What is Sustainability? | Services | Staff |Mission | Employment Opportunities

DNR’s Sustainability Division partners with businesses and institutions in stewardship of
Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources. With our partners, we lead the pursuit of
sustainable practices that fully integrate the economy with the environment for the well-being of
present and future generations.

The following principles guide our work:

Sustainability requires:

Long-term view – use resources wisely today in order to leave enough for future
generations. Our children’s grandchildren are critical stakeholders in our work.

Light footprint – take only what natural systems can replenish, leave only what
natural systems can recycle.

Integration – consider environment, economy and equity (planet, profits, people)
in all decision-making. Sustainable prosperity and quality of life cannot occur
without sustainable natural resources.

  • Sustainable practices include conserving natural resources through efficient operations,
    using renewable material and energy sources, reusing and recycling materials into new
    products, substituting less harmful chemicals in manufacturing processes, and using
    closed-loop systems that eliminate chemical discharges to the environment.
  • Stewardship – taking responsibility for our actions regarding the use of resources – is the
    ethic that will lead us to sustainability.
  • Continuous improvement tools such as environmental management systems help
    organizations integrate stewardship into their culture, and lead to more resource-
    efficient, cost-effective operations.
  • While environmental laws are critical to limiting the impact of industrial systems on
    natural systems and human health, performance-based programs are an important
    complement to the regulatory framework. Using outreach and education, technical
    assistance and incentives for voluntary action, these programs motivate organizations to
    go beyond compliance and become environmental stewards.
  • Through the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia, we create a learning community for
    sustainable business practices and innovation, and strengthen credibility for
    organizations committing to better environmental results.
  • We act as a catalyst for adoption of sustainable practices by serving as a source of
    expertise; teaching organizations in the use of conservation tools; recognizing natural
    leaders and model stewards; and convening a collaborative network to optimize delivery
    of sustainability services across the state.
  • We respond to requests for assistance from any organization (business, non-profit
    agency or institution) committed to sustainable practices. We seek especially to assist
    small and medium-sized businesses, and state and local government agencies.
  • Strategic partnerships with government agencies and private organizations that provide
    sustainability services are necessary to deliver efficient and effective stewardship
    programs throughout the state.