The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be disruptive and challenging for institutions of higher education, businesses, and community organizations. Entities with strategic sustainability plans now face operational and budgetary obstacles to implementation, and those interested in developing plans may face similar resources restrictions and/or see their efforts deprioritized as their leadership manages the impacts of the pandemic.

However, amidst the disruption there is now an opportunity for institutions to revisit their existing or developing plans and reorient their efforts in the face of current crises. Conversations about adaptation and resilience can now incorporate lessons learned from real-time pandemic response. Plans that did not adequately address equity and justice before must draw from ongoing dialogues on antiracism and social justice to act on those issues through their plans. To perform this work is to create and implement more holistic and meaningful sustainability plans.

During this session, current and former higher education professionals will provide a road map for institutions interested in retooling or developing their sustainability plans. We will provide attendees with criteria and frameworks by which to evaluate and update existing plans, touching on how to engage stakeholders and community members and recalibrate goals and implementation pathways. For institutions new to the process, we will discuss how to start and complete the planning process, with a focus on how resilience, equity, and justice can be incorporated and acted upon during and after the planning process.

This session is for sustainability professionals, administrators, faculty and staff involved in strategic planning at their institution, as well as for business and community representatives doing similar work.


Emerging Issues
Governance & Administration

Primary Topic Area

Coordination & Planning

Session Level

Intermediate Level

Intended Audience

Businesses and Community
Other Staff
Sustainability Staff

View Recording


On-Demand Between

October 20 – 22


Louis Spanias

Assistant Project Manager, Energy and Sustainability
Cumming Corporation

Halli Bovia

Sustainability Program Manager
Cumming Corporation

Emma Sorrell

Senior Sustainability Project Manager
Cumming Corporation