Sustainability is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
needs. Higher education plays a key role in building such sustainable societies. As educators it is important to take a
leadership role in preparing our students and providing the information and the knowledge to achieve a just and
sustainable society.

Sustainability is achieved when all people on Earth can live well without compromising the quality of life for future
generations. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

-- Native American Proverb


Maricopa’s Charge & Goals
  • Interdisciplinary programs.
  • To share programs and forge partnerships.
  • Infuse sustainability throughout the disciplines via staff development offerings and faculty engagement strategies.
  • Purchase socially and environmentally responsible products (e.g. no sweatshop products in the bookstore).
  • Build and renovate facilities using socially and environmentally responsible practices.
  • Develop college-community partnerships for sustainable development and service learning opportunities for students.


National Initiatives



Global Warming Solutions for America

Focus the Nation is a national global warming educational initiative, which is coordinating teams of faculty, students and staff at over a thousand colleges and universities and high schools in the United States to participate in a nationwide, nonpartisan discussion on the theme of “Global Warming Solutions for America." The project also includes the participation of religious, civic and business organizations, and will culminate on January 31, 2008, in a one-day symposium to be held simultaneously on campuses across the country. Focus the Nation will be a catalyzing event that can help turn the national conversation about global warming from fatalism to constructive engagement with the challenge of our generation.


Maricopa Community Colleges’ Global sustainability initiative is partnering with the Focus the Nation program. The presidents of Chandler Gilbert Community College and Mesa Community College have endorsed this event. Students today face many important social, economic, and security issues. Global warming however, is unique, in that if we are to reduce the risk of large-scale, irreversible, world-wide damages, then ambitious—and potentially costly—policy solutions must be undertaken within a very compressed time frame. A satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting far faster than scientists had feared, twice as much ice is going into the sea as it was five years ago. The implications for rising sea levels and climate change could be dramatic. In order to address such issues on climate change there are going to be presentations, bio-fuel demonstrations, involvement of student groups and poster sessions to educate our students on global warming and climate change issues.


AASHE Conference

American Association for the Study of Higher Education

  • Presentation of Maricopa’s initiative on Global Sustainability on October 5, 2006.
  • Maricopans from various colleges attended the conference.
  • Sustainability council conference calls at a national level.


American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the United Nations Resolution

  • The United Nations has declared a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014
  • Education for a Sustainable Society “enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions..., that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.”
  • AACC has adopted the UN resolutions for global sustainability.
  • Maricopa has taken a leadership initiative on global sustainability at the AACC annual convention with presentations to the general audience and to the executives of the 17 affiliated councils.
  • Maricopa faculty are participating in the AACC Global Sustainability Education Consortium developing a website for the AACC sustainability page.




Global Sustainability at Maricopa Community Colleges