Sustainability Principles and Practice gives an accessible and comprehensive overview of the interdisciplinary field of sustainability. The focus is on furnishing solutions and equipping students with both conceptual understanding and technical skills. Each chapter explores one aspect of the field, first introducing concepts and presenting issues, then supplying tools for working toward solutions. Elements of sustainability are examined piece by piece, and coverage ranges over ecosystems, social equity, environmental justice, food, energy, product life cycles, cities, and more. Techniques for management and measurement as well as case studies from around the world are provided.

The 3rd edition includes greater coverage of resilience and systems thinking, an update on the Anthropocene as a formal geological epoch, the latest research from the IPCC, and a greater focus on diversity and social equity, together with new details such as sustainable consumption, textiles recycling, microplastics, and net-zero concepts. The coverage in this edition has been expanded to include issues, solutions, and new case studies from around the world, including Europe, Asia, and the Global South. 

Chapters include further reading and discussion questions. The book is supported by a companion website with online links, annotated bibliography, glossary, white papers, and additional case studies, together with projects, research problems, and group activities, all of which focus on real-world problem-solving of sustainability issues.

This textbook is designed to be used by undergraduate college and university students in sustainability degree programs and other programs in which sustainability is taught.

part Part 1|82 pages


chapter 1|10 pages

What is sustainability?

chapter 2|21 pages

A brief history of sustainability

chapter 3|23 pages

The biosphere

chapter 4|26 pages

The human sphere

part Part 2|303 pages

Issues and solutions

chapter 5|31 pages


chapter 6|21 pages


chapter 7|32 pages

Ecosystems and habitat

chapter 8|28 pages


chapter 9|34 pages


chapter 10|27 pages

Green buildings

chapter 11|24 pages

Sustainable sites

chapter 12|23 pages

Livable cities

chapter 13|35 pages


chapter 14|26 pages


chapter 15|20 pages

Waste and recycling

part Part 3|78 pages

Becoming an agent for change

chapter 16|34 pages

Working in an organization

chapter 17|17 pages


chapter 18|25 pages

Working as agents for change