What is Sustainability?
Sustainability has many definitions, but one of the most common definitions used today is that of the Brundtland Commission established in 1987:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
Sustainability can also be described by the triple bottom line, People, Planet, Profit.
As a part of the 2008 Sustainability Resolution, Maricopa adopted a People, Planet, Profit policy. Through this resolution MCCCD pursues the implementation of the three elements of sustainability:
We will make decisions and take actions to serve our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The Maricopa County Community College District strives to be the model for infusing sustainability in each aspect of an educational institution, in order to improve the quality of life in its community and foster student success.
Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability at the District Office sets the vision, strategy, and policy for Sustainability at Maricopa.
Support College Sustainability Efforts by:
In addition, we create partnerships with local agencies and organizations that support the all-Maricopa mission and facilitate co-initiatives with other MCCCD departments in order to support every aspect of the Maricopa's People, Planet, Profit commitment.
To contact the Office of Sustainability, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Being "green" isn't just about recycling and solar panels. There are many small things each of us can do that will make a huge impact on our environment.
Try to Incorporate the 3 R's into your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you:
REDUCE: If waste was not created, there would be no need to throw things away in a landfill. There is no waste in nature...it is only created by humans! The very first step in the cycle is to REDUCE the amount of waste you generate in the first place. Use reusables instead of disposables. Buy products with less packaging to be thrown out. Share things with friends and neighbors. Shop used!
REUSE: Let's face it, we live in a disposable society. It doesn't have to be that way. Purchasing quality products that can be reused instead of one-use-throwaways keeps that much more product out of our landfills. Use refillable water bottles. Take your own reusable bags to the store. Repair what's broken. Give reusable gift bags instead of throwaway wrapping paper. Keep shipping boxes & supplies on hand for reuse. Shop at secondhand stores, and make sure to donate your unwanted items to them for others to reuse. Refurbish old furniture. Sometimes, reuse projects can be a good way to bond with family and friends, learn new things, and give you great memories!
RECYCLE: As a last ditch effort, recycling eliminates the need to incinerate or bury trash, which sends toxins into our environment or could contaminate our groundwater (read: drinking water). Recycle everything you can, and make sure to buy recycled products to keep the cycle going.
It's not one of the three R's, but another great way to reduce your waste is composting! Composting is the process for taking formerly living things (vegetable/fruit/food waste, lawn clippings, leaves, etc.) and turning it into compost (healthy dirt). You can even compost napkins and paper towels since they used to be living trees. According to the EPA, 36 million tons of food waste is generated each year! Just do an internet search for 'household composting' and you'll find lots of websites with information to get you started. If you like to garden, you should definitely incorporate composting into your routine to help cut costs and keep your plants healthy and strong.
Presidents Climate Commitment - All Maricopa Community College are signatories of the Presidents' Climate Commitment. As such, all of our colleges have committed to leading in climate action and sustainable solutions and exploring bold and innovative solutions by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in pursuit of carbon neutrality and integrating resilience into curriculum, research, and campus-community operations. To view the Climate Action Plans and Greenhouse Gas Inventories of colleges, visit the Second Nature reporting platform.
Green Building Policy - Maricopa has established a district-wide policy where all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent. LEED Standards reduce building energy and water consumption, supporting responsible resource use. In addition, many Maricopa colleges have an Energy Start Procurement Policy where highly energy efficient appliances are purchase where financially feasible.
Water Conservation - With the threat of drought and uncertain precipitation, Maricopa is leading in responsible water consumption. We are undergoing an extensive district-wide water conservation effort to maximize benefit to colleges through metering, updates in plumping and fixtures, and access to canal water.
LED Lights for Parking Lots - LED lights are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent and compact fluorescent lightbulbs. The district had commissioned for all parking lot lights to be replaced with LED bulbs. This will result in meaningful savings in energy costs.
Solar Panels - Four of the Maricopa Community Colleges have installed solar panels, harvesting energy from Phoenix's abundant sunshine.