Environmental Policy

The Board of Trustees approved an update to the 2003 Statement of Environmental Policy on May 16, 2009. This policy update was written by the Trustee Sustainability Task Force during the 2008-09 academic year.

Statement of Environmental Policy

Approved by the Board of Trustees May 16, 2009

Pomona College recognizes that the local and global environment in which it operates must be protected for future generations. It is therefore committed to the further development of an ethos of resource sustainability among faculty, staff, and students and to the incorporation of environmentally sound practices in its operations. Such commitments are essential if future generations are to have a healthy and productive environment.

Sustainability Values

The following are recognized as central values of the College that pertain to sustainability and environmental impacts:
  • Leadership - Leading the way with teaching sustainability and practicing sustainable lifestyles
  • Education - Providing both a thorough classroom education on sustainability and environmental issues and spreading information and best practices related to sustainability technologies, ideas, and behavior
  • Conservation - Protecting quality of life and environment for current and future generations through reduction in resource use and impacts
  • Solutions-based progress - Utilizing simple, straight-forward solutions where possible, while also exploring new technologies and advanced techniques
  • Long-term perspective - Taking a long-term perspective in analyzing opportunities, making decisions, and prioritizing resources
  • Stewardship - Preserving and restoring the Southern California climate and ecosystem, including biodiversity, through campus development, academic research, and service
  • Community - Generating an intentional community that emphasizes sustainability
  • Participation - Providing a participatory process of learning sustainability so that all members of the community are highly aware of the issues and their possible solutions
  • Integration - Ensuring every member of the campus community comes into contact with sustainability efforts and considers sustainability while making decisions
  • Economic responsibility - Making sound financial investments in sustainability-related projects and programs in order to maximize financial savings and environmental benefits
  • Social justice - Recognizing that environmental impacts are disproportionately experienced by underrepresented populations and emphasizing environmental justice issues when discussing sustainability efforts

Policy Implementation
The Pomona College community affirms its commitment to the environment by incorporating the above values and implementing this policy in the following ways:

Campus Planning, Maintenance, and Construction

The College's capital planning and approvals process for new construction and major renovation of existing facilities will incorporate the Sustainability Values in its review. Each department and program proposing a capital project will be required to establish specific objectives consistent with this policy's Sustainability Values as part of the formal approval process, and all projects and project decisions will be assessed using life cycle cost-benefit analysis. Campus-wide building standards for new construction and major renovation projects will be mandated in the College's Green Building Standards. Departmentally-funded infrastructure projects will need to comply with similar project review, establishing sustainability-related objectives with the assistance of Campus Planning and Maintenance and the Sustainability Integration Office.

Financial and Budgetary Planning

The College budget planning process will include explicit recognition of the Sustainability Values in the commitment of operating funds. This commitment includes: funding the administrative and program needs of the Sustainability Integration Office and providing separate funding within Campus Planning and Maintenance for sustainability projects and programs. Cost-saving sustainability measures will be considered appropriate investments of College funds, subject to financial analysis.

Educational and Research Support

Recognizing that education is the cornerstone to achieving sustainability goals, the College will continuously develop and recognize efforts to expand curricular, research, and extra-curricular opportunities for sustainability-related education. This includes recognition of the College's sustainability efforts in major communications outlets and the use of sustainability programs and projects in Admissions materials.

Ongoing Assessment and Review

Concepts of sustainability continuously evolve over time with added experience, research, and technological advances. The College will appoint a standing Sustainability Committee charged with working with the Sustainability Integration Office to generate, administer, and monitor an implementation framework for this policy. This Committee will also be responsible for annual reporting on progress toward sustainability goals and for providing recommendations for revising the implementation framework