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Drexel Library

Sustainability

Welcome

Climate change is an urgent global crisis that calls on people and institutions across the globe to act collectively to address it. Recognizing this urgency, students, faculty and professional staff from across Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences are coming together to make 2021 our Climate Year. 

In support of the University's work to address climate change and sustainability, the Drexel Libraries offers this research guide. In this guide you will find recommended resources for research related to sustainability, including books, Drexel-licensed databases, government websites and more.

Books on Sustainability

Get the Latest News & Information

Get the latest news and information about issues in sustainability:

  • Science Daily provides the latest headlines and information about issues related to sustainability
  • United Nations News is a one-stop, multimedia news portal that takes a global look at a variety of issues, including sustainability and climate change. 
  • Sustainability LeadersThis podcast features interviews with researchers, corporate practitioners, investors, scholars, and NGOs who are leading the way in sustainability. It introduces diverse perspectives and new practices and covers topics ranging from climate change to sustainable finance to human rights.
  • EPA - Indoor airPLUS Videos, Podcasts, Webinars and Interviews -  Indoor airPLUS is a voluntary partnership and labeling program that helps new home builders improve the Indoor Air Quality by requiring construction practices and product specifications that minimize exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants. This series of podcasts takes a deeper dive into the program from the EPA.

Sustainability Focus Areas

  • United States Department of Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture - The United States Department of Agriculture website describes the definition and goals of sustainable agriculture. It also provides information on the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 
  • National Geographic, Sustainable Agriculture - This short National Geographic article covers the basics of sustainable agriculture, from why conventional agriculture is harmful to the environment, to way that we are learning to integrate sustainable technology to current good production.  
  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and DevelopmentSustainable Agriculture Research and Education is a grant program in the United States that provides education and funding across the country to promote sustainable agriculture.  The programs is divided into four separate regions (North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western) that operate on their own to support those areas.  
  • Conserve Energy Future - Conserve Energy Future is a collaborative site that provides information about energy and other sustainable ideals through blog posts.  This post reviews the basic principals of sustainable energy, such as what types of renewable and clean energy technologies we have and why sustainable energy is necessary. 
  • United Nations, Sustainability Goals, Clean Energy - Affordable and clean energy is one of the 15 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.  This page is the UN’s official site for information on this goal, detailing global statistics on energy in an easily digestible way, it also provides infographics and figures on the topic.   
  • Renewable Energy: Clean Facts, NRDC - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit organization that strives to make progress in several climate and environmental areas, including energy.  This guide to renewable energy focuses not on why current energy models are non-sustainable but instead on how clean and renewable energy models are more beneficial to the environment and society.  
  • Transportation, Sustainability, and Decarbonization - Modern transportation is one of the most useful forms of infrastructure society has, it allows us to move people, goods, and resources around the world for various reasons, but it is a large source of emissions.  Sustainable transportation aims to maintain transportation needs of individuals and countries without damaging the environment.   
  • United Nations, Sustainable Cities, TransportationThe United Nation’s goal of sustainable cities includes the development of sustainable transportation to support urban residents and businesses.  
  • United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable CitiesMaking cities and urban areas sustainable is one of many United Nations sustainable development goals.  As we continue to urbanize the world, making these places sustainable allows us to continue developing these areas of cultural diversity and economic growth.  
  • Cities and Climate Change: Urban Sustainability and Global Environmental Governance (Book) - Cities and Climate Change is the first in-depth analysis of the role of cities in addressing climate change. The book argues that key challenges concerning the resources and powers of local government, as well as conflicts between local goals for economic development and climate change mitigation, have restricted the level of local action on climate change. This book provides a valuable interdisciplinary analysis of these issues, and will appeal to students and researchers interested in sustainability at local and global scales.
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Managing and Reducing WasteThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website on how waste and recycling are handled currently in the United States.  Offers information on recycling programs and ways to assess the production of waste in commercial settings.  
  • What is Sustainable Waste Management and Why is Matters Sustainable waste management is a new way of processing waste that aims to reduce harmful waste practices.  It involves not only reducing initial waste production but also handling the waste that is made in an environmentally conscious manner.  This site also discusses potential sustainable waste management solutions for small businesses and residencies.  
  • Sustainable Waste Management Systems - This article discusses waste management as a systems issue, analyzing the problem of waste from a wholistic perspective.   
  • Sustainable Development, Roots and History - This article gives an overview of the origin of the concept of sustainable development by going far back in history to trace its roots. It shows how the idea of sustainability evolved through the centuries as a counter to notions of progress. The historical context in the latter half of the 20th century is outlined, in which a paradigm shift in thinking about development caused sustainable development to occupy the center stage in development discourses.
  • Silent Spring by Rachel CarsonSilent Spring is a landmark novel for environmentalist and activists in the 20th century, a catalyst for the growing environmental movement in the United States.  The novel explores the potential long-term environmental and human damage caused by the use of harsh pesticides.  Carson not only conveys these ideas in easy to understand terms, but makes potent statements about the ways we use technology, questioning government’s role in the allowance of industries to continue harmful practices in pursuit of profits.
  • The Origins and Leaders of Sustainability Movement - A general overview of sustainability, that takes note of important historic events, as well as acknowledging where the sustainability movement has come from and where it could be going. 
  • Sustainability - A History - A short video by the Oxford University Press, presented by Jeremy L. Caradonna, discussing the historical conditions that shaped the modern idea of sustainability.

