The UT Martin Center for Sustainability was created in August 2018 with funding from a student-initiated campus green fee of $5/semester. The mission of the Center is to facilitate and support sustainability-related efforts on campus; to serve as a forum for those involved in sustainability-related programs and activities; and to communicate campus sustainability successes with the public.
What is sustainability? Very simply, it is a state at which a system can be maintained indefinitely. A simple analogy is an interest-bearing account from which the user may withdraw some of the interest but never any of the principle; resources will always be available. The Brundtland Commission of the U.N. created a widely cited definition of sustainability, in reference to sustainable development: “Sustainable development is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This concept is often illustrated by a Venn diagram depicting three major pillars of sustainability and their relationships:
Sustainability is central to UT Martin’s mission in education, outreach, and discovery. Students, faculty, and staff put sustainability to practice in countless ways. From our award-winning campus and community recycling program, to our solar demonstration site, from the arboretum status of our beautiful campus grounds to the energy efficiency of our built environment, from the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway that crosses our campus farm to connect our community, to classes and campus speakers on sustainability topics, UT Martin is a campus that strives to excel as a responsible and sustainable force in the region. The UT Martin Center for Sustainability engages directly in this effort.