Planning and Leadership

"Sustainability isn't just a bandwagon we're hopping onto. It's woven into the very fabric of our identity and history as an institution."
President Purce, 2007

Dr. Purce - Focus the Nation - 2008

Institutional and National Commitments to Sustainability

Talloires Declaration

President Les Purce signed the Talloires Declaration in 2007. The Declaration is a ten-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities.

The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

President Les Purce was an early member of the Leadership Circle of the Presidents Climate Commitment, and signer of that commitment to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.

  • As part of this commitment, Evergreen completed its first carbon inventory in 2007. At 5.1 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per fulltime student, the college’s carbon footprint was less than half the national average for colleges and universities.

2007 Updated Strategic Plan

Evergreen's updated strategic plan (PDF) outlines objectives and strategies regarding sustainability:

  • Objective: Develop and implement an improved plan, grounded in environmental stewardship and social justice, to help the College clarify and achieve its sustainability goals
  • Strategies:
    1. Actively engage students, faculty, and staff in an update of the Climate Action Plan, including review and recommendations related to carbon and waste reduction goals and timelines;
    2. Review and, as necessary revise, roles and structures to achieve the goals of an updated Climate Action Plan;
    3. Emphasize the continued integration of social justice and sustainability into the curriculum; and
    4. Provide additional theory to practice opportunities for students and a model for sustainability that contributes to student recruitment, learning, and retention.

The Campus Master Plan

Completed in 2007-08, the Campus Master Plan includes a multitude of sustainable features such as a core area in the campus square for Sustainability activities; a comprehensive network of trails for pedestrians and bicycles; plans for green student and faculty housing, and a plan for the college to collaborate with Intercity Transit to drastically reduce single occupancy vehicle traffic.

The Climate Action Plan

Evergreen's plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020 was completed in the fall of 2009. Implementation of the plan has begun, but much remains to be done.

College Goals

  • Carbon Neutral by 2020
  • Zero Waste by 2020
  • Increase opportunities for a practical education in sustainability
  • Initiate a robust plan for the reduced and efficient use of resources
  • Examine and implement best sustainable practices/purchases policies
  • Manage Evergreen's land endowment for increased biodiversity and maximum educational opportunities related to sustainable practices

Campus Assessments

Evergreen uses AASHE STARS to assess our progress towards more sustainable operations.