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A.4. Environmental and Sustainability Policy

Statement of Commitment to the Environment
Prepared by Environmental Council, endorsed by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees in May 1995

"Middlebury is committed to environmental mindfulness and stewardship in all its activities. This commitment arises from a sense of concerned citizenship and moral duty and from a desire to teach and lead by example. Middlebury gives a high priority to integrating environmental awareness and responsibility into the daily life of the institution. Respect and care for the environment, sustainable living, and intergenerational responsibility are among the fundamental values that guide planning, decision-making, and procedures. All individuals in this academic community have personal responsibility for the way their actions affect the local and global environment."

Guiding Principles in Sustainability

The values laid out above are systemic to the vision and operation of Middlebury and it continues to be a leader in the area of sustainability. As architect and designer William McDonough describes, a sustainable world is one that is “delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just - with clean air, soil, water and power - economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed” and this is the type of future we hope to create and encourage at Middlebury. Striving for sustainability challenges us to address complex problems, both in the curriculum and in our life as citizens in a globalized world. In order to move toward sustainability we must consider:

  • Teaching ourselves—and learning from each other—how to move towards sustainable lifestyles;
  • Making ethical and just decisions about production, exchange and consumption
  • Reaching decisions, in a democratic spirit, that help us advance sustainability in a complex and globalized world;
  • Meeting present and future human needs while protecting and restoring ecological resilience and integrity;
  • Caring for the community of life on earth; and
  • Actively promoting sustainability goals and sharing the successes and lessons learned at Middlebury with other institutions and individuals.