Penn State drafting strategic plan for sustainability, seeks ideas

University Park, Pa. -- In response to the multiple ecological, economic and social crises affecting the world today, Penn State is drafting its first strategic plan for sustainability. The development of a sustainability plan will involve students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni, supporters and corporate partners. The council writing the plan wants to hear the public's ideas now to help make it the best possible plan.

Penn State's University Sustainability Council -- whose members include Penn State students, faculty, staff and administrators and who are guided by an advisory board -- defines sustainability not just in the usual "green" sense of a healthy, protected environment, but as “the pursuit of economic well-being, human health and prosperity, and environmental quality in a manner that balances the needs of present and future generations.”

The council's plan aims to make all Penn State practices sustainable, from the office to the classroom, from the research lab to the residence hall, from the campus to society.

Goals under consideration:

-- Ensure that Penn State graduates have a deep understanding of sustainability.

-- Engage the Penn State community in learning about and pursuing sustainability.

-- Create an integrated living laboratory for global sustainability.

-- Develop, advance and deploy the knowledge, science and art of sustainability.

-- Advance sustainability within the larger society.

In short, Penn State will become a living laboratory of sustainable ideas and behaviors that will help transform how we teach, research and share knowledge, to improve the lives of the people of Pennsylvania, the United States and the world.

Everyone within and outside Penn State is encouraged to submit their best ideas to an ongoing set of Facebook notes -- one for each goal, to be posted weekly -- or by email to sustainablestate@psu.edu.

The original note about the plan-in-progress is at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150318040611620 online. The note detailing the first goal, "Ensure that Penn State graduates have a deep understanding of sustainability," is at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150323169961620 online.

Ideas submitted by no later than Sunday, Oct. 16, will be shared in a timely manner with the University Sustainability Council for their thoughtful consideration during the planning process.

Last Updated July 26, 2011