Sustainability Center

The Principia Center for Sustainability (PCS) coordinates a variety of programs and opportunities associated with the study and practice of sustainability on campus. These include an academic minor in Sustainability, Abroad opportunities, career-related experiences (internships, externships, apprenticeships), participation in the design and implementation of campus “greening initiatives,” a Sustainability Speaker Series, student-led events, and much more! You’ll find that the PCS is a vibrant nexus embracing academic pursuits, practical applications, and lively conversations about complex challenges that face the human family in the 21st century – challenges that Principia students are uniquely prepared to solve.

In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-2014, emphasizing that education is an indispensable element for achieving sustainable development. Principia is one of a growing cadre of colleges and universities taking the challenge of sustainability education seriously. Preparing our students to take the lead in solving some of the most important challenges of their generation, the broadly interdisciplinary landscape of the Sustainability minor is designed to nurture an appreciation for the wide variety of perspectives and priorities among stakeholders (and the need for communication and collaboration among them), to promote an understanding of the fundamental linkages between ecological, political, social, and economic systems, and to inspire students to think critically about the diversity of ethical issues raised by human interactions with the environment.

The PCS works collaboratively with a campus-wide network of decision-makers, including the College Facilities Department, to provide opportunities for students to engage in sustainability projects that build technical and research skills, require strategic thinking, and offer experience with project planning, implementation and/or evaluation. The College has long been deeply committed to incorporating every practical measure in support of environmental sustainability, including purchasing Mixed Green Power, driving electric fleet vehicles, upgrading campus buildings, achieving Bronze Level Certification (2012) under the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, achieving Forest Stewardship Certification (2012) for the College’s approach to lands management, planning for the construction of a LEED certified Core Academic Building, actively promoting “reduce, reuse, recycle” behavior campus-wide, facilitating wise energy use, participating in Sustainability consortia in Illinois and in Missouri, and so on.

Principia College is often referred to as a community of practice, where joy-filled and Spirit-based community service and shared responsibility for our campus (and, by extension, our global) home are encouraged, enabled, and treasured. Bring your curiosity, and come join us!