Principles of Sustainability

The public works profession has a unique role to play in providing a high quality of life for all community members. The APWA Center for Sustainability has developed this list of guiding principles to help public works leaders identify the actions they can take to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their organizational objectives and operations. Policies, programs or activities that are grounded in these principles will result in more thriving and healthy communities.

Sustainability in public works means pursuing a balanced approach for a vibrant community today and tomorrow through the efficient delivery of services and maintenance of infrastructure in an environmentally, economically, and socially responsible way. Sustainability, based on the elements of the Triple Bottom Line – people, planet, prosperity – is a way of looking at the public works mission holistically and systematically so that sound, long-term solutions can be found for community challenges.

Recognize the Community as an Interconnected System

Promote Community Revitalization

Manage Assets

Restore and Enhance the Natural Environment

Protect and Enhance Recreational and Heritage Resources

Collaborate with Key Stakeholders

Practice Fiscal Responsibility

Foster Active Communication and Civic Engagement


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