Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Neil Leary
Director
Center for Sustainability Education
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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:

The President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES) coordinates at a strategic level all aspects of Dickinson’s sustainability initiative. Members of PCES are appointed by the Dickinson College President and include senior officers of the college, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The commission guides the development of a strategic vision for sustainability at Dickinson, identifies priority actions needed to advance the vision, promotes engagement of the major divisions of the college in the initiative, provides a forum to share information among the major divisions, coordinates cross-divisional efforts, monitors and evaluates progress, and provides advice to the President and other decision makers at Dickinson.


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

PCES members for 2017-2018:

• Bronte Burleigh-Jones, Vice President, Finance & Administration
• Joyce Bylander, Vice President, Student Development
• Jeff Forrester, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
• Tyree Grant ’18, Student
• Brent Hair, Customer Service Coordinator, Facilities Management
• Ann Hill, Professor, Anthropology
• Abby Kaija, '20, Student
• Howard Lalli, ’90, Alumnus
• Neil Leary, Director, Center for Sustainability Education
• Kathryn Miles, '19, Student
• Anna McGinn, '14, Alumnus
• Connie McNamara, Executive Director, Marketing & Communications
• Wendy Moffat, Professor, English
• Marina Morton ’18, Student
• Stefanie Niles, Vice President, Enrollment, Marketing & Communications
• Ashley Perzyna, Assistant Chief of Staff
• Robert Renaud, Vice President & Chief Information Officer, LIS
• Ken Shultes, Associate Vice President, Sustainability and Facilities Planning
• Shalom Staub, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Civic Engagement
• Neil Weissman, Provost
• Sean Witte, Associate Vice President, Financial Operations & Controller


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:

Dickinson College has two sustainability offices with broad responsibilities that cover the entire institution. The Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) focuses on academic and co-curricular programs, while the office of Sustainability & Facilities Planning focuses on campus operations. The two offices collaborate extensively and are co-located.

CSE creates, enhances, and connects opportunities for learning about sustainability in and out of the classroom and helps promote sustainability in all facets of the College's work. Working with a variety of partners, CSE supports activities that use the campus as a living laboratory for sustainability, helps faculty members incorporate sustainability in their teaching and research, funds student-faculty research, organizes speakers and events, serves as an information hub for Dickinson’s sustainability efforts, facilitates student initiated campus greening projects, and coordinates preparation of Dickinson’s greenhouse gas inventory and reports to external organizations such as AASHE. CSE is guided by a Steering Committee composed of faculty, staff, and students.

CSE has a staff of 4 FTE, which includes a Director, Assistant Director, Projects Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant, plus 10 to 12 student interns. The interns work on a variety of sustainability initiatives that include managing The Handlebar Bike Cooperative, The Hive Beekeeping Cooperative, and EcoReps program, assisting with our GHG inventory, nitrogen-footprint, sustainability dashboard, Energy Challenge, newsletter, outreach, and event planning, and engagement with the Greater Carlisle community.

The Office of Sustainability & Facilities Planning coordinates, promotes, and monitors sustainability performance in all facets of campus operations and facilities planning and has lead responsibility for implementation of Dickinson's Climate Action Plan. The office has two FTE employees, an Associate Vice President and Administrative Assistant.

In addition, the Dickinson Organic Farm and the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Monitoring (ALLARM) have sustainability focused missions in the areas of food and water, respectively. The Dickinson Organic Farm uses sustainable, organic practices to grow food for the campus, CSA members, and for sale at the local farmers' market. The farm has three full-time year-round staff, a Farm Manager, Assistant Farm Manager, and Packing House Coordinator, four full-time farm apprentices from May through October, four full-time student farmers during the summer. 12-15 part-time student farmers work at the farm during the spring and fall semesters.

ALLARM works with diverse community partners to empower communities to use scientific tools to monitor, protect, and restore their watersheds. ALLARM has three full-time staff, a Director, Assistant Director for Technical Assistance, and an Assistant Director for Outreach. ALLARM also employs 12 to 14 part-time student staff members.


Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
22

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

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Neil Leary, Director, Center for Sustainability Education; Ken Shultes, Associate Vice President, Sustainability & Facilities Planning

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:

The President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES) has taken the following actions in the past three years:

In fall 2017, PCES developed recommendations in the following areas: dining and sustainable food; solid waste management; buildings operation and management. The recommendation on dining and sustainability calls for Dickinson's dining services to develop targets for sustainable dining. The recommendation was adopted in December 2017. Consideration of the other two recommendations will continue in spring 2018.

In fall 2016, PCES launched a process to produce a comprehensive strategic plan for sustainability at Dickinson that encompasses academics, co-curricular programs, student life, campus culture, operations and community engagement. Development of the plan was being guided by a Task Force established by PCES and composed of students, faculty and staff. Input was sought through a series of open meetings, meetings with Dickinson’s All-College Committees, and meetings with a number of constituency groups. A draft plan was completed in May 2017. Action on the proposed plan is pending.

In spring 2014, PCES requested that periodic sustainability reports be prepared for the Dickinson community. The first sustainability report was published in fall 2015 and the second in fall 2016, with input from multiple offices and programs. PCES also requested the creation of a Sustainability Dashboard to provide public access to sustainability performance data. The Sustainability Dashboard was launched in fall 2016.

PCES endorsed recommendations for a variety of Climate Action Plan projects in FY 2015 and forwarded the recommendations for action to relevant offices. These projects include replacing lighting throughout campus with LED, up-grading HVAC systems, replacing windows near useful lifetimes with high efficiency windows, connecting our high efficiency central energy plant to buildings on our south campus to provide steam heating and chilled water, and signing a power purchasing agreement for a 3 MW solar system that will provide 25% or Dickinson’s. Collectively these projects are projected to cut Dickinson’s GHG emissions by 15 – 20%, getting us more than halfway to our 25% reduction target for 2020.

PCES requested that a nitrogen footprint be calculated for Dickinson College to measure the amount of nitrogen that is released to the environment as a result of college operations and that analyses be conducted of actions to reduce our nitrogen footprint. The nitrogen footprint was completed in fall 2015 and the analyses of nitrogen reduction measures was completed in fall 2016, both as student-faculty research projects. The project produced 4 peer-reviewed publications co-authored by students and faculty in Sustainability, The Journal of Record. One of the papers received AASHES campus sustainability research award in 2017.

PCES established the Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group (DSIG) in fall 2014, a subcommittee of PCES that includes administrators, faculty, students, and trustees and serves as a forum for discussion of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns regarding Dickinson’s investments. DSIG acts as a liaison between the campus community and the Board of Trustee’s Committee on Investments. DSIG organized campus wide forums to discuss ESG issues in April 2015 and January 2016 and is convening another forum in February 2016.


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

President's Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES), http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2286/presidents_commission_on_environmental_sustainability_pces

Center for Sustainability Education (CSE), http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2278/center_for_sustainability_education

Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), http://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/754/alliance_for_aquatic_resource_monitoring_allarm

Dickinson College Farm, http://www.dickinson.edu/farm

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.