Second Nature

Mission 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. Vision 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. Strategy From its founding, Second Nature has worked to expand higher education’s ability to solve pressing sustainability challenges. Since 2006, that focus has been aimed at addressing the largest environmental challenge that civilization has faced: global climate change. This was the launch year of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments, now the longest standing voluntary carbon reduction program in the world, and through it the Climate Leadership Network of over 600 universities and colleges formed. Our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan focuses on the imperative for exponential growth in climate progress to work towards 50% decarbonization in the US economy by 2030 based on advice from the best available science. This three year plan focuses on supporting network performance and cross-sector activity with the core of our strategy centered around the expansion of valued climate services. We will continue activating more schools as climate leaders and driving climate action with other sectors, but need “better and more of it” within this 11-year window of opportunity to act. Leveraging higher education’s innovative research and partnership strengths will be key to proactively overcome the climate emergency. 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. Diversity 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.