Why is Sustainability Important?
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 committed the United States to sustainability, declaring it a national policy “to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”
In the years since NEPA was enacted, the public’s interest in sustainability has broadened. According to the National Research Council, there are many additional drivers for sustainability. In the areas where the US has seen considerable progress in sustainability, a common driver for sustainability efforts is citizens and other stakeholders concern. In addition, sustainability practitioners are becoming more ambitious in their sustainability efforts and are working together to share best practices to ensure the greatest environmental, economic and social impact.
EPA has a long history of working toward sustainable outcomes. To encourage progress, EPA developed a strategic approach to incorporate sustainability principles into its work.