FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - Sustainability. What does it mean'

A sustainable development is one in which which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony - conditions that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans, according to Executive Orders 13423 and 13514.

The Department of Defense's vision of sustainability is to maintain the ability to operate into the future without decline - either on the mission field, or in natural and manufactured systems that support it.

DoD embraces sustainability as a means of improving mission accomplishment.

Sustainability is not an individual program; rather, it is an organizing paradigm or mindset that applies to all mission and program areas to improve mission performance and reduce life-cycle costs.

DoD has instituted many policies and practices to promote life-cycle thinking and long-term cost savings as guards against short-term investments that often result in higher long-term operating costs.

Four key sustainability priorities govern DoD:

Aca,!AcEnergy security and reduced reliance on fossil fuels,

Aca,!AcReducing chemicals of environmental concern,

Aca,!AcWater resources management, and

Aca,!AcMaintaining readiness in the face of climate change.

The Installation Management Command community is committed to enhancing the sustainability of Army capabilities and operations through energy/water efficiency and security. Energy and water are key enablers of Army readiness, in preserving our freedom of action and being good stewards of the nation's financial and natural resources.

Reducing DoD's dependency on fossil fuels and the national power grid, and reducing water consumption, are in direct support of Army Force Generation and will improve the long-term sustainability and security of installations. The integration of sustainability concepts (including building design, operation and maintenance) with energy/water efficiency initiatives will ensure compliance with federal mandates.

To help achieve these goals, IMCOM's 2010 Campaign Plan established six "lines of effort," including Soldier, family and civilian readiness; Soldier, family and civilian well-being; leader and workforce development; installation readiness; safety; and energy/water efficiency and security. These LoEs address key mission-enablers and are designed to incorporate sustainable Army Communities of Excellence principles throughout installation and ARFORGEN business processes and procedures.

As IMCOM commander, Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch's intent is to "integrate the application of sustainability principles into daily operations, in much the same way that safety has become an integral part of day-to-day activities." Lynch added, "It is essential we assume a sustainability mindset in all aspects of our operations."

Through training, awareness and a collaborative implementation of energy and water conservation practices, IMCOM will create an energy- and water-conscious culture. Achieving and maintaining this culture requires senior commanders and the IMCOM community to foster a climate of cooperation in which our communities embrace the reality that the earth's resources are exhaustible.

Such a mindset both protects installation and mission readiness and conserves natural resources.

(Editor's Note: Information was compiled from the Dept. of Defense Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, Aug. 26; Executive Order 13423; Executive Order 13514; Army Sustainability Campaign Plan, May 2010; and Installation Management Campaign Plan, v 2.0, Oct. 2010. This article appeared in the Hawaii Army Weekly's Oct. 22 special insert on sustainability. Click here to view the entire 8-page feature.)