Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.74
Liaison Kristyn Achilich
Submission Date May 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Saint Michael's College
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Karen Talentino
Professor of Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium is a distinctive (and perhaps unique) collaborative endeavor of three Vermont private Colleges: Champlain College, Middlebury College and Saint Michael’s College, with a secondary partner of Norwich University. Partnered together, the goal is to improve our financial sustainability by finding ways to collaborate in administrative services common to all three institutions. Since its inception, GMHEC shared administrative processes has saved each institution millions (collectively, over $26M in savings and cost avoidance) through collaborative purchasing and shared services (health programs, insurance, wellbeing), enhanced purchasing power (electrical and plumbing supplies, waste management, technology, office supplies) and improved efficiencies and staff development through technological advances. It has provided a model collaboration that may become more prevalent among higher education institutions given our challenging future outlook. Overall, the program has created greater efficiencies and helps to reduce costs over the long term while increasing service levels (and hopefully reducing tuition increases) to the students of our member institutions. In terms of sustainability, GMHEC has resulted in essentially an elimination of paper and reduced project time in administrative processes, improved wellness and health benefits opportunities on all campuses, and enhanced staff development opportunities. It should be mentioned that the early collaboration and staff development involved in getting the consortium established and running (2016-2017 and beyond), the consortium utilized Zoom technology for meetings and trainings instead of requiring face-to-face meetings. This saved a tremendous amount of fuel and time (and GHG), as well as paper! This was years before the recent acceptance of Zoom meetings as replacements for in-person meetings. The inclusion of GMHEC in a recent publication of the Education Advisory Board (EAB) as a model inter-institutional partnership is noteworthy.
Included in plans for the near future - GMHEC purchasing agent will work with student sustainability groups on each campus to discuss sustainable purchasing efforts. Once the consortium recognizes the savings (both financial and environmental) it is certain that other sustainability goals will be put forward.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Through its emphasis on shared services, improved benefits and cost savings, GHHEC will ultimately reduce operating costs and increase revenue. There are examples of specific aspects of the collaboration that are directly related to sustainability, such as the reduction in use of paper, shared staffing in a variety of areas, improved benefits and wellbeing options for employees, and cost reductions on various supplies and services through consortial negotiations.

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.