Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sue Fassler
Sustainable Facilities Manager
"---" 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:

Sustainability Division/Team:

The Sustainability Division/Team is not staffed by one staff member, but is instead comprised of a number of individuals that also hold other roles on campus. This approach allows multiple divisions and departments across the College to have direct influence over sustainability initiatives.

Break Free From Plastic Committee:

This Committee was formed as a result of the College's 2020 commitment to the Post Landfill Action Network's Break Free From Plastic Pledge. The Committee is charged with identifying single use plastics on campus and working to remove them entirely and/or replace them with more durable and reusable alternatives.

Sustainability Staff and Student Leaders Sustainability Exchange Program:

During the semester, student leaders from ESF's two sustainability focused clubs (Green Campus Initiative and the Undergraduate Student's SustainabiliTEAM) meet with sustainability staff members to discuss synergies, projects, and requests for funding or assistance. This program began in February 2020 and resulted in four meetings during the calendar year.

Other College-wide Sustainability Focused Groups include:

- Bike Safety Committee
- Energy Advisory Group
- Forest Properties Faculty Advisory Committee

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Sustainability Team:

- Josh Arnold, Director of Energy Management and Utilities
- Sue Fassler, Sustainable Facilities Manager
- Justin Heavey, Sustainability and Research Programs Manager
- Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Chief Sustainability Officer
- Gary Peden, Director of Facilities
- Alex Poisson, Program Assistant, Energy Management and Utilities
- Stephanie Specchio, Assistant Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Break Free From Plastic Committee:

- Kaitlin Breda, Administrative Assistant II, The American Chestnut Research and -Restoration Project
- Lisa Campagna, Associate Director of Business Affairs
- Shirley Chen, Student (Environmental Studies)
- Doug Daley, Associate Professor (Environmental Resources Engineering)
- Sue Fassler, Sustainable Facilities Manager
- Justin Heavey, Sustainability and Research Programs Manager
- Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Chief Sustainability Officer
- Shenequa Perry, Student (Environmental Studies)
- Gerry Pinkley, Grounds Supervisor
- Mark Poupore, Janitor
- Jess Proctor, Student (Conservation Biology)
- Sachi Segan, Student (Environmental Studies)
- Lemir Teron, Associate Professor (Environmental Studies)- James Zappola, Senior Manager, Trailhead Cafe
- Natalee Wrege, Admissions Assistant


- Student leaders: Shenequa Perry (SustainabiliTEAM), Jess Proctor (GCI), and Sachi Segan (GCI)
- Sue Fassler (Sustainable Facilities Manager), Mark Lichtenstein (Chief Sustainability Officer), and other staff members from the Sustainability Division

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:

The Office of Sustainability's mission statement is to advance campus community knowledge and skills, and provide leadership to reduce ESF’s carbon footprint and impact on the environment, and to broadly promote sustainability.

The office helped develop a broad range of college sustainability policies including: Space Churn Renovation Plan and Policy, Reduced Mercury Light Bulb Purchasing Policy, Low Impact Site and Green Building Exterior Management Policy, Erosion and Sedimentation Policy, College Sustainable Cleaning Products Purchasing Policy, and the College Solid Waste and Recycling Policy. In addition, the office advises and engages in many areas of sustainability including campus grounds, transportation, and storm water runoff (green roofs, rain gardens, and others). The office also reviews and helps implement student projects and develops materials to disseminate sustainability information.

The Director of Sustainability has reported directly to the College President since the position's inception more than a decade ago. In 2015, the position was changed to Executive Director of Sustainability and Chief of Staff to the President. In 2018, the Executive Director of Sustainability was promoted to Chief Sustainability Officer, continuing to report directly to the College President and serving as the Chief of Staff. In 2020, the position was expanded in authority to Executive Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Chief Sustainability Officer. The entire Facilities Planning, Design, Construction, Energy, and Operations departments, units, and functions report to this individual, as does the Forest Properties Department (25,000 acres of forest properties and satellite facilities), and the Sustainability Division/Office.

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:
Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Chief Sustainability Officer

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:

The Sustainability Division (http://www.esf.edu/sustainability/) is staffed by the employees referenced above. This Division also oversees and coordinates student interns and graduate assistants during the summer and academic years.

Select accomplishments (2019-2021):

- Led the reorganization of the College into two major division: Sustainable Finance under the Chief Financial Officer, and Sustainable Operations (as noted above) reporting directly to the President
- Hired first Sustainable Facilities Manager in the Facilities Operations Unit to oversee custodial, grounds, maintenance, materials management, and fleet management
- Led major disaster response effort, including disaster debris management in the Caribbean (testified to Congress)
- Hosted first ever SUNY Leaders Sustainability Summit
- Helped lead development of SUNY-wide sustainable development goals
- Implemented new Energy Controls, Development, and Conservation Unit, resulting in substantial ECMs being implemented
- Committed to being a Zero Waste Campus and completely overhauled its trash, recycling and compost infrastructure in Fall 2019. Campus-wide composting was also added at this time. Since then, the Syracuse campus has seen a 46% increase in its recycling rate (by weight) and a 34% decrease in trash (by weight) and has been able to drop its trash collection from 5 days a week to 3. The College was awarded the 2020 NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling's (NYSAR3)'s Recycling Leadership Award in the Education category as a result of this program's success
- Lead author for a chapter on materials management in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network's Zero Carbon Action Plan

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Chief Sustainability Officer

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

The position is granted authority by the ESF President to oversee the development and implementation of college sustainability plans and initiatives, other high-level strategic engagements, and policies of chief importance to the College as assigned, making decisions as to daily priorities and distribution of efforts. This position reports directly to the President and is a member of the College’s Executive Cabinet.

