Is ART Building upon Three Pillars of Sustainability?

By Anjana Amirapu

©Karel Charvat 2010-08-22, taken from naturenet.org

©Karel Charvat 2010-08-22, taken from naturenet.org

Have organic waste with nowhere to go? Create a custom-made composting bike. Need to convince UCLA Endowment investors to decrease investment in fossil fuels? Dress up and start talking. Need to get students excited about going organic? Bring organic, local farmers and produce to their doorsteps.

As the ART on ART team, which consists of Alex Caryotakis, our members Trevor McDonald, Jennifer Truong, and Daniel Noakes, and myself, we have come across various examples of the creative solutions ART teams execute as we accomplish our goal: creating a comprehensive study of ART's effect on UCLA's sustainability culture. Yet at our first official team meeting, we all had the same two questions on our minds: What yard-stick do we use to measure the sustainability impacts of so many different ART teams? How do we measure the continued impact of ART after two quarters are up?

 Our stakeholder and faculty advisor of ESLP ART, Cully Nordby, suggested we evaluate different ART teams using the Three Pillars of Sustainability: Environmental Impact, Economic Impact, and Social Equity. Which of these three pillars did the team most emulate? Which of the three pillars did it neglect to consider? From our preliminary glances at the reports, we see that certain teams, like Campus Energy Assessment's project with UCLA Facilities to assess corridor lighting efficiency of Engineering IV greatly promoted reducing environmental and economic impacts. Similarly, its proposal to bring Solar Docks to campus considered social equity to bring UCLA students in direct contact with solar energy.

As we progress, we hope that the ART program has paid equal attention to all three pillars, because sustainability can only be built upon three pillars of equal strength.