About Penn State Sustainability

Penn State Sustainability (previously named the “Sustainability Institute”) supports the sustainability movement at Penn State as consultants and coaches who guide and bolster sustainability efforts at the University. Our staff has expertise in a number of areas, including student and staff engagement, curriculum development, student-community projects, operations, research, and more. However, for sustainability to grow, the charge of creating sustainability must be adopted by the units and colleges via the establishment of Sustainability Councils at the unit, college and campus level. This way, sustainability grows organically. As it grows it is nurtured by Penn State Sustainability.


Penn State Sustainability uses the integrated framework of the 2030 Global Sustainable Development Goals to advance the causes of people, planet, shared prosperity, peace, and partnerships for current and future generations by working collaboratively with the entire Penn State community to ensure the institutionalization of sustainability across our colleges, campuses, communities, and the state of Pennsylvania.

We increase sustainability literacy, expand commitment to sustainable practices, addresses systemic challenges, and build capacity for leadership toward a sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future through Penn State’s teaching, research, outreach, and operations.


Penn State Sustainability will be an indispensable partner and catalyst in our collective university efforts to build resilient, inclusive, and sustainable communities on our campuses and across the world.


  1. Penn State Sustainability embraces the Penn State values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence, and Community, enhanced with the following five core beliefs.
  2. Every member of the Penn State community can play a positive role in our shared sustainable future.
  3. Who individual people are matters as much as what they do.
  4. We must walk hand in hand with all people—but particularly the marginalized—to confront injustice and to achieve social, economic, and environmental justice.
  5. Respecting planetary boundaries and prioritizing the health and interconnectedness of all life forms is essential for the environmental and ecological well-being on which human health and economic stability depends.


Penn State Sustainability’s Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 outlines the process by which the institute and, more broadly, the University will work to meet the needs of the present while enhancing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Review the current plan here >

People attending the 2019 CWC forum