About Banner with UNCW Sustainability leaf logo indicating that this is a collaborative effort.

Defining Sustainable...

Webster's Dictionary:

  1. capable of being sustained
  2. a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged
    • sustainable techniques
    • sustainable agriculture
    b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods
    • sustainable society 

The United Nations' World Commission on Environment and Development

"Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable - to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The individual efforts made by the community to ensure that the beauty and benefits of today's world - economically, environmentally, and socially - will be available for future generations to inherit. Consequently, sustainability involves awareness and understanding of the complex interdependence between these social, economic, and ecological systems. The choices we Seahawks make in our daily lives affect the intricate interconnections between these systems, whether tangible or invisible.

History of Sustainability at UNCW


A small group of passionate employees and students were charged with creating the UNCW Chancellor's Sustainability Committee. Shortly after that time, the UNC System passed a Sustainability Policy that would define goals for all 17 UNC campuses. At that time Stan Harts, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, became the UNCW Chief Sustainability Officer. 


While preparing for the second Greenhouse Gas Inventory, UNCW decided to also write a Sustainability Action Plan. Consequently, a part-time, temporary position was created for the Sustainability Coordinator.


The Green Initiative Fund ( TGIF), a student fee of five dollars per semester, was created to financially support environmental stewardship at UNCW. With this funding, the Sustainability Coordinator position was elevated to full-time and permanent. Also, in the fall of 2015, The Green Initiative Fund mini-grants were opened for applications.


TGIF funding was used to create the Sustainability Peer Educator Program.