Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability: Environment, Society, EconomySustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Performance toward sustainability can be described using the triple bottom line, which encourages decision-making based on effects among the interrelated dimensions of economy, society, and environment. For example, selecting the type of paper to use in offices may include not just the cost of the paper (economy), but also the way the trees are harvested to make the paper (environment) and how the paper company’s employees are treated (society).

UAB is an urban campus of more than 170 classroom, office, research, and hospital buildings, including about 16 million square feet of space spanning more than 90 city blocks. We are the largest single-site employer in Alabama, the largest electricity user in the state, and the single-biggest contributor to Birmingham’s economy. At UAB, we strive to include sustainability in every facet of our enterprise: education, research, patient care, economic development, and service.