Many Ways to Define Sustainability

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Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010 7:49 pm

Over the course of this decade, the word sustainability has become an inescapable part of the national vocabulary. Need proof? As of today, a Google search of the word sustainability will yield over 36,100,000 results. And many of those results are directly affiliated with states, cities, counties and other government entities - agencies just like yours - seeking ways to establish and promote sustainable efforts in their own communities.

All too often, it's easy to dismiss sustainability as rain barrels and recycling bins. But people tend to forget that a key component of sustainability is the practice of consuming less.

One way to consume less is to take good care of what you have now.

Do you inspect the condition of your pavement every spring? Have you ever converted old paper files to electronic format? Do you regularly maintain your fleet of vehicles and equipment? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,' then congratulations, you're already on your way to being sustainable.

In government, these everyday functions are the foundation of sustainability. Proactive maintenance, preserving data, prolonging service life...these things add up to more than business as usual. They help you to consume fewer resources and get more out of what you already have.

Today's technology has made these practices easier than ever before. From transportation and utilities, to workflow and system integration, there is a world of affordable technology designed to help your organization sustain your data, assets and infrastructure well into the future.

With each installment of this column, I will explore the many ways that technology can help you gain efficiency, accountability and transparency while becoming a more sustainable organization.

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