The benefits of making a clear commitment can be dramatic, especially over the long term. When students, faculty, staff, and alumni know that the college or university is making a broad and comprehensive commitment to sustainability, they are more likely to contribute their time and resources.
A comprehensive commitment involves curriculum & research, all aspects of operations, and attention to planning & community engagement as well. A broad commitment to sustainability will enhance current engagement in sustainability and appeal to many prospective students. This must go beyond words, of course; it requires a real commitment that conveys a clear and unambiguous message that the institution is serious about sustainability.
Perhaps the easiest and most convincing next way to demonstrate commitment — in addition to establishing a ‘green revolving fund’ and investing a portion of endowment funds in high-return facilities upgrades that reduce energy use — is to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. Reducing GHG is essential to preserve a viable future, so this resonates with young students. (Hundreds of colleges and universities already have joined this effort, including a majority of the Annapolis Group of 128 independent liberal arts colleges.)
Return to Open Letter to College Presidents & Trustees
- Green Revolving Funds
- Endowment Investments with High Return & Ultra-Low Risk
- Commitment to Leadership in Campus Sustainability