Global sustainability through the
lens of faith and servant leadership
Principia College is a private four year college founded in Elsah, Illinois in 1932. Its stated purpose is, “To serve the Cause of Christian Science” by encouraging its students “to think clearly, vigorously, fearlessly, tolerantly, and unselfishly” in every aspect of their lives. The campus, a National Historic Landmark since 1993, hosts 500 students with a 7:1 student to faculty ratio.
The Center for Sustainability advises a Sustainability minor that emphasizes the integration of experiential learning, service, and applied community-based problem solving. The Center also helps to assess Principia’s environmental performance and incorporate sustainability into planning and implementation processes.
Principia College has operated on 100% renewable energy (with per capita eCO2 emissions less than 25% the national average) since 2009, composts 100% of pre- and post-consumer food waste in its dining facilities, has reduced the sale of bottled water on campus by 83% since 2010, manages 2000 acres of FSC-certified forest, and in 2015 earned a SILVER rank by AASHE for meeting holistic sustainability targets in academics, operations, and administration.
“Sustainability is a key part of Principia’s mission. It is one of the 21st century’s most theoretically and practically complex fields of study, requiring students – and all of us – to consider problems and explore solutions designed to leave a functioning planet and a vibrant, equitable economy to future generations. Sustainability is attractive to prospective students and donors, and we believe that it should be taught – and practiced – across the curriculum and in all of our activities.” ~ Principia College Strategic Plan (2014)