EMU Sustainability Principles

Eastern Mennonite University is an institution founded upon, and dedicated to, the Christ-centered principles of community, service and mission, peacemaking, and stewardship.

As Christians in the Anabaptist tradition, we believe God calls us to care for each other and creation. This biblical call to creation care is motivated both by a desire to make practical choices for the institution and to make ethical choices in how we live together and in the world.

Acknowledging that human activity has led to significant degradation of the earth’s environment, we seek corporately and individually to reverse the damage that may prevent future generations from living healthfully and productively.

Building on EMU’s early commitments to environmental sustainability, we articulate our mission for sustainability in these five areas.

Education, Curriculum & Theology

Our graduates learn by participating in a sustainable lifestyle on campus. This happens in the classroom, as part of student activities, through campus ministries and in relationships with others. EMU alumni take this environmental literacy with them to inform lifelong choices. Knowing that it can be difficult to challenge the status quo, we draw on Anabaptist heritage to question and resist the broader culture’s emphasis on consumerism, believing that environmental degradation can be reduced by choosing a simpler, humble lifestyle.

Community Relationships

Our communities are those in our immediate surroundings; but they include affinity groups that extend globally as well. We nurture relationships with others who share our sustainability goals, and acknowledge that our environmental choices can build or damage communities.

Resource Management

We view resources, including food and energy, as part of a system, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the concept of waste. We promote patterns of resource use that are part of a sustainable cycle, and minimize negative impacts to the earth and its inhabitants.


We promote modes of transportation that are healthy and minimize use of non-renewable energy. We consider transportation on-campus and beyond.

Built Environment

Academic excellence, creative process, professional competence, and passionate Christian faith are supported by the built environment. Because buildings and grounds are a significant part of a greater learning environment we strive to create a built environment that is sustainable in energy consumption, design and use.

As our interaction – as individuals, an institution and human race – with the environment continues to unfold, we expect to use these principles to assess our goals and progress, with a desire for continual improvement.

Revised November 2009