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The University has a long-standing history of environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts.  These include faculty scholarship and student education related to the environment, energy, and sustainability, such as a 15+ year old alternative fuels vehicle laboratory led by the College of Integrated Science and Technology, and campus operations efforts, such as a 30+year-old recycling program led by Facilities Management.  The formal University adoption of environmental stewardship and sustainability into campus strategic planning in 2008 grew out of strong faculty member, staff, and student interest that was recognized by senior leadership and empowered first as an academic committee, then as a cross-university President’s Commission, and finally as a Presidential priority. The responsibility for University environmental stewardship and sustainability is shared across all university divisions.  The efforts highlighted on the pages of this "" website are conducted by staff, faculty, students in many areas of the university, commonly in collaboration.  The OESS was created to support, coordinate, and promote efforts.


Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Mission: Facilitate sustainability by advocating for environmental stewardship priorities; coordinating reporting and recognition of the sustainability-related efforts of the JMU community, and encouraging engagement of all members of the JMU community in sustainability education and environmental stewardship.

Campus Environmental Stewardship Vision  Our community members and observers will think critically about environmental stewardship and act as stewards of the natural world.

Campus Environmental Stewardship Goal:  Via our institutional and personal actions, educational programs, scholarship, and service, we will promote environmental education, model environmental responsibility, and challenge our community members and observers to think critically about their role in environmental stewardship. 


The Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (OESS) is a department in the Access and Enrollment Management Division.

To further collective efforts of the institution, the OESS: Environment Definition

  • tracks, reports and assesses progress on environmental stewardship.
  • facilitates strategic planning related to environmental stewardship.
  • coordinates special projects. Example: East Campus Hillside Naturalization, Campus Energy Assessment, and Combined Heat and Power Feasibility studies.
  • obtains resources and builds internal and external partnerships that enhance environmental stewardship capacity. 
  • represents JMU’s environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts externally. 
  • coordinates the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World (ISNW), the university stakeholder committees who advance environmental stewardship via annual recommendations and via programs that advocate for best environmental practices.  
  • organizes, co-sponsors, and participates in a rich array of activities and events related to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • assists with funding searches and applications related to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • assists with accessing campus information and resources related to environmental stewardship and sustainability, such as the East Campus Hillside and Science on a Sphere Theater.
  • provides conference presentation support for students, faculty and staff.

These definitions are drawn from Merriam Webster's
online dictionary at


  • Talloires Declaration
  • JMU Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
  • Among JMU Policies are multiple policies that address environmental stewardship, such as:
    1310:  Alternative Work Schedules
    1332:  Telecommuting
    1701:  Sustainable Procurement
    1702:  Water Use & Leak Prevention
    1703:  Sustainable Construction
    1704:  Energy Use
    1705:  Bottled Water Use
    3108:  Health and Safety
    4305:  Recycling