Naropa University Announces Statement of Commitment to the Practice of Sustainability

University will celebrate with Sustainability Day with a community focus on personal sustainability, and special screening of "Water, Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource"

Boulder, Colo. (October 11, 2012) - Naropa University announces the approval and adoption of the "Statement of Commitment to the Practice of Sustainability" by the Naropa Board of Trustees. The statement, created by Naropa's Sustainability Council (formerly known as "The Green Team"), represents a comprehensive action-focused collaboration including students, staff, faculty, and trustees. To raise awareness and to introduce the 2012 theme of personal sustainability, the NSC will be holding a university and community "Sustainability Day" on Thursday, October 24, which will include speakers, panels, as well as a focus on local food systems with a community meal and panel in conjunction with National Food Day. The day will be highlighted by a special showing of "Water, Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource," a mixed media exhibit from forty-five artists, curated by Jennifer Heath, exploring water issues. Sustainability Day is free and open to the public.

The Statement of Commitment to the Practice of Sustainability represents the ongoing and renewed efforts to be an integral part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which was signed by former Naropa President, Thomas Coburn (2003-2009). Naropa's administration will begin work with the Naropa Sustainability Council to advance the next step, which is a detailed procedural map for meeting sustainability goals known as the Climate Action Plan. Shortly after Naropa signed the ACUPCC, the Green Team (now the Naropa Sustainability Council) formed to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to achieve climate neutrality - zero net contribution to climate change. The Naropa Sustainability Council released the first CAP draft in 2011, which articulated myriad mitigation strategies for moving forward to achieve climate neutrality. Since that draft, Naropa has seen a notable reduction in emissions over the past three years by 8.56 percent.

"The Statement of Commitment outlines Naropa's commitment to the 'practice of sustainability' instead of 'sustainability' alone," says Naropa President Charles Lief, a featured speaker at Sustainability Day, as well as a key advocate for the adoption of the statement. "The practice of sustainability is more applicable to Naropa's experiential approach to education and conveying a sense of an inner discipline, and a more action-oriented, individual (and community) path."

Naropa University's commitment to sustainability-in-action employs strategic initiatives to move the community towards specific goals, such as, but not limited to, zero waste, climate neutrality, and 100% renewable energy. In 2012, the university was recognized by the EPA as a Green Power Partner, one of only 20 colleges and universities around the country offsetting 100% of their emissions using Green Power/and Renewable Energy.

Read the full Statement of Commitment to the Practice of Sustainability.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.