Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.77
Liaison Josh Lasky
Submission Date April 4, 2023

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Joshua Lasky
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:

GW hosts multiple sustainability committees.
1. GW Student Green Coalition - The Student Asscoation and Sustainable GW collaborate to regularly convene student groups on campus working on sustainability issues. The group coordinates efforts and priorities for the academic year on issues ranging from climate action to compost to environmenal justice.
2. Sustainable GW Faculty Committee - The Sustainable GW Faculty Commitee convenes weekly during the academic year. It is open to faculty across the university, and students and staff join these meetings periodically. The commitee meets to coordinate research, engagement, and academic initiatives. These meetings are an opportunity to convene on current and future ways to collaborate with regards to research, strategic planning, grant proposals, course design, and other activities.
3. SustainOps - This committee meets regularly to discuss how to collaborate and communicate across various operational functions within the university to meet goals and targers around water, waste, energy, climate adaptation, sustainable food systems on campus, and student and staff engagement.
4. Investment - The Sustainable Investment Fund is informed by a Committee for Sustainable Investment with significant student involvement, seeking to engage stakeholders on issues relevant to responsible investing. The purpose of the committee is to provide an opportunity for the student community to gain transparency into, education on, and engage in dialogue around the Sustainable Investment Fund.
5. Climate Resilience - This cross-functional team provides input to and feedback on GW's climate resilience goals and targets, which is being integrated into the university's sustainability strategic plan.
6. Student Association Senate Sustainability Committee - This body exists to advance sustainability related policies and resolutions on behalf of the Student Association Senate.
7. Board of Trustees Task Force on Environmental, Social, and Governance Responsibility - This special body of the GW Board of Trustees was formed to produce a set of recommendations to advance and accelerate GW's sustainability actions.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

GW hosts multiple sustainability committees.

1. GW Student Green Roundtable:
Student Association, VP for Sustainability
Green GW, President
SUNRISE, President
GroW Community, President
Campaign GW, Co-Director
Food Recovery Network, President
Net Impact, GW Chapter, President
TRAiLS (Teaching Recreation and Adventure incorporating Leadership and Service)
Surfrider, President
Sunrise GW
Roosevelt Institute
Clean Closets
Take Back the Tap
Animal Advocates
Office of Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement Associate and Student Staff

2. Sustainable GW Faculty Committee:
College of Professional Studies
- Sustainable Landscapes Program
- Sustainable Urban Planning Program
- Strategic Public Relations Program
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Geography
- Environmental Natural Resources Program
- Environmental Studies Program
- Human Services & Social Justice Program
- Planet Forward at the School of Media and
Public Affairs
Elliot School of International Affairs
- Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia
- Institute for International Economic Policy
- International Development Studies Program
Graduate School of Education and Human
- Curriculum & Pedagogy Program
- Human & Organizational Learning Program
School of Business
- Institute for Corporate Responsibility
- Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
- The Rodham Institute
Milken Institute School of Public Health
- Department of Environmental and
Occupational Health
- Food Policy Institute
- Antibiotic Resistance Action Center
School of Engineering and Applied Science
- Faculty who developed the Capital Partners
Solar Project (CPSP) Living Lab
- Department of Civil & Environmental
- Department of Engineering Management &
Systems Engineering
- Department of Computer Science
- GW Innovation Center and Incubator
- Environmental and Energy Management
School of Law
- Environmental Law Program
Office of the Vice President for Research

3. SustainOps Committee
Facilities,Planning, Construction, and Management
Director for Communications and Outreach
Director, Utilities & Engineering
Horticulture, Grounds, & Pest Control Manager
Zero Waste Coordinator
Director for Facilities Planning and Design Review
Sustainable Grounds Coordinator
Business & Auxiliary Services, Dining Services & Retail Real Estate Manager
Office of Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement Associate, Project Facilitator, Director
Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs
Assistant Vice President for Safety and Security
Office of Risk Management and Insurance

4. Committee for Sustainable Investment:
Student Association, VP for Sustainability
Undergraduate Student Representative
Graduate Student Representative
Office of Sustainability, Director
Strategic Investment Group, Outsourced Chief Investment Officer
Financial Reporting & Analysis, Controller

5. Climate Resilience Committee
- Finance Division (including Office of Procurement and external investment body)
- Office of Study Abroad
- Business and Auxiliary Services (Dining, Transportation)
- Division of Safety and Security
- Office of Student Life
- Gelman Library
- Office of Academic Technology
- Division of Facilities Planning Construction Management (includes Utilities and Engineering)
- Virginia Science and Technology campus
- Mount Vernon campus
- Office of government and external relations
- Nashman Center for Civic Engagement
- Office of Risk Management
- Office of General Counsel
- Division of Information Technology
- Office of Diversity and Engagement
- Multicultural Student Services Center
- International Services Office
- VP of Sustainability, Student Association
- Sustainability Minor
- Office of the Provost
- Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness
- GW Medical Faculty Associates
- GW Writing Program
- Environment and Energy Management Institute
- Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Law School
- Elliott School of International Affairs

