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What is Sustainability?
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  1. What is Sustainability?

  2. Overview • Definitions • Concept • Translation • Origin • Utility

  3. Definitions Sustainability is … “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” - Brundtland Commission “An approach to ensure the long-term viability and integrity of the mission by minimizing resource needs, reducing environmental impacts, and managing resources as to provide realistic training environments” - Fort Bragg working definition

  4. Concept In order for a society to be sustainable, nature’s functions and diversity are not systematically: • …subject to increasing concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust; • …subject to increasing concentrations of substances produced by society; or • …impoverished by over-harvesting or other forms of ecosystem manipulation; and • Resources are used fairly and efficiently in order to meet basic human needs worldwide. - The Natural Step for Business

  5. Translation • You can’t use renewable resources faster than they replenish themselves. • You can’t dump garbage into Nature any faster than Nature can absorb it without going haywire. • If you are using non-renewable resources for basic necessities, invest some into the development of renewable stuff that can replace it. - Alan AtKisson

  6. Origins • Communities • Regional Programs • State Initiatives • Corporations and Industry

  7. Communities • City of Austin Sustainable Communities Initiative • Chattanooga Venture • The Livable Tucson Program • Sustainable Seattle • Sustainable City, San Francisco • Sustainable Boston Initiative

  8. Regional Programs • Thomas Jefferson Sustainability Council • Sustainability Indicators Project for Central Texas • Clinch Powell Sustainable Development Initiative

  9. State Initiatives • Sustainable Washington • Smart Growth for Colorado’s Future • Maryland Smart Growth Program • North Carolina Environmental Sustainability Plan • Florida Sustainable Communities

  10. Federal Programs • EPA Smart Growth Network • EPA Green Communities • Federal Highway Administration Transportation and Community and System Preservation Program • U.S. Interagency Working Group Sustainable Development Indicators • Department of Energy, Center of Excellence in Sustainable Development • Local Agenda 21

  11. Corporate & Industrial Programs • Interface • Cooperative Bank • Sunoco • General Motors Corporation • Saunders Hotel Group • Swissôtel • Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group • Sierra Business Council

  12. Potential Utility Sustainability is the natural progression for environmental protection efforts. It provides: • A unified basis for resolving issues that cross regulatory frameworks, regional boundaries, and/or are influenced by non-environmental factors • An approach for integrating environmental issues into the fabric of human activity • A platform for explaining issues, building consensus, obtaining support, and working with relevant partners

  13. Summary • Sustainability is a new goal for environmental efforts • It implies an umbrella framework that is inclusive of all parties • Its foundation comes from communities seeking to resolve complicated interrelated issues • It can help the Army