Mission Statement

The Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) educates and inspires a multi-disciplinary way of thinking about the world that incorporates an ethic of environmental care, social equity, and financial responsibility.  Through bold leadership, innovation, and creative collaboration, OES advances an environment that is sustainable, equitable, and resilient for our campus, our students, our community, and beyond.

Vision Statement

The Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) vision is to inspire a world that operates within planetary boundaries and with respect for all life. We orient ourselves to the world by recognizing the interdependence between our social systems, our natural environment, and our economies. Oberlin College aims to be a model community applying this intersectional approach to drive the world we live in today toward the thriving world we want to create for the future.

As a preeminent liberal arts college with a storied history of leadership in inclusion and sustainability, Oberlin College is well-positioned to incite this reality. Oberlin has the educational and cultural capacity to spark critical dialog and meaningful change to establish this kind of world on campus.

OES approaches the campus system in a holistic manner, such that all diverse perspectives and inputs become part of the solution. Oberlin’s physical campus will engender advanced solutions resulting in resilient, carbon neutral operations, education for all, and balance between social and natural capital and financial responsibilities. Our inclusive, collaborative, creative method creates a vibrant campus that acts as a model to higher education and beyond whereby individuals, organizations, and governments seek our expertise and then embody these principles.  Building upon our educational excellence, our students, faculty, staff, and visitors create an extended alumni network acting in harmony with these goals. We strive to “be the change” that communities, states, and nations require to become healthier, more vibrant places for all to learn, live, and thrive.

What is Sustainability

Sustainability is commonly defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Beyond some sufficient level of continuous functioning, however, sustainability represents more than just the mere ability to survive and get by, but to thrive. A more inspiring concept of sustainability is that of an assemblage of mutual interests between social equity, viable economics, and a healthy environment. The sustainable college is one that recognizes these interconnected mutual interests and creates productive affiliations between them.