Children’s activist Marian Wright Edelman once said, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” To me, her words of wisdom might have served as the blueprint for Hudson Valley Community College’s continually growing attentiveness to — and activity around — environmental sustainability.
Scientific evidence clearly calls on us — the global “us”— to consider environmental health along with economic prosperity and social well-being as we balance our present and future needs. As an institution of higher learning, we’ve dedicated ourselves to putting sustainable practices into action. We are assertively “green,” if you will, because we believe higher education has a profound responsibility not only to teach sustainability, but also to practice it. To improve the lives of others. To leave our community better than we found it.
This Report to the Community outlines what the college and its community of educators, administrators and students have done to make sure we’re in step with the 21st century’s best sustainable practices. A small instance is the publication you hold in your hands. It is smaller in size than previous years’, has fewer pages, and is printed on recycled paper. In this way, we’ve reduced the energy needed to produce and deliver it.
Of course, we've also moved forcefully as an institution toward sustainability with large, system-wide initiatives. In the following pages, you’ll read about how we work to achieve sustainability in three key areas: our academic programs, physical plant and institutional practices. You can also find out how we're preparing for a future in which environmental sustainability planning has become a higher priority at all levels and sectors of society.
Raising the flag of sustainability is not enough. Hudson Valley Community College is acting. I encourage you to join us. Together, we will make a difference.
Andrew J. "Drew" Matonak