Frequently Asked Questions

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Sustainability: What is sustainability?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainable development expands this idea to include the concept that environmental protection does not preclude economic development and that economic development must be ecologically viable now and in the long term. The concept of sustainability encompasses ideas, aspirations, and values that inspire public and private organizations to become better stewards of the environment and that promote positive economic growth and social objectives. For more information about sustainability, visit the EPA's sustainability web site.