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Sustainability at Willamette University

At the heart of Willamette University's commitment to environmental stewardship, the Sustainability Institute embodies our dedication to sustainability, environmental justice, and climate action across academics, operations, and community engagement.

Key Programs and Initiatives

  • Academic Programs

    At the Salem undergraduate college, students can pursue a Sustainability Minor to develop a deep understanding of sustainability challenges and solutions.

    Law School: The Certificate in Sustainable Environmental, Energy, & Resources Law equips future legal professionals with the expertise to tackle environmental and climate-related issues through policy and law.

  • Student Organizations
  • Campus Facilities and Operations
    • Our 305-acre property, Zena Forest, not only supports academic research and environmental education but also serves as a living laboratory for sustainability practices.
    • Our campus includes LEED-certified buildings like the Ford Hall, designed to meet stringent standards for energy efficiency, water use reduction, and indoor environmental quality.
    • We maintain our campus grounds using organic, pesticide-free landscaping practices to ensure a healthy, sustainable environment.
    • Our waste management system includes recycling and composting operations, complemented by educational poster campaigns to promote recycling practices throughout campus, including residence halls.
  • Campus Dining

    Willamette’s food service, Bon Appetit, partners with local farms, ranches and fisheries to offer organic, hormone-free, sustainably produced food. Students even volunteer with spring planting projects at local farms to better understand how our food is produced. Menus feature in-season and locally produced food to reduce transportation costs and pollution. Cooking oil is recycled, food leftovers are given to local ranchers, and disposable tableware is made from sugarcane or recycled paper.

  • Transportation
    • Willamette offers subsidized Cherriots bus passes to encourage the use of public transportation, available for easy access on campus.
    • The Campus Rec Bike Shop supports cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation by offering bike rentals, repairs, and cycling information.
  • Community Engagement and Support
  • Climate Action and Strategic Plan Integration

    Reflecting the urgency of Climate Change as outlined in Willamette's strategic plan, our Climate Action Plan is not just about reducing our carbon footprint—it is about preparing our students for the interdisciplinary challenges of the 21st century. Climate change affects every aspect of society from ecosystem integrity to geopolitical stability and connects to every Sustainable Development Goal. Willamette is committed to leveraging resources across the university to prepare students for this complex, cross-disciplinary work.

Learn more about how you can be part of our sustainability journey at Willamette University. Whether through academic pursuits or participating in our many programs, your involvement can make a significant impact. Together, we are forging a path toward a more sustainable and just world. Join us in making a difference, today and tomorrow.
Willamette University

Willamette University Sustainability Institute

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.