Center for Sustainability

Our mission is to transform Houghton University into a global leader of Christ-centered environmental stewardship.

We believe that sustainability, stewardship, and creation care go hand-in-hand.  To care for God’s creation involves exercising good stewardship principles and requires that we consider how our actions impact our neighbors, both locally and globally. Scripture tells us that God created the world, called it “good,” and then gave humans responsibility as stewards (Gen. 1:28-30).

At its core, creation care is a spiritual issue that directly relates to our views on consumption, materialism, stewardship, thankfulness, simplicity, and love for our neighbor.  Taking care of creation is simply our response to the awesome God who created it.

In the Center for Sustainability we do this in three ways:

  • Educating about local and global sustainability issues
  • Inspiring our community to love and care for God’s creation
  • Implementing long-term, sustainable solutions to environmental challenges

What We’re Doing

We’re always looking for ways to be more responsible in our stewardship of the earth.  Here are some recent activities and events sponsored by the Center for Sustainability.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Opened the renovated Center for Sustainability office space on the 3rd floor of Chamberlain atrium
  • Completed certification for the prestigious AASHE Stars Program–a campus sustainability index for higher education–earning a Bronze rating
  • Completed a campus-wide LED lighting retrofit, which will reduce energy usage by 750,000 kWh and (after a 10-year payback period) save $90,000 per year
  • Installed two electric vehicle charging stations
  • Began composting food waste from the dining hall kitchen
  • Published new trail signs and maps for the Houghton trail system
  • Added an apiary and a greenhouse to the campus garden

Recent Events:

  • Church in the Woods: A Sunday morning “creation care” themed worship service in Letchworth State Park
  • Harvestival: A fall celebration and market of local artisans and farmers held on the Quad
  • Co-sponsored lecture on sustainable energy solutions with the American Enterprise Institute
  • Highlander garden volunteer cleanup projects
  • Apple picking event

What can I do?

Here are a few simple suggestions for ways that students can begin actively caring for God’s creation while living at Houghton.

  • Turn things off (lights, TV, computer, etc.)
  • Eat less meat
  • Recycling everything in the blue bins
  • Close exterior doors and windows
  • Plant a tree
  • Buy sustainable
  • Inform yourself about issues that matter
  • Do laundry with full loads in cold water
  • Hang dry clothes
  • Waste less food
  • Write your member of Congress
  • Get outside
  • Skip the elevator
  • Take shorter showers
  • Pray for God’s creation
  • Join Eco Reps!
  • Walk to campus from the townhouses
  • Carpool to the store, church, home, etc.
  • Carry a re-usable water bottle
  • Avoid products with excess packaging
  • Buy sustainably-sourced, recycled content paper products from the campus store
  • Exercise
  • Let maintenance know when your room feels too warm in winter
  • Get rid of your mini fridge
  • Use only LED bulbs in your lamps
  • Use reusable mugs in JAVA
  • Buy cloth bags for grocery shopping

Got an idea you’d like to see happen at Houghton?  Contact the Center for Sustainability at to let us know what you’re thinking about.

Campus Sustainability Map

Click on the icons below to learn about some of the sustainability actions we’ve put into place across the Houghton University campus.

Brian Webb

Director, Center for Faith, Justice, and Global Engagement & Assistant Professor of Sustainability
Read Bio