Sustainability in the California State University (CSU)

AS-2800-07/FGA/AA - May 10-11, 2007

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, and the Access to Excellence Steering Committee to support the inclusion of appropriate language in the new, emerging strategic plan for the CSU that encourages the development of campus practices and educational experiences for all students that emphasize sustainable development; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU encourage the faculties of the CSU to consider making teaching and learning about sustainability a part of the curricula available to all students of our universities; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU encourage the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, CSU campus Presidents and other administrators in the CSU to support the development of campus operational practices contributing to sustainability with serious bona fide attention to the triple bottom line (attention to environmental and social as well as financial performance) so that the physical environments of our universities serve as learning laboratories for our students; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recognizes the importance and need for research and other activities that contribute to the achievement of sustainability.

RATIONALE: : In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development declared that “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Principles of sustainable development promote:

  • A vital and sustainable economy based on the triple bottom line;
  • Commitment to social justice that includes the rights of future generations.
  • Respect and care for the greater community of life in all its diversity, including protection and restoration of the earth's ecosystems.

The Talloires Declaration (University leaders for Sustainable Future, an international organization) and American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment can serve as guiding documents to our campuses in these efforts. The California State University and each of its constituent universities should aspire to be national and international models for sustainable practices in all dimensions of their operations (teaching, research, business and finance). The CSU and its universities have an obligation to help train citizens for participation in a democratic society and to help students become environmentally literate citizens, who understand the principles of sustainability.

The State of California Executive Order S-20-04 recognizes that state institutions such as the California State University are major consumers of energy and natural resources, and asks these institutions to reduce the use of non-renewal resources as well as increase energy efficiency. Executive Order S-3-5 recognizes that California is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and that we must take action to reduce the use of fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint.

The California State University has an obligation to the citizens of the state of California to be wise stewards of scarce resources and to assure the continued economic and ecological viability of the state.


Approved Unanimously - May 10-11, 2007

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