Location: Facilities Conference Room

Time: 3:15 pm

Present Kim Smith, Dan Hernandez, Ben Cushing, Fay Li, Hannah Heavenrich, Jesse Gourevitch, Steve Spehn, Chris Remley

Absent Max Timm, Nina Whitney, Alex Lai, Laura Henry, Ryan Noe, Libby Nachman

Secretary: Martha Larson

  1. EAC Charter Updates

The committee approved final edits to the EAC Charter. It was decided that STAs should take on secretary roles and that all four student members should vote. Furthermore, the budget clause was revised to create a $100 per purchase limit on funds that can be spent without vote and approval by the committee.

  1. CAP Progress Report/Implementation Plan

The committee reviewed a progress report on recommended actions in the Carleton Climate Action Plan (CAP).  An updated version of the CAP must be posted to the ACUPCC website every 2 years (June 2013), but the Carleton CAP states than an internal update will be provided after one year (June 2012).  

Regarding the education and outreach section, Kim Smith and Dan Hernandez reported that other faculty members did not seem supportive of the recommendation for a curriculum website and that a sustainability literacy core course requirement seemed unlikely.

Regarding “after the classroom” recommendations, the career center is currently implementing measures to connect students to alumni in sustainability fields, such as the 30 Minutes program. It was noted that there should be continual conversation with the career center especially because of the change in leadership happening this year. ENTS is also working on a career advisory page with information about graduate programs. The committee generally agreed that the career center should be central place/resource for students seeking information about green careers and options.

Dan Hernandez mentioned that the new sustainability website should be linked to the LTC website so that ideas for classroom projects or comps projects related to environmental issues can be gathered in one place. Kim Smith suggested that classes with sustainability components could be publicized during advising week. A web-accessible list of sustainability courses would only need to be updated once a year.

Chris Remley noted that many of the goals in the CAP were worded in an ongoing tense so it would be difficult to mark some of the goals as complete, yet the committee agreed some goals will be ongoing without a fixed target end date. The committee also decided that there was no need for a separate Green Network newsletter and that the ENTS email list can serve that purpose and be more heavily publicized as such.  

The committee decided to defer further discussion of the CAP until the next meeting.

  1. Food Truth Commitment

 

The committee discussed whether to endorse Food Truth’s Real Food Challenge (RFC). The president had not signed the commitment yet and Food Truth was in progress of obtaining more petition signatures. The committee liked the flexibility of the RFC because it is not just constrained to local foods but also includes organic and humanely produced foods.  

The committee noted concern that this policy would cause an increase in food costs, which was also one of the CSA’s main concerns. Higher food prices could be a disincentive for students who would decide to go off board instead.   Members did note that there may be potential curricular components associated with this initiative, but requested that the organizers be explicit about communicating their progress and tracking data with the real food calculator.  The calculator appears to provide a sound tool by which to calculate and measure progress on the amount of “real foods” served in Carleton dining halls.  Hannah Heavenrich raised the point that Carleton is one of the first schools to test the real food calculator and could be one of the first schools to commit to the challenge, which could be a proud achievement.

There was a suggestion to focus on achieving a percentage increase every year rather than an overall percentage of real food for a future target year. The committee agreed to endorse the RFC on the condition that the first bullet point in the Real Food Challenge commitment be changed to say “have a goal of 40% real food” rather than “so as to meet or exceed 40% real food.” The committee agreed that it would be hard to commit to “meet or exceed” when we don’t know how exactly to get there and it is difficult to reconcile all the many complex issues associated with food that RFC defines as humane and fair or local. However, the committee was in favor of the general purpose of this commitment especially due to its alignment with recommended action #8 in the procurement section of the Climate Action Plan to “monitor and shape the profile of food purchasing practices, encouraging Carleton’s food service provider to increase the percentages of local, organic and sustainable food purchases.”  Ben Cushing noted that the CSA had signed on with the stipulation that food costs not increase because of the committment.

 

  1. Funding Request: UN Climate Talks (Christa Owens)

The committee reviewed funding request for Carleton student Christa Owns to attend the December 2011 UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa.  This would be Christa’s second time participating in a UN Climate Conference while at Carleton.  Some members were weary of funding the same people and events multiple times, but others argued for the value of returning to the same event to make a larger impact. The committee did recognize lack of publicity about the EAC as a possible source of funding and agreed that the committee should make this more public, especially for conferences that allow students to share their experience with the Carleton community.

The committee considered that Christa had already received funding from other sources and had successfully shared her experience with the Carleton community when she attended the last UN climate conference. Kim Smith said that the ENTS department would help fund presentation events back on campus when she returns. The committee ultimately agreed unanimously to award Ms. Owens a $500 travel stipend.    

  1. Meeting Adjourned – last meeting of term