Mission & Guiding Principles

The mission of the Office of Sustainability is to encourage and facilitate the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and staff to generate knowledge, acquire skills, develop values, and initiate practices that contribute to a sustainable, high quality of life on campus, in the Triad, and across the globe.

We facilitate the integration of sustainability at all levels of the university, from students to the highest levels of the administration. Office staff and interns work with local and regional community representatives to develop synergies between Wake Forest’s sustainability programs and those larger communities. The Office of Sustainability supports faculty, students, and staff in assuming leadership to transform the following guiding principles into practices.


Encourage all members of the campus community to take responsibility for the interdependent environmental, economic, and social consequences of their actions.

Service and Outreach

Facilitate the civic engagement of faculty, students, and staff and stimulate service and outreach efforts that promote sustainable practices within the university and extended community.

Teaching and Research

Stimulate and facilitate curricular development and research efforts in sustainability-related areas, including the promotion of service learning and the empowerment of faculty, students, and staff to engage the campus community, university operations, and university lands as living laboratories for sustainability.

Energy Conservation and Climate Change

Monitor and minimize energy consumption, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions, and promote the development and use of renewable energy sources.

Land and Resource Management

Manage lands and riparian systems in a sustainable manner to conserve, protect, and restore natural systems, natural resources, and biodiversity.

Dining and Food Systems

Support a high standard of nutrition in campus dining facilities. Promote diverse and sustainable agricultural practices that encourage the protection of farmland and viable food systems.

Built Environment

Construct, renovate, and operate the built environment with high standards of efficiency in energy, water, and materials intensity in a way that minimizes impacts on local ecosystems and supports human wellbeing.

Waste Reduction

Reduce waste streams and promote closed-cycle materials practices.


Subscribe to procurement policies and practices that encourage environmentally and socially responsible products and services.


Develop incentives and infrastructure that promote walking, cycling, ridesharing, and public transportation and reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicular travel.

Health and Wellbeing

Develop programs, policies, and practices that support a healthy working and living environment for faculty, students, staff, and visitors.


Promote diversity among faculty, students, and staff. Establish policies that support fair remuneration. Facilitate a collaborative model for sustainable management of university operations and the sharing of perspectives and best practices.

Cultural Climate

Foster a cultural climate that supports a full range of creative expression, artistic experience, and recreational opportunity.


Explore and develop opportunities to engage in socially and environmentally responsible investing.


Ensure that university-sponsored commercial enterprises integrate the tenets of sustainability into evolving management practices.