Hope College Commitment to Sustainability
Hope College strives to create a future in which our planet and all its inhabitants flourish. Rooted in the Christian faith, we embrace our calling to care for the Earth and we celebrate restoring God’s creation and sustaining our future as synergistic goals. We commit to building a sustainable world that promotes the holistic well-being of future generations and affirms the dignity of all people. By means of our academic curriculum, our scholarly work, our student life programs, the management of our campus, and our engagement with the local and global community, we educate students for a sustainable future that values the rights and opportunities of every individual, each of whom is created and loved by God. We humbly embrace this calling and shoulder these responsibilities with joy.
—Adopted by the Administrative Council, summer 2021
Sustainability encompasses solutions-driven scholarship and practice that seeks to safeguard our economic, ecological and social systems. The field is defined by the problems it addresses rather than the disciplines it employs.
Hope College derives its goals for sustainability from the definition posed by the Brundtland Report:
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
- the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
- the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs.
Our commitment to our Christian heritage and our historical affiliation with the Reformed Church in America (RCA) point to our responsibilities as Christian stewards:
Responsible Christian witness in light of the environmental crisis is becoming increasingly important and urgent… the Reformed tradition offers a theology which neither merges God with creation nor denigrates creation as beyond the realm of God’s continuing interest, care, and promised redemption… Humankind has been given a special responsibility to care for creation… The degradation of creation not only imperils life, including human life on this planet, it is also a sin against God.
—RCA Minutes of General Synod 1994: 95
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Hope College is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
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