Center for Sustainable Communities

A printable version of this Strategic Plan is available here.

Mission Statement

Rooted in our call to be good stewards of the Earth and responsible citizens in the global community, the mission of the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region through education, outreach, and collaboration.

Our Vision:

  • We envision a prosperous, equitable, and ecologically healthy world where Luther College, Northeast Iowa and the Driftless Region are seen as models of sustainable communities
  • Luther College will play a vital role in bringing about that world while providing unique opportunities for students and giving them the skills and abilities to meet sustainability challenges

Goals:

  1. Integrate and embed sustainability into the mission and operations of the college
  2. Develop an energy and climate program with emphases on education and community energy systems
  3. Enhance Luther’s land stewardship program with increased emphasis on community education and collaboration
  4. Sustain food and wellness programming with strategic growth in food production and education
  5. Expand and deepen outreach initiatives to serve as a catalyst for sustainability in the region
  6. Fully endow the Center and create a structure for long term fiscal and organizational sustainability

Strategies

Integrate and embed sustainability into the mission and operations of the college

  1. Enrich the curriculum and co-curricular opportunities so sustainability is a part of every student’s learning experience
  2. Model stewardship and sustainability in all aspects of college operations
  3. Broaden research by engaging Luther faculty and students in addressing sustainability issues in the community.
  4. Engage students, faculty, staff, and community members with information and leadership development opportunities related to sustainable communities

Develop an energy and climate program with emphases on education and community energy systems

  1. Facilitate climate action planning and implementation to meet Luther’s carbon footprint goals
  2. Educate constituencies about energy and climate issues and opportunities
  3. Stimulate investment in energy efficiency and development of locally-owned, community renewable energy projects
  4. Collaborate with partners on energy and climate projects and identify opportunities where Luther's expertise can be best utilized

Enhance Luther’s land stewardship program with increased emphasis on community education and collaboration

  1. Explore land stewardship community education  programs using pilot programs to determine needs and fit with Luther’s resources
  2. Increase visibility of Luther’s land stewardship initiatives through web and other media
  3. Collaborate with partners on land stewardship projects and identify current gaps in the wider community where Luther's expertise can be developed and used

Sustain food and wellness programming with strategic growth in food production and education

  1. Enhance sustainable food choices and operational sustainability in campus dining services
  2. Create and manage a college farm with a balance of education, research, demonstration, and food production
  3. Expand educational offerings in the areas of food systems and nutrition to faculty and staff
  4. Increase student education opportunities related to food
  5. Serve as a catalyst for growth in the regional food system

Deepen outreach initiatives to serve as a catalyst for sustainability in the region

  1. Engage K-12 schools, their educators, and community stakeholders to promote sustainability, wellness, and enhanced student learning
  2. Enhance environmental and outdoor education programs with special emphasis on high school students
  3. Develop and implement models for sustainability planning and promotion with regional businesses and local governments
  4. Explore new avenues for influencing sustainable community development including consulting, convening of experts, publications, and advocacy
  5. Provide leadership to regional campus sustainability initiatives through the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS), ACM, and informal collaborations 

Fully endow the Center and create the structure for long term fiscal and organizational sustainability

  1. Continue development work to secure endowed support to help ensure the ongoing operation of the Center without impacting Luther's institutional operating budget
  2. Create structures to ensure efficient and effective communication and coordination around sustainability
  3. Develop and implement a communications plan to increase the visibility of the Center and Luther’s sustainability work locally, regionally, and nationally.