Environmental Guiding Principles

Developed in collaboration with our colleagues at Allegheny College.

Virginia Wesleyan University recognizes our responsibility to protect and enhance the environment and its biodiversity for the health of local and global ecosystems, future generations, and ourselves. We are committed to responsible stewardship of campus resources and to demonstrating leadership in sustainability. As a learning community located in the rich and unique ecosystems of Coastal Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay watershed, we are committed to promoting and developing the next generation of environmental stewards. The ongoing sustainability efforts of the University reflect a larger commitment to ethical conduct and social responsibility through environmental stewardship and education.

We seek to be a campus community:

  • In which the University is an environmental leader in all aspects of institutional functions, including planning, operations, purchasing, and maintenance;
  • In which environmental efforts encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching and research;
  • In which diversity, inclusion, and equity are valued and recognized for their role in supporting and creating a vibrant, sustainable, healthy, and resilient community;
  • In which we acknowledge our obligation to live responsibly as part of a forested ecosystem that mantles our campus and promotes a rich learning environment;
  • In which we build a campus community that promotes health and wellness efforts in harmony with the natural world; and
  • In which University leadership and expertise contribute to Coastal Virginia’s local and regional environmental efforts.

To advance our goals, we will:

  • Incorporate environmental and social concerns as a priority in University decision making, planning, and investing;
  • Consider social, environmental, and economic impacts of Virginia Wesleyan’s policies, practices, and growth;
  • Train the next generation of environmental stewards and professionals of local and regional distinction;
  • Foster the University’s national-niche programs in environmental sciences and the Batten Honors College by encouraging investments from internal and external resources;
  • Seek practices and procedures that protect, enhance, and regenerate the environment;
  • Promote the University as a living laboratory for sustainability, contributing to the education, outreach, and research mission of the University;
  • Use participatory processes in developing Virginia Wesleyan’s policies and practices; and
  • Fulfill our responsibility as good neighbors by working with the community to foster social equity, environmental justice, and healthy natural systems.

Our decisions and actions will be guided by the Virginia Wesleyan University mission statement, reflective of the University’s values and resources. As a learning institution, we recognize that achieving environmental sustainability will be an evolving practice.