It turns out there are many parallels to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals and my college’s own strategic plan Sustainability 2020, which states that Green Mountain College will be the first school in the nation to adopt 100% renewable energy by the year 2020.
Dr. William Throop, former provost at GMC and now a professor of environmental studies and philosophy, was one of the architects of Green Mountain’s mission: to create a more sustainable world environmentally, socially and economically.
As part of our annual Thanks & Giving Celebration, a day when GMC students and townspeople in Poultney come together to do local improvement projects and educational workshops, Dr. Throop helped me present a program on the congruency of goals between GMC and the UN.
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on September 25, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
There is a lot of good news to share about many of these target goals, like #4, quality education. Prof. Throop pointed out that since 2000, the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. Still there is a long way to go. Education levels for girls are lagging in many countries, and disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.
Dr. Throop shared more information about GMC’s Sustainability 2020 goals which include restoring natural capital on campus. This includes reducing waste, pollution, toxins and other negative environmental impacts from the College’s operations and meet the College’s energy needs with 100% renewable energy.
In my experience with the U.N. and my years as a student here at GMC, I realize change begins at the local level–we cannot change the whole without doing our part to develop change in our own neighborhoods.
-Jude Chisolm Erondu ‘16