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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.92
Liaison Jonathan Lantz-Trissel
Submission Date July 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Eastern Mennonite University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Daryl Bert
Vice President of Finance
Business Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

Creation Care Council Structure

Function:
The Council will coordinate with other groups to develop concrete steps and long-term plans for creation care on EMU’s campus. The Council will also serve as a visionary body directly involved in long-term sustainability planning for the University.

More specifically, the Council’s work is in three areas:

1) Education and Research: to work across the university to articulate our faith-based approach to sustainability.

2) Operations: to address usage of energy, promote sustainability building practices; increase sustainable food choices; give support to Sustainable Food Initiative’s gardens; promote sustainable institutional purchasing; address usage of natural resources; promote composting; advance bicycling; and encourage alternative transportation, education, and infrastructure.

3) Planning, Administration and Engagement: to serve as an incubator regarding creation care; engage in strategic planning, especially concerning climate change; advocate for diversity and affordability; build an understanding of the role EMU’s investments play in campus sustainability efforts and advocating for changes as needed; explore ways to build EMU’s community around sustainability themes; and make/strengthen ties to our local community.

Focus or ad hoc groups might be formed to better engage the wider campus community in these three areas, particularly when increased energy and attention arise in a particular area.

Input/decisions: Community input is provided: a) through membership on the committee b) sought from the wider community via the www.emu.edu/sustainability website and c) through open forums held when deemed necessary. Final approval for suggested actions will be sought from President’s Cabinet.

Chair: To be determined at first meeting and is elected by the committee

Reporting: Minutes of each meeting will be sent to a) Council members b) focus group members c) the President d) SGA e) the Director of Physical Plant and f) archives.

Meetings: once a month during the school year.

Revised Nov. 14, 2012


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Greg Sachs, (Chair), Building Automation Coordinator
Daryl Bert, VP Finance
Ed Lehman, Director of Facilities Management
Harriosn Horst, Undergrad student rep, Co-Chair student environmental group Earthkeepers
Heidi Winters Vogel, Professor of Nursing
Carol Snell-Feikema, Professor Language and Literature
Nate Koser, Professor of Counseling
MIcah Shristi, Multicultural and International Student Services
Cyndi Gusler, Undergraduate Professor of Visual & Communication Arts
Jim Leaman, Undergraduate Professor of Business and Economics
Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, Sustainability Coordinator
Paul Yoder, Professor Education
Valerie Showalter, Seminary student (grad student rep)
Tyler Goss, Student Life
Liana Hershey, Undergraduate Student, Co-Chair student environmental group Earthkeepers


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:
No

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The EMU office of sustainability was started in Fall 2013 as per the stated goal in the University's Strategic Plan. The office consists of the Sustainability Coordinator and one or two student workers/interns depending on the semester. The faculty coordinator of the sustainability education initiative that pre-dates the Office of Sustainability acts as a de facto member of the office with funding from the Provost's Office.


Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
0.75

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Jonathan Lantz-Trissel

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution (e.g. a campus-wide committee or an officer/office responsible for the entire campus)?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

Creation Care Council advises the work of the Office of Sustainability and its work in the last three years includes successfully bringing and passing a Climate Action Plan to the President's Cabinet in early 2016 after two years of work on the plan, writing and submission of an internal carbon tax, referred to as the Full Cost of Carbon proposal, to the President's Cabinet with some tentative successes including institutionalizing the tax in the budget of the newly created Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions as something of a pilot for the rest of campus.


Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Sustainability Coordinator

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
Job description for the sustainability officer position:

POSITION TITLE: Sustainability Coordinator

POSITION REPORTS TO: VP of Finance

POSITION SUMMARY: The Sustainability Coordinator is an advocate for sustainable practices and environmental stewardship and advancing an awareness of creation care theologically, academically and practically in everyday life at EMU. The S.C. is the point person for events, projects and initiatives, and collaborates with various entities on and off campus around sustainability efforts that fit within a sustainability plan, also maintained by the S.C.:
• Coordinates development and implementation of university sustainability plan, goals and standards, including specific areas such as EMU’s Climate Commitment, building and renovation standards, transportation, purchasing and the like.
• Acts as a liaison Quality Enhancement Plan Implementation Team (QEPIT)
• Clearinghouse for projects, events, programs and grants related to sustainability.
• Serves as a consultant for recycling and composting operations.

Rationale:
In recent years EMU has made significant progress in the area of creation care but much of it has been accomplished through the ad hoc volunteer work of staff and faculty. In order to support the implementation of the QEP, as well as develop EMU as a leader in sustainability among small, liberal arts colleges, dedicated staff time is needed. In particular, coordination among various departments and interests on campus would help EMU realize synergies in environmental sustainability, while better demonstrating our sustainability efforts to on-campus and surrounding communities.

QUALIFICATIONS:

EDUCATION: Bachelors degree in environmental studies or related field preferred

EXPERIENCE: Minimum 3 years experience relevant to the position

SPECIAL SKILLS: Ability to work collaboratively with administration, students, staff and faculty. Knowledge of sustainability theories and practices. Ability to propose, plan, administer and evaluate complex collaborative projects. Ability to set priorities and manage multiple projects. Excellent communication skills.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Guided by EMU’s sustainability principles and the Creation Care Council, the coordinator will:
• Act as resource for sustainability-related inquiries from external and internal sources.
• Develop and oversee the implementation of a campus sustainability plan.
• Collaborate with the Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator for integration of sustainability in curriculum and operations.
• Oversee AASHE STARS submission for EMU, and report findings to campus.
• Provide collaborative leadership in strategy and promotion for recycling, waste and composting operations.
• Tells the story of sustainability efforts at EMU, in collaboration with the Marketing department.
• Represent EMU at appropriate sustainability-related conferences and events.
• Identifies grant opportunities and supports the completion of grant proposals for campus sustainability projects.
• Serves as a resource for campus sustainability projects, such as composting and the campus garden.


Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
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Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.