Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.78
Liaison Jessica Bowen
Submission Date March 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Aquinas College
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jessica Eimer Bowen
Director of Sustainability
Center for Sustainability
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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:

Each of the three committees have the following mission and charges.
The LEARNING COMMITTEE deals with curriculum, interpretation, and campus aesthetic. Vision: Aquinas College is an intellectual incubator integrating the Catholic Dominican tradition and the Economicology framework.

The COMMUNITY COMMITTEE deals with governance, investment, and wellness. Vision: Demonstrating the relevancy and currency of the liberal arts, Aquinas students and faculty lead change to address contemporary human and ecological issues.

The INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE deals with energy, food, and materials. Vision: Aquinas College is a living lab of sustainable practices.


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

LEARNING Sustainability Committee:
● Dr. Steve Barrows (Provost, Cabinet Member)
● Jessica Eimer Bowen (Ex-officio, Director of Sustainability)
● Sister Damien Marie Savino (Ex-officio, Dean of Science and Sustainability, Provost’s Designee)
● Mary Clinthorne (Faculty)
● Mandy Rodgers (Staff)
● Morgan Churchwell (Staff)
● Savian Tuggle (Student)
● Dana VanHuis (Student)

COMMUNITY Sustainability Committee
● Brian Matzke (Cabinet Member, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs)
● Jessica Eimer Bowen (Ex-officio, Director of Sustainability)
● Stefanie Hathaway (Ex-officio, Wellness)
● Michael Curry (Faculty)
● Bill Foley (Faculty)
● Brigid Avery (Staff)
● Chad Buczkowski (Staff)
● Anastasia Tafelsky (Student)
● Chloe Niepoth (Student)

INFRASTRUCTURE Sustainability Committee
● Lisa VanDeWeert (CFo, Cabinet Member)
● Jessica Eimer Bowen (Ex-officio, Director of Sustainability)
● Doug Greenslate (Ex-officio, Director of Housekeeping)
● Julie Blaszak (Ex-officio, Director of Residence Life)
● Francine Paolini (Faculty)
● Dr. Rebecca Coogan (Faculty)
● Shelbi Rushing (Staff)
● Thomas Voglewede (Student)
● Elizabeth Walztoni (Student))


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:
Yes

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Center for Sustainability (C4S) at Aquinas College promotes principles and practices that restore our environment, foster economic prosperity, and build vibrant and healthy communities. Established in 2005 as a community resource, C4S has been building networks and partnerships between local businesses, students and faculty to support learning for sustainability. Among its activities, the Center for Sustainability:
• Sponsors lectures, workshops, and non-credit educational programs for organizations and individuals interested in sustainable business practices.
• Connects students and faculty of the Aquinas Sustainable Business program with area businesses seeking to launch or further their efforts toward sustainability.
• Serves as a central node for the networked activities of the Aquinas Campus Sustainability Initiative.

The Center for Sustainability heads the AQ Sustainability Initiative which provides an on-going process to assure that Aquinas College is the kind of place where people love to work and learn. The initiative involves protecting the natural beauty of the Aquinas College campus while restoring the natural environment, improving financial stability and strengthening social relationships. Presently, the Center for Sustainability is focused on the advancing the Zero-Waste Initiative, energy monitoring, campus and community educational programming, networking support for sustainable business students and graduates, and activities promoting behavior change.


Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
3.75

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

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Jessica Eimer Bowen, Director of Sustainability; Sister Damien Marie Savino, Dean of Science and Sustainability

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:

Through collaborative efforts of the Center for Sustainability and supporting sustainability committees and departments, we have experienced many successes since the formalized effort began in 2005.

We made extensive progress on our zero waste initiative, moving our diversion rate from 45% to almost 70%. The college boasts 6 LEED Certified buildings and 2 registered structures, a take the stairs campaign, and numerous annual campus competitions. On the policy front we have seen progress with the establishment of a Green Housekeeping Policy, Institutional Carpooling Policy, Recycling Policy, LEED Building Policy, and No-Idling Policy. The college has also established a campus community garden and a digital nature app. Since fiscal year 2008, the college has successfully decreased its carbon footprint by 21% through a variety of energy efficiency measures. In the fall of 2013, we launched a new program called “AQ Bikes,” a bike rental program for the Aquinas Community. From 2013 to 2015, interest has grown among the Aquinas community and bike rentals have grown exponentially. To further encourage alternative transportation, we increased the public bus subsidy so faculty, staff and students only pay $0.25 per ride. That is a savings of $1.50 per ride. Due to a generous grant from the Wege Foundation, real time sub-meters for electricity and displays in the lobbies were installed in 11 campus buildings in 2015 and 2016. The college also initiated a Green Revolving Fund in 2014 with seed money from the Wege Foundation.

Aquinas made the Sierra Club’s Cool Schools list and the Princeton Review’s Green Schools list every year since 2011. Aquinas College was named the Sustainable Business of the Year by the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum in 2016. The award recognizes organizations that best represent the values of the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.


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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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