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Sustainability at Brandywine

Resources for the Brandywine Sustainovation Committee

What is Sustainability?

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

(Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)

This guide is meant to provide resources to explain what it means to practice sustainability on many different levels. Navigate the tabs on the left to find academic articles, videos, magazine articles, books, and organizations that will help you learn more about sustainable practices.

The Three Pillars of Sustainability

"The core of mainstream thinking on sustainability is that all policy and law must be made with an awareness of three separate dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic. These have been drawn in a variety of ways: as “pillars,” as concentric circles, or as interlocking circles [...] These three pillars are also called the “three Es”—for environment, equity, and economy—or the “three Ps”—for people, planet, and profits.


Sustainability seen as a roof over the three pillars; social, environmental, and economic dimensionsconcentric circles of sustainability showing the overlap of social, environment and economic variables












The three pillars concept reminds us that not only is a successful and sustainable economy dependent on protecting the environment and ensuring some degree of social justice but environmental protection may be dependent on achieving a greater degree of social justice (e.g., greater gender equality, educational opportunity, and income security lead to reduced population growth). "

(Smith, Susan L. "Sustainability." Green Energy: An A-to-Z Guide)