University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899
The iconic Broyhill Wind turbine, installed on campus in 2009, is 153 feet tall and generates enough electricity to meet the demands of 11 typical American households.
The iconic Broyhill Wind turbine, installed on campus in 2009, is 153 feet tall and generates enough electricity to meet the demands of 11 typical American households.

University Sustainability Mission, Vision & Values

Sustainability Mission Statement

Appalachian State University leads in creating a world where environmental, societal, and economic qualities exist in balance to meet the resource needs of today and of future generations. Our community of students, faculty and staff continually advance our understanding, capabilities and practices in this vital journey. As an institution of higher learning, we lead and educate by example, inspiring new generations prepared to share this knowledge, ingenuity and passion.

Sustainability Vision

  • Engage faculty, students and staff in ongoing dialogue, inquiry, and discovery of more sustainable practices through curriculum, degree programs, and scholarly research.
  • Empower students across the curriculum with awareness in sustainability issues and a capacity to contribute to the construction of sustainable societies.
  • Integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of university planning and operations, focusing both on the current and future implications.
  • Design, build and operate a campus environment that minimizes its ecological footprint, contributing to the goal of climate neutrality.
  • Create new paradigms for energy, transportation, water, waste and food systems that contribute to best practices in higher education.
  • Participate in research initiatives and outreach activities that educate our communities, nourish our natural ecosystems, and enrich our cultural experiences.
  • Embrace health, diversity, tolerance, and human rights as principles by which policy and process are designed.

Essential Character

Appalachian has a decades-long commitment to sustainability, offering multiple degree programs and engaging our community through innovative initiatives. We honor this history, and boldly move forward, inspired by our unique mountain setting and with a genuine respect for the natural environment. We recognize that sustainability is a journey, and "sustain Appalachian" is our commitment to advance our knowledge, to demonstrate innovative practices, and to lead by example.

Core Sustainability Values

  • Focus on our roles as educators and researchers, instilling the knowledge and values of sustainability into our entire community.
  • Understand that decisions throughout the university have sustainability implications, which must be considered and addressed.
  • Realize that sustainability must focus on interrelated environmental, societal, and economic issues and resources at both the local and global levels.
  • Be open to continuous education on the principles and possibilities of sustainability and be willing to pursue innovative solutions.
  • Champion to transparent reporting of our sustainability goals, initiatives and progress to the Appalachian community and beyond.
  • Respect the planet's natural environment and our unique mountain setting, embracing our interconnectedness with these ecosystems.