About the Office of Sustainability

Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability is the regional advocate and resource on topics such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling, sustainable economic development, food systems, and green building practices.  As the “green” liaisons for both city and county mayors, the office coordinates various regional initiatives related to sustainability. 

The Office of Sustainability, located within the joint city-county Department of Planning and Development, was formed in April 2011 and has been charged with the implementation and oversight of the Sustainable Shelby Implementation Plan.  The initiatives recommended in the plan require coordination amongst various government agencies, so working relationships within the City of Memphis and Shelby County Government is critical to the success of these projects.

In 2011, the Office of Sustainability received the HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant in the amount of $2.6 million to plan a regional Greenprint.  The Mid-South Regional Greenprint includes parks, greenways, bike trails and walking paths, byways, blueways, conservation lands, natural areas, wildlife management areas, open space areas, community gardens, stormwater management areas, and other similar spaces.  The scope of the plan includes four counties in the tri-state region.

 

Models of Sustainability

My favorite published definition of sustainability so far is Paul Hawkin’s definition from the Ecology of Commerce, because of his Child friendly inclusion of the economic golden rule, “Sustainability is an economic state where the demands placed upon the environment by people and commerce can... Read More