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Sustainability: General Information

Sustainable and sustainability are "hot topics" everywhere. Since sustainable is an adjective, you can put just about any noun behind it and have a subject that students are studying, faculty are teaching, and nonprofits are researching.


Links in BLUE are Yale subscription access, therefore, make sure that you are in the Yale Network (campus or VPN).

Links in GREEN are open access and are freely available anywhere, anytime.


Interesting Stuff

Sustainability Basics

General Background

The Environmental Protection Agency states, sustainability means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," (EPA and 1987 Bruntland Commission Report. Our Common Future).

People often "associate sustainability specifically with the environment. However, environmental sustainability is only one part of the puzzle! In order to meet the needs of the present without compromising future needs, sustainabile processes must also focus on economic sustainability (production costs, consumer cost, investment stability) and social sustainability (social justice, fair working conditions, gender equality, etc.). When these three aspects (environmental, economic, and social) are all functioning together, a process can be considered sustainable." Sarah Passonneau

The listings that follow are just a few of the major resources available. To be thorough in your research please go to each of the subject tabs and find out more thorough modes of access to sources on sustainability.

All items listed in green are open access, otherwise the resources are Yale-restricted. Get Yale VPN (AnyConnect) here                     



Encyclopedias and Dictionaries



Journals  - be very wary of Open Access journals, many are in existence only to make money and accept poor science and plagiarized papers while charging authors up to $1200 for publishing with them. Make sure that you publish in reputable journals and that you cite only reputable articles. Your professional reputation is at stake.



  • Internet Archive - source of millions of audio, video, and text resources that are all freely available; it includes the WaybackMachine where you can look at old version of webpages
  • Frugally Sustainable  - thorough coverage of all areas of sustainable living


Great Sustainability Library Guides from libraries worldwide - the guides are open access but the links within may not be.


Three Pillars of Sustainability


Librarian for Environmental Studies

Rachel Sperling's picture
Rachel Sperling
Center for Science & Social Science Information
219 Prospect St., PO Box 208111 New Haven, CT 06520-8111