Environmental stewardship and sustainability are embedded into Purchase College’s governance, culture and academics, as well as the operational areas of planning, design, construction, transportation, food service, energy use, and waste.
Purchase College has a unique and very passionate campus population that has fostered a strong history of successful initiatives to increase the well being of the campus community. Various students, faculty and staff across all departments and disciplines have expressed an interest in advancing sustainability at the college.
Through this collaborative network there are many committees as well as student groups and organizations to increase environmental efforts and education by means of creative programs, initiatives and curriculum development. With sustainability being one of the four main directives of the college’s last strategic plan, there is heavy administrative support toward sustainable action.
Purchase College’s motto of “Think Wide Open” falls in line with the holistic view that sustainability encompasses not just the natural environmental but the social environment as well. With the goal of sustainability being a naturally evolving target, the driven, enthusiastic campus community has thrived in working together on a variety of issues such as energy conservation, waste reduction, land and building use, water conservation and social justice.
As a means to getting further involved in sustainability as an institution, Purchase is affiliated with various organizations from a local to national scale. A few of the organizations can be found on the right-hand side of the main page and are linked in the “Get Involved” page.
AASHE (Association for the Advance of Sustainability in Higher Education): An association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. Its mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. The organization provides resources, professional development opportunities, and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research.
NYCSHE (New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education): Representatives of higher education within New York state unite and support organizations with a common interest to promote and support environmental, fiscal, and social responsibility. Made up of individuals with vested interests in sustainability in higher education, this coalition seeks to support not only the idea of sustainability, but each other and the initiatives on member campuses. This network is meant to be a way for ideas and best practices to be shared.
SSC (SUNY Sustainability Coalition): The SSC is a subgroup of NYCSHE consisting of SUNY colleges and universities. The SSC serves as a state forum for sustainability initiatives, bringing together a broad spectrum of SUNY professionals to discuss issues critical to the acceleration, expansion and adoption of sustainable initiatives around curriculum, operations, research and engagement. The primary function of the group is to provide a voice for SUNY on sustainability issues, advocate for policies to further the sustainability goals of the system, increase awareness of accomplishments and advise system administration in the development of improved practices of sustainability. The group supports and enhances the ability of its members to fulfill their responsibilities in order to achieve the sustainability goals of their respective institutions by providing a forum for members to address shared efficiencies, best practices, implementation strategies, and professional growth and training opportunities.
Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities: An intercollegiate collaboration established to more fully engage its members in the regional environment. The Consortium’s mission is to help shape the future of the regional and global environment through collaboration, education, and research. The Consortium facilitates intensive cooperation among its regional colleges and universities, and organizes inter-institutional collaboration among faculty. By channeling this extraordinary bank of intellect, talent and activism into innovative education and public service, the Consortium advances knowledge and understanding of the Hudson River Valley and beyond.
Westchester Green Business Partnership: The region’s only green business certification program and currently has 71 member businesses and organizations of various sizes in a cross section of industries. Members are to network, share best practices, and collaborate. Support through the Cleaner, Greener Communities initiative allows to expand an affordable, turnkey system where businesses can measure their organization’s impact on the environment and make specific, purposeful changes to reduce it.
PLAN (Post-Landfill Action Network): The Post-Landfill Action Network cultivates, educates, and inspires the student-led zero waste movement. We inform students about the waste crisis and equip them with the necessary skills and resources to implement solutions to waste in their campus communities. PLAN empowers our generation to be change-makers.