Sustainability is a frequently used and commonly misunderstood term in our 21st century American society. EG defines sustainability as the fine balance of environmental, economic, and social interests. For this reason, we approach projects in a holistic manner, by ensuring that strategic goals do not focus too heavily on any single element of this equation, but improve the entire triple bottom line, benefiting planet, profit, and people.
There are now 7 billion people on Earth, and most projections suggest that the population will reach 9 billion in the next 40 years. EG promotes the concept of “One Planet Living,” where communities and nations use resources efficiently enough to allow for a natural recharge and resources are not used to exhaustion. EG recognizes that with increasing global demand of continuously scarce resources, meeting this demand in a sustainable fashion not only provides an incredible challenge, but it also presents an amazing opportunity for innovation. This is especially true locally in the US, where 5% of the global population uses 25% of its current resource output.
EG understands that implementing the efficient and restorative use of resources not only improves the long-term financial viability of society, it also improves short-term operating costs. The concepts of sustainable economic growth, environmental sustainability, and sustainable communities are not mutually exclusive. Saving resources saves money. Long-term economic prosperity requires natural resources in order to produce goods, however the current rate of resource exhaustion, in the form of energy, water, and minerals does not take long-term viability into account. As well, most current environmental and social pursuits ignore the need for fiscal or social responsibility.
Sustainability is inherently a quality-of-life issue. Research has shown that connecting people to their environment, be it in their home, neighborhood, or at work, improves their overall state of mind. EG believes that the triple bottom line isn’t strengthened by putting fences around wilderness areas or feel-good green-washing campaigns, but by improving employee working conditions through day-lighting and creating natural open spaces where citizens can interact with their environment. Economic development must improve air quality as much as it improves job growth.