Building on our mission to deepen our knowledge of and engagement with the world and all who inhabit it, Kenyon College’s community of students, faculty and staff aspire to embrace environmental stewardship as a core value that guides us in all we do. Recognizing the reality of a changing climate, and the unique role of humans in creating and mitigating this reality, members of the Kenyon community will make choices that promote the sustainable and just use of resources. As such, all College decisions will be informed by their climate impact, guided by the current scientific consensus.
To realize this aspiration, our values in specific areas of College operations are articulated as follows. As each area will require greater guidance to be effectively enacted, we will undertake a process of listening and strategy-building with relevant constituencies. The first detailed guidelines, with specific measurable goals and timelines, will be produced by 2022 and will be reassessed every third year.
Understanding that the College’s greatest capacity for change comes from our students, Kenyon will encourage the study of climate change throughout the curriculum. Having identified environmental literacy as central to our mission we will confront this complex problem with nuanced approaches consistent with our long tradition of liberal arts education. We will foster a culture of creative and inclusive thinking while emphasizing our connections to the environment across the wide scales of time and geography.
The Kenyon community embraces the importance of mindful individual participation in the College’s path to sustainability. Supported by institutional climate strategies, we commit to reducing our environmental impact by prioritizing ecologically conscious and socially equitable decisions, engaging in learning and critical conversations, and holding each other accountable. We recognize that this process is an opportunity to take action and make a positive impact in our immediate and surrounding community.
As the bulk of our contribution to climate change comes from travel, purchasing and the built environment, Kenyon will prioritize building efficiency, renewable energy and climate-neutral travel in the annual budget. Construction and other capital projects will conform to an integrated design process that will result in buildings that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their lifecycle. New building emissions will be offset by removing less efficient buildings, installing onsite offsets or by other vetted means. To ensure the long-term integrity of the landscape, Kenyon will manage our agricultural and natural areas with a focus on conserving natural systems and biodiversity and embracing a functioning ecosystem’s role in mitigating anthropogenic climate change.
In order to align investment strategies with our mission to embrace environmental stewardship as a core value that guides us in all we do, Kenyon will refrain from new commitments in specialized private investment funds that focus on fossil fuels. With this strategy, we expect that less than 1%of Kenyon’s endowment portfolio will be invested in fossil fuels by 2030. We believe this strategy is prudent with respect to long-term financial risk and will not negatively impact the performance of the endowment. Kenyon uses, and will continue to use, rigorous environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures alongside other performance measures when evaluating new investment opportunities and fund managers. Kenyon seeks to invest in opportunities that aim to have a measurable, positive impact on the environment and society while generating strong investment returns.
Adopted Fall 2021