Sustainable principles: common values for achieving sustainability

Timothy C. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While there seems to be considerable consensus that a more sustainable society is in the best interest of everyone, opinions regarding what sustainability really means and how to achieve it are as diverse as the entities striving for it. With so many opinions and definitions circulating with respect to sustainability, the need exists for a set of core principles that can be applied evenly across all segments of society and disciplines. If we can establish universal principles associated with the development and implementation of a more sustainable society, it could help provide a consistent framework for human effectiveness in achieving sustainability. Three descriptions of such “sustainable principles” are described in this paper. These principles are rooted in the time-tested techniques associated with pollution prevention. They focus on developing and implementing better systems that reduce wastefulness through improved quality of products, processes and systems. By following these principles we can optimize resource utilization across all system components for the entire life cycle of the systems. In doing so, we will improve the sustainability of our ecosystems, production capabilities, community resources and human resources. Considerable educational resources already exist with respect to these principles. If we can apply them to sustainability issues, we can teach the skills and methods required for a more sustainable society.


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