At a ceremony on February 10, 2005, President Ron Thomas signed the Talloires Declaration on behalf of the university. At that time he also initiated the Sustainability Advisory Committee to help the university become more sustainable.
In the spring of 2006, Professor Dan Sherman received a Russell Family Foundation Sustainability Grant to build a model campus-community partnership focused on addressing the need for waste reduction on campus and in the larger community. The resulting Waste Reduction Task Force worked in conjunction with the university's Sustainability Advisory Committee for the next two years, and when the grant was over, the Waste Reduction Task Force became a component of SAC, along with two other task forces that had been initiated during that time: the Transportation Task Force and the Energy Task Force.
As SAC gained momentum, President Thomas further confirmed the university's commitment to sustainability by signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, followed in 2008 by the development of the Loggers Live Green branding campaign for on-campus use.
At the end of 2009, SAC recommended the university enroll as a charter member in the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Much of 2010 was spent gathering information for the initial rating report and restructuring the committee to align with the work of this new rating system: climate, consumption, curriculum, and outreach.