What is Sustainability?

Simply defined, sustainability is meeting contemporary needs without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs. More comprehensively, it means looking at the issues and problems facing our world with a new perspective – one that focuses on three interdependent areas of concern: ecological preservation, economic viability, and social justice. To be sustainable, a practice must preserve rather than destroy its ecological base, ensure rather than undermine long-term economic benefits, and advance rather than retard matters of fairness, equity, and diversity.

Florida Atlantic University has a special obligation to meet the challenges of sustainability. As educators we play a leading role in training the scientific, social, political and cultural leaders, professionals and policy-makers who will make a difference in the world. Additionally, we consume significant resources here on campus, and whether the world is a better or worse place when our students become its citizens, parents, and leaders will be, in no small part, a function of the values, knowledge and skills they receive here.


The university encourages all members of the Owl Community to take responsibility for the environmental, economic, and social consequences of their individual and collective actions. This mindset will help create a culture shift and the creation of common/collective norms that support sustainability. It will highlight the need for sustainability to become part of everyday life and operations for the FAU community – for the campus to be a living laboratory for sustainable practices and behaviors. The Office of Space Utilization and Analysis houses the campus sustainability liaison as a resource that works to build and strengthen the networks that are needed to create a sustainable FAU. In addition to our many programs and campaigns at the institutional level, the Green Wave Program supports employees in their efforts to make FAU a model of sustainability in higher education. Please contact the Office of Space Utilization & Analysis for any concerns or ideas regarding sustainable practices. Together, these goals are attainable and FAU will be a leader in sustainable education, research, and a campus that is visibly recognizable as environmentally responsible.

In addition to the Sustainability Liaison, the joint-standing Sustainability Committee, the Mission Green Student Association, SEEDS, and Student Government support a culture of sustainability at FAU. Student Government approved full funding for the start of FAU community garden in early 2012 and continues to place open space projects and enhanced recycling programs as priorities year in and year out.

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 Last Modified 8/26/12