What is Sustainability?

The most widely accepted and used definition of sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability is about more than increasing recycling. It is about finding a balance that allows us to  foster environmental, social and economic sustainability in a way that will preserve natural resources and enhance communities around the world for generations to come.

While many of our campus programs focus on environmental stewardship, we also strive to promote values such as community service and engagement, support our local economy with our purchasing choices, provide sustainable compensation to our employees, and ensure that inclusive engagement is a priority, not only on our campus, but in our community as a whole.

Discover a few of the ways MSU is advancing environmental, social and economic sustainability:
  • The Geography and Sustainability Major, a program that provides students with hands-on experience working with sustainability in the field, through labs, and with Geospatial technology.
  • The Sustainability Minor, an interdisciplinary program that allows students to expand their knowledge on sustainability topics and compete in this growing field.
  • The Student Sustainability Fund, which provides nearly $150,000 dedicated to sustainability projects on campus.
  • The MSU Campus Garden, which is managed by students and provides all-natural produce to students, faculty, staff and community members.
  • The Hydration Stations located across campus, which have collectively saved over 3 million water bottles from being used and sent to the landfill.
  • Recycling locations all over campus.

Sustainability Brochure

Check out our Sustainability Brochure for more information about our sustainability programs and initiatives on campus.

Bicycles in a bike rack used for the Green Bicycle program.
Transportation accounts for roughly 30% of the carbon footprint for Americans! It is estimated that you can lower your environmental footprint by 20% by not owning or driving a car! Learn how to reduce your transportation footprint on campus.
An open book.
Sustainability literacy is essential to a sustainable future. Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility: both in our personal and professional lives. Become a sustainable citizen by expanding your knowledge with these sustainability education programs.
Rendering of picnic tables with solar collectors.
In 2009, students voted to implement a $2 per semester fee to go towards sustainability initiatives on campus. These funds are then matched by the University up to $75,000 each academic year. The Student Sustainability fund is to be used solely by students for students.

Do you have a Sustainability Team in your Office?

The Sustainability Teams program gives Missouri State University employees an opportunity to reduce the environmental footprint of their office or department and the campus as a whole. Learn more about the Sustainability Teams program, see a list of existing Sustainability Teams or find out how to create a team.



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Sustainability Blog