The mission of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable
Future (ULSF) is to support sustainability as a critical focus
of teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and
universities worldwide through publications, research, and assessment.
ULSF also serves as the Secretariat for signatories of the
a ten-point action plan committing institutions to sustainability
and environmental literacy in teaching and practice. Over 350
university presidents and chancellors in more than 40 countries
have signed the Declaration.
education is beginning to recognize the need to reflect the reality that humanity
is affecting the environment in ways which are historically unprecedented and
which are potentially devastating for both natural ecosystems and ourselves. Since
colleges and universities are an integral part of the global economy and since
they prepare most of the professionals who develop, manage and teach in society's
public, private and non-governmental institutions, they are uniquely positioned
to influence the direction we choose to take as a society. As major contributors
to the values, health and well being of society, higher education has a fundamental
responsibility to teach, train and do research for sustainability. We believe
that the success of higher education in the twenty-first century will be judged
by our ability to put forward a bold agenda that makes sustainability and the
environment a cornerstone of academic practice.
What do we mean by "sustainability"?
"Sustainability" implies that the critical activities of a
higher education institution are ecologically sound, socially
just and economically viable, and that they will continue to
be so for future generations. A truly sustainable college or
university would emphasize these concepts in its curriculum
and research, preparing students to contribute as working citizens
to an environmentally healthy and equitable society. The institution
would function as a sustainable community, embodying responsible
consumption of energy, water, and food, and supporting sustainable
development in its local community and region.