Sustainability is a mercurial, seldom agreed upon term that elicits a wide variety of responses in different contexts. Understanding the discussion and forming your own interpretation can help frame the conversation and lead to effective use of its power.

Below are a series of resources giving expert’s takes on the term and glossaries of terms relating to the concept of sustainability.


EPA Sustainability (A quick overview of sustainability from the Environmental Protection Agency)

Natural Capitalism Solutions (A listing of definitions of sustainability from prominent players)

Sustainable Measures (Key components of sustainability with a variety of takes on the word)

Sustainable Sonoma County (Numerous interpretations of sustainability from field experts

Glossaries of Terms

Cradle To Cradle Products Innovation Institute (Products Standard)

The Dictionary of Sustainable Management (An extensive list of management related terms)

The Green Office (A shortlist of common terms related to business and sustainability)

Josyln Institute (Terms related to sustainable design and community)

The Natural Step (A list of defined terms centered around guiding principles of the organization)

Nebraska Energy Office (A large glossary of industry terms)

Responsible Purchasing Network (A list of definitions of some relevant sustainability terms)

Sustainable Measures (A few well defined key terms shaping the understanding of sustainability)

The Sustainability Consortium (Resource and business specific definitions)


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Our Mission: Eliminating waste in Nebraska through innovation, education and policy change.