Recently, the Georgia Tech Alumni magazine wrote an article exploring what “sustainability” means. Considering how much buzz (I know, it’s bad, but they make that joke too!) surrounds this word these days, many prominent figures around campus were asked to weigh-in.

Dr. Jennifer Hirsch, the Director of Serve-Learn-Sustain, was one of the campus leaders featured in this article. She describes sustainable communities in a very broad way: “communities where people and nature thrive.” Jennifer describes SLS’s main goal: to develop opportunities for undergraduate students (in all majors) to learn about and engage in creating sustainable communities. She also notes that there are lots of university initiatives focused on sustainability or community, but very few like SLS that operate where the two intersect:

“The Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) aims to give Tech’s students the knowledge and inspiration to use their education to make a positive difference in the world—and pursue more meaningful careers and lives. Tech wants to become known for this work, so that SLS becomes one of the reasons people hear about, and choose, the Institute.”

Also featured is Dr. Beril Toktay, SLS’s Faculty Co-Executive Director. She describes sustainability as a journey, not a destination; and as something that is not just about the environment, but about people as well.

This article is a great read, and it paints a clearer picture of what sustainability is, and what it means for us on campus, from multiple perspectives. Other people featured are:

  • Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson
  • Michael Tobias, ME 04, LEED AP, CEM Founder and Principal of New York Engineers
  • Liz York, Arch 90, MS Arch 95, FAIA, Chief Sustainability Officer for the CDC and Associate Director for Quality and Sustainability

Read the full article here.