Ensuring a Sustainable Future

Penn State will confront the global challenges of climate change and sustainability directly and assertively in all their complexity—from feeding a growing population to preserving Earth’s resources to ensuring water and energy security across Pennsylvania. We must build resilient systems that will drive us to a more sustainable state. As an institution of higher learning and research, Penn State has a moral responsibility to embody and communicate an evidence-based worldview that strives for environmental, human, and economic vitality, both now and in the future.

Penn State must lead by example and help our students—who are tomorrow’s leaders—to promote sustainability and become advocates for change for the public good. We will establish a common understanding of sustainability and climate literacy to prepare all members of the Penn State community to be effective citizens in a climate-altered world. Penn State already has vast interdisciplinary talent in areas relating to climate change, sustainability, environmental stewardship, and social justice, and we have the scale and reach to effect meaningful, measurable change.

Our commitment is to a holistic institutional sustainability aligned with the UN Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals and reflecting globally shared values among students, faculty, staff, alumni, research organizations, and corporate and political leaders. We will—even more comprehensively, systematically, and cohesively—integrate sustainability into our research, teaching, outreach, and operations. In addition, we must lead with innovative and aggressive programs institutionally to reduce our impact on the environment by waste elimination and fostering resilient, equitable, thriving communities in Pennsylvania and around the globe.