What is sustainability?

Sustainability is generally defined as creating and maintaining the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony. A sustainable world allows for the social and economic well-being of present and future generations. Often mistaken for "environmental sustainability", sustainability is much broader and involves decision-making that promotes:

  • Environmental conservation
  • Social equity
  • Economic prosperity

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Overall, sustainability is about creating a healthy, enduring community in which everyone has access to the resources needed to achieve a high quality of life without negatively impacting natural ecosystems.

What does this mean for WSU?

We can use sustainability as a lens to reevaluate campus operations such as waste management, energy usage and overall flow of resources.As an institute of higher education, we are well-poised to take the lead on this issue and positively impact the future of our campus and community. Sustainability can also serve as a valuable part of the student’s college experience as a form of civic engagement.

The road to a sustainable future will require a commitment from students, faculty, and staff. It will take resources, time and a willingness to change many habits. In the long run, however, taking the lead on sustainability will allow WSU to wholly fulfill our mission of service and become a role model for the community.