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Find resources related to sustainability in a variety of areas.


There are lots of great resources on sustainability; this guide features some of them. 

What is sustainability?  The sources listed in this subject guide are selected with this definition in mind:

Sustainability: A concept that is used to describe community and economic development in terms of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. (from Dictionary of Environment and Conservation, Oxford Univ. Press, 2007)

The Home page lists article databases and other library resources that will be helpful in exploring topics related to sustainability. 

Other pages include selected websites and books on the labeled topic, with sustainability as the emphasis --click on the tab of interest. 

More Definitions

Karen Marker has suggested these definitions, with context:

The most widely accepted definition (as I understand) is from the Brundtland Commission, convened in 1983: 
"Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

The group that developed this definition is formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), but people commonly refer to it by its then chair, Gro Harlem Brundtland.

This is akin to architect and "Cradle to Cradle" co-author William McDonough's—"For all children, for all species, for all time."

I also like businessman and author Paul Hawken's "Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do." (Hawken, P.The ecology of commerce: A declaration of sustainability. New York, HarperBusiness, 1993. p 139).

And finally, at a more tactical level, I go with my own version when working with faculty on grant proposals: Maintaining our natural resources and planet for the next generations. We can do so by promoting systems thinking and innovative product and process design to minimize resource consumption and support environmental stewardship.

Thanks, Karen!  If you would like to contribute your favorite definition of sustainability, please add a comment to this box.

Article Databases for Sustainability

Additional databases

These databases are multidisplinary and will have many articles on a variety of sustainability issues.

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This guide was collaboratively created by Rebecca Mirsky, Construction Management and Beth Brin, Albertsons Library.