To ensure Richland County's operations and decision making reflect our commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability. To provide innovative solutions to decrease energy demand through energy efficiency and conservation, create livable sustainable communities, and promote the green economy.
What is Sustainability?
The word sustainability was coined in 1987 with the publication of Our Common Future written by the Brundtland Commission when charged by the United Nations to develop a “global agenda for change”. Sustainability is defined in Our Common Future as “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." An effective sustainability program integrates environmental, social, and economic core elements.
Environmental sustainability: Establishing best management practices in the County’s land use decisions and engaging in practices that are protective of our natural resources (air, water, soil, etc.)
Social sustainability: Maintaining a cohesive community with progressive and common goals that provide education, promote public engagement and capacity building, and make every reasonable effort to improve or maintain overall quality of life
Economic sustainability: Combining efforts for social and environmental sustainability that are financially feasible and responsible and help determine the cost, savings and economic growth associated with implementing sound sustainability programs
Sustainability is integral to all Richland County Government operations and goals, including energy efficiency, water usage, increased recycling, reduced waste sent to landfills, stormwater management, land use initiatives, and a host of community partnerships that support our sustainability mission. We are dedicated to implementing sustainable practices that protect the environment, grow our economy, and continuously improve infrastructure as well as community bonds throughout our County. Investments in sustainability today will pay significant dividends to taxpayers for years to come through a cleaner environment, healthier communities, and a more fiscally sound county government.
Jamelle H. Ellis, Ph.D., Sustainability Manager