The Essex Report: Workshop on the Principles of Sustainability in Higher Education

Second Nature, Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future

Publication Release Date: June 1, 1995
Date Posted: May 6, 2016
Submitted by: Julian Dautremont-Smith
Sustainability Topics: Curriculum, Coordination & Planning
Content Type: Publications
Publisher: Second Nature
Type: Published Report


In February of 1995, a workshop at the Essex Conference Center of Essex, Massachusetts brought together thirty-two educators and other professionals with environmental expertise to discuss the principles of sustainability and how best to incorporate them into higher education. The workshop was held under the auspices of the President's Council on Sustainable Development Public Linkage, Dialogue and Education Task Force and was jointly sponsored by Second Nature and the Secretariat of University Presidents for a Sustainable Future.

Participants discussed the role of the university in teaching about sustainability, the relevant pedagogical content, the institutional changes necessary to support this pedagogy, and strategies for implementing these changes. This report represents the majority view of the participants, and includes a series of recommendations which were developed and are offered to the President's Council on Sustainable Development in the hope of facilitating the transformation of higher education and society as a whole in the direction of sustainability. The recommendations build on those contained in the Talloires Declaration of University Presidents for a Sustainable Future and in the Blueprint for a Green Campus, crafted by the Campus Earth Summit at Yale University in 1994.