause almost unimaginable harm. Thoughtful development, use and implementation of synthetic biology processes must proceed within a sustainability construct. Long-term implication of use and misuse much be considered and built in prior to implementation. The impact of synthetic biology will be felt by this world in the coming decades and it is essential that these impacts be positive and not follow the errors of previous technological advances of realizing a specific utility coupled with myriad unintended consequences.