Independent Minds, Working Together

Committee for a Sustainable Campus

In the fall of 2008, the president, faculty, and students endorsed a "Commitment to Environmental Stewardship" to represent the official position of the College. With the adoption of this commitment, the Environmental Task Force has been renamed the Committee for a Sustainable Campus.

Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

As an institution of higher learning committed to the liberal arts tradition, we have a fundamental responsibility to educate future leaders for productive lives in a complex global society. The College of Wooster is a community of learners and, as such, we have a unique opportunity to structure our common life within the College in ways that foster informed choices and promote the ideals of sound environmental stewardship. We therefore affirm that the College of Wooster will exemplify efforts to integrate environmental knowledge and values into daily life by conducting our affairs in ways that enhance personal, public, and environmental health.

To this end, we commit to the following steps toward environmental sustainability:

Community

  • We will seek to incorporate environmental values as significant elements in decisions about campus events, college priorities, and institutional choices
  • We will support efforts by members of our community to learn about, assess, and help ameliorate the harmful environmental impacts of the College and its activities on our local area
  • We will seek ways to contribute to the environmental awareness and health of our wider community, including our city and our region

Academics

  • We will provide both formal and informal settings in which students, faculty, and staff members can become educated about the environmental context in which their actions are embedded, enabling them to make informed choices in their daily lives
  • We will encourage academic courses to consider, where appropriate, the global and environmental context in which their topics might be situated, and the ecological, economic, and ethical principles within which disciplinary course materials are embedded
  • We will seek opportunities to increase our collective awareness of the connections between what we learn and what we choose, by promoting discussions, debates, and the sharing of information among members of the campus community and in the wider world
  • We will strive to ensure that the teaching and the research conducted by members of our community meet the highest standards of environmental responsibility

Operations

  • We will adhere to all relevant environmental laws, and will seek to go beyond those standards in our efforts to exemplify sound, sustainable environmental management
  • We will manage our campus and our facilities in ways that are environmentally thoughtful,working to purchase products which are environmentally sound, reduce our energy and water use, and diminish our outputs of pollutants and solid waste
  • We will include principles of long-term sustainability and environmentally-friendly design in planning new construction and renovations
  • We will implement recycling at every level of the campus, coupling that with efforts to reduce waste and reuse materials and resources at every possible point in our day-to-day activities
  • We will seek to ensure the economic viability of the Wooster community by purchasing products from locally-owned sources wherever possible
  • We will track our environmental progress, and implement steps to enhance our adherence to sound resource management
  • We will obtain an annual review of the College's progress in implementing environmentallyresponsible decisions and policies on campus and a summary of recommendations for concrete ways in which we can improve our performance in the coming years.

The liberal arts tradition and our own Wooster Ethic both support our efforts to integrate knowledge and values into our daily life. By affirming the foregoing principles, we envision our campus as a laboratory for learning and action which reflects our concern for humankind, our sense of responsibility for the global environment, and our commitment to environmental sustainability, both locally and in the world at large.