University of Redlands


Education for sustainability requires “braided” learning about Environmental quality, Economic vitality, and social Equity – the 3 “E”s.  As such, it is a powerful force for synthesis, weaving together science, ethics, policy, management, poetry, and many other fields in the pursuit of knowledge that sustains living systems. The value of a successful campus sustainability program consists primarily in the educational, financial, and ethical benefits that accrue from making sustainability a core organizing principle for developing and managing campus facilities, curriculum, campus and community interaction, and life-long learning.


Become a Sustainer

Have a good idea? Please share it with the Sustainability Council:

Join Students for Environmental Action (SEA):



Students for Environmental Action (SEA)

Leadership / Contact

SEA Member Website


University of Redlands Sustainability Courses and Programs. Compiled by Professor Jim Spee in 2017.

Sustainability Council

The Sustainability Council is a cross-campus committee of students, faculty, and staff who serve as a “sounding board,” clearinghouse, and coordinating body for strengthening campus sustainability initiatives and self-study assessments. The Council’s mission is to investigate, facilitate and disseminate recommended practices, and recommend policies that can contribute significantly to the achievement and integration of social, economic, and environmental goals needed to make our campus community more sustainable.  Students, staff, and faculty will be encouraged to become engaged in the challenge of living sustainably, both at home and on campus.

Council Meetings

Meetings of the Sustainability Council are open, and we encourage you to attend and get involved! For more information, contact: or Jordan Henk, Council Secretary (x8072)

Spring 2020 Sustainability Council Members

Sustainability Council Reports

2016 - 2017 Sustainability Council Report


Sustainability References

"Sustainability" Concepts and Definitions

(collected by Monty Hempel)

sus·tain·abil·i·ty [suh-stey-nuh-bil-i-tee] noun 1: capability of being sustained; 2a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture> b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society> circa 1727 Merriam-Webster

"America’s challenge is to create a life-sustaining Earth, a future in which prosperity and opportunity increase while life flourishes and pressures on the oceans, Earth and atmosphere diminish." (President’s Council on Sustainable Development” – Clinton Administration)

"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."  (Brundtland Commission – probably the most common definition)

"…an economy and way of life in which both people and nature flourish, a culture that can last." (Northwest Environmental Watch)

"A sustainable society is one that can persist over generations, one that is farseeing enough,flexible enough, and wise enough not to undermine either its physical or its social systems of support." (Donella Meadows)

"Creating new ways to live and prosper while ensuring an equitable, healthy future for all people and the planet." (Natural Step website)

"The ability to provide for the needs of the world's current population without damaging the ability of future generations to provide for themselves. When a process is sustainable, it can be carried out over and over without negative environmental effects or impossibly high costs to anyone involved."

"A concept and strategy by which communities seek economic development approaches that benefit the local environment and quality of life. Sustainable development provides a framework under which communities can use resources efficiently, create efficient infrastructures, protect and enhance the quality of life, and create new businesses to strengthen their economies."

"The ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity, and productivity over time."

"Sustainability is an economic, social, and environmental concept. It is intended to be a means of configuring civilization and human activity so that society and its members are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present, while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and planning and acting for the ability to maintain these ideals indefinitely. Sustainability affects every level of organization, from the local neighborhood to the entire planet." 

"Sustainability is a process of balancing the needs of a population with the capacity of an environment to support it." (aherwitz)

"Imagine, if you will, three overlapping circles—one representing economic needs, one representing environmental needs and one representing community social needs. The area where the three circles overlap is the area of sustainability, the area of livability—the area where all the threads of quality of life come together." (Oregon Governor Kitzhaber, in a public address titled "Can We Have It All?”)

"Sustainability is like love and democracy—multiple meanings, not always perfectly realized, but always struggled for, at least by most of us. I think we do agree, basically, on what it is. We disagree when we must make specific choices in our lives. I think the major questions are: Who does not want a sustainable society? Why?"  (Denise Lasch, U of Oregon)

"Sustainability achieves vitality and well-being for all through responsible planning and management of interdependent social, environmental and economic capacities."  (Toronto Sustainability Roundtable)

"The long-term health and vitality of economic, ecological, and social systems." (Sustainable Seattle)

"The ability of a system (society, ecosystem, business) to continue functioning into the indefinite future without being forced into decline through exhaustion of key resources." (The Context Institute)

"Sustainable Community: A community that believes today's growth must not be achieved at tomorrow's expense." ( Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, October 1995

"Sustainable Communities: …healthy communities where natural and historic resources are preserved, [living-wage] jobs are available, sprawl is contained, neighborhoods are secure, education is lifelong, transportation and health care are accessible, and all citizens have opportunities to improve the quality of their lives." (President’s Council on Sustainable Development)

Sustainability Readings

Sustainable Communities from Vision to Action (L. Hempel, 1998).  A booklet is about the role of healthy communities in restoring social and ecological balance in our individual lives and in our collective search for enduring forms of justice, prosperity, security, and environmental quality. It is about a vision of sustainability and its application to community.

