In February of 2020, university President Marlene Tromp announced the creation of the Sustainability Governance Council. This council exists to ensure that the university is establishing goals, tracking progress, and maintaining operations, infrastructure and education in a manner that is both environmentally and socially responsible as well as economically feasible.
To that end, the council and its subcommittees, composed of faculty, staff, and students spent the past year coordinating data collection and reporting for the university’s first ever submission to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The final results of the STARS submission are still pending and are anticipated to be announced by November.
Looking forward to 2022, the SGC will work to define a sustainability action plan for the university, focused on six priority areas identified as high priorities through the STARS reporting data. These areas are:
- Academics and research: Tracking sustainability in courses and research, student success and literacy in sustainability, curriculum recommendations for sustainability across subjects
- The built environment: Buildings, energy and water: Analyzing Boise State’s carbon future, developing sustainable landscapes and rainwater management infrastructure
- Transportation: Create a plan for the future of electric vehicles on campus, expand public transit opportunities for campus users, continue to encourage active transportation and nurture robust bike culture
- Waste management and events: Create campus standards for sustainable options in events and dining that seek to reduce waste and increase visibility and engagement of sustainable culture on campus
- Green finance and investment: Assess green investment fund opportunities, review endowment portfolio and make recommendations, create a campus standard for procurement and purchasing that prioritizes sustainable supply chain management
- Engagement: Increase staff interaction and assessment of sustainability culture on campus through the development of programming and volunteer opportunities such as the development of a green office certification, office sustainability champion, and integration of sustainability into on-campus competitions
Each focus area will have a working group consisting of passionate faculty, staff and student volunteers. These groups will develop specific near-term priority goals, long-term goals and key metrics for their focus areas, while providing university leadership with recommendations on implementation of identified opportunities, and also being empowered to move forward with tangible, immediate improvements.
Volunteers are needed to support this effort and serve on these committees. Anyone interested in volunteering for one or more of these working groups, can complete the interest form to be considered.