What is sustainability? 

Words and phrases like carbon footprint, eco-conscious, green living, etc. have been frequently used over the past several years; but what does it all mean? Various definitions of each word abound, but each deal with a common theme, sustainability.

A practical definition of sustainability developed by the Brundtland Commission is “development that meets the needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The central idea that our resources are finite and the rate and way in which we use them must be altered has held strong through the various interpretations. 

Purchase has invested not only in our student’s future but also in society’s future by focusing on sustainability measures. However, more needs to be done. Purchase College needs the collective effort of its students, faculty, staff, and administration. Working together, we will further Purchase’s sustainable future.

Early Adopter 

President Thomas Schwarz exemplified genuine dedication to environmental issues and sustainability by joining 151 other U.S. Colleges as an original signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in April 2007. Providing a sustainable future is one of the college’s four main directions listed in the last strategic plan. 

Per Executive Order 4 and 11, the college procures a lot of sustainable products from paper to computers. The college only purchases state-approved green cleaning products to reduce the impact of harmful chemicals and increase the wellbeing of our campus community.

Knowing that our sustainable commitment extends beyond just the campus, the college has been certified through Westchester County’s Green Business Certified Challenge, an initiative to embed sustainability in all aspects of an organization’s operations. The college works with fellow members to drive sustainability in the surrounding, local community.