President’s Council on Sustainability

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The President’s Council on Sustainability

At Drury, we strive to learn, live and work in a way that respects the earth and its resources. The President’s Council on Sustainability is composed of faculty, staff, students and community members dedicated to caring for the environment in our everyday activities. We recognize this work as supporting a way of living that allows humanity and the environment to flourish now and in future generations.

How to Join

To get involved, email one of the Council’s co-chairs:


  • Aaron Jones – Senior Leadership Liason
  • Ioana Popescu
  • Randy Wright
  • Ethan Sykes
  • Jami McConnell
  • Jim Fenton – Fresh Ideas
  • Ashley Krug – City of Springfield
  • Jeremiah Jones – Student
  • Kyle Johnson – Student
  • Garrett Weber – Student
  • Alexis Mann – Student
  • Emily Armour – Student

Sustainability in Academics

Sustainability is taught across campus in many courses, in every college and school. While sustainability is a subject integrated into our curriculum, there are opportunities to pursue selected courses that provide deep investigations of particular environmental topics. With courses such as “The Psychology of Sustainability” and “Issues in Environmental Policy,” students are able to gain a breadth of knowledge about this subject.

Drury offers a way to gain credentials in sustainability as well, through the Environment and Sustainability minor and the Designing Solutions for Environmental Problems certificate.


Student Leadership

Students take a leadership role in sustainability on campus. Through the Student Government Association, led by the Vice-President of Institutional Affairs, students have a voice in the sustainable actions of Drury. With over a decade of engagement with university administration, faculty and staff, great strides have been made in bringing sustainability to our buildings and grounds.

All students are welcome to be part of the council and other sustainable organizations. “Think Green!” is a student organization dedicated to environmental concerns, and students are encouraged to be part of SGA or to contact the SGA VP of Institutional Affairs in regards to any sustainable questions, concerns or ideas.


Sustainability on Campus

Our Built Environment


Did you know that 40% of all energy in Springfield is from renewable resources?

Stone Chapel added geothermal heating and cooling in 2008.

The O’Reilly Family Event Center has a LEED Gold rating.

University Suites has a LEED Platinum rating. 

The O’Reilly Family Event Center’s parking lot is porous concrete and its asphalt sealing is environmentally friendly. 

All of Drury’s exterior lighting will soon be LED. We’re one of the first campuses to achieve this! 

Our Natural Environment 

Native landscapes are found across campus, reducing water usage and supporting a diverse ecosystem. 

The native restoration area on the southeast corner of campus is supported with an MDC grant for urban conservation.


Sidewalks and bike paths connect our 40 acres in the heart of Springfield, allowing students to easily get between favorite campus spots and beyond.

Drury supports a bicycle-friendly community through D.Cycle, an on-campus bicycle shop. D.Cycle rents bicycles for the semester for a minimal fee, and provides free bicycle maintenance.

Drury’s campus is adjacent to the City Utilities Transit, making bus service available. Walking, biking and mass transit provide many sustainable options.

Campus Resources and Operations


  • New campus containers

What happens to recycling in Springfield? 

  • Nestle Purina buys paper and turns it into cat litter. 
  • Glass is purchased for reuse in insulation. 

Items that CAN be recycled in Drury’s single-stream recycling bins:

  • paper (including printer paper, newspaper, magazines, phone books, ads, brown paper bags, etc.)
  • cardboard
  • cereal boxes and similar pasteboard boxes
  • aluminum cans
  • tin cans
  • steel cans
  • plastic bottles, jugs, containers (#1, #2, #5)

Items that CANNOT be recycled in Drury’s single-stream recycling bins:

  • items contaminated with food/liquids
  • pizza boxes
  • wax beverage cups
  • plastic lids
  • plastic straws
  • glass
  • food containers (e.g., chip bags)
  • shredded paper
  • bath and facial tissue
  • plastic bags/grocery bags
  • packing plastic
  • Styrofoam
  • aluminum foil
  • aerosol cans
  • bubble wrap
  • plastic utensils
  • juice bags/boxes
  • paper cartons (e.g., milk)
  • toys
  • diapers
  • toiletries

Sustainability through the Years


The President’s Council on Sustainability engages the campus community to identify, evaluate and prioritize recommendations to the president and the Cabinet on sustainability issues. Areas the council will address include:

  • Recycling
  • Resource management and conservation
  • Sustainable practices in facility renovation and construction
  • How to catalyze change on the campus and in the community


We have a long history of accomplishments regarding sustainability on campus, including:

  • 2006: The President’s Council on Sustainability is established at Drury University. 
  • 2007: Drury signs the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. As one of the first 25 schools to sign, Drury became part of a Leadership Circle that now includes over 650 institutions nationwide.
  • 2008: A geothermal heating and cooling system is installed in Stone Chapel.
  • 2009: The Student Government Association approves a $20 annual student fee for sustainability initiatives.
  • 2010: Drury is included in Princeton Review’s annual “Guide to 399 Green Colleges.”
  • 2010: The O’Reilly Family Event Center receives LEED Gold certification.
  • 2010: D.Cycle starts with 60 new bicycles for students.
  • 2010: Bike paths are constructed to create a north-south connection on campus.
  • 2012: University Suites campus housing receives LEED Platinum certification.
  • 2015: Drury is recognized as a “Tree Campus USA.”
  • 2018: Drury is again included in Princeton Review’s annual “Guide to 399 Green Colleges.”
  • 2018: Drury receives a Missouri Department of Conservation grant to create a native restoration site
  • 2019: New campus exterior recycling containers are introduced.
  • 2019: Drury hosts the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s “Plants with Purpose: Native Landscapes for Beauty and Biodiversity” conference.

Selected Awards and Grants

  • Pearson Publishing Sustainable Solutions Award ($2,000)
  • Johnson Controls Foundation Sustainability Initiatives Grant ($5,000)
  • Missouri Solid Waste District O Grant for Recycling, 2007 ($17,900)
  • Missouri Solid Waste District O Grant for Recycling, 2008 ($12,000)
  • Missouri Dept. of Conservation Community Conservation Grant for Native Restoration, 2017 ($5,000)
  • Missouri Dept. of Conservation Community Conservation Grant for Native Restoration, 2018 ($6,950)
  • Ozark Headwaters Recycling & Materials Management District Grant for Recycling, 2018 ($27,000)

Seeds of Change, the Drury 2010 spring magazine, provides a deeper conversation of the beginnings of Drury’s sustainability discussions.

Read the Magazine