Location: Facilities Conference Room

Time: 3:15 pm

Present Steven Spehn, George Vrtis, Martha Larson, Hannah Heavenrich, Ben Cushing, Jesse Gourevitch

Absent Max Timm, Nina Whitney, Alex Lai, Laura Henry

Secretary: Martha Larson

  1. 10/12/11 Meeting Minutes reviewed and approved
  1. Open Forum w/ Fred Rogers re: EAC Charter/Purpose 

The committee discussed proposed updates to the EAC charter.  Martha Larson presented slides from an AASHE Harvard-Yale presentation that outlined a standard evolutionary process for campus sustainability from awakening (defining campus sustainability and raising awareness) to pioneering (transition to sustainability as a more prevalent campus priority and decision-making criteria) to transforming (sustainability is integral to campus operations).  Fred Rogers acknowledged the difficulty of transitioning between these phases and challenged the committee work towards developing protocols that will help institutionalize sustainable practices on a broader basis, building them into the collective consciousness and procedures of the college.  

Ben Cushing raised a question regarding the lack of sustainability as a consideration for the Evans renovation.  Steve Spehn noted that although LEED certification is not being pursued for Evans, Carleton’s construction standards state that new Carleton buildings must be at least LEED silver, and this renovation will strive to be LEED silver equivalent.  The certification process is costly and an administrative burden which are barriers to the LEED process as a whole.  Committees members noted that actual certification would serve as a better accountability mechanism.  The committee also discussed the importance of public opinion on LEED certification noting that Cassat and Memorial are highlighted to prospective students and that the certification proves the building meets a documented standard.  

The revised EAC charter should emphasize its role in implementing the Climate Action Plan.  Fred Rogers suggested that the EAC become the school’s conscience for adhering to the Climate Action Plan and be proactive in reviewing and setting standards for the college in areas such as green building, procurement, and food service.  It would be more effective to work on the structure than chase every instance.  Fred Rogers also suggested that community awareness could be raised by instituting these practices and by publicizing more data to make actual outcomes visible and understood.  

  1. Food Truth Real Food Challenge


Hannah and Geoffrey from Food Truth Real Food Challenge (RFC) came to ask for the EAC’s endorsement of the Real Food Challenge campus commitment which calls for a minimum of 20% real food – defined as humane, local, sustainable, and fair-trade –  to be purchased for the dining halls. They suggest that Carleton’s goal be raised to 40% real food by 2020 since we are already at 20%.  They note that this goal aligns with recommended action number eight in the Climate Action Plan procurement section 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.”  The Real Food Challenge provides guidelines to achieve this goal that would be tailored to Carleton through establishment of a food systems working group.  The Real Food Calculator is a tool used to assess the percentage of real food by categorizing and compiling all food service invoices – this is how the current statistic of 20% real food at Carleton was determined. The RFC commitment would be a school policy, thus outlasting any food contractor.  

The EAC questioned whether this would increase board for students. Hannah and Geoffrey were not sure, but they noted that if they work together with Macalester and St. Olaf, they could take advantage of increased purchasing power between the three schools as they did to institute fair trade bananas on all three campuses.  A primary concern from members is not knowing how realistic 40% RF by 2020 is as a goal.   

Due to time constraints committee members agreed to table the food truth discussion until their next meeting on November 9th.

IV. MEETING ADJOURNED (Next meeting: Wednesday, Nov, 9 at 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.)