What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the intersection of environmental, economic, and social concerns. Sustainability is a holistic way of looking at the world that recognizes anything we do in one of these spheres has impacts on the other two. In a sustainable society, a diversified economy provides equal access to quality of life for all people, and environmental resources are used carefully, if for no other reason than that we depend upon them to survive. In truth, though, nobody knows the exact combination of energy sources, governance style, economic portfolio, or rate of resource consumption will definitively make our society "sustainable". It's important to recognize the current limits of human knowledge while doing our best to make our world a more sustainable place.

(c) Johann Dreosvg

At ICS, we care about creating green jobs, communities that are enjoyable for all people, and being good stewards of the environmental resources that make our lives, and the lives of other sentient beings, possible. To us, sustainability means taking pride in our community, taking responsibility for its welfare, and taking action to help sustain the quality of life right here in our own backyard.

Why do we need sustainability in the Wabash Valley?

  • At ISU, we’re preparing students for the green economy; in Terre Haute, we're working to bring green jobs to our community and promote local businesses with sustainability practices.
  • In 2012, Vigo County was ranked fourth in the state for adult obesity. We work to increase the walkability and bikeability of our community and provide fresh, local foods to the Wabash Valley
  • We care about our community’s natural resources. We are committed to restoring the Wabash River to its full potential and encouraging its use for recreation. We also support the cleaning of the many environmentally contaminated properties in our community.


Sustainability at ISU

President Dan Bradley, Sycamore Sam, and others celebrate Earth Day at ISU.

Sustainability is already something that we do well at Indiana State University, having signed on to the American College and Universities President’s Climate Commitment in 2007. Our current carbon emissions are at 53% of 1990 levels; most other schools have not yet reduced their emissions to 1990 levels. Many advances have been made on campus since 1989 to develop a park-like campus and to increase energy efficiency. In a campus survey with nearly 2,000 responses, 71% of the campus community indicated being somewhat or extremely concerned about conservation and sustainability issues.