Sustainability is being established as an institutional priority because it is an economic and strategic imperative for organizational growth, competitiveness, and long term stakeholder value creation.

As historical institutions, many campuses were built in the past defined by a different set of challenges. In order for campus systems to reflect 21st century realities, institutions must evolve as adaptive organizations to mitigate risk, stay competitive, and carry out their mission in preparing the next generation for success. Academic institutions are recognizing the significant risk from relying on production of products from fossil fuels and experiencing that there are a growing number of students, parents, and trustees that have expectations for schools to be ethical, environmental stewards. Schools are realizing cost savings from investing in energy efficiency and renewables and rebranding themselves to attract/retain talent and increase revenue. Leading schools are weaving sustainability as an organizing principle throughout their Strategic Plans and Master Plans and investing in sustainability initiatives because it bears directly on bottom-line business performance. Many parallels can be drawn from research conducted with corporate companies. See McKinsey and Company: Profits with purpose: How organizing for sustainability can benefit the bottom line.