Lichtenstein’s overriding sustainability roles include:

- Accountable executive leader for the College’s facilities, ecosystem services functions, energy development and management, forest properties, and other sustainability initiatives
- Facilitative “boundary bridging” responsibilities, working to foster meaningful deliberation, dialog, and opportunities across multiple types of boundaries, particularly for academic/research enterprises (examples include disaster response, NYS HABs, NYS sustainable materials management–recycling, Planet Forward, and Puerto Rico / Caribbean initiatives)
- Adjunct Environmental Studies Faculty member.

General responsibilities include:

- Setting and achieving campus sustainability and energy goals
- Pursuing external funding and partnerships to advance sustainability/energy goals
- Making decisions on goal feasibility and priority
- Representing the College in sustainability matters with external entities

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Sustainable Facilities Manager

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

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

1. Overall supervision of Grounds, Custodial, Garage, Mailroom/Stockroom/Shipping and Receiving Divisions
a. Ensure that Divisional work reflects a positive image of the College;
b. Establish priorities for routine and special projects;
c. Monitor and enforce work schedules to ensure that Division work is completed on time, in sufficient detail and at an acceptable level;
d. Meet regularly with supervisor and staff to review and plan key work areas and ongoing performance;
e. Summarize and report key work areas, performance, personnel matters, budget concerns, schedule delays or other relevant information to supervisor in a timely matter;
f. Assist and mentor managers/staff;
g. Help foster a positive, friendly, open, productive and efficient work environment;
h. Solicit input from Divisions and communicate progress in implementing suggestions;
i. Demonstrate strong supervisory and interpersonal skills. Meet with direct reports weekly, conduct quarterly meetings with sections, ensure 100% of staff have current performance programs and that evaluations are done annually;
j. Track staffing vacancies and manage hiring for Operations and Services Division;
k. Cover for staff, as needed.

2. Work with the College Events Coordinator to coordinate event set ups that require help from Facilities personnel

3. Create and communicate Operations and Services Division policies and procedures to campus community, including but not limited to:
a. Green Cleaning Program;
b. Custodial Cleaning Specifications, Prioritization and Frequency.

4. Serve as an active member of the College-wide Sustainability Team and lead the effort to transition to a zero-waste campus
a. Assign tasks, meet with and mentor student interns/work study;
b. Serve as Advisor for Green Campus Initiative;
c. Attend weekly Sustainability Team meetings;
d. Develop long-term sustainable material management strategies and create/lead training programs to help transition the College to “zero waste” (90% diversion rate);
e. Work with the Office of Sustainability and Purchasing to meet campus sustainability objectives for green cleaning, integrated pest management, and waste stream management (managing recycling, composting, waste and creating waste prevention and reduction strategies).

5. Work closely with Human Resources to manage employee issues that arise in Operations and Services Division.
a. Ensure that management is consistent across Divisions, an emphasis is placed on mentoring employees, that policies are uniform and that disciplinary actions are taken when necessary;
b. Provide regular feedback and address performance and/or behavior issues in a timely manner (within 48 hours of issue being brought to attention);
c. Work directly with supervisor, staff and campus community to address miscommunication, conflicts and other interpersonal matters.

6. Work with supervisor, staff and campus community in an open and forthcoming manner.
a. Be open to feedback, questions and ideas. Acknowledge failures and avoid blaming others for work performance problems or challenges;
b. Readily provide relevant information, offer assistance, and function with the highest level of customer service.
7. Develop and provide oversight of service contracts and procure equipment/supplies
a. Maintain effective records and ensure that all work is completed according to SUNY purchasing guidelines, in an economical manner.

8. Develop and administer annual line-detail budget for Grounds, Custodial, Mailroom/Stockroom/Shipping/Receiving and Garage Divisions
a. Routinely (at least bi-weekly) monitor status of Divisional budgets to ensure that goals are met and funds are not overspent;
b. Develop annual budget recommendation in conjunction with Business Office;
c. Ensure that supervised staff is trained and understands how to use online SUNY BI budget tracking program to track their own budgets
d. Approve section purchasing and ensure equipment and resources are available.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Sustainability and Research Programs Manager

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

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

High Level:

- Sustainability vision, planning, policies and prioritization
- Science based approach to sustainability (campus as a living lab, campus ecology, data and statistics, scientific method, peer-reviewed literature, student/faculty research)
- Subject matter expert: campus sustainability, GHG accounting, energy, bioenergy, trees and plants
- Liaison and create synergies with Energy Controls, Development, and Conservation, facilities, research, curriculum, forest properties, student organizations, and various divisions on campus.
- Represent the College, present research and best practices at conferences and events

Program Tasks:

- Contribute to ongoing sustainability assessment and improvement using AASHE STARS
- Track and report on campus energy use, GHG footprint, reductions, and forest carbon sequestration
- Manage campus community garden and work study program
- Supervise graduate and undergraduate research sustainability assistants
- Lead and contribute to large grant funding opportunities (NYSERDA, USDA, DOE)
- Support funded research in bioenergy, natural climate solutions and sustainability
- Supervise graduate and undergraduate research assistants in bioenergy field and lab work
- FAA Certified Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) pilot for research and outreach
- Assist communication efforts including website content, white papers, fact sheets, videos, animations, infographics, aerial videography
- Support additional and ongoing needs and priorities of ESF Sustainability Division in various program areas:
Clean energy systems
Grounds and campus plantings
Green building, LEED, mass timber, living buildings
Sustainable food systems
Materials management
Engagement with internal and external stakeholders

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.