Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.82
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Green Mountain College
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ryan Ihrke
Director 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 Green Mountain College Campus Sustainability Council was created in 2006 to address the requirements outlined by the Presidents Climate Commitment and to serve as a facilitating body to move the campus toward climate neutrality. Since its inception, the Council has expanded to advise all major sustainability initiatives, including waste diversion, the green revolving loan fund, educational outreach, and community service opportunities. The Campus Sustainability Council is now playing an important role in helping the strategic plan steering committee take action to move the College closer to authentic sustainability. The CSC meets bi-weekly, reviews policies and makes recommendations for improving campus sustainability.Activities for the fall of 2017 have included vetting and making recommendations on carbon offset purchases and planning a resiliency assessment.

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

Ryan Ihrke, Director of Sustainability (Chair)
Tom Mauhs-Pugh, Provost
Chris Brooks, Professor of Environmental Studies
Jacob Park, Professor of Business & Management
Shannon O'Sullivan, Professor of Communications
Bay Hammond, Farm Manager
Deb Mackey, Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty
Brian May, Senior Desktop Specialist and Assistant Network Manager
Miranda Bailey-Russomano, student (‘18)
Merone Eckert, student ('20)
Katelyn Mann, student ('18)

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 GMC sustainability office directs all major sustainability initiatives on campus and serves as a resource center for the campus community and beyond. In the domain of environmental impact, the office runs all waste diversion systems on campus, is responsible for sustainability reporting and data collection, conducts energy and greenhouse gas analysis, runs environmental awareness events, plans strategically for major sustainability investments, and works closely with students, staff, and faculty on dozens of individual projects.

In the area of social and financial sustainability, the sustainability office connects classes with service learning opportunities in the greater community, works closely with the Town on the Poultney 2020 community-building effort, and in general tries to build social and financial capital in the Town. The sustainability office also conducts training for staff, faculty and students on sustainability initiatives of the College and the surrounding community.

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:
Ryan Ihrke, Director of Sustainability; Lara Thompson, Community Service and Outreach Coordinator Naomi Peduzzi, Sustainability Office Manager; eight student workers specializing in events, reuse, recycling, and compost

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:

General Rewards & Ratings:
• Recognized by AASHE as achieving the highest overall STARS score of all baccalaureate institution in 2016.
• Earned #2 rating in Sierra Magazine's Cool Schools list in 2017, #10 in 2016, and #15 in 2015.
• Made the Princeton Review's Green Honor Role for the past three years with a perfect score and achieving an overall ranking of #15 in 2017, #3 in 2016, and #2 in 2015.
• Recognized by AASHE as achieving the highest overall STARS score of all baccalaureate institution in 2016.
• Sustainability Director, Ryan Ihrke, was awarded the annual Carl Stoddard Staff Service Award for outstanding service to the institution in 2017.

• Conducted four campus-wide waste audits during the Fall 2016 semester.
• Increased waste diversion rate to over 50%.
• Diverted between 5,000 and 8000 lbs of reusable material during Green Move Out each of the past three years.
• Diverted over 30 tons of recycling and between 10-24 tons of compostable food scraps each year

• Helped reduce CO2e emissions by over 50% in 2017 from the 2007 baseline
• Carried out financial and legal analysis for multiple solar projects
• Carried out annual Do it in the Dark competition with average percentage reduction each year of between 9-13% per residence hall

• Assisted College in divesting endowment from fossil fuels and provide consistent monitoring to maintain the commitment.
• Oversaw the green revolving loan fund and tracked ongoing efficiency investments
• Director of Sustainability serves as the chair the Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee.

Education & Outreach:
• Designed and implemented co-curricular process of researching and vetting candidates to be the College’s carbon offset provider in 2015, involving five classes and over 50 students, as well as a campus-wide vote.
• Catalyzed over 45,000 hours of community service per year among students, employees, and community members.
• Rewrote sustainability website
• Gave regular presentations each year at the AASHE conference
• Mentored 30+ student-driven sustainability projects and presented in dozens of classes per year.
• Coordinated the annual earth week, with over 20 events each year
• Coordinated the annual earth fair in the Town, with over 60 booths each year
• Carried out campus volunteer service days in 2014-2017: Thanks & Giving, Martin Luther King Day and Green Up Day
• Carried out 1-2 major waste diversion events on campus each year
• Gave over 15 tours on sustainability per year
• Helped to facilitate implementation and measurement of the College’s strategic plan
Sustainability 2020
• Taught annual sustainability training sessions for over 60 students and 15 staff

Data Tracking:
• Led completion and implementation of College’s first social & human capital survey in 2014 and the follow up survey in 2016.
• Completed annual waste reports and biennial carbon inventory
• Completed comprehensive cost benefit analysis of the College’s biomass plant

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Director of Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Community Service and Outreach Coordinator

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

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

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

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

Additional positions employed with the Sustainability Office include Waste Diversion Specialists, Reuse Manager, Food Recovery Coordinator, and Food Waste Reduction Specialist.

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.