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The JMU campus community has a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. All members of the JMU community are challenged to be environmentally literate, think critically, and act - individually and collectively - as stewards of the natural world.

Over three decades ago, JMU signed the Talloires Declaration, which committed the university to incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach. Responsibility for environmental sustainability is not housed in one university unit, but is shared university-wide through environmental citizenship at all levels, including senior leaders, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Personal and institutional actions have cumulative and long-term consequences. Our sustainability achievements can be attributed to the past and current efforts of staff, faculty and students in many areas, commonly in collaboration. 

The following principles guide our individual and institutional actions toward more sustainable practices:

  1. Create an institutional culture of sustainability.
  2. Foster interdisciplinary research, education, and literacy in sustainability.
  3. Build sustainable community through partnerships, service, and outreach.
  4. Improve environmental quality and conserve natural resources.

Below are links to campus-wide environmental stewardship and sustainability resources that our stakeholders frequently inquire about. Please note that most of these links will take you to other JMU websites because the programs listed are organized by other units.

Through education and research, our students are learning about sustainability challenges and developing solutions.

Through public engagement and community partnerships, our students are engaging in environmental stewardship.


The table below provides further on details some of the ways sustainability and environmental stewardship are incorporated at JMU in academics, engagement, operations, and planning/administration. Use the search box to search by key word or department/unit. To read more about the unit's sustainability efforts, click on the green plus sign (+) in the table, and a description will appear.

The table below is best viewed at horizontal orientation on your device.

Resources that incorporate sustainability at JMU
Resource Website About
Strategic Plan Strategic Planning  Sustainability appears in the Outstanding Programs Core Quality, under Goal 1A and the Fiscal and Facility Resources Core Quality, under Goal 7B.
Master Plan Master Plan Update 2017 Sustainability is included in Section VI: Future Campus Requirements and Preferences, p. 62.
Policies JMU has policies on alternative work schedules, telecommuting, sustainable procurement, sustainable construction, energy use, health and safety, and recycling. 
1310: Alternative Work Schedules
1332: Telecommuting
1701: Sustainable Procurement
1703: Sustainable Construction
1704: Energy Use
3108: Health and Safety
4305: Recycling
Courses JMU maintains a list of many recent sustainability-focused courses and other courses that are inclusive of sustainability.  Courses that meet General Education Cluster 3 requirements are among the courses offered.  Most academic units offer at least one sustainability-related course, and many units offer numerous courses.
Concentrations  Environmental concentrations are included in multiple majors at JMU. Concentrations encourage a deeper understanding and enhance relevant skills.
Minors  JMU offers five environmental minors. Minors may broaden a student’s educational experience and expand professional skills.
Community Engagement and Volunteer Center The Community Engagement and Volunteer Center is dedicated to educating students about environmental and sustainability issues and inspiring student action. Their Alternative Breaks partner with community organizations locally, nationally, and internationally to explore the effects of topics like climate change, loss of biodiversity, and the imperative to conserve threatened habitats and species and participate in solutions. Students participating in their Service-Learning program enroll in courses designed by JMU faculty members in a wide-range of disciplines.
Center for Global Engagement (CGE) The Center for Global Engagement offers international experiences where students delve into sustainability challenges and solutions. As a starting point, select study abroad on the CGE website at the link to the left, and search the words “environment” and “energy.”
University Career Center University Career Center facilitates exploration of majors, minors, and pre-professional programs offered at JMU as well as their requirements and career opportunities. UCC will have information on all of the concentrations and minors listed previously.
Madison Center for Civic Engagement The Madison Center has facilitated programming led by students to engage in peer-based learning about environmental issues and policies at the campus, state, national and international level. Through their Civic Coffee and Donut Discussions, and their Civic Conversations, they can provide a forum for students, faculty and staff to not only discuss and deliberate environmental policies and issues, but also to take individual and policy action to initiate change that for environmental sustainability and justice.
Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) The Center for Faculty Innovation offers resources and programs to support faculty exploring sustainability concepts and principles and incorporating sustainability in their courses. >
Office of Residence Life (ORL) The Office of Residence Life pursues and environmentally friendly operations and increases students’ understanding of how environmental stewardship is and can be incorporated in their lives.
Student Organizations There are 19 environmental student organizations on campus.  Search the student organizations website using the “environmental” category.
Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE) The Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE) focuses on research, education, and outreach to advance sustainable energy deployment by providing a range of services to a wide variety of stakeholders including local governments, state agencies, landowners, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and academic communities.  CASE facilities include the Small Wind Training and Testing Facility (SWTTF) and the CISE Solar Energy Plant ( on the JMU campus, both which are used to support education and research.  As described on the websites, these facilities are fully functional and produce clean energy for our campus comparable in magnitude to the total electricity consumed by two to three typical homes.
JMU Libraries Library materials relating to sustainability include the following call number ranges: GE 1-350 Environmental sciences; QC 851-999 Meteorology, Climatology; QH 1-199.5 Natural history, including nature conservation, geographical distribution; QH 540-549.5 Ecology; Environmental technology, Sanitary engineering. Database subscriptions include BioOne, the ProQuest Environmental Science Collection, and Environment Complete. Online subject guides are maintained for the following areas: Integrated Science and Technology,, Geography,, Engineering,, and Green Building and Design,
Science and Math Librarian Alyssa Valcourt also maintain an Energy and the Environment guide ( Both Alyssa Valcourt and Kelly Giles are available by appointment to meet with faculty and students and provide assistance with sustainability-related research.
John C. Wells Planetarium The John C. Wells Planetarium offers shows and programs, such as Science Explorers Camps, which include learning about Earth and its environment.
Science On a Sphere Although used in many disciplines for multiple different purposes, Science On a Sphere is often used for interactive learning activities that increase citizens’ understanding of Earth as a system and the role of humans in the ecosystem.
JMU Farm The JMU Farm is a 30-acre property acquired by JMU in 1929 that is used for education, outreach, research, and events.
Edith J. Carrier Arboretum The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a woodland sanctuary on the James Madison University campus, is a public urban garden and forested green space that preserves native plant species, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world for people of all ages.
East Campus Hillside Formerly a traditionally manicured grass area, the East Campus Hillside has been transformed into an outdoor educational ecosystem that provides students and faculty with a learning resource that also demonstrates JMU's commitment to environmental stewardship.
Professional and Continuing Education JMU offers many sustainability learning opportunities for the community, including retirees, children, and professionals, though continuing education.
Virginia Clean Cities Virginia Clean Cities advances air quality improvement, economic opportunity, and energy security through deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, education programs, and other petroleum reduction activities. The Clean Cities program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 1992. In 2009, Virginia Clean Cities formed a partnership with James Madison University enabling both organizations to leverage resources, current initiatives, and future opportunities.
Facilities Construction and Engineering Facilities Management is committed helping to preserve our natural resources and sustain a healthier environment.
Dining Services According to Aramark, who is contracted to run JMU Dining Services, environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of their mission, guiding how they operate. They reduce environmental impact through practices that enrich and support the natural environment.
Transportation JMU offers many tools and programs to support users choosing sustainable transportation options and avoiding driving alone.
Procurement JMU has a policy that seeks to support sustainable purchasing across commodity categories institution-wide.  A section on procurement is included in JMU's Greening Your Office Training.

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