Biotechnology and Sustainability: Where Science and Earth Meet | U.S. Green Building Council
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Biotechnology and Sustainability: Where Science and Earth Meet

GBCI: 0920012497

This course is presented in an ARTICLE format.

Scientists around the world are looking for new approaches to solving a host of problems the world faces, including depletion of natural resources, human health challenges, hunger, pollution, and climate change. There are not too many approaches that can tackle all of these modern day challenges at the same time, with one exception – biotechnology. Can biotechnology be utilized to "Heal the world, Fuel the world, and Feed the world". Learn more as we explore this topic through 2 articles.
Eligible for .5 CE HOURS.
  • .5 CE

Published on: March 21, 2017

Average: 3.9 (10 votes)


From medicines to agriculture, the impressive breadth and depth of biotechnology's ability to bring benefits across the spectrum of life on earth is remarkable. However, biotechnology's role in sustainability is getting close attention as the impact of climate change adds a critical new dimension to maintaining a safe environment for human life and protecting the earth's resources for future generations

The U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office defines the relationship of biotechnology and sustainability as the development of "…the resources, technologies, and systems needed to support a thriving bioenergy industry that protects natural resources and advances environmental, economic, and social benefits."

That said, it is important to understand that biotechnology is a much broader concept than its applications to energy production. Biotechnology is advancing the sustainability of water, air, soil, and biodiversity in a number of ways.

This is the first of a two-part series on sustainability. In Part I, we review the biotechnology industry – how it is "greening" the environment and improving human health. In Part II, we specifically look at sustainable agriculture in which biotechnology also plays a role.


  1. Understand what biotechnology is and it’s applications on human health and the environment
  2. Describe the role of biotechnology in the built environment
  3. Recognize the benefits of using biotechnology in the built environment
  4. Identify the limitations of biotechnology
  5. Analyze the future potential of biotechnology as it applies to people, planet and profit
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Created by

Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
New York, NY
United States


Diana Webb
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