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Enviromental Sciences and Sustainability: Introduction

What is Sustainability?

In 1987 the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." --Our Common Future


This guide will point you to resources for learning more about sustainability-related topics. Use the tabs above to find the following information:

Databases & eResources: Databases, open access journals, and other eresources for locating articles and data

Multimedia: Videos, maps, podcasts, and other multimedia resources

Research Tips: Tips on evaluating websites, using information ethically, and more

Get Involved!: Listings of campus, regional, and international opportunities for taking part in sustainability initiatives

For Faculty: Resources and ideas on integrating sustainability into the curriculum

SIUE Sustainability: Link out to SIUE's sustainability website

The second row of tabs contain helpful resources centered on the specific topics listed.

Important Library Links

More Definitions of Sustainability

Sustainability is a broad interdisciplinary concept that has applications on a local to a global scale. Therefore, it has many different definitions and interpretations, including some of these:

"Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems" --IUCN, UNEP, & WWF, Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living, 1991

"The state and process of not consuming more resources than are needed to maintain the same or similar standard of living over future generations. Of concern in psychology because one of the keys to sustainability is the (admittedly) difficult task of persuading people to change their consumer behaviour." --The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, 2009

Corporate sustainability is "the field of thinking and practice by means of which companies and other business organisations work to extend the life expectancy of: ecosystems (and the natural resources they provide); societies (and the cultures and communities that underpin commercial activity); and economies (that provide the governance, financial and other market context for corporate competition and survival)" --The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility, 2007

Do you have a favorite definition for sustainability? If you would like to share it, please let me know!

Sustainability Books in the Library

Lovejoy Library received 148 books and 2 films on the topic of sustainability, focused on these areas:

  • economics/business
  • food
  • living sustainably
  • philosophy/reflection
  • social justice
  • systems thinking

See the list in our catalog by searching for Sustainability and literacy grant, 2013

Funding for this grant project was awarded from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). 

Subject Librarian

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Shelly McDavid -- STEM
Lovejoy Library
Room 1056

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