Sustainability Journey: from the Classroom to the Living Room

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Sustainability Journey: from the Classroom to the Living Room
Sustainability Journey: from the Classroom to
the Living Room
Gurram Gopal, Ph.D.
Professor of Marketing and
Supply Chain Management
Christine Smith
Associate Dean and Dean of Residence Life
Elmhurst College
AASHE CONFERENCE
October 27, 2014
Slide 1
Stewardship- one of the College’s core
values
We are committed stewards of the human, fiscal,
and physical resources entrusted to us. We are
accountable to one another for the quality of our
community, the strength of our finances, and the
utility and beauty of our campus as a place of
intellectual engagement and personal growth. We
pursue innovations which respect the environment
and foster sustainability in the management of our
resources.
Slide 3
Journey Started in Earnest in 2007
Slide 4
Now
Percent Accuracy In Three Sorting Areas
Compostable Masses correctly sorted: 114.5 lbs.
Compost containers: 4lbs; Landfill containers : 42.4 lbs.
.
Recycling
containers: 1.5 lbs.
Liquids bucket: 20 lbs.
Percent Accuracy in Three Sorting Areas
Type of
Bins
2008 – 2009 – 2010 – 2011 – 2012 – 2013 – 2014 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Compost
Recycling
Landfill
42.8%
66%
95%
92%
94%
60%
58%
32%
85.7%
16%
5%
20%
Key Organizational Activities
• President’s Decision to work towards LEED
Certified Residence Hall (West)
• Sustainability Committee
 Initially
chaired by CFO
 Now chaired by retired HR Director
• Integrating Sustainability into the Strategic Plan
Some Efforts have worked well
•
•
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•
•
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•
Greenjays
Green Cup
Living Green Team
Cafeteria
Composting
Water-filling stations
Zero Waste First Year Orientation Events
Three Sisters Garden
Slide 9
Challenges
• Very limited academic integration
• Greenjays- not reached critical mass
• Zero Waste events – Sports events still a
challenge
• Three Sisters Garden – not enough
student volunteers
• Bicycle program
Slide 10
Comments from European Students
• It is also normal that everybody bikes in the city, so in front
of the universities no matter where in Germany everything
is full of bikes. The reason for that is that it isn't normal
that everyone has a car. The people who don't come by
bike they normally use public transportation.
• A big difference with the Netherlands and the USA is that
Dutch young people, especially students, do not own cars.
In a fact, no one of my friends owns one. It is too
expensive, it is really hard to park and as a student you
can travel for free with the public transportation (funded by
the government).
Slide 12
Comments from European Students
• Also the food habits are different because i noticed that
Fast Food in the US is cheaper than buying fresh
vegetables, fruits or meat. Normally in Germany Fast
Food is more expensive and there are less Fast Food
Restaurants. And at least in Bamberg there is a Farmer
Market Monday to Saturday downtown where a lot of
families are shopping but also a lot of students, even if it
is more expensive… Most students take more care
about where the food is coming from..
Slide 13
Comments from European Students
• The thing I like the most about the sustainability of
Elmhurst College is the Residence Hall, West, I am
living in. Even though it is very sustainable and new,
you don't notice anything. Honestly, I always have the
prejudice that if something is sustainable, you have to
put more effort in it to make it work. So when living in a
sustainable building, I expected it would take a while to
get the water warm, troubles with the heating and so on.
All of this did not happen and, obviously, everything
works just fine.
Slide 14
Successful in Small
Ways
Culture Change Very
Slow
Slide 15
A bigger perspective
• Sustainability Committee
 Membership
Challenges
• Faculty
 Not
engaged
 Spotty participation
• Administration
 No
allocated resources
 Fiscal Challenges
Slide 16
Future?
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Challenging fiscal environment
Strategic Plan and Funding priorities
Lack of a Centre for Sustainability
Lack of buy-in
Challenges in executing inter-disciplinary
activities
•
•
Slide 17
Your suggestions!

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