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.


Our mission is to proactively build a sustainable and positive global future through initiating bold commitments, scaling successful actions, and accelerating innovative solutions among leadership networks in higher education.


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.


a sustainable society

Too often, we view major societal issues (health, social, economic, security, and environmental) as separate, competing, and hierarchical, when they are really systemic and interdependent. We do not have environmental problems per se. We have environmental consequences resulting from the way we have designed our business, social, economic, and political systems. The challenge of addressing these flaws in societal design is unprecedented, daunting, and exciting. It is one that will require the best in all of us, especially in higher education.

In order for society to move in a sustainable direction, higher education must develop a new framework in which the sector and individual institutions operate as a fully integrated communities that teach, research, and model social and ecological sustainability.

Since 1993, Second Nature has worked with over 4,000 faculty and administrators at more than 600 colleges and universities to help make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education. Our successes include advancing Education for Sustainability (EFS) networks at the state, regional, and national levels; and conducting a multi-million dollar, ten-year advocacy and outreach effort that was instrumental in launching the higher education EFS movement.

Today, as senior leaders in higher education (presidents, chancellors, provosts, chief financial officers, trustees, etc.) adopt the values of sustainability, Second Nature is well positioned to build their capacity to rapidly translate these values into action.

Second Nature is a Commonwealth of Massachusetts nonprofit public benefit corporation, and a tax-exempt charitable organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.