Triton College Sustainability Center
The Triton College Sustainability Center is made possible by the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), a partnership of the 48 Illinois Community Colleges that aims to expand training and employment opportunities while improving community and environmental health.
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There is not one universally accepted definition of sustainability, yet there are several themes that emerge from most definitions. These include living within certain limits and the interconnectedness of the environment, the economy, and society.
One of the most frequently cited definitions of sustainable development was crafted by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 (also known as the Brundtland Report):
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. - Our Common Future”
As previously mentioned, environmental, economic, and societal dimensions are common factors in many definitions. This is commonly referred to as the triple bottom line. The World Business Council on Sustainable Development states "sustainable development involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity. Companies aiming for sustainability need to perform not against a single, financial bottom line but against the triple bottom line."
Due to the interdependent relationship between the environment, the economy, and society, the following graphic has been developed to illustrate this association.
While this graphic has been widely used in discussions regarding sustainability, not everyone agrees with this depiction. One of the main crtiques is the depiction of society or the economy existing separate from nature. A nested approach is preferred in which it illustrates the economy exists within human society, which in turn exists within the natural environment.
Regardless of which version you prefer, most can agree we need to transition to a more sustainble way of life. We must become better stewards of our planet to ensure we endure.
“A transition to sustainability involves moving from linear to cyclical processes and technologies. The only processes we can rely on indefinitely are cyclical; all linear processes must eventually come to an end. - Dr. Karl Henrik-Robert”
The Four Cs of What We Do
Adrian FisherSustainability CoordinatorB-219(708) 456-0300 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe BeuchelFaculty LiaisonD-315A(708) 456-0300 email@example.com
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