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Sustainability Steering Committee and Working Groups

In 2016, ESF established a new sustainability steering committee to identify and incorporate more sustainable practices into ESF's operations, planning, academics and engagmeent. The steering committee will lead seven sustainability working groups that are open to the entire campus community. Members of the college community are encouraged to participate in the sustainability working groups, and are invited to email sustainability@esf.edu for more information. These working groups include: (1) Energy, (2) Food, (3) Land, (4) Materials, (5) Transportation, (6) Water, and (7) Communication and Engagement.

Committee Charge

Collaborate with the College's Sustainability Office regarding preparation and review of ESF's sustainability reports, including AASHE's STARS, NYS REV Campus Challenge, Princeton Review's "Green Colleges Ranking." Second Nature's Climate Commitment, Sierra Club's "Cool Schools Ranking," and others;

Recommend and monitor practices intended to improve sustainability* in College operations—this includes achieving the highest level of accreditation according to the AASHE STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) framework, working toward carbon neutrality in an accelerated fashion, and an increased focus on resiliency;

Interact with the College's Committee on Curriculum and other academic units within ESF with the purpose of further developing and integrating sustainability into curriculum, service- and experiential-learning, extra-curricular, research, and other scholarly activities;

Uphold ESF's specific climate commitments as a signatory with Second Nature and the White House;

Develop, update, and oversee the implementation of policies relating to sustainability at the College (new or modified policies would need final approval from College leadership);

Advise, assist, and promote the development of sustainability reports and updates, and help implement the College's Sustainability Plan, Climate Action Plan, and other related plans;

Formally liaise with, and advise the College's Physical Plant and Facilities Department, and Capital Planning Committee on matters related to sustainability;

Work with the College's outreach and communication functional areas to continue to develop communication, marketing, engagement, and outreach strategies focused on sustainability to internal and external stakeholders and organizations, as well as other communities and organizations;

Review and approve Green Campus Initiative (GCI) Student Sustainability Fund projects, and other related funding efforts as appropriate; and

Oversee other matters related to campus sustainability as appropriate.

Notes: (*) For the purposes of this document, ESF upholds the definition of sustainability as agreed upon internally at ESF in 2011, and as described below. ESF also adheres to the definitions of sustainability provided by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. As noted, for the purposes of this Committee, sustainability also includes progress toward carbon neutrality, resiliency, and a focus on climate action.


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