Sustainability has been part of PSU’s vision and strategic emphasis area since the 2005 adoption of the Declaration of Support for Sustainability. There are many of us, me included, who were not at Portland State when this declaration was made. I suggest it is time for everyone to re-read (or read) the declaration. It articulates a commitment that can only be realized if we work together.
A lot has taken place on sustainability at PSU that we can all be proud of. Under Professor Jennifer Allen’s
leadership, our Institute for Sustainable Solutions
(ISS) has served as a hub for sustainability activities and actions. ISS has a team of dedicated faculty, staff and students, but they cannot do this work alone.
The work ahead
PSU is seven years into a 10-year, $25 million challenge grant from the Miller Foundation
. We have developed a set of goals and initiatives that has become known as the Sustainability Playbook
. The playbook is divided into six sections
: Education and Curriculum, Student Experience and Engagement, Research, Community Engagement, Campus Operations, and Institutional Policies and Administration.
I think of the playbook as both a blueprint and a challenge. A blueprint in that it outlines the strategic initiatives needed to follow through on PSU’s commitments on what it means to be an institution dedicated to sustainability. A challenge in that it is a call to all of us to help move this work forward. Although individual and groups of faculty, staff and students can make things happen, it will require all of us to make PSU an institution known for sustainability.
Portland has a national and international reputation as a sustainable city. It goes to follow that we would be its university known for sustainability
. I would like to challenge everyone on campus to take just one page out of the playbook
and think about what you can do to advance PSU’s efforts in sustainability.
Feel free to share your thoughts about the playbook below.