A Working Definition at Dickinson College

Sustainability at Dickinson by Anna McGinn '14


Sustainability is about more than recycling and the environment. Sustainability is about answering a fundamental question: How do we improve the human condition equitably in this and future generations,  while conserving environmental systems necessary to support healthy and vibrant societies? This is Dickinson's working definition of sustainability.

Like most definitions, ours is born of a concern for the future of the planet, its people and its living systems, which are threatened by a growing human footprint that is consuming and degrading environmental resources at a rapid pace. It recognizes essential needs of vast numbers of people are not being met in the present, and that poverty and inequality are amplifiers of vulnerability to environmental and other hazards. It is motivated by values that seek balance among economic development, eradication of poverty and hunger, advancement of social justice, and protection of the natural world.