Location: Facilities Conference Room

Time: 3:30 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


  • Most major wind turbine components have arrived.  Installation and commissioning will take place over the next 2-3 weeks with a dedication ceremony on October 21.  Shuttles will take guests to the site and the dedication ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Hulings Atrium.
  • The annual EAC/STA picnic and hike at Fred’s House will take place on Wednesday, Oct 5.  Meet at the Facilities Office at 4:30 p.m. to carpool.
  • The AASHE 2011 conference will take place on Oct 9-12. Jake Resnick, an ENTs major focusing on water, is considering attending this conference and may request funding from the EAC to do so.


UMACS Update                                                     

Martha Larson represented Carleton at the UMACS (Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability) conference hosted by the University of Minnesota – Morris. Ms. Larson provided an overview of Morris’s strong initiatives towards sustainability, including two wind turbines and a  biomass gasifier plus solar and wind research facilities. Due to their strong alternative energy sources, the campus is able to be completely off the grid at certain times. Ms. Larson also attended several talks on subjects ranging from campus-wide bottled water bans to prairie vegetation as a biofuel source.


Administrative Actions

The committee reviewed and approved the minutes from the last EAC meeting (May 26, 2011). The committee also reviewed the 2010-2011 year-end report. Lastly, the 2011-2012 EAC budget allocation was examined. It does not appear that there will be a carry-over fund from last year’s budget . [Correction: budget carry-overs were issued after the date of this meeting and the EAC received $9,790.]  There was a question of why the student worker funds decreased as well, Martha Larson will find out from the budget office.  Additionally, there were questions about what resides in the “Other” budget category and how the EAC should allocate it. This will be addressed in further detail at future meetings.


2011 Summer Projects Update                  

Ryan Noe (STA), who served as the 2011 STA summer intern, informed the committee about the summer projects. These included energy-efficient window replacement in Watson Hall, expanded bike parking by Gould Library, installation of the wind turbine foundation, removal of parking by the Bald Spot, work on the student organic farm, and over 300 pieces of furniture donated from the townhouses, Sayles Hill and Goodhue that were diverted to charity organizations in lieu of going to a landfill.                  


Sierra Club Cool Schools Survey Results                  

Martha Larson brought up the question of how much Carleton should participate in “green school” rankings. The EAC reviewed at Carleton’s evaluation by the Sierra Club Cool Schools survey. Carleton ranked 66 of 116 participants and generally fell right in the middle on most categories except “purchasing” where we scored one out of ten points. Ms. Larson noted that Max Timm, a 2011-2012 STA is researching this topic and will develop a Carleton “green procurement” guideline which is also one of the Climate Action Plan objectives. There was general agreement that these surveys are not always a true evaluation of schools’ sustainability efforts and responding to numerous survey organizations is time-consuming. Although the EAC previously decided not to submit to the Sierra Club survey, Carleton’s participation last year was primarily in response to requests from the Board of Trustees.  Ms. Larson noted that many schools are urging a movement toward using only the AASHE Stars system.  STARS is an open source survey allowing other ranking agencies to mine information from a single resource.

Re: the Sierra Club academics point – Dan Hernandez noted a Perlman LTC session was held last week to discuss sustainability in the curriculum. One session outcome was a suggestion that Carleton create a webpage to serve as a central place to share curricular activities related to sustainability. Ryan Noe stated that a Carleton sustainability website overhaul is in progress and the new site will include both an operational and education / outreach section.  Web Servcies Department effort will be required to bring the site online but they believe that can happen over winter break. Kim Smith suggested that the Education / Curriculum section be linked to both admissions and the LTC websites.


STA Fall 2011 Work Plan                 

a. Courtney Dufford ’14:  Courtney will be working primarily on Waste Management Initiatives, trying to analyze Carleton’s waste stream and expand recycling and composting. She also serves as the Custodial and Dining department Liaison and Trayless in LDC contact.

b. Amber Kim ’14: Amber will focus on revitalizing the green roof. She is also working on publicity and outreach, writing a Carletonian sustainability column and NNB sustainability facts. She is also working on planning outreach events, possibly a Campus Sustainability Day. Additionally, she is serving as the EAC assistant.

c. Libby Nachman ’12: Libby is working on expanding the Green Office Program which was introduced last year via a pilot program. She is also working on the Sustainability Website with Ryan and serves as graphic designer for STA events and publicity.  

d. Ryan Noe ’12: Ryan is working primarily on developing a central energy database for the campus so that all energy data will be easily accessible. He is also developing a revised sustainability website. Ryan also serves as a SOPE liason.

e. Max Timm ’13: Max will be working on examining Carleton’s purchasing policies and researching other schools’ policies to develop a draft purchasing guideline for Carleton. He will also assist with the AASHE STARS Submission and work with Ryan on data management.  

f. Nina Whitney ’12: Nina is assisting Martha Larson with the Wind Turbine Project and organizing a campus-wide residential energy audit program. She is also the SRF Committee Coordinator.

STAs, Laura Henry and Alex Lai are off campus fall term.

Sustainable Revolving Fund                 

Concerns about the SRF were raised due to the lack of proposals being passed and the difficulties gathering data on the passed projects to assess the impacts. The six year payback period makes it impossible for students proposing the projects to keep track of the reporting through this period or pass it on to younger students. Martha Larson noted that Lynne Wilmot, Carleton Planned Giving Officer, has been working with the donors.  Ms. Wilmot asked if the fund was working well or if the money should be reallocated to other initiatives.  The EAC questioned whether the program should instead be restructured. Hannah Heavenrich suggested splitting it into two parts for small and large projects. Dan Hernandez suggested that a STA be in charge of monitoring the progress and data collection so there is a consistent process through the years.  This topic will be addressed in further detail at a future meeting.


2011 – 2012 Carleton Sustainability Objectives

Martha Larson provided a list of current and potential sustainability objectives for the 2011-2012 academic year noting that “seeking to reduce our carbon footprint in accordance with our Climate Action Plan” is a baseline assumption of the current campus strategic planning process. EAC members discussed how Climate Action Plan objectives should be implemented and monitored over time.  Kim Smith said that CAP oversight was too much for the EAC to handle and suggested a CAP oversight committee be formed consisting of campus participants with expertise in each area.


Open Forum

George Vrtis initiated a general discussion about the charge of the EAC. When the EAC was first formed, it focused on raising environmental awareness in a time when campus sustainability was not as visible of an issue. Committee members reviewed the current EAC mission and noted it may need to be revised since Carleton has dramatically changed since initial founding of the Committee. Members noted that the EAC currently serves as a place Carleton students, staff and faculty come for advice, feedback and support on campus sustainability initiatives.  The EAC also funds STA positions and provides support and guidance for STA initiatives.   This topic will be discussed in further detail at future meetings.


Meeting Adjourned – Next meeting Wednesday October 12, 2011