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Denison University strives to be an exemplary steward of our natural world and a leader in sustainability. We take an intentionally multi-disciplinary approach to sustainability that balances environmental, economic and social responsibility. We believe that our approach to sustainability will support the well being of the college and the global community beyond. Our commitment to sustainability runs deep. Academic research, strategic investments in infrastructure and human resources, student-centered programming, plus community partnerships are central to our efforts. Whether in the classroom, the Licking County community or a country halfway around the globe, Denison students, staff and faculty lead by example. Together, we share a vision of a healthy future where people and the planet thrive.
Denison's rich history of sustainability began in 1977, just seven years after the first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States, when Denison established the Homestead, an off-the-grid, evolving experiment in socioenvironmentally-responsible community life. Since then, the college has undertaken a number of wide-ranging initiatives that address the relationship between humans and their environment. The campus recycling program was introduced in 1984, and later evolved into a recycling center that is used by the entire community. In 1994, academic interest in environmentalism prompted the creation of an Environmental Studies major and minor.
In 2007, students and faculty together provided the impetus to create an Environmental Task Force charged with creating a plan to address issues related to environmental sustainability at Denison. The Task Force pushed for the creation of Denison's first Campus Sustainability Committee within the University Council governance system. In 2009, Denison hired its first Campus Sustainability Coordinator to guide the college in addressing critical issues relating to sustainability.