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Planning for Higher Education Journal

October 1, 2015

A Model for Creating a Campus Sustainability Plan

Institutions of higher education have a special obligation to lead sustainability efforts in order to provide the next generation of young adults with the information and tools needed to take on the challenges of the future.

From Volume 44 Number 1 | October–December 2015

Abstract: Campuses are increasingly interested in “greening” as a response to climate change, in recognition of a resource-challenged future, and based on a desire to prepare current and future generations for a world faced with new environmental, social, and economic threats. But where to start? We often look to our facilities personnel to lead the charge with energy efficiency measures and LEED-certified buildings, but how do we institutionalize sustainability and make it part of the fabric of the university? A useful tool for beginning this process or coordinating existing efforts is the creation of a campus sustainability plan that can serve as both a strategic planning document and an implementation guide with specific action items, benchmarks, and accountability strategies. This article provides a script for anyone looking to take on this task and includes a case study from a large public institution with the aim of assisting others in this endeavor and easing their transitions to more sustainable campuses.

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