Sustainability Strategic Plan

April 2010

Executive Summary

The Sustainability Strategic Plan is the result of a collaborative effort to assess Purdue's current sustainability programs and create a shared vision for future sustainability efforts. The scope and content was driven by input from a broad range of stakeholder groups, including operations staff, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, senior administrators, regional campus representatives, and West Lafayette community members. Please refer to the January 2010 Purdue Sustainability Strategic Plan Report for a comprehensive account of the plan development process. You may also download a PDF of the entire Sustainability Strategic Plan.

Four foundational goals were identified during the plans development that created a unifying framework for the many new sustainability initiatives described within this document. Referring back to these big picture objectives will help the university cultivate a strategic and integrated approach to campus sustainability.

  1. Improve formal collaboration on sustainability issues across operational units and academic disciplines/departments
  2. Invest in and use resources available on campus
  3. Promote the living laboratory initiative
  4. Effectively communicate sustainability values and programs

While the university is well served by these foundational goals for this edition of the Sustainability Strategic Plan, Purdue's needs and values are likely to evolve and change overtime. As a "living document," the plan will be revisited and updated regularly to incorporate new voices, set new goals, reflect current best practices, and inspire continual sustainability improvements on campus. This edition of the plan works in concert with the campus-wide New Synergies strategic plan and incorporates sustainability goals outlined in the Physical Facilities Strategic Plan.

The plan sets a broad strategic agenda in eight major sustainability program areas: Site Considerations, Water Resources, Energy and Built Environment, Materials Management, Food Systems, Academics and Research, Endowment/ Development, and Community Relationships. Reviewing campus operational activities, current departmental oversight and responsibilities, peer benchmarking programs, and general best practice in the sustainability field selected the program areas.

Each program area contains three sections, beginning with an area overview that contextualizes sustainability within the campus's larger operations and highlights Purdue’s major achievements to date. Following this is metrics section that lists benchmarking metrics the university has selected to track and report annually to assess its sustainability performance over time. The final component to each program area is a series of short- and long-term strategic goals that the university will work to achieve by 2014 and 2025, respectively. Meeting these goals will reduce Purdue’s environmental impact, expand sustainability programs and awareness on campus, and support the ambitions detailed in the university’s New Synergies strategic plan.

Strategic Plan