Institute for Sustainable Development
Scott McNall

Scott G. McNall
Executive Director

Believing that each generation owes something to those who follow, we will create environmentally literate citizens who embrace sustainability as a way of living. We will be wise stewards of scarce resources and, in seeking to develop the whole person, be aware that our individual and collective actions have economic, social, and environmental consequences.

 

Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Letter From the Director

California State University, Chico has a long and deep commitment to issues relating to the environment and the wise use of scarce resources. During the past decade we have worked to develop capacity in all areas of the University to respond to the needs of our community and to protect the quality of life that drew people to this region. We want to be good stewards of the land, and we want to train students to be environmentally literate citizens. We seek to create a common ground for dialogue with all of those who share our vision, and we seek to build and sustain communities of mutual interest and engagement.

We have chosen the language of sustainability because we seek to be as inclusive as possible. We are using the United Nations' (UNESCO) definition, in part, because they have declared this the decade for sustainable development, and because it is a definition embraced by members of an international community that understands that we need to foster through education the values, behavior, and lifestyles required for a sustainable future. Sustainable development promotes

  • A vital and sustainable economy
  • Respect for the dignity of people throughout the world
  • A commitment to social justice
  • Respect for the rights of future generations
  • Respect and care for the greater community of life in all its diversity, which involves protection and restoration of the earth's ecosystems.

Education for sustainable development is values-driven, and assumes that the people of the world have a common future and that they can work together in meaningful ways to protect it. Education for sustainable development requires an understanding of the relationship among poverty, wasteful consumption, environmental degradation, health, and the world conflicts that result from competition for scarce natural resources.

Sustainable development requires universities to train caring citizens who exercise their rights globally as well as locally. This means that we will train students to be good stewards of the planet, and we will do so across all disciplines. Every department on campus has something meaningful and important to say about what one generation owes to the next, about what our role in the natural world is, and what it means to live a decent life. Our efforts in sustainability therefore include a number of different, though related, components: academic programs, business practices, civic engagement, community connections, and research and creative activities.

We have embraced as a campus the following value statement as part of Our Strategic Plan for the Future to guide our efforts in sustainability:

Believing that each generation owes something to those who follow, we will create environmentally literate citizens who embrace sustainability as a way of living. We will be wise stewards of scarce resources and, in seeking to develop the whole person, be aware that our individual and collective actions have economic, social, and environmental consequences.

We intend to make CSU, Chico the distinctive "green" campus in California and become a national leader in environmental education, science, and policy analysis; the building of environmentally friendly facilities, and practicing and modeling for others sustainable practices. We see civic engagement and sustainability powerfully linked as a way to help students understand that democracy must be actively created and nurtured and as a way to work with others to build and live in the community.

I invite you to explore this Web site to discover what we are doing and to find inspiration in our celebration of place and community. We wish to learn from others, to share knowledge, and to create a sustainable future.

Scott G. McNall
Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development