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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) includes the following regarding sustainability: “Evergreen will become a laboratory for sustainability — as demonstrated in our operations, our curriculum, and in the quality of life for our employees and students — and commit to becoming a carbon neutral college by the year 2020. Already the premier national model for interdisciplinary liberal arts education, ultimately Evergreen will become similarly known for its leadership in sustainability — providing educational and employment opportunities throughout the academic, public, nonprofit, and business communities.”

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.

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.