Guidelines for Sustainable Practices in Philosophy

In 2019, Philosophers for Sustainability ran an advocacy campaign to encourage the American Philosophical Association to distribute guidelines on sustainable practices. We then collectively drafted, discussed, revised, and submitted a set of guidelines. In February 2020, the APA published its revised Good Practices Guide that now ends with our sustainability guidelines. These are the main professional guidelines in our field in a large and influential country, going out to about 10,000 APA members who teach some number of millions of students every year. Getting a fraction of those members to consider and adopt more sustainable practices is a real victory!


A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in drafting, discussing, revising, and advocating for the guidelines throughout 2019. In particular, we’d like to thank our guidelines working group — Amy Berg, Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, Rebecca Millsop, and Eugene Chislenko; Amy Berg and Eric Godoy, for collecting and digesting existing sustainability guidelines in other areas; Benjamin Hill and Jared Talley for guidelines on food; Howard Nye for suggestions about sustainable conference practices; Daniel Helman for a summary of the climate crisis; Eric Godoy, Chuck Goldhaber, Katie McShane, Kyle Whyte, and Robin Zheng for very helpful comments on the entire guidelines; a few dozen members and non-members for helpful discussion of particular parts of the guidelines; Lynn Chiu, Rebecca Hardesty, Dustin Mayfield-Jones, and Eric Winsberg for outstanding social media support; Emily LaShelle of the Sunrise Movement and Mitch Chanin of for their consultation and encouragement; Erin Shepherd of the APA for editing and logistical support; and Amy Ferrer, Executive Director of the APA, for ever-growing encouragement and detailed feedback on guidelines drafts and the APA approval process.


We encourage all our members, and other interested philosophers, to hold local events on sustainability and/or climate change for your department or other philosophical community (including undergraduates), in which you can use these guidelines as a starting point for discussion of practices, plans, and advocacy in your community. We have some experience with these and are happy to share materials such as flyers and agendas, as well as putting you in touch with nearby Philosophers for Sustainability members whenever possible. Please let us know afterwards how the event goes and share any useful guideline or advocacy suggestions with us!

If you’d like to download the document, please go HERE.