Higher education has the potential to address the world’s most pressing and complex challenges through the integrated approach of sustainability.

In 2005, PSU formally adopted a Declaration of Support for Sustainability that recognized the University’s public responsibility to take a leadership role in developing solutions that improve the quality of life for all—both today and in the future. Sustainability became a central part of Portland State’s institutional vision, an area of research enterprise, and a key learning outcome for its students. 

Sustainability recognizes the interconnectedness of social, environmental, and economic systems, and takes an integrated approach to meeting the needs of the present without constraining the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Because it requires knowledge from every field, sustainability at Portland State is not based in any single department. Instead, it spans the University to unite creative thinkers from across campus and throughout our community.

Campus-wide sustainability efforts are organized and managed by three main units

Student researchers on green roof

Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Collaboration for sustainable communitiesThe Institute for Sustainable Solutions matches the passion and expertise of PSU faculty and students with the experience and needs of community groups, government agencies, and businesses to develop practical solutions for more equitable, livable, sustainable cities and regions. 


Streetcar in Urban PlazaCampus Sustainability Office

Working to make our campus greener: The Campus Sustainability Office (CSO) works to reduce the environmental impact of Portland State’s campus operations by facilitating collaboration, benchmarking sustainability performance, and aligning operations, policies, and planning with the University's conservation and sustainability goals.


Students building plastic bottle greenhouseStudent Sustainability Center 

Bringing sustainability to life for students: The Student Sustainability Center (SSC) enhances student success by cultivating sustainability engagement and leadership opportunities that help students develop the knowledge, skills, and values to act as sustainability leaders in their future careers and communities.



Learn about other sustainability units at PSU »