Four Challenges of Sustainability (David W. Orr, 2003). What exactly do we intend to sustain and what will that require of us?

The Nature of College (James Farrell, 2010).  The Nature of College: College Culture, Consumer Culture and the Environment. College students have a lot on their minds. A few years ago, students in a class of mine mapped the mind of the average college student. I gave them an outline of an empty head and asked them to fill it with the everyday concerns that of college life. The results were fascinating. College students think about classes and homework and grades. They contemplate friends and family, sex and relationships. They think about food and snacks and drinking and drugs. They brood about money and jobs and financial issues. Some of them mull over religious and moral issues. They try, as one student said, “to figure out what the hell you’re going to do with the rest of your life.”

Farrell's Learning goals (from The Nature of College) (James Farrell, 2016).  A few years ago, after a presentation on learning outcomes, I decided to try to list the possible learning outcomes of Campus Ecology. It turned out to be much more extensive than I had originally intended, but wonderfully liberating to name some of the things that matter most to me. Students take this survey before the first day of class, and they tell us if they’re sure, or half-sure,or not sure at all that they know or understand the concepts. One side effect of this first survey is that they get excited to be in the course. They take the survey again at the end of the semester, and the difference is, of course, what they learned in the course – or at least what they think they’ve learned.

Frontiers of Sustainability (L. Hempel).  EVST 360 course overview including a reading list for Monty's Frontiers of Sustainability! Topics in Environmental Studies.

Evolving Concepts in Sustainability (L. Hempel, 2012).  This chapter explores the evolution and application of sustainability concepts in environmental politics and policy, paying particular attention to the challenges of operationalizing and measuring sustainability in the highly dynamic environment of twenty-first-century politics and policy. After surveying the concept’s historical roots, the chapter examines the struggle to refine and apply the concept in contemporary policy analysis. It reviews the key policy initiatives that have incorporated sustainability language or contributed to its development within each branch of government. Attention is then focused on the pragmatic adoption of sustainability principles in policy making, culminating in a discussion of future directions and research needs.

Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation (Tom Theis and Jonathan Tomkin, Editors; 2012)  This text is designed to introduce the reader to the essential concepts of sustainability.  The content is intended to be useful for both a broad-based introductory class on sustainability and as a useful supplement to specialist courses which wish to review the sustainability dimensions of their areas of study.

Designing a Planet Worth Inheriting (L. Hempel, 2014).  A slide presentation delivered by Monty.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum (L Hempel, 2009).  Guiding principles and considerations for integrating sustainability into college and university curricula.

Sustainable Institutional Investing Handbook (Amnesty International, and Responsible Endowments Coalition).  Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance Issues Into Institutional Investment: A Handbook for Colleges and Universities.

What is Sustainable Development? (Robert W. Kates, Thomas M. Parris, and Anthony A. Leiserowitz).  Goals, Indicators, Values and Practice.

Sites Worth a Quick Look

TerraCycle® is a social enterprise for connecting industry to sources of waste that might be recycled.

The International Living Future Institute is a network that promotes living products and communities. For information about a Redlands project, see: Liberty Lane and for an urban LA project, see: Glumac LA: An Innovative Approach to the Living Building Challenge in a High-Rise Building.

Sustainability in Higher Education

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

AASHE Website

AASHE Bulletin 2017

Campus Sustainability 2016-17

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) Overview

University of Redlands

Sustainability Atlas Proposal

Sustainability Minor Proposal

University of Redlands Sustainability Initiatives 2017

Other Colleges and Universities

Catalog of Sustainability Efforts at Select Colleges and Universities

Sustainability Resources for Businesses

Select Campus Sustainability Websites

International Sustainability

Educating for Sustainability 2017 Best Practices

UNEP Greening University Toolkit


In Memoriam: Monty Hempel

Remembering Monty

Sharing our deep appreciation to the founder of our Sustainability Council, Dr. Lamont (Monty) Hempel, Hedco Chair in Environmental Studies and the Director of the Center for Environmental Studies.

Monty joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 1999 and, as the Hedco Chair, directed the transformative growth of environmental programs at the University, including the Department of Environmental Studies in the College, curriculum development in the former Whitehead College, and the Redlands Institute.

Monty’s teaching, research, and public service interests focused on environmental science and policy, with particular emphasis on issues of climate disruption, marine environmental protection, and international environmental governance. His professional work, strongly interdisciplinary, was guided by the goal of pragmatic idealism.

In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Hempel was a documentary filmmaker, specializing in short and feature works about coral ecosystems, sustainability, wilderness preservation, and biodiversity. He was also the founding president of Blue Planet United, a small 501(c)(3) educational organization that produces environmental films and a quarterly news journal about human population, consumption, and sustainability.