|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
PRE-2: Points of Distinction
Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
As a women’s college, Barnard’s mission is in part to “address issues of gender in all of their complexity.” Understanding that women and communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change is, therefore, central to Barnard’s mission in sustainability. Collaboration between campus offices is frequent and intentional. The Office of Sustainability and Climate Action works regularly with the Council on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Health Services, Beyond Barnard (career services), the Center for Engaged Pedagogy, and various academic departments. Programming has included an Annual Fall Community Outing, co-hosted by Barnard Sustainability, the Health Services Division, and the Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, an annual circularity event highlighting the impact of the textile industry on women and communities of color and promoting reuse, and career development events focussing on climate action in multiple fields. Barnard Sustainability also partners with the FLIP (First-Generation Low-Income Partnership) Library, the Architecture Department, Student Life, and Student Success offices to find ways to promote reuse and support affordability for students. The College worked in conjunction with the Barnard Center for Research on Women to host it’s 45th Annual Scholar and Feminist Conference, titled “Climate Crisis, Climate Justice.” The conference featured speakers and panelists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. In 2018, Barnard collaborated with Grad Bag to provide free, gently used, dorm supplies to low-income students at Barnard and across NYC. Profits from a design challenge, co-hosted by Barnard Sustainability and the Design Center, will go toward the FLI (First-Generation Low-Income) Student Fund. Sustainability initiatives at Barnard engage deeply with intersectionality, acknowledging that the climate crisis, and the conditions from which it has emerged, exacerbate existing social injustices.
Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Diversity & Affordability
Wellbeing & Work
Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
In an effort to address Scope 3 emissions (consumption and waste), Barnard seeks to engage with its students in circular practices. The Office of Sustainability and Climate Action is directed by Sandra Goldmark, whose work and interests focus on circular economies and consumption. Students learn in her seminar “Things and Stuff” about the bloated consumerism and waste generation active in the society around them. Initiatives on campus give students the opportunity to both divert unnecessary items from landfill and to prevent unnecessary purchasing. Give and Go Green and the Green Sale are two such reuse initiatives employed during during move in/move out periods. In 2018, Give and Go Green prevented more than 21,000 kg of carbon-equivalent emissions related to consumption. Additionally, the College hosts Rebear, a used clothing sale that features mending stations and design challenges.
In addition to promoting circular actions within the student body, the College also engages in sustainability-friendly business practices. When selecting a new dining services provider in 2019, Barnard chose Chartwells, a provider with a commitment to sourcing practices that are humane and advance sustainability by reducing waste to landfill, buying local, promoting fair-trade products, and more. The College’s business services department makes efforts to rehome used furniture, promote internal reuse, and introduce 100% recycled paper to its copiers.
Waste collection includes organics, single-stream recycling and landfill. Organics collection on the campus has been expanded through the help of a grant from the Citizens Committee for New York City. More than 26 office and department suites, five academic buildings and three dorms house food-waste bins. Academic programming engages students in the waste cycle; the Environmental Science department features a course on waste management. Students in the course have created waste management plans for the College, some of which have been successfully implemented. These practices lead to waste diversion from landfills, which lowers the College’s carbon footprint.
Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
The Office of Sustainability and Climate Action often partners with various Barnard offices to provide student and faculty engagement. Various programs put on by the College seek to promote campus-wide sustainability. Educating incoming first-years on sustainable practices is key to ensuring communal sustainability efforts, and is therefore integrated into our New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). NSOP programming has included sustainability training in the form of workshops, panels, informational pamphlets, and facilitated student discussion. In addition, the College hosts the Green Sale during NSOP, an opportunity for new students to purchase used items and prevent both excess consumption and waste from. The College partnered with Beyond Barnard, the career services office, to host an event titled “Dialogues for Change: Careers in Climate,” that was held in February 2020. Additionally, Beyond Barnard hosted a panel on sustainability at the 2019 Opportunities Fair, featuring Barnard alumnae from a diverse array of environmental and sustainability careers. The Barnard Center for Research on Women hosted their 45th annual Scholar and Feminist Conference on the theme of Climate Crisis and Climate Justice. This program engaged with questions of climate intersectionality through site-specific analyses of climate crisis and climate justice in New York City, the Pacific, and the Caribbean and Gulf Coast. The conference placed scholars from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities alongside activists, who together engaged with interdisciplinary approaches to climate change.
Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment: