Sustainability Of The Un 's World Commission On Environment And Development

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Since the creation of the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, the term “sustainability” has become a common term used when discussing the future of the world (Kerr &Hart-Steffes2012). Sustainability, in a broad sense, means living harmoniously with the environment, society, and economy without compromising quality of life for peoples of future generations. There are three main components to sustainability: social, environmental, and economic. The social dimension refers to housing, education, health care, and other aspects that contribute to one’s quality of life, while the economic dimension speaks to a viable local economy with job creation and incoming revenue not dependent on high consumption or population…show more content…
Lack of interest and funding constraints may deter universities from pursuing their sustainability goals (Wright&Wilton 2012). The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has been a leader for universities around the United States to document their sustainability accomplishments, student priorities, and develop strategies to achieve their goals. Perhaps the most vital segment of addressing a campus’ initiatives and priorities (or lack of) is developing a strategic plan to improve in various areas of campus sustainability. In doing this, a campus is made aware of their sustainability efforts and possible areas to improve upon to reduce their environmental impact.
An important aspect of AASHE is the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS report), which measures a university’s sustainability performance. The STARS report assesses a diverse array of campus sustainability efforts that includes: academic opportunities (research, courses, and programs), low impact dining options (such as trayless dining and vegan food options), and energy conservation by LED lighting, sensors, timers for temperature control, etc (STARS 2013). Through this report, decision-makers on campus are able to assign the campus a rating indicating their progress towards sustainability. This report also serves as a stepping stone to furthering campus sustainability
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