Founding Declaration

Environmental Stewardship Initiative for Exeter

 Working Together to Implement a Meaningful Response
to the World’s Environmental Challenges


The Environmental Stewardship Initiative for Exeter (ESI-Exeter) is a movement founded by members of the Phillips Exeter Academy community. We believe that Exeter and those who benefit from an Exeter education have the intellectual and moral responsibility to address the most urgent humanitarian challenge of our time: ending humanity’s disruption and destruction of natural systems, re-establishing our bond with the natural world, and creating pathways for humans to live in harmony with all living things.

Exeter’s Environmental Mission Statement, adopted in 2004 by the Board of Trustees, is our starting point. The values of environmental stewardship and sustainability expressed in this statement have support among many in the school’s administration, faculty, staff, and student body. We believe, however, that in light of the rapid and disruptive changes that have occurred in the past decade, there is far more work that must be done to integrate these values into Exeter’s curriculum and operations. Our goal is to contribute our talents and resources to help accelerate the implementation of a comprehensive, leadership-oriented educational paradigm centered on sustainability.


Phillips Exeter Academy is a world leader that has integrated sustainable practices and philosophy throughout its curriculum, infrastructure and ethos, inspiring individual and collective leadership for an environmentally responsible future.


ESI-Exeter’s mission is to be a catalyst for deepening and reinforcing the Exeter community’s growing understanding of and commitment to environmental responsibility. We endeavor to build Exeter’s leadership and influence by inspiring students and graduates to develop and implement the environmental, economic, and socio-political solutions required to create a sustainable future, always informed by the Academy’s principles of knowledge and goodness.


 ESI-Exeter is inclusive, innovative, inspirational, and impactful.


  1. Curriculum and Student Life  Integrate an environmental stewardship perspective into all subjects taught at Exeter and all aspects of the Exeter experience, through creative and practical methods.
  2. Renewable Energy Transition  Dramatically expand PEA’s use of renewable energy sources, reaching 100 % by 2025.
  3. Engagement Beyond Exeter  Engage generations of Exeter graduates as environmental stewardship leaders at Exeter and in their own communities, establishing Exeter as the model for educational institutions around the world.

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