Discover Additional Resources Using DragonSearch

Use DragonSearch, the Drexel Libraries' online search tool, to find books and peer-reviewed journal articles. Here are a few tips to help you search:

  • Use relevant research keywords related to your topic. (For example, type ‘Sustainability and Green Energy')
  • To find book chapters: Filter search results by 'Material Type-Book Chapters'.
  • To find scholarly articles: Refine your search results by selecting options such as  'peer review' and 'Articles and more'.
  • Watch the DragonSearch Tutorial for step-by-step instructions for using the Libraries' online discovery tool to find authoritative information resources

Organizations

Organizations at Drexel University:

  • Drexel Sierra Club - The Drexel Sierra Club seeks to spread environmental awareness and instill an appreciation of the natural world in order to reduce Drexel’s environmental impact through its policies and student involvement, and to educate students to continue help them environmental efforts after they graduate
  • Fossil Free DrexelFossil Free Drexel is a student organization that advocated for climate justice on campus by pushing Drexel to divest its endowments funds from the fossil fuel industry and reinvest funds into local and sustainable projects and businesses.
  • Undergraduate Student Government Association, Sub-Committee on Sustainability The Undergraduate Student Government Association is a student run organization that advocates for students to foster an equitable college experience.  The association has committees and sub-committees on many issues, including sustainability, then enable communication between students and university administration.
  • Drexel University Global Brigades Drexel University Global Brigades offers a chance for students from various disciplines to apply their professional passions and ambition to those less fortunate, in areas across the globe.  The organization provides students with an immeasurable opportunity to learn more about the issues taking place throughout the world at large, while learning more about themselves, a new culture, and what kind of change they are truly capable of.
  • Weekend Warriors Weekend Warriors is an Office of Campus Activities recognized group dedicated to providing the Drexel community with exciting opportunities to engage with the outdoor world. Our mission is to make the outdoors as accessible as possible for Drexel students and to train responsible and capable Trip Leaders to keep our trips safe, but fun. It is our mission to bring the outdoors to students that have never before realized the benefits that nature can bring.

Local Philadelphia-Area Organizations: 

  • Philadelphia Office of Sustainability The Office of Sustainability works with partners around the city of Philadelphia to improve quality of life in all Philadelphia neighborhoods, reduce carbon emissions, and adapt the city to the changing environment.  The OOS is responsible form implementing Greenworks Philadelphia, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan.  Resources on programs, events, and city services are accessible through the website.
  • Green Philly, Black-led Environmental GroupsGreen Philly is a local organization with information and resources on how to get involved with sustainability and environmental activism in the city.  This site lists 14 Black-ed and Black-Focused groups working on environmental issues in the city.
  • Pennsylvania Government, Department of Environmental ProtectionPennsylvania state government website for the department of environmental protection.  The department provides information on state resources and regulations, as well as access to GIS and air quality information

Global Organizations: 

  • Environmental Protection AgencyEstablished in 1970 as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an executive agency that handles matters of environmental health.  The EPA website has information on the history of the agency, as well as current policies and regulations.
  • Federal Office of Sustainability The Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer leads development of policies, programs, and partnerships to advance sustainability and climate resilient Federal operations.  Policy information and national progress towards environmental goals can be found here.
  • The Sierra Club - The Sierra Club Foundation promotes climate solutions, conservation, and movement building through a powerful combination of strategic philanthropy and grassroots advocacy.  One of the United States' most prominent environmentalist groups, the Sierra Club aims to fight climate change and support programs and policies that cross economic, cultural, and community lines to advocate for an environment hat benefits all.
  • United Nations, Sustainable Development - The United Nations website for sustainable development.  Programs and events take place year round pertaining to sustainability goals, the site also provides information and statistics on the 17 goals of sustainable development.  
  • The Nature Conservancy - The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit organization focused on environmental conservation through science, activism, and partnering with local communities, including indigenous peoples.  
  • Future EarthFuture Earth is “a network of scientists, researchers, and innovators” supporting and actively contributing to the transition to sustainable methods and technologies world-wide.  Using the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a framework to provide resources and develop tools to aid in the achievement of those goals.