Sustainability is often misunderstood and goes by various definitions because of its ambitious outcomes. Provided here are two definitions of sustainability: the most popular definition of sustainability and the one that the EMU Sustainability Planning commission chose to adopt.

The most popular definition is actually a definition of sustainable development. It is from Our Common Future: The Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, commonly known as the Brundtland Commission Report:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The working definition of sustainability that the sustainability commission planning committee chose to adopt is:

“Sustainability entails both principles and practices that promote and maintain the responsible use of natural resources by current generations to ensure the availability and well-being of those resources for our future generations. Individuals, communities and institutions should strive together to develop and support comprehensive actions/initiatives that include: a) safeguarding environmental vitality; b) promoting ecologically sensitive economic development; and c) bolstering community prosperity and resilience across both short and long-term time scales.”

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