What does Sustainability mean to you?

The ASU School of Sustainability says this about it

The ASU School of Sustainability has many great articles and encourages increased awareness on many of our environmental issues.  I did come across their link to “What is Sustainability” that I wanted to share.  It provides a wide range of thoughts and comes from all levels; from President Michael Crow, Sustainability students, Professors, as well as the Board of Directors.  Read what they have to say…

“Sustainability is a concept with as much transformative potential as justice, liberty, and equality.”

Michael Crow
Arizona State University

“Sustainability is larger than one person, one company, or one country. Its scope, scale, and importance demand unprecedented and swift solutions to environmental protection and other complex problems.”

Julie Ann Wrigley
President and Chief Executive Officer
Julie Ann Wrigley Foundation

“Living in harmony with our social and natural environment, based on a sense of justice and equity.”

Sander van der Leeuw
School of Sustainability

“Sustainability is a process that engages every discipline to provide dynamic solutions to complex issues.”

Brian McCollow
School of Sustainability

“Sustainability is an awareness of the connectivity of the world and the implications of our actions. It is finding solutions through innovative approaches, expanding future options by practicing environmental stewardship, building governance institutions that continually learn, and instilling values that promote justice.”

Charles L. Redman
School of Sustainability

“Promoting human prosperity and well-being for all, while protecting and enhancing the earth’s life support systems.”

Board of Directors for Sustainability at ASU

This is what Wikipedia has to say about “Sustainability.”

“Sustainability is the capacity to endure through renewal, maintenance, and sustenance, or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capacity to endure through unchanging resistance to change…”

Wikipedia does go on to state that “the most widely quoted definition of sustainability as a part of the concept sustainable development, that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Furthermore… “At the 2005 World Summit on Social Development it was noted that this requires the reconciliation of environmental, social equity and economic demands – the “three pillars” of sustainability or (the 3 E’s).”

The definition is long and fairly complicated so you must read it by yourself and come to your own conclusion(s) of what sustainability means to you.


Its Not that Simple

So Sustainability is not really a very simple concept to define. My personal view is that in many instances we can not sustain what we are doing in the present and that we need to improve the state of our economic, social and environmental well being for the future.

Maybe we should be looking at a different term to help simplify the concept. So therefore I now propose that we use  the new term…


This combination of three words is basic and understandable.  In order to survive in the future we must change our behaviors and work to improve it now, especially those things that are so obviously, need I say it, unsustainable!

The three ingredients of Improvitnow!


About rsingram

Environmental Specialist, Disaster Reservist, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Para-Archeologist
This entry was posted in Economics, Education, Environment and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What does Sustainability mean to you?

  1. Nancy Renison says:

    Did I mention how much I enjoy your blogs…you done good and hit many a nail on the head! If only those in control (media, corporate and government) could connect the dots….wow!


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