Leading by Example
The list of Administration Leaders is comprised of 42 schools that earned "A" grades in this category. Below is a sample of six very different institutions that all qualified for the list. These summaries are based on data from each school’s profile page.
In 1996, Berea College made an institutional commitment to embody sustainability in various aspects of its overall operation. Twelve full-time employees, including a sustainability coordinator, as well as student work-study positions, are assigned to further the college’s sustainability initiatives. A stated goal of achieving a 45 percent reduction in campus energy use by 2015 demonstrates Berea College’s effort.
Harvard University has one of the largest campus sustainability programs in the country. The Harvard Green Campus Initiative (HGCI) is responsible for implementing Harvard’s campus-wide sustainability principles and has a staff of 20 full-time professionals and 40 part-time student interns, offering various campus sustainability support services, a project research and advocacy function, an extensive website, two courses, and a revolving $12 million Green Campus Loan Fund. The HGCI has responsibility for over 12 university committees and steering groups, all of which were established to promote sustainability initiatives on campus and encourage student involvement. Successes of the HGCI include a high-performance building service for both new and existing buildings; a range of effective behavioral change programs that have produced substantial energy savings in residential dorms and laboratories; large purchases of renewable energy; on-campus solar panels; biodiesel in all campus shuttles; green cleaning in custodial services; a committed dining services policy that has resulted in a 57 percent reduction in waste thanks to aggressive recycling; and a recycling rate of over 45 percent.
Middlebury College has enshrined environmental stewardship in the second sentence of its new mission statement. The college has signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and the Talloires Declaration. Middlebury employs a sustainability coordinator and six student interns, as well as a recycling coordinator. The college has a standing environmental council that advises the president, and the trustees adopted a policy of environmental mindfulness and stewardship in 1995. The campus sustainability coordinator conducts an orientation session every other week throughout the calendar year in order to inform new employees about how to incorporate a sustainability ethic into their work.
The University of British Columbia has a sustainability office with seven permanent staff and four to five student positions, as well as a president’s sustainability advisory committee with fourteen senior administrators. In addition, 145 sustainability coordinators and 50 student residence coordinators promote sustainability across campus.
The University of California has one of the broadest-ranging sustainability initiatives of any state university system. The UC system president has signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and a University Policy on Sustainable Practices. The system-wide policy is overseen by a sustainability steering committee, which has working groups in the areas of sustainable transportation, climate change, green building renovations, sustainable operations, sustainable purchasing, recycling and waste reduction, and sustainable food systems. Each campus has an advisory committee on sustainability in addition to sustainability staff, and several campuses have complementary policies of their own. Four campuses have joined the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) and are cataloging greenhouse gas emissions; other campuses are exploring joining the CCAR.
The University of New Hampshire established its Office of Sustainability in 1997, making it the oldest endowed university sustainability program in the country. The office is headed by a chief sustainability officer, who oversees three full-time, and four part-time, staff.