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College Commitments & Accomplishments

College Accomplishments

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College Commitments

Macalester College is part of a broad sustainability movement in college and university campuses. Macalester College presidents have signed the following sustainability commitments. We track the implementation of these commitments through the college-wide Sustainability Plan.

We Are Still In (2017)

We Are Still In logo

By signing the We Are Still In declaration, Macalester joined more than 3,800 leaders from all sectors of the US economy, including many college and university presidents, sending the message that, despite the actions of the Trump administration in withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, American leaders are committed to addressing climate change.

American Campuses Act on Climate Change (2015)

American Campuses Act on Climate Change is a White House initiative signed by President Rosenberg
Further commits Macalester to become Carbon Neutral by 2020
Integrates carbon neutrality and sustainability into the curriculum at Macalester

Real Food Campus Commitment (2012) 


Signed by President Rosenberg
Commits college to purchasing 30% real food by 2020
Real food is local, community-based, fair trade, humane, and/or ecologically sound
Visit the Real Food Campus Commitment Website to learn more about the initiative.
Find out more about Food At Macalester.

Commitment To Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions (2012)


Signed by President Rosenberg
Full title – Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions on the Occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
The Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions ties Macalester’s commitment to internationalism to its sustainability goals.

The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Carbon Commitment (2007) 

Signed by President Rosenberg
Climate Neutral (no net greenhouse gas emissions) by 2025
Incorporate sustainability and climate issues into our curriculum
The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Carbon Commitment is an initiative of the non-profit Second Nature.  As a signatory of the commitment, Macalester makes annual climate progress reports available to the public.

Talloires Declaration (2000) 


Signed by President McPherson
First official commitment to environmental sustainability in higher ed
10 point action plan for incorporating environmental sustainability in teaching, research, operations and outreach

  • Text of the Talloires Declaration

    University Presidents for a Sustainable Future

    We, the presidents, rectors, and vice chancellors of universities from all regions of the world, are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources. Local, regional, and global air pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of “green house” gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations. These environmental changes are caused by inequitable and unsustainable production and consumption patterns that aggravate poverty in many regions of the world.

    We believe that urgent actions are needed to address these fundamental problems and reverse the trends. Stabilization of human population, adoption of environmentally sound industrial and agricultural technologies, reforestation, and ecological restoration are crucial elements in creating an equitable and sustainable future for all humankind in harmony with nature. Universities have a major role in the education, research, policy formation, and information exchange necessary to make these goals possible. The university heads must provide the leadership and support to mobilize internal and external resources so that their institutions respond to this urgent challenge. We, therefore, agree to take the following actions:

    1. Use every opportunity to raise public, government, industry, foundation, and university awareness by publicly addressing the urgent need to move toward an environmentally sustainable future.
    2. Encourage all universities to engage in education, research, policy formation, and information exchange on population, environment, and development to move toward a sustainable future.
    3. Establish programs to produce expertise in environmental management, sustainable economic development, population, and related fields to ensure that all university graduates are environmentally literate and responsible citizens.
    4. Create programs to develop the capability of university faculty to teach environmental literacy to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students.
    5. Set an example of environmental responsibility by establishing programs of resource conservation, recycling, and waste reduction at the universities.
    6. Encourage the involvement of government (at all levels), foundations, and industry in supporting university research, education, policy formation, and information exchange in environmentally sustainable development. Expand work with nongovernmental organizations to assist in finding solutions to environmental problems.
    7. Convene school deans and environmental practitioners to develop research, policy, information exchange programs, and curricula for an environmentally sustainable future.
    8. Establish partnerships with primary and secondary schools to help develop the capability of their faculty to teach about population, environment, and sustainable development issues.
    9. Work with the UN Conference on Environmental and Development, the UN Environment Programme, and other national and international organizations to promote a worldwide university effort toward a sustainable future.
    10. Establishing a steering committee and a secretariat to continue this momentum and inform and support each other’s efforts in carrying out this declaration.