Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Michael Kensler
Director Sustainability Operations
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

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

The purpose of the Academic Sustainability Advisory Committee (ASAC) is to serve in a guiding and advising capacity to the Director of Academic Sustainability Programs (ASP), in the form of consultations and input via regular group meetings of committee members who consist of faculty representatives from all major undergraduate academic units on campus, as well as administrators of related programs, and student representatives. The committee shall advise about all aspects of ASP activities, including curriculum development, faculty training, support of sustainability-related research, coordination with the Office of Sustainability and the AU Facilities Division, and supervision of the Minor in Sustainability Studies. The Director of ASP shall inform the committee members at least once each year in a formal group meeting about recent trends and status of all major program activities, and invite feedback and suggestions for improvement of the programs. This advisory committee is designed to be highly interdisciplinary and to include the representation of all major academic disciplines on campus, with the goal of building and maintaining a strong, cross-disciplinary framework for the Academic Sustainability Programs that serve all faculty and students at Auburn University.

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

Ben Luebkemann, Sophomore, Architecture major, minor in Sustainability Studies; Taylor Kraabel, Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering major, minor in Sustainability Studies; Chandana Mitra, Associate Professor, College of Science & Mathematics; James Spiers, Associate Professor, College of Agriculture; Christian Dagg, Associate Professor, College of Architecture Design & Construction; Lakami Baker, Associate Professor, College of Business; Sean Forbes, Associate Professor, College of Education; Jeffrey Fergus, Professor, College of Engineering; Christopher Anderson, Associate Professor, School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences; Kate Thornton, Associate Professor, College of Human Sciences; Giovanna Summerfield, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Liberal Arts; Director of the Honors College (vacant); Lorraine Wolf, Undergraduate Research Director; Mike Kensler, Office of Sustainability Director;

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

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Office of Sustainability exists to develop an ethic, practice, and culture of sustainability at Auburn University, and as a sustainability education and training resource for individuals and organizations within the university and in local, regional, national, and international communities.

What we do
The Office of Sustainability is a catalyst, facilitator, and resource for administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to develop shared commitment, shared responsibility, collaboration, transparency, and accountability to fulfill Auburn's sustainability commitments.

The Office fosters a culture and practice of sustainability on campus that is expressed in the University's instructional, research, outreach, and operational activities. The Office also offers sustainability-related education and training, as well as planning and decision-making workshops and seminars for business, government, civic, and other groups.

Our approach
Sustainability is about creating a better future. As a result, our work is aspirational and focused on articulating and creating the future we want. We are committed to a servant leadership approach in working for the common good. Hope and expectation of progress are essential to our work.
Our primary focus is not problem solving. Problems are solved in the context of creating a positive, productive future.
Our fundamental values reflect faith in people and acknowledge the universal human desire to contribute to something larger than ourselves, to do and create something meaningful and lasting.
We work to enable others to realize their agency, their ability and power to be co-creators of the future. We engage people in specific, relevant efforts that make a difference in achieving a more sustainable society.

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

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Michael Kensler, Director; Jen Morse, Communications & Outreach Manager; Amy Strickland, Program Manager; Nanette Chadwick, Director of Academic Sustainability Programs

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)?:

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

The Office of Sustainability advocates for sustainability programs, policies, practices and initiatives across campus, and conducts ongoing educational campaigns to generate understanding of sustainability and its relevance to every individual and unit on campus. Accomplishments include: commitment to certification for all Board of Trustee-approved construction project at a minimum LEED Silver (or equivalent rating system) certification; a new "pouring rights" contract with Coca Cola that included significant sustainability-related upgrades;a new dining services contract with Aramark that includes significant improvements in sustainability-related performance; establishment of a PEERS Network of university employees trained to identify and incorporate sustainability-related practices in their work units; designation as a Bee Campus USA campus; creation of War Eagle bike share, a heavily used bike sharing program; creation of an "Off the Shelf" campaign of online how-to packets for individuals and units interested in conducting business more sustainably, like making events more sustainable.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Director, University Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer, the Director will be an advocate for sustainability practices and facilitate interaction, integration and collaboration among various groups on and off campus including outreach events. The Director will also identify, promote and monitor sustainability initiatives including overseeing and implementing the Climate Action Plan (CAP); managing the supervision of the sustainability office, administering and having oversight for the budget, and conducting and managing assessments. The Director works in conjunction with the Director of Academic Sustainability Programs, administrators, staff, students, faculty and community organizations on sustainability issues. The Director functions as a visionary leader, fostering a culture of sustainability, and as an organizational strategist to create a strategy to integrate sustainability into the operational functions of the University, network with and facilitate internal and external resources to accomplish that goal, and evaluate the needs of the University community. Responsibilities further include: defining goals, developing performance metrics and long range plans for sustainability; creating and planning seminars, conferences, newsletters and workshops related to sustainability; building effective partnerships with local organizations; preparing budgets and monitoring expenditures.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Communications & Outreach Manager

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

The Communications & Outreach Manager plans and manages co-curricular and other sustainability programs, is responsible for communications and outreach functions, and provides administrative support for the Office; serves as an advocate for the advancement of sustainability within Auburn University. Essential functions include, but are not limited to: planning, coordinating, and implementing co-curricular sustainability programs and projects; effective communications and outreach by the Office, including website development and management, social media, publishing electronic and printed materials including monthly newsletter, reports, topical and other materials; writing stories for internal and external media; managing development and scheduling of regular and special events; providing administrative support for the Office including monthly budget reconciliation and tracking, scheduling, invoice processing, equipment/supplies ordering, and other administrative duties; making verbal presentations; managing office interns; assisting with strategic planning, budget development and tracking; serving on committees and attending meetings representing the Office of Sustainability.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Program Manager

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

The Program Manager plays an important role in developing, managing, and delivering programs for the Office of Sustainability. Responsibilities include: assisting in planning, developing, and managing programs and projects; tracking, gathering, and reporting responsibilities for various reporting requirements such as a greenhouse gas inventory, STARS, etc; writing reports and providing written materials for office publications; serving as an advocate for the advancement of sustainability within Auburn University; making verbal presentations; advising, collaborating, and communicating with other campus offices, faculty, staff, and students, and working with them to develop projects, policies, and procedures that promote sustainability; budget preparation and tracking; contributing to website development and maintenance; supervising interns and part-time student workers; serving on committees representing the Office of Sustainability.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.