One Small Step for the Campus...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So I have spent this last week working with Katherine on our STARS survey. We are in the home stretch with only a couple of more days left before we report and things are getting tense. I mean in reality I can't take any credit at all for the work done to date, it has all been Katherine's doing... but I still can't help but feel a small tinge of excitement.

Now I can't speak to how well we are going to do on the survey. Frankly, I would be happy just to cross the line at this point. But doing this STARS thing has really given us a good look at all the things we could be doing on this campus to make ourselves greener and more equitable.

Take our course offerings for example. The STARS survey accords points to institutions that have sustainability related courses, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and special programs. Points are even offered if your institution provides incentives to do research in sustainability. I think we still have a long way to go.

But there is one area within the survey that I was a little surprised that we aren't doing better.... that is to say with our total environmental footprint. Green buildings, climate action policy, green dinning services, etc. There are so many great things that we could do to our campus to make us, well better I suppose.

In the categories where we are super strong - water, sustainable transportation, co-curricular education, and coordination & planning (who knew).

Where we are the weakest - ethical investments, curriculum, and climate action.

In any event I am optimistic. If this survey has a silver lining it is that I will have projects to work on from here to eternity. Keep your eyes open in the coming weeks for our STARS results; we will have tonnes to discuss once the results are posted. Even if the survey is done, the real work will just be getting started.


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