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

STARS v2.2

Saint Michael's College
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Kristyn Achilich
Director and Instructor
Center for the Environment; Education
"---" 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:
Prior to 2020-21 we had a large Sustainability Committee, which consisted of broad representation and responsibilities from across the College. It had functioned successfully for several years to coordinate sustainability at the College; it received input from students, staff and faculty; discussed and studied various strategies to promote sustainability (e.g., waste management, education, energy choices). There was overlap between it and our Center for the Environment Advisory Board, which created inefficiencies and redundancies. Therefore, this year we shifted to a smaller Sustainable Campus Team and a smaller Advisory Board (which will include external representation).

The Sustainable Campus Team focuses on sustainability operations at the College, and has membership from students, staff and faculty who are most directly involved in these issues. The team makes recommendations regarding sustainability to President Sterritt, making recommendations about institutional practices and policies, how to educate our community about how to live sustainably, and even how to promote and educate about sustainability beyond our campus. The committee meets regularly to discuss priorities and goals, to implement campus initiatives focused on sustainable solutions to multifaceted institutional challenges, and to promote educational programs to equip students with skills to create change and better understand our rapidly changing planet.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:
Campus Team Membership:
Director of Residence Life: assists with sustainability education in residence halls, student orientation
Wellness Staff representative: provides perspective on relevant student health and wellness concerns
Director of Facilities: reports on operations issues, receives recommendations from Campus Team
President or VP of GreenUP (student sustainability club): coordinates club activities with Team priorities; makes recommendations to Team
EcoReps: responsible for development of sustainability educational materials and activities; provide student perspective; Lead EcoRep will co-coordinate the Team
Faculty Chair of Dept. of Environmental Studies/Science: to provide faculty perspective and integration of sustainability into curriculum
Center for the Environment Director: co-coordinator

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:
We do not have a separate sustainability office, as we used to. We decided that we wanted to incorporate sustainability leadership into a broader, institution-wide entity, the Center for the Environment. Sustainability issues are brought to the Sustainable Campus Team or the Center for the Environment for discussion, recommendations and response. Our plan is to fill a vacated position (project manager) with a Coordinator of Sustainability, hopefully by this fall (2021).
In addition to the Director of the Center for the Environment, there are several student interns/employees who support the Center's activities (as well as the Farm, Natural Area and Teaching Gardens). Those student positions, along with the contributions of the faculty EcoRep coordinator, constitute the equivalent of 0.5 FTE.

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:
Kristyn Achilich: Director of the Center for the Environment; Instructor of Education; Director of Farm Program

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:
We are a small institution, and our Sustainable Campus Team (and prior Sustainability Committee) have had a significant impact on our overall campus sustainability. Most recently, the Team worked closely with Facilities and Dining Services, as well as with Casella (our waste management partner), to make decisions about COVID-related recycling and composting concerns. As a result of that close collaboration, we have maneuvered through a very complicated and confusing set of regulations and safety concerns, with a safe and successful food service operation, as well as a robust and efficient composting system. A second accomplishment (of the 2019 Sustainability Committee) was to analyze and improve the waste collection system on campus - we improved the consistency of the signage and placement of bins, and developed an educational campaign to promote proper recycling and composting. Based upon analysis of the Casella waste management data, recycling has increased since those changes were made. In 2020-21, members of the Campus Team have worked closely on our Continuous Energy Improvement initiative, along with partners both on- and off-campus. The collaboration has resulted in improved energy efficiency in several key areas of the College and prioritization of future efforts. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Team has been instrumental in the supports and implementation of initiatives coming through the Center for the Environment. The Center has quickly evolved into a leadership institutional entity, that centralizes the shared priorities that influence environmental and sustainability efforts on our campus.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Director of the Center for the Environment

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

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Project Coordinator, Center for the Environment/Assistant Farm Manager

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

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
This position is currently unfilled due to employee departure. We are re-conceiving the position as a Coordinator of Sustainability for the Fall semester.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Coordinator of the EcoReps

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

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
The coordinator of the EcoReps is a full-time faculty member who identifies this role as the service component of his/her faculty responsibilities. The coordinator selects EcoReps from those students who apply for the position, meets regularly with the EcoReps (weekly), supervises their project plans and implementation, assesses their work and processes their time/payment.

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 organization of our sustainability efforts has been evolving over the past few years, as we look for a structure that is both functional and relevant for our institution at this important moment in time. Throughout this evolution we have continued to invest in a number of initiatives in support of sustainability on campus, and amplified the work of individuals and organizations committed to environmental stewardship with more formal structures, greater funding, broader participation, and dedicated messaging.
Our major investment has been in the establishment of the Center for the Environment and the ongoing support for our Farm, Natural Area and Teaching Gardens. Our next step will be to provide explicit leadership for sustainability in the position of a Coordinator of Sustainability.

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