6. Student Association Senate Sustainability Committee
- Brita Ostermeier, Co-Chair
- Kai Simson, Co-Chair
- Pia Kramer
- Hindolo Thomas
- Amita Ganesh

7. Board of Trustees Task Force on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Responsibility
- Ama Appiah, Graduate Student
- Roslyn Brock, Trustee, Co-Chair of the Task Force
- Somender Chaudhary, GWAA Executive Committee Member
- John Forrer, Associate Research Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy
- Peter Harrison, Trustee, Co-Chair of the Task Force
- Michael Hoffman, Trustee
- Antwan Jones, Associate Professor of Sociology, Africana Studies, and Epidemiology
- Saniya LeBlanc, Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Science
- Jeremy Liskar, Graduate Student
- Melani McAlister, Professor of American Studies and International Affairs
- Tara Scully, Assistant Professor of Biology & Director of the Sustainability Minor
- Liam Searcy, Undergraduate Student
- Grace Speights, Chair of the Board of Trustees, ex officio
- Lydia Thomas, Trustee Emerita
- Dorinda Tucker, Associate Vice President for Ethics, Compliance, and Risk, and Chief Privacy Officer
- George W. Wellde, Jr., Trustee
- Mark S. Wrighton, President, ex officio

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

A brief description of each sustainability office:

GW envisions a future with healthy and thriving resource systems for all. Sustainable GW is a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and the Provost's office. The three co-directors are the Director of Sustainability Research, the Director of the Sustainability Minor, and the Director of the Office of Sustainability. The co-directors of Sustainable GW collaborate on strategic initiatives for sustainability and coordinate on faculty, student, and staff engagement around programs and events.

The Office of the Provost manages sustainability research and academics at GW. The University's signature sustainability academic program is the interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability. The Sustainable GW Research Director and Director of Academic Programs work to develop and enhance the resources available for faculty teaching and research on sustainability issues.

The Office of Sustainability leads the university in its commitment to being a model of urban sustainability by building a greener, more resilient campus, creating a culture of sustainability, and addressing the university's impact on the planet and our community. The Office integrates sustainability into the fabric of the university. Our approach is to work with stakeholders to set university-wide goals and to manage efforts to reach measurable targets. The Office also innovates, pilots, and scales new models and technologies that create thriving ecosystems, and to bridge action with learning.

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

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Josh Lasky (Director of the Office of Sustainability, Co-Director of Sustainable GW) Tara Scully, PhD (Director of the Sustainability Minor Program, Assistant Professor of Biology, Co-Director of Sustainable GW)

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

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

Through the leadership of Sustainable GW, the university cemented some of the most ambitious aspirations and targets in higher education. In the spring of 2020, the Board of Trustees created the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Responsibility Task Force to establish a long-term, proactive approach to managing ESG responsibility. The Task Force made a series of environmentally-focused recommendations to the Board of Trustees. These recommendations were accepted by the Board, and include the following:

- Divest the endowment from existing fossil fuel investments by 2025
- Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
- Offset legacy emissions since the founding of the university
- Convert fleet to zero-emissions vehicles
- Ban the purchase of single-use plastics
- Achieve STARS Platinum by 2025

As of spring of 2023, the unviersity has made significant headway toward fulfiling these commitments. The single-use plastic elimination policy has been fully implemented. GW's endowment is 98.2% divested from fossil fuel companies. As of FY2022, the university's greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by roughly 45% from a 2008 baseline.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Director, Office of Sustainability, Co-Director of Sustainable GW

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

The Director of the Office of Sustainability provides leadership for the sustainability function and sets the direction to further the university's sustainability goals on topics related to sustainability including but not limited to community engagement, GW’s practice of sustainability, strategies related to sustainable energy, food, greening campus, and other topics related to sustainability in higher education. This role serves as the key person within the university community to collaboratively unite others and motivate them to embrace the university’s sustainability goals. The Director collaborates with academic leadership on curricula, and research related sustainability efforts. This position serves as the sustainability voice of the university to students, alumni, faculty and staff, speaks on behalf of the university on matters related to sustainability, and serves as a source of information to others regarding the university’s efforts regarding sustainability.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Director of the Sustainability Minor Program, Co-Director of Sustainable GW

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

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

The Director of the Sustainability Minor at Sustainable GW manages and develops the interdisciplinary 100+ student program across all of GW's eleven schools. The Sustainability Minor offers students a platform to examine critical sustainability issues and solutions. The Director leads student recruitment, advising, and the culminating experience. This role also collaborates with key faculty and staff spanning a multitude of departments and disciplines across campus, and launches new courses addressing interdisciplinary sustainability topics. In this role, the Director of the Sustainability Minor formulates partnerships with professionals and external organizations to facilitate student understanding of sustainability in practice, as well as the student capstone experience where students apply what they’ve learned through a semester-long research, service, and/or internship project.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Director of Research for Sustainability Initiatives, Co-Director of Sustainable GW

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

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

The Research Director at Sustainable GW builds interdisciplinary research teams to address complex problems in the area of sustainability. Recent topics include urban sustainability, using indicators to advance public policy, energy equity, and community gardens. This effort seeks to unite various types of expertise with opportunities to advance knowledge and achieve practical applications.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination 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.