Elon updates Sustainability Master Plan  

The plan, first created in 2007 and updated this spring with input from campus stakeholders, has 38 objectives across four categories: operations, planning and administration, engagement and academics.

Elon University has completed an update of a Sustainability Master Plan originally published in 2007.

The updated plan builds upon primary goals of the initial Sustainability Master Plan by:

  • Maintaining the goal of carbon neutrality by 2037,
  • Enhancing and expanding programs to educate students, faculty and staff about sustainability and
  • Continuing identification and implementation of strategies that support sustainable operations.

Focusing on the next 10 years, the updated plan continues to address sustainability efforts in operations and education. To advance the goal of carbon neutrality by 2037, a key focus of the plan within sustainable operations is energy reduction and increased use of non-fossil fuel energy sources.

The plan has a total of 38 objectives across four categories: operations, planning and administration, engagement and academics. The appendix of the plan provides specific strategies toward achieving each objective. The strategies are a starting point rather than a defined path and may change as needed during implementation. 

Several objectives focus on increasing campus awareness of, and engagement in, sustainability programs and initiatives. An example is the objective to “use campus buildings and events to educate the campus community about sustainable practices.” 

“We are glad to continue the important work of sustainability through our commitments and initiatives outlined in this new master plan,” said Gerald Whittington, Elon University’s senior vice president for business, finance and technology. “Dedicated work toward our goals will be necessary for us to continue to make progress on this campus-wide initiative.”

The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Council coordinated the development of the updated plan. Sixteen focus groups with various campus stakeholders were held June through September 2014. The results of those focus groups informed the development of the plan, which was available for review by the campus community in April 2015.

“Obtaining input from campus stakeholders was an essential part of the plan’s development,” said Elaine Durr, director of sustainability. “Elon’s sustainability efforts depend upon cross campus collaboration, and we look forward to continuing these partnerships to advance sustainability at Elon.”