Location: Facilities Conference Room

Time: 3:15 pm

Present Dan Hernández, Kim Smith, Steven Spehn, George Vrtis, Martha Larson, Chris Remley, Hannah Heavenrich, Fay Li, Ben Cushing, Jesse Gourevitch

Secretary: Martha Larson

Administrative Items

  1. 9/27/11 Meeting Minutes were approved.
  2. Budget Update: In correction to last week, the EAC has been allotted $9,700 in carry-over funds from last year’s budget.

EAC charter review
The EAC reviewed its charter to determine whether it should be updated. Kim Smith asked about the purpose of this committee and what would be its greatest use for the Chairperson, Martha Larson. Martha Larson responded that she would like the EAC to help generate, review and prioritize campus sustainability initiatives. She noted that the EAC should be stewards of the Climate Action Plan (CAP), using task forces or sub-committees to implement the tactical objectives of the plan and report progress to the EAC. Kim Smith asked if the STAs wanted faculty advisors or more input on their projects. Libby Nachman suggested that it depends on the project. Ryan Noe said that he would be interested in receiving faculty input.Kim Smith suggested that the faculty, as an advisory board for Martha, could help generate ideas, act as a sounding board, and serve as EAC liaisons to faculty. She also asked how many faculty members the committee should have and whether non-ENTS faculty should be included. It was noted that most committees do have three or more faculty advisors and that faculty could coordinate to make sure that they were being placed in the appropriate committees. Hannah Heavenrich asked whether the faculty feel like they have sufficient input on current campus sustainability initiatives.  Kim Smith responded that their role as advisers to Martha is sufficient. Dan Hernandez agreed that student initiatives should be encouraged since it is their opportunity to influence their own campus experience.  
George Vitris asked what it would take to achieve the ultimate vision of “taking down Carleton’s smokestack” representing the transition to a truly sustainable form of campus operations.    The Committee discussed whether Carleton should pursue more long-term and bolder initiatives that would lead to a vision like this. Libby Nachman also asked the committee to consider how to strike a balance of efforts between paid sustainability assistants and students working on a volunteer basis.  The EAC did agree that there should be a balance between long and short-term projects with STAs working on both types of initiatives. One consideration is that bolder initiatives could be more difficult to get approved. Consensus was that the EAC needs to keep pushing the campus to take bolder action. Fay Li asked if working with other local companies to help decrease their carbon footprint would indirectly decrease Carleton’s footprint [carbon offsets]. She had spoken with a trustee from Shell Oil who expressed interest in having Carleton help Shell or another large company reduce their energy consumption. The EAC agreed we should be more campus focused  at least for the time being. The Committee also questioned how much Carleton should rely on carbon offsets.Hannah Heavenrich asked whether the Board was updated on campus sustainability initiatives.  Kim Smith noted that they receive many reports at Board meetings throughout the year. Ben Cushing asked whether the Board had ever been presented with petitions. Dan Hernandez noted that student petitions  would not be disregarded. Kim Smith also added that recent financial constraints make it more difficult to get large initiatives passed. Dan Hernandez suggested that as part of the CAP, the EAC become a committee that approves projects on campus.  Martha Larson referred to the Evans renovation as an example where the EAC could potentially provide input on whether to utilize green building standards such as LEED. Hannah Heavenrich stated that Carleton already has a standard that said that all new buildings need to be minimum LEED silver.  Committee members suggested that building updates could be much bolder; for example, a project in Germany where window tinting and shades automatically adjust to the amount of daylight in a room.  
Dan Hernandez suggested that the EAC could become a sustainability oversight committee where campus groups present their plans for review. He noted that federal projects require an environmental project assessment and that Carleton could do something similar. The committee agreed with this suggestion. Fay Li noted a similar practice by her city’s environmental council which reviews and approves every contractor proposal. She said that it is important that students have input in how the college is built. Dan Hernandez noted this could be the most important role for the committee and part of the STA responsibilities. Kim Smith added that this could help sustainability become truly integrated within Carleton culture and that the committee should advocate for this change. George cited the Oberlin Project as model of a particularly inspirational, bold initiative. Kim Smith pointed out that there are educational payoffs to sustainability initiatives because it gives students opportunities to learn, get connected, and problem solve.Suggested Next Steps: Kim Smith suggested that the EAC invite Fred Rogers to inform the committee about the Evans renovation and what is going on. The committee also agreed that the charter should be revised to include an oversight role; the EAC would be the oversight committee for all sustainability initiatives and stewardship of the CAP should be included in the EAC charter.

III. MEETING ADJOURNED (Next meeting: Wednesday, Oct, 26 at 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.)