What Mason is Doing
The mission of the Office of Sustainability (OoS) is to use the strengths of George Mason University – innovation, responsiveness, flexibility, and community strength – to provide leadership in environmental, social, and economic stewardship on our campuses and throughout the local and global communities of which we are a part. Check out our Menus (above), our relevant national Rankings below, or our 2010 Climate Action Plan's: 2019 Progress Report to see how OoS and its partners are working to 'green' Mason!
Ways to Get Involved
Enroll in a Green Leaf course; join Green Office; sign up for our monthly Sustainable Scoop newsletter to stay informed and apprised of events; or try your hand at volunteering at Sustainable Mason events, zero-waste initiatives or greenhouse and gardens sites by clicking on Sign Ups (below). Or explore our new, interactive “Sustainable Mason Map” (below) to connect to sustainable resources on campus!
We Joined the Earth Day Network. Here’s Why:
We’re part of the Earth Day Network’s (EDN) first-ever, state-based campaign held right here in Virginia! By partnering with the EDN, Mason joined a movement of more than 75,000 partners from 190 countries who are committed to driving transformative change for people and planet. Earth Day is less than 75 days away and we’re going to celebrate! In fact, we’re going to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, 2020. And we hope that you will too! If you’re interested in getting involved with the EDN, here’s some amazing opportunities to do so:
For everything Earth Day related, please check out the Earth Day action hub HERE.
Consider joining one of the EDN’s many initiatives or check-out some of their amazing resources below:
- Find an Earth Day event near you (scroll down a bit to see the awesome Global Map) – this is where the events you submit will show up.
- New VA Earth Day Website – All VA Partner logos are at the bottom of the page (Mason is there, check it out!)
- Earth Challenge 2020 – This is the world’s largest coordinated citizen-science campaign. The initiative integrates existing citizen science projects and builds capacity for new ones — all to grow citizen science worldwide. Using mobile technology and open citizen science data, Earth Challenge 2020 empowers people around the world to monitor and mitigate threats to environmental and human health in their communities.
- FoodPrints for the Future – A “foodprint” measures the environmental impacts associated with the growth, production, transportation, and storage of our food.
- EARTHRISE – EARTHRISE is the largest, most diverse global mobilization in history on behalf of our environment and our planet. The EDN needs your help!
- End Plastic Pollution – A campaign that helps people understand the impacts of plastic pollution on human and ecosystem help while providing participants with actionable knowledge to affect positive change.
If you’re hosting a sustainability-focused program, event, or initiative during Earth Month (April) we want to know! Please complete this super-brief survey so we can reflect your amazing efforts on our official Earth Month Calendar which will be released just for Earth Month begins!
Newsletter/ FAQs/ Fast Facts/ Contact
Office of Sustainability // 4400 University Dr
NE Module II, MSN 2B9, Fairfax, VA 22030
A Sustainable Future: A Statement from Mason’s Sustainability Council
In 2007, George Mason University’s then-President Alan Merten signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This committed Mason to carbon neutrality by 2050 and resulted in the creation of the Office of Sustainability (OoS). Since 2007, much has been done. Mason is regularly featured in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, in Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” ranking, and even earned a Silver certification (the Arlington campus is Bronze) from the League of American Bicyclists. In 2010, Mason released its first Climate Action Plan (CAP) designed in collaboration between students, faculty, and staff that charted a green course for the university. And, in 2014, Mason became the first university in the state of Virginia to earn a coveted “Gold” rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). In 2019, the OoS released its CAP Progress Report demonstrating the University’s commitment to sustainability while highlighting the progress that’s been made such as the 30% decrease in energy use from non-renewable electricity and natural gas per building square foot from 2006-2016. Although such amazing progress has been made, still more remains to be done.
At the October 18th, 2019 Fridays for Future Climate Rally organized by numerous student organizations Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Carol Kissal, with the full support of Interim President Anne Holton, made another historic commitment: Mason’s Sustainability Council will lead the development of Mason’s first-ever Strategic Plan for Sustainability and will update the Climate Action Plan originally completed in 2010. The Strategic Plan for Sustainability will map out a vision for Mason’s sustainable future including goals, objectives, and key performance indicators. The Climate Action Plan will translate the Strategic Plan for Sustainability into action by providing students, faculty, and staff with opportunities and resources to make a difference. We know that your voice matters. And that’s why both plans will be collaboratively developed with significant input from the campus community. To exemplify our commitment to campus involvement, Dr. Dann Sklarew is leading a design workshop in the spring of 2020 titled “Sustainability Planning for Communities” (EVPP 490-008 & EVPP 692-004) that will inform the planning process and both plans. Although, the planning process hasn’t started yet, we’ll be sure to let you know when and how to participate. If you’d like to get involved with sustainability at Mason before the planning process begins, there are plenty of options: enroll in a Green Leaf course or program; complete research with world-class faculty; submit a Patriot Green Fund proposal; live in the Environment and Sustainability LLC; volunteer at Mason’s Greenhouse; join a “green” student group; check-out the Sustainable Mason Map; subscribe to the Sustainable Scoop newsletter; and much more!