What is Sustainability?

If you hear the word “sustainability” what comes to mind?  If you’re like most people, you think of the environment.  However, sustainability is much more than a concern for the environment.  It is about people and the health of our communities!

The Office of Sustainability defines sustainability as operating our campus in a way that meets our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (adjusted from the Brundtland Commission 1987).  It has three components:

Environmental stewardshippresentation1

  • Cleaner, healthier environment
  • Conserve natural resources

Social responsibility

  • Fair and equitable treatment
  • Healthy communities

Economic prosperity

  • Cost savings
  • Economic growth

Why is Sustainability Important to the UNTHSC?

Our campus is committed to improving the health and quality of life of Texans and beyond. Sustainability supports that mission by striving to improve the environmental health and quality of life for our campus and community. Sustainability is important for many reasons including:

  • Improving Environmental Quality – Healthy communities require clean air, natural resources, and a non-toxic environment.  Sustainability strives to achieve this.
  • Growth – As our campus grows, we require more resources such as energy, water, and space. Sustainable growth benefits our campus now and in the future.
  • Ensuring Healthier Communities – The quality of our environment affects public health, and many health related issues are directly related to air and water quality.
  • Sustainability Makes Cents! – By operating more efficiently, our campus saves money.  Since 2000, we have saved almost 6 million dollars through energy efficiency projects.

This page was last modified on August 4, 2015