Location: Facilities Conference Room

Time: 2:00 pm

Present Kim Smith, Martha Larson, Bereket Haileab, Zander Deetz, Sarah Goldman, Matt Whited, Amy Sillanpa, Steve Spehn

Absent Morgan Richmond, MacKenzie Persen

Secretary: Courtney Dufford

I. Update on community initiatives: Northfield Climate Summit + Greater Northfield Sustainability Collaborative (GNSC)

  • There were 650 attendees at the Climate Summit on January 18th and approximately 900 people registered for the event
  • Attendees were encouraged to use the GNSC website at northfieldsustainability.org to stay apprised of ongoing sustainability activity and events in the Northfield area
  • The next step for the GNSC is to create a database of sustainability projects in the greater Northfield area. Projects can be viewed online at the GNSC’s website at northfieldsustainability.org

II. 2013 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory

  • Martha Larson provided an overview of Carleton’s Climate Action Plan; the annual greenhouse gas inventory is the primary metric used to track progress on Climate Action Plan goals related to GHG emissions reduction
  • Jeff Murphy, the Manager of Sustainability Services of Sightlines, presented on Carleton’s FY2013 greenhouse gas emission
  • Since FY2008, Carleton has seen a 12% reduction in emissions despite a 6% growth in the campus’ footprint
  • 75% of Carleton’s total GHG emissions are from utility consumption (electricity, natural gas and fuel oil).  The remaining 25% includes commuting, staff/faculty travel, study abroad travel, waste, fertilizer, paper, and fleet vehicle fuel use.
  • Carbon sequestration through active land management practices in the Arboretum provides Carleton with a 3% offset to its total emissions.
  • The 2013 commute survey generated a 71% response rate. This more detailed commuting information allowed Carleton to decrease its commuting emissions estimate by 43%.
  • Although Carleton’s waste (in pounds per student) is higher than peers, we divert 60% of our total trash to compost and recycling.As we think about future reductions, Carleton should focus on avoiding further expansion of our carbon footprint by limiting campus growth, increasing the efficiency of our actions, lessening the carbon intensity of our activities by incorporation of renewable energy, and offsetting the remainder.

III. Funding request- Natural Capital Project Conference

  • Jesse Gourevitch requested $600 to attend the Natural Capital Project conference at Stanford University.  He has already received $200 in funding from ENTS.
  • Aligned with the EAC’s precedent of $200-250 for domestic conference travel, Martha Larson proposed $250 to fund Jesse’s conference attendance.
  • The committee unanimously approved $250.

IV. Funding request- Real Food Challenge volunteer incentives

  • Sustainability Assistants Charlotte Beal and Anna Larson requested $125 to provide incentives for 4-5 core Real Food Calculator volunteers working to input purchasing data to the Real Food site
  • Kim Smith raised concerns about the sustainability of providing funding to this project. Would students come back to the EAC each year to request funds for volunteer incentives?
  • Charlotte Beal noted that the online Real Food Calculator tool allows for faster data entry, yet it doesn’t allow for customization (i.e. collecting purchasing data from the last half of September and first half of October instead of two full months). Furthermore, data entry is currently very time-consuming and labor intensive.  Food Truth and the STAs are hoping that the process can become easier and more automated in the future
  • The committee advised that we should not commit additional student work hours to the calculator since there are other priorities for campus sustainability work at Carleton.  They also noted that the task of entering data into the calculator does not have sufficient academic content to warrant student internship or independent study credit.The committee unanimously approved the $125 request, viewing this request as a bridge until a more manageable data entry method is established.  They strongly encouraged students to find more efficient ways to enter data, and to be sure the amount of effort required to update the calculator is worth the end result.

V. Real Food Challenge – Advice on drafted food policy

  • Robbie Emmet, member of Food Truth, asked the committee for feedback on the group’s drafted food policy. How would it be enforced- inserted into Bon Appetit contract? Who would manage the Real Food Calculator?
  • Kim Smith noted the huge amount of manpower needed to gather data for the Calculator and thought it unlikely that the college would financially support additional labor. She stated that we need to figure out how to continue gathering good data without so many man hours needed. She recommended moving forward actions that are less expensive and time consuming first and considering alternative sampling methods that wouldn’t require collecting 2 full months of data.
  • Martha asked if there would be potential for schools to lobby the Real Food Calculator organization to make the calculator more user-friendly.
  • The EAC advised against using the word “policy” and framing this instead as a “guideline.”  Policies are much harder to get approved.  They suggested that the College Council could be an appropriate approval body for the guideline once it’s complete.
  • The EAC also suggested that the guideline does not need to be a “stick” to punish Carleton’s food service provider for not performing to these standards, but that it should function instead as a collaborative incentive to track and engage in more sustainable food purchasing practices. 

VI. Climate Action Plan update (CAP 2.0)

  • Four students were assigned to the Climate Action Plan committee by CSA and the faculty/staff who were previously on the committee were asked to return. The original consultants will be on retainer to provide technical advice. Additionally, there is an ongoing study about the feasibility of ground source heating which may play in to Carleton’s future carbon reduction strategies.
  • Martha will convene group this March and edits will take place during spring and summer 2014. A draft CAP 2.0 will be issued in Fall 2014.