The Path to 2040

The Radford University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

In November 2021,  at the charge of former university President Brian O. Hemphill, the President's Task Force on Sustainability began work on developing a new sustainability and climate action plan that aligns with the University Strategic Plan and Master Plan and provides a pathway for achieving the goals established in Radford University's Carbon Commitment

This new plan, The Path to 2040: The Radford University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan was formally adopted by the Radford University Board of Visitors on December 2, 2021. 


Five Pillars

The Five Pillars are the overarching goals of The Path to 2040.  Every objective in the plan contributes to at least one of these goals. 

1.  “Provide an educational environment and the tools to address the social, economic,   and environmental issues confronting our region, nation and the world.”  (From RU Mission Statement)

2.  Achieve net carbon neutrality by 2040 or sooner.

3.  Create a campus culture of sustainability, inclusivity, and well-being that fosters   conscious, attentive, and competent local and global citizens and leaders.

4.  “Integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of our operations.” (From RU Core Values statement)

5.  Position sustainability so that it is a critical component of University planning, administration, and governance.


Focal Areas

Radford University’s vision for sustainability is a comprehensive one that spans the university. So, for the purpose of the Plan, sustainability goals and strategies are separated into focal areas and aim to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the institution. 

Academics – Curriculum & Research

  • Sustainability Across Curriculum - Academic Courses, Learning Outcomes, Campus as a Living Lab
  • New Programs: Majors, Minors, Graduate Programs
  • Research & Scholarship

Engagement – Campus and Public

  • Student & Employee Engagement, Training, Orientation
  • Outreach Campaigns & Publications
  • Community Partnerships, Community Service

Operations – Facilities and Grounds

  • Emissions, Buildings, Energy, & Climate Impacts,
  • Grounds, Purchasing, Campus Fleet, Waste, Water

Planning & Administration

  • Sustainability Coordination & Planning
  • Diversity, Equity, & Affordability
  • Investment & Finance
  • Wellbeing & Work


  • Food & Dining, Waste
  • Purchasing, Transportation