Staff and other resources help an institution organize, implement, and publicize sustainability initiatives. These resources provide the infrastructure that fosters sustainability within an institution. Sustainability planning affords an institution the opportunity to clarify its vision of a sustainable future, establish priorities and help guide budgeting and decision making. Furman recognizes the importance of strategic planning and stakeholder engagement in governance in making sustainability a campus priority and implementing changes to achieve sustainability goals.

Did You Know?

Since the mid-1990s, sustainability has been a strategic priority for Furman and has made us distinctive, particularly in the Southeast. Over the last decade, the university has been at the cutting edge of sustainability in higher education at the national level with both the creation of the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities and the first, and only, Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainability Science at a liberal arts institution in the United States. 

In 2007 Furman was one of the first signatories of the President’s Climate Commitment. The university aspires to be carbon neutral by 2026, its bicentennial.

In 2008 Furman developed a Climate Action Plan and a campus sustainability plan called “Sustainable Furman”. The plan outlines a long-range, comprehensive approach to making the university more sustainable in its practices, policies, and learning environments. 

We have garnered increasing national recognition for our sustainability efforts including a STARS Gold rating in 2015, 2018, and 2021, and AASHE’s 2009 and 2016 National Campus Sustainability Achievement Award. Our recent selection in 2016, as one of AASHE’s hubs for “Teaching Sustainability Across the Curriculum,” has given us another avenue to lead by example as we strive to provide training in sustainability.

What’s Next?

As we chart of path to STARS platinum, we intend to:

  • Lay out concrete action tasks across our four working groups within the Sustainability Action Council focused on grounds, waste, transportation, and energy. 
  • Continue to update our path to carbon neutrality as 2026 quickly approaches.
  • Revise our sustainability master plan.