Sustainability

Founders in spring
Wells on Wheels
Solar Van/Mega

What is Wellesley Sustainability?

It's you. It's me. It's every one of us. We all have the ability to make  a difference in the world: everything you do, every day, matters. Here at Wellesley we act on that principle. It is who we are. Together we are Wellesley Sustainability.

Sustainability is much bigger than Wellesley College.

Sustainability is constantly evolving and has over five hundred different definitions. One of the more common definitions is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainability is more than “being green.” It is also demonstrating social, financial and local/global responsibility through a renewed concern for the environment and an institutional commitment to make a difference. At Wellesley College, it is our collective effort that can build a sustainable community. We believe these four principles succinctly define sustainability:


1. Sustainability revolves around humans and their environment – we recognize that health and happiness are at the core of a sustainable community, and that our actions to protect air, water, and natural resources are necessary to protect our wellbeing.

2. Sustainability recognizes the larger system – all things are interconnected and work together; seeing how a change to one thing influences another is essential for understanding the impact of our decisions.

3. Sustainability focuses on the elimination of wastes – there is no value or benefit when wasting energy, water, natural resources, money, time, or human capital.

4. Sustainability focuses on the future – change is inevitable, happens quickly, and is often unpredictable.  It is essential to make thoughtful decisions today that will make us more likely to succeed in the future.

(Davis Bookhart, HKUST Sustainability)

 

We also recommend:

Tavanti, M. (2010). “Definitions, Concepts and Application of Sustainability.” http://sustainabledepaul.blogspot.com/p/defining-sustainability.html

The Natural Step. (2015). http://www.thenaturalstep.org/our-approach/

 

Want more information on Wellesley Sustainability? See our 2014 progress report.