Sustainability has emerged as a global environmental theme and a major business imperative for the 21st century, dramatically influencing thinking and policy making. It is essential that the Park District become known as a benchmark and role model for the best sustainable practices in the area.
Environmental sustainability is defined as meeting our needs today while ensuring that future generations can continue to meet their needs. Sustainability means long term cultural, ecological and economic health and vitality. Environmental sustainability is a process that maintains and enhances economic opportunity and community well-being for every segment of society while protecting and restoring the natural and social environment upon which people and economics depend. Sustainability so defined calls for actions which are ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just and humane.
As a public institution, the Park District has an ethical and social obligation to safeguard a critical public resource – the natural environment. The Park District also has a duty to establish physical environments and organizational practices that are conducive to the health and well-being of its citizens.
The Green Light Sustainability Plan (PDF) is a dynamic document intended to ensure the Park District can continue to meet its current and ongoing environmental, social and economic needs without compromising the future for succeeding generations. The rationale for developing this plan includes consideration of environmental issues as sustainability is a concept that ensures a higher quality of life for current and future generations. The metrics or measurements of progress are intended to be part of an annual report to inform the Park District on how well the plan is achieving its desired effect. The plan is a working document that should be updated as new technologies and procedures are developed.
The Environmental Sustainability Plan confirms the Park District’s commitment to leadership in the advancement of sustainable practices that manage land use for long term benefits, reduce dependency on non-renewable fuels, reduce consumption of resources without offsetting benefits, and improve our impact on the environment.