Natural & Cultural Stewardship

Sewanee joins Planet Forward sustainability consortium

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 15:20:00 CST  — by: Sustain Sewanee

Planet Forward, a consortium of colleges and universities dedicated to highlighting issues of sustainability through story-telling and student engagement, announced today that the University of the South has joined the effort.

Planet Forward is based at George Washington University and has attracted the support of NGOs and higher education since it was founded in 2009. Today's announcement brings on its first national university partners.

“This is an exciting time for colleges and universities around the country and around the world,” said Planet Forward founder Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington. “We are delighted to partner with Sewanee to combine multimedia story-telling with active engagement of policymakers by students around sustainability, climate change, food insecurity, and the host of issues facing our planet.”

“We are very inspired by the Planet Forward’s mission to connect students to issues like climate, food, water, and energy,” said Marvin Pate, director of Sustainability Integration at Sewanee. “We believe in the value of partnerships for strengthening global communications around critical issues like sustainability.”


Sewanee's sustainability efforts have gained momentum in recent years with the signing of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment; a pledge to reach carbon neutrality; the approval of a Sustainability Master Plan by the student body, faculty, Board of Regents and Board of Trustees; and the launch of a Green Revolving Fund to finance sustainability projects that generate cost-savings.

Partner institutions will send students to the April 2015 Planet Forward Summit in Washington, DC, and will provide content for a daily website ( Partnering schools will also collaborate on internships and student engagement projects and programs for sustainability.

In addition to Sewanee, the University of Arizona, Drake University and Middlebury College are joining Planet Forward today. George Washington University also announced that former undersecretary of state for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine, currently a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Media and Public Affairs, will lead the strategic planning and stakeholder relationships with institutional partners for Planet Forward.

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