What is sustainability?

A practical definition of sustainability developed by the Brundtland Commission is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The central idea that our resources are finite and the rate and way in which we use them must be altered has held strong through the various interpretations. Purchase has invested not only in our students’ future but also in society’s future by focusing on sustainability measures.

However, sustainability is a complex interdisciplinary concept. Sustainable practices not only support the natural environment and ecological health, but also social equity and economic vitality. Sustainability is used to understand the interconnections between the three aspects. To better understand the concept and the linkages, read about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how Purchase is utilizing the goals for a more sustainable future.


  • Student Services Building Entrance

    Purchase Ranked for Environmental Responsibility

    Purchase College achieved a 92 out of 99 green rating in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges: 2021 Edition.
  • 10th Annual Green Business Partnership Award Ceremony winners

    Purchase Wins Energy Award

    Purchase College is being recognized for our “Outstanding Achievement in Energy” at the 10th Annual Green Business Partnership Awards.
  • Carbon footprint depicting the factors of human activity

    Environmental Benefits of Telecommuting

    The Sustainability Advisory and Outreach Committee (SAOC) gathered members’ transportation data to show the positive environmental impact from telecommuting due to COVID
  • 50 Years Earth Day 2020

    50 Actions for 50 Years

    Join others in the Purchase community by challenging yourself to take these 50 actions for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020!