Growth vs. Sustainability: Are These Mutually Exclusive Goals?

International Sustainable Campus Network Event

The 7th annual ISCN event was co-hosted by the International Sustainable Campus Network and the National University of Singapore.

Leaders shared best practices in campus sustainability from around the world at the 2013 Conference held June 18-20. The event focused on calling universities to advance their journey toward sustainable development, and catalyze a sustainable future.

Combining the suggestions of her fellow panelists, Golda Edwin, APSCC, tackled the topic of describing what a sustainable campus looks like in a developing country. Special consideration for India was made by noting the importance of outreach and sustainability education within the cultural context, addressing challenges like the current lack of teaching on environmental issues and on renewable energy in that country. The audience was eager to participate in the discussion related to reconciling sustainability with growth and how it is currently measured, the underlying assumptions and the relationship to quality of life. The politics associated with sustainable or unsustainable growth was a key topic addressed, including remarks on the lack of government and public understanding of “green Gross Domestic Product metric” developments, which was seen as caused by the challenging picture such metrics currently paint.