Adopting Sustainable Practices

21. Model stewardship and sustainability in all college operations to reduce Luther’s environmental impact and mitigate operational costs.


  • Hire a sustainability coordinator to oversee and coordinate college sustainability initiatives.
  • Create a permanent campus sustainability council with broad campus representation.
  • Significantly reduce material flows and associated energy by reducing consumption, switching to more sustainable alternatives and increasing recycling.
    • Increase purchase of local food in Dining Services to 35 percent of total food purchases.
    • Decrease solid waste by 25 percent.
    • Decrease water consumption by 15 percent.
    • Decrease paper consumption by 25 percent and shift to at least 50 percent post-consumer content.
  • Develop a college purchasing policy that has a focus on sustainable alternatives.
  • Adopt a college policy that all building projects incorporate LEED certification strategies.
  • Monitor college use of toxic chemicals in all areas of campus with the goal of utilizing sustainable alternatives.

22. Reduce Luther’s carbon footprint by 50 percent and develop a plan to achieve carbon neutrality. 


  • Audit campus operations and implement energy efficiency upgrades in the physical plant.
  • Monitor all greenhouse gas emissions related to Luther operations.
  • Implement a comprehensive and creative program of energy education to shift behavior of students, faculty and staff as a way to reduce energy demand and shift the campus culture toward sustainability.
  • Invest in renewable energy strategies that provide cost savings and reduce Luther’s carbon footprint.
  • Develop a strategy for the use of carbon offsets including offsetting all college air travel with legitimate offsets.
  • Monitor and reduce emissions from student, faculty, and staff travel, including reducing emissions from fleet vehicles by 35%, utilizing alternatives (hybrids, electric, biodiesel, compressed natural gas), and changing behavior.