SustainAbility Newsletter

The Nature of Sustainability

by Stephen B. Jones, PhD

Steve Jones

Sustainability is sweeping the globe – virtually every corporate home page prominently displays sustainability, environmental responsibility, environmental stewardship, or some like term. Schools, colleges, businesses, and communities likewise are embracing sustainability. All define the term more or less the same – being careful that what we do today doesn’t negatively impact our future use and enjoyment of resources, including natural, human, and economic values. For some, the philosophy and practice are real and deeply woven into the organization’s ethic and practice. For others, the words on the web page are just that – words. We’ve thought a lot about what actually walking the talk of sustainability means. We’ll dig more deeply and widely into the discussion as this column unfolds in subsequent editions of Sustainability News.

We’ll use Urbana University as a reference point. Let’s begin by thinking about walking the talk of sustainability across four dimensions:

  1. Campus “built” environment and immediate grounds;
  2. Campus “natural” spaces and associated “wild” environment;
  3. Curriculum;
  4. Individual well being.

For non-educational enterprises, we substitute “curriculum” with “lifelong learning.” All of us need to better understand and appreciate the interconnectedness of our social, economic, and environmental worlds. We add individual well-being because we believe that the only way any of us can promote, foster, live, and sustain our support for the sustainability cause is to first take care of ourselves.

We are developing Urbana University as a model for any organization to adopt sustainability. As this series progresses, we’ll develop for you some simple steps for doing what we are implementing at Urbana University:

  • Ensuring embrace of the tenets and principles of sustainability across all four dimensions
    • Implementing sustainability within the campus “built” environment and associated landscaping/grounds
    • Practicing sustainability on campus “natural” areas
    • Integrating sustainability into the curriculum
    • Adopting measures to encourage individual well-being
  • Creating a sustainability brand and identity
  • Developing a sustainability Charter

In the meantime, drop us an email and let us know what you are doing.

Steve Jones, Ph.D. is Senior Fellow with the International Sustainability Council and also President of Urbana University.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles

The International Sustainability Council 

Sustainability Campaign


The Business Alliance for Living Economies

American Society of Golf Course Architects

The United States Golf Association (USGA)

Sustainable Golf & Development

The PGA Golf Club

Urbana University


SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day

Earth Day is a day designated to promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Originally established by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970, Earth Day is now a global event celebrated by more than 192 countries each year.

The first Earth Day in 1970 marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Over 20 million Americans participated in the inaugural Earth Day with events and protests against the deterioration of the environment across the country, as well as a one-hour primetime special report about the environment, narrated by Walter Cronkite and with correspondents in dozens of U.S. cities.

As the environmental movement grew, the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.

On April 22, people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will join together to voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals, organizations, and governments to do their part.




References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 

Sustainability Campaign

Ford Motor Company

Urbana University

Defenders of Wildlife

The Earthday Network

Bloomberg Businessweek

Small Busienss Trends

The Dodson Group      

To learn about sponsorship opportunities please call us at: 727-733-0762
This Issue of the SustainAbility Newsletter sponsored in part by:

The Dodson Group

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Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity. 


A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

Read more