SUSTAINABILITY

ENVIRONMENT

The places where we live, work, shop, and play affect human health and the natural environment. How and where construction and development occurs can affect energy use, outdoor and indoor air quality, ecosystem quality and services, and natural and animal habitat protection.

Government programs and resources help communities achieve economic and environmental benefits through green building principles and smart growth and by preserving open space and farmland. ININCORP is focused and promotes greener and more efficient construction. ININCORP works with officials, designers, planners, and citizen groups so that communities can balance development and environmental protection - accommodating growth while preserving open space and critical habitat, revitalizing and reusing land, and protecting water supplies and air quality.

ENERGY

Fossil fuels - such as coal, natural gas, and oil - provide most of the energy used in the world and impact the environment across geographical scales. Achieving sustainable and secure energy use requires that energy be developed from renewable and biological resources, be produced by cleaner and more efficient technologies, and be used more efficiently and with greater conservation. ININCORP targets programs that encourage voluntary partnerships with industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of ININCORP strategies on clean-air regulatory and voluntary programs promote more efficient energy use and improvement of environmental quality without disrupting energy supplies. ININCORP’s climate programs provide the approaches, methods and models to quantitatively assess the effects of global change for the people, the environment, and the economy on a global scale.

WATER, ECOSYSTEM AND AGRICULTURE

Sustainable management practices are crucial in ensuring that our natural environment is protected for the present and for future generations. This is especially true in balancing economic, social, industrial, and recreational interests. ININCORP programs and resources are supporting communities to protect and restore ecosystems and to move toward a system of sustainable management of water infrastructure.

MATERIALS AND TOXICS

The intergenerational dimension of sustainability means that society must be particularly mindful of the long-term threat posed by chemical and biological impacts on the environment. Protecting humans and the environment from toxic chemicals has long been central to ININCORP's mission and is at the heart of many ININCORP programs that seek to promote the use of cleaner materials and to reduce material waste and chemical contamination. Many ININCORP programs provide information on green product design and manufacturing processes that reduce pollution, often at lower costs than conventional techniques. These programs include the development of inherently benign materials and chemicals through green engineering and chemistry, biotechnology and industrial ecology, recovery and reuse of materials, renewable bio-based feed-stocks, and life cycle assessment.