People in hammock among grove of trees

KU Commitment to Sustainability

"Meeting present needs without compromising our future."

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is generally defined as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Often misinterpreted simply as "environmental sustainability," it requires a much broader focus. While sustainability does involve using our natural resources wisely and protecting, enhancing, and mimicking the natural systems that support our planet, it also requires that we do these things in a way that both promotes economic prosperity for all, and ensures that all members of society are treated with equality and respect.

Overall, sustainability is about building healthy, resilient communities where everyone has access to the resources needed to achieve a high quality of life without exceeding the capacity of our natural ecosystems.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Center for Sustainability seeks to empower our campus community to make decisions that help protect natural ecosystems, create economic prosperity and treat all people equitably and with respect. Sustainability is built on the idea of “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  We have little hope of ensuring a bright future for generations to come if we are not able to support a safe, diverse, inclusive environment in which our current generation can thrive.

The Center is therefore committed to reviewing our programs to ensure they are inclusive and supportive of students, faculty, staff, and community members of all races, ethnicities, nations of origin, religions, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and abilities. Furthermore, we intend to use future events, programs, and presentations to highlight injustices linked to environmental problems, as well as injustices that exist within some sustainability practices that address environmental concerns without considering the wellbeing of all of our community members, or that encourage solutions that are financially out of reach for some groups. In doing so we will strive to illustrate the intersections between environmental, social, and economic concerns in order to seek sustainability solutions for all.

We believe that sustainability is about building healthy, resilient communities where everyone has access to the resources needed to achieve a high quality of life without exceeding the capacity of our natural ecosystems. As such, we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQIA+ community at all of their intersecting identities, as well as all other marginalized and oppressed people, to support a just and sustainable present and future for our campus, our community, and our planet.