Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes 11/14/12

Members Present:

Rose McKenney, Brooke McIntyre, Anna Pfohl, Sara Patterson, Kenny Stancil, Tyler Wilson, Joe Bell, Chrissy Cooley, Joe Kowalczyk, Wendy Robins, Joel Zylstra, Emily Fahey, Geoff Loomis


1. Review of STARS

Presentation by Chrissy Cooley and discussion with committee:

The Results:

National Averages

–          PLU is above national average in every category

–          We don’t know if we will get a silver or gold, we have exactly the amount of point (65) to get gold, but the last four points are subjective, so we’ll have to wait for the final results.

–          290 school submitted previously

–          Jenny Taylor did most of the work collecting data

Using STARS as a Planning Tool

–          Goal Setting

–          Outreach

Where do we go from here? How do we want to use stars as a planning tool?

This is up to the committee.

First Category: Education

–          Most improved since 2009: the curriculum

–          Needs improvement: the curriculum

  • We now have a definition of what sustainability is in teaching (thanks to Brett’s work)
  • With new definition of sustainability, we need resources for our faculty to work with this


–          Most improved:  buildings and climate

  • Not climate like temperature, amount of natural gas reductions – facilities put in a system so we can now do preventative maintenance on natural gas)
  • Since 2010 we have developed better policies around preventative maintenance

–          Needs improvement: transportation

  • No “bike-plan”
  • No bus tickets for students
  • No cash-out for parking


–          How are doing in some of the categories?

  • Dining: the only points left are the reusable to-go containers, which are illegal in the state of WA. Wendy is working on this currently!
  • Energy: we are doing fantastic
  • Clean and renewable energy: we have a long way to go. Geothermal doesn’t count in their system
  • Grounds: we do not have a plan herbicide use in certain areas of campus and these are the only points we’re missing.
  • Purchasing: The President’s office has promised to buy recyclable paper instead of the glossy kind in their next purchases.
  • Transportation: We don’t have a system to track vehicles PLU community is using.
  • Waste: We could really work on waste reduction rather than just diversion. What in our waste stream can be avoided in the first place?
  • Water consumption: hard for us to track water through parkland light and water utilities.

Planning, Admin & Engagement Points                           

–          Most improved: coordination & planning and human resource areas

–          Needs improvement: Investment

–          How are we doing in some of the categories?

  • Diversity & Affordability: We don’t have support programs for our faculty handling diversity (faculty development and how to deal with a diverse student population)
  • Investment: Our worst category and an area we need to work on. An outside company deals with our investments. Not much is transparent in this area.
  • Public Engagement: We are doing a lot right now, but did not have a way of measuring this during 2011-2012. This year we have some ways of documenting these measurements, so we’ll have better information for next STARS in this category.

2. Announcements

  1. unPLUg event was a success and the winner was Hinderlie with a 16% reduction in energy consumption
  2. Anna Pfohl and Sara Patterson are planning events the week leading up to Go Green in Red Square, which will take place on November 30, 2012. They will be tabling the previous week and selling “take back the tap” and “one less cup” mugs in the market. Wendy suggested that they can get more support for the event by passing on the information to the administrative staff council.
  3. C.      South Campus Open Space Community Forum is coming up to get more ideas and feedback on the current plans.
  4. D.     Criteria for green fees: Anna Pfohl, Sara Patterson, and Brooke McIntyre are working on these currently.
    1. Criteria so far:
    2. Sustainability Grid

–          Background/statement of purpose (a couple sentences, can vary depending on the proposal)

–          Fill in the boxes with whatever the individual thinks is applicable

–          Include a brief paragraph about educational component/plan of action to inform PLU community of benefits

–          Expense report

        Successful proposals will

            Outline the current problem

–          Provide an explanation of why the proposal will be a solution

–          Include at least two components of the Sustainability Grid

–          Detailed timeline of how individual plans to implement proposed solution

  1. Feedback
    1.  What will be the impact on campus? Probably include this in the timeline.
    2. We will need to clearly define the sections of the sustainability grid.
    3. South Sound Sustainability Expo is on March 2, 2013 at the Seattle Convention Center
    4. Sustainability Retreat/Workshop: Small turnout, but it was a success.
    5. Trinity Lutheran Community Dinner
      1. Food club volunteers to help out at these
      2. All food is sourced locally
      3. Everyone is welcome to come volunteer and participate
      4. H.    AASHE
        1. a.      Went very well and we were able to debrief afterward and come up with a plan for the sustainability office.
        2. I.       Semester long Gateway Program
          1. a.      Discussing possibility of starting study away option that would be local
          2. J.        Non-profit Leadership Minor
            1. a.      Creating this option for future curriculum


3. Looking ahead:

–          We will go over the sustainability grid

–          Discuss offsets


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