Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education.

We do this by mobilizing a diverse array of higher education institutions to act on bold climate commitments, to scale campus climate initiatives, and to create innovative climate solutions. We align, amplify, and bridge the sector’s efforts with other global leaders to advance urgent climate priorities.


We envision humanity thriving through healthy, just, and sustainable living within a dynamically changing earth system. We see higher education playing a prominent leadership role in shaping research, learning, and communities that inspire and operationalize this positive future. Second Nature serves as a critical driver for leaders in higher education that commit to this responsibility.


Since its founding in 1993, Second Nature has played a critical role in mobilizing higher education to move the needle towards the goal of a sustainable society. We created and oversee the largest voluntary carbon neutrality commitment in any sector in the United States. Millions of students have passed through these schools, and this history has placed Second Nature in a key leadership position working with higher education to advance sustainability.

Our 2020 Strategic Plan (completed in January 2015) represented a new, catalytic phase of Second Nature’s development. Anchored in clarified mission and vision statements, this plan sets out five key objectives designed to build broader and deeper levels of sustainability impact both on and off campuses.

What Defines Us

We will strive to have our commitments to diversity, transparency, humility, innovation, and community be qualities that are said about us, not characteristics that we simply declare. These values serve as our mirror as well as our lens for focused decision-making, internal organizational dynamics, and engagement with external stakeholders.


At Second Nature, we recognize the fundamental value of diversity, and the essential role it plays in building a sustainable and positive global future. We are committed to a diverse workplace in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, because we believe that an inclusive, supportive environment enables us to thrive, and better meet the needs of our network and the communities we serve.

To us, the term diversity recognizes and encourages social and cultural differences, as well as individual ones. Current and historical inequities create uneven access to opportunities, and we are committed to breaking down those barriers in our work. We understand diversity to be not only the absence of discriminatory behavior or opinions, but also the active support of passionate, smart, and motivated employees and partners from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Embracing true diversity involves hiring, engaging, and supporting people who represent many perspectives, think differently, and challenge our assumptions. Diversity is the backbone of an innovative and vibrant organization, and though pursuing it is not always easy — it is vital. We are continually learning, and striving towards growth and action that will allow us to better affirm diversity and equity in our work, and serve as a model of change for others in the field.