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Auburn University Office of Sustainability


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Economics, Justice

Regional Focus


The Sustainability Compass

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  • This video describes the sustainability compass, which is a way to visualize the four pillars of sustainability: nature (North), economy (East), society (South), and wellbeing (West).

Teaching Tips


  • The video is short and easy to follow.
  • It provides a visual way of learning about the sustainability compass.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It should serve as a supplement to other lesson materials.


  • This can be used as an opportunity to introduce the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Students can brainstorm ways to be more sustainable individually, as a school, and as a community.
  • This video relates to the concept of doughnut economics which can be further explored in this video, this webinar, or this activity.
Scientist Notes
Students can learn how to live within the limits of the natural world. The resource provides great insights into sustainability. It is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 11-12.SL.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
  • Social Sciences
    • Geography (K-12)
      • HS.48 Determine the influence of long-term climate change and variability on human migration, settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
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