Chatham University: Policy As a Catalyst for Change

This is an entry in the 2013 Climate Leadership Awards - click here to vote for the best in campus sustainability.

Today, decision-makers too often look to the market or specific technologies for where to begin adopting a more sustainable approach to today's changing world. However, institutions and communities that begin their transformation by first setting in motion the right policies, become a powerful catalyst to unleash change and innovation in ways both big and small.

Following Chatham University's signing of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Chatham made a commitment to policy-driven change across the entire campus community. This set in motion a far-reaching approach that encompasses infrastructure, transportation, food systems, water and energy usage, purchasing decisions, educational offerings and more.

The result? The institutional policies set in motion years ago demonstrate how a community can change, create positive climate reduction in the process and model ways in which communities can adapt and grow to help our planet. Ultimately, the lessons learned along the way have led us to the launch of our new Eden Hall Campus, the first campus in the world built from the ground up for sustainable living and learning. More information at and

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