Introduction to Sustainability
The EPA defines Sustainability as the satisfaction of basic economic, social, and security needs now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base and environmental quality on which life depends.
With students, faculty, and staff numbering more than 7,500, over 250 acres of land containing the Missouri Arboretum, a working farm, a nationally recognized biomass alternative fuel program, and more than 90 buildings across our community, Northwest Missouri State University has a significant environmental presence in our region. The University recognized the importance of developing a comprehensive sustainability plan in early 2011 when the Sustainability Office was created within the Facility Services Department. Beyond managing its own environmental impact, Northwest also recognizes its responsibility to educate students to understand the interdependencies between environmental, social, and economic forces, and provide them with the skills and abilities to meet the challenges they present.
Operationally, Northwest must maximize resource outcomes across all operations to ensure that allocated resources best serve our mission. Through careful planning and communication we will economize without compromising the ability to change and adapt to future challenges. As a leader in the community, region, and nation we are obligated to operate in an economically, socially, and environmentally responsible way. Taking every opportunity to innovate and educate, Northwest will work to incorporate “Green” learning across all disciplines through student engagement and community outreach. As we address the myriad sustainability issues facing Higher Education today, we will work to ensure current environmental practices permit Northwest to seek “Green Development” funding and do not impede its ability to comply with current or future regulatory or funding requirements.
The Sustainability Office was established to help further Northwest's current sustainability efforts. We work to encourage and facilitate sustainability programs initiated by students, faculty, and staff; while helping to identify the materials and resources required for supplementing, expanding, or replacing existing programs. We are here to assist in the development of a long-range Sustainability Action Plan that allows us to integrate the principles of balanced environmental, social, and economic sustainability into education, research, and the operational and decision-making processes throughout campus.