This interdisciplinary minor examines issues related to global and local sustainability. Students consider problems and explore solutions from the perspective of a "triple bottom line," recognizing that truly sustainable decisions often must reconcile divergent priorities associated with ecological, social, and corporate points of view.

As part of the minor, students complete a sustainability project of their own design and take a course in each of four academic spheres: 

  • Social sphere. Courses explore how human behavior, ethical and theological values, and societal organization relate to increasing sustainability.
  • Business and economics sphere. Courses examine business practices and governance systems that lead to sustainable societies.
  • Ecology and natural resources sphere. Courses focus on sustainable natural resource use and management, environmental issues, solutions to resource needs, and conservation.
  • Built environment sphere. Courses prepare students to become successful "change agents" by examining strategies for motivating sustainable behavior, communicating effectively, resolving conflict, and developing effective and ethical leadership skills.
Sustainability center projects
  • Converting a pickup truck to run on used vegetable oil
  • Building a bicycle-powered generator
  • Sponsoring talks by leaders in sustainability
  • Planting a permaculture garden (including chickens)
  • Working with Facilities, Dining Services, and other offices to develop and promote sustainable campus practices
What our students do during college
  • Join the solar car team, including racing in the U.S. and around the world
  • Design, implement, and evaluate Center for Sustainability projects
  • Serve as house or campus eco-head
  • Participate in sustainability-related community service
  • Volunteer at Three Rivers Community Farm, a 12-acre, chemical-free farm near campus
  • Help in the campus's land and forest stewardship programs and/or the community garden
  • Study abroad in Europe, Asia, China, or Australia
  • Attend on-campus talks by industry experts on corporate responsibility
What our students do after college
  • Excel in graduate programs and law school
  • Teach in public or private schools or other settings
  • Work for a "green" business consulting firm, research institute, or government agency
  • Lead an environmental, human rights, public policy, or other advocacy organization
  • Work in natural resource management

Principia College has been recognized as a Bronze Level Compact School within the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact program by Governor Quinn and the Green Governments Coordinating Council. This designation signifies that Principia stands as a leader in higher education sustainability.

Read about Principia College's sustainability activities in PrincipiaWire.