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 actively participate with caring for the environment, ensure long-term economic benefits, and advance 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.  The values, knowledge and skills instilled by the University will help guide their future decisions and practices with being good stewards of the environment.


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. A Campus Sustainability Coordinator works in the Office of Physical Plant  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 Shannon Clounts for any concerns or ideas regarding sustainable practices. With the FAU community working together to achieve these goals FAU will be a leader in sustainable education, research, and recognized as environmentally responsible.

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 Last Modified 11/8/16