We are living in times of remarkable change.
We are living in times of remarkable change. A time when institutions of higher education are called upon to provide leadership in helping to create a more sustainable world. In 2009, I signed the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). I did so with the knowledge that we have quietly and increasingly embraced sustainability for years in our operating principles, buildings and classwork. I believe that in order to be true to our mission, it is time to put forth a vision and a roadmap for sustainability.
This Roadmap codifies our collective efforts at this time, and includes sustainability goals that set a plan for the future. It is a vision of what sustainability means to Columbia and is integral to, and compliant with our strategic plan.
I view sustainability as our collective responsibility. Blending goals of environmental stewardship and social equity with traditional economic metrics is the new imperative for true prosperity. Institutions of higher education are the cultivators of knowledge, charged with educating the leaders of tomorrow. We play a crucial role in the creation of a sustainable society.
I also view sustainability as an opportunity. This Sustainability Roadmap identifies pragmatic strategies to save resources through operational efficiencies; encourage a healthy work and learning environment; enhance our students’ career prospects in the emerging green economy; and support interested faculty to augment teaching and advance research based on sustainability principles.
It is the intent of this Roadmap to foster a culture of sustainability and create a model for future generations, shining light on the path we must follow. As the largest private arts and media school in the nation, our actions will have real impact in continuing and accelerating the ‘green’ evolution. Our efforts will strengthen our reputation and attract world class talent.
I believe our greatest strength in this endeavor is our people. Our students, faculty and staff are creative, passionate and determined to make a difference. We are in the unique position to embody Columbia’s slogan of “Create Change” through a holistic process of collaborative innovation.
I encourage all Columbia College community members interested in making our vision a reality, to get involved. Improve your sustainable literacy. Conserve materials, water, energy, in your work and personal life, as well as in the classrooms and buildings here at Columbia. Participate in classes, exhibitions and projects that promote and educate the community about best practices. In short, let us agree to share small sacrifices, enjoy rewarding work, and reap the benefits of a more sustainable future.
Keep up with the latest at www.colum.edu/sustainability
Thank you for helping us do well by doing good.