EnviroAlums is a group of alumni who are passionate about sustainability and social justice and who seek to improve Oberlin College, community, and the broader world by empowering students.

About EnviroAlums

We focus on providing resources to students that enhance educational experiences (fellowships, career advice, etc.), providing resources and connections that enhance the sustainability for the college, and creating connections among alumni who are interested or working in sustainability.

As alumni concerned about environmental issues like biodiversity loss, climate change, over-consumption, equity, pollution, population, and social justice, EnviroAlums assists with and advocates for environmental education, sustainability, and stewardship within the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music community. We define sustainability broadly and recognize the important relationships between social, economic, and environmental sustainability. We affect change by providing advisory input to the institution on sustainability, supporting environmental educational avenues and careers on and off campus, to nurture environmental stewardship, and by raising funds to empower students and foster positive change on campus.

Since its founding in 2002, EnviroAlums has broadened its focus to sustainability in all facets of the functioning of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. Working with the Environmental Studies Program, the Office of Environmental Sustainability, the Committee on Environmental Sustainability among others, EnviroAlums has been a proactive player in the ongoing development of a culture of sustainability at Oberlin.

We focus on providing resources to students that enhance educational experiences (fellowships, career advice, etc.), providing resources and connections that enhance the sustainability for the college, and creating connections among alumni who are interested or working in sustainability.

 

Volunteer to join EnviroAlums!

Oberlin College has an exceptional opportunity to lead in educating not only students but also the entire Oberlin community, for dealing with the environmental issues that face humanity. Oberlin’s involvement in broadly defined environmentally based issues has a long history, but the formal focus on this area came in the 1970s and developed over the 1980s. In the fall of 1993 the college’s Strategic Issues Study Committee recommended Oberlin further develop its Environmental Studies program as a matter of high priority. The number of majors in Environmental Studies tripled in the past decade and is one of the three most subscribed majors on campus. But Oberlin has not become a model for educating all students, or the larger Oberlin community, for dealing with the environmental issues that face humanity.

Vision and passion on the part of a dedicated core in the Oberlin community made the Adam Joseph Lewis Center a reality — a building that teaches, an exemplar for “green” construction, and a high performance building, among the best in the world despite some engineering snafus now being corrected. The college administration and students are currently discussing the major issue of climate change and considering Oberlin's role in addressing this challenge. The monumental importance of climate change along with other environmental issues including over population, excessive consumption, biodiversity loss, pollution and social justice make the twenty-first century the environmental century. Humanity has a choice: Will it be a century of human activities that increase the likelihood of local and global social disruption and collapse, or the century of environmental recovery? This is the grand opportunity: Oberlin College can be an exemplar institution in making this the century of environmental recovery.

In March of ’04, the Oberlin College board of trustees voted to adopt a far-reaching environmental policy that addresses campus energy consumption, building construction and operation, land use, transportation and material use by the college. This policy was developed by the Environmental Policy Advisory Committee (EPAC), a committee composed of faculty, administration, facilities personnel, and students appointed by College President Nancy Dye.

In Fall 2015, General Faculty adopted the Environmental Policy Implementation Plan. This document was a culmination of a multi-year effort by the Committee on Environmental Sustainability (CES) to update and revise the Environmental Policy. Building upon the principles laid out in the 2004 policy, the Implementation Plan clarifies progress and charts strategies to achieving stated goals.

Oberlin College took a leadership role in environmental stewardship when former President Nancy Dye established Oberlin as one of the nation's first institutions of higher education to accept the goal of climate neutrality by signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment  (ACUPCC). Thus, Oberlin College selected the year 2025 to achieve carbon neutrality.

As a charter signatory in 2006, Oberlin was one of the first four schools in the United States and the first in its peer group to sign the ACUPCC, an initiative developed by Second Nature, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and ecoAmerica to address what they term "the defining challenge of our century—the twin crises of energy sustainability and climate change."

In 2015, Second Nature added an additional commitment opportunity to their framework - resilience. Oberlin signed this commitment in the charter signatory period taking leadership to work alongside the greater Oberlin community to increase our community resilience.

For the most up to date information about Oberlin’s Environmental Policy, go to the Office of Environmental Sustainability’s website