The Rice University Board of Trustees approved the following sustainability policy in March 2004:
Rice University recognizes the critical importance of sustainability. Its present needs must be met while protecting the interests of future generations. The Shell Center for Sustainability, the Center for the Study of Environment and Society, the Environment & Energy Systems Institute and student organizations should be utilized to foster environmental consciousness and mitigate the University’s ecological footprint. Rice University works with students, faculty, and staff to improve environmental sensitivity. University practices will evolve along with the Rice community to keep abreast with changing needs and new technologies. The University believes that students who graduate from Rice need to understand the concepts of sustainability and possess a sense of responsibility for the future.