What do we mean by ‘Sustainability’?

Our definition can be stated in just four words: Enough, For all, Forever.

Enough’ means sufficiency, but not the wasteful excess which currently characterises society in Europe, North America and wealthy pockets of the developing world.

It’s when we ask “Enough of what?” that the specific science and engineering issues arise:

  • Enough energy?
  • Enough food?
  • Enough shelter?
  • Enough water?

Newcastle University has the expertise to offer novel solutions in these and many other sectors.

For all’ refers not only to humans but also to other living beings in our shared ecosystems.

Forever’ signals respect for natural resource limitations, as well as the pursuit of justice between present and future generations.

Returning society to within sustainable limits will require a global collective effort, underpinned by scientific understanding of the functioning of coupled human and natural systems. There can be very few people in the developed world that do not recognise the imperative for 'something to be done' about the unsustainable lifestyle we now lead. However, given the complexity of technology, the intricacies of modern society, and the reality of human nature, there are also very few who know what that something should be.

Our role as a University, as a leader of creative thinking and technology, is to grasp this challenge and endeavour to find solutions and actions with profound and lasting impacts.