Sustainable Futures

We believe in responsible stewardship that nurtures the human and environmental well-being of our campuses and our community and organizational partners. 

Humans live, work, and play at the intersection of the natural and built worlds and hold immense power to tip the balance toward sustainable or harmful practices through our choices. At RWU, we choose the path of sustainable growth, believing that it is a moral imperative to achieve balance between our actions and our impact.  

We are stewards of the natural lands we now occupy, our human resources and our physical infrastructure, and we have a sacred responsibility to care for the land, our people and places with sound environmental practices and resource management. Our decisions and actions will be designed with sustainable principles that provide a lasting foundation for current and future generations of students, employees, alumni and community members. 

We are called, therefore, to direct our research and scholarship toward solving the world’s most urgent problems, to shape policy and law to achieve greater environmental and social justice, to develop future leaders, professionals and tradespeople dedicated to sustainability, and to build operational infrastructure, facilities, and external partnerships to make that possible. It strengthens our capacity to build a flourishing community centered around the success, well-being and continued development of our students, alumni and employees. It empowers us to embed equity and inclusion across our campuses and in all facets of the institution, because we recognize that RWU will only become stronger when we remove barriers, and provide the support and sense of belonging for all of our community members. And it requires a thoughtful and sustainable approach to campus master planning that maintains and designs new inclusive spaces for living, learning and working and is mindful of the impact of our built environment and landscape on our surroundings. 

Select 2021-2022 Initiatives

  • Reconstitute the university Sustainability Committee
  • Submit AASHE/STARS sustainability assessment by January 2022
  • Hire a campus Sustainability Coordinator for support in building projects, campus practices and student educational programming
  • Invest in being a more vibrant year-round campus, expanding courses, camps, conferences and community events
  • Convene a spaces committee to develop new protocols and optimize space utilization on campus
  • Refresh and integrate our campus master planning efforts with the strategic plan; complete our required 5-year campus master planning documents for board approval and submission to town of Bristol
  • Align RWU’s engaged teaching, learning, and research capacities toward the goal of building resilient communities locally and globally

Embedded Equity

We recognize that equity and inclusion require a holistic university effort, so that means we uphold these ideals and think about how they should be incorporated in all policies and systems, including our goals for a sustainable and enduring university.

We will ensure that divisional plans and budgets align with institutional priorities and reflect diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Our business practices must include strategic fundraising targets, inclusive campus master planning, working with a more diverse pool of vendors who support our goals and meet our standards of sustainability.

Measuring Our Progress

RWU will complete and submit the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) in early 2022. This transparent assessment tool will measure our sustainable practices and allow us to benchmark our results across hundreds of universities, to identify areas of improvement and set concrete annual goals.