April and May Minutes
April 6, 2011
· Campus Farmer’s Market: The campus Farmer’s Market will be held on Tuesdays from April 12 to May 17th from 11:00-3:00pm on the Firestone Plaza.
· AASHE Conference on Sustainability: The annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) will be held in Pittsburgh from October 9-12th. We would like to encourage a Princeton presence at this conference, specifically a panel about the challenges and successes of implementing sustainability on our campus. A panel would allow flexibility for participants, and would require less intense preparation on our part. The deadline to submit a proposal is on April 14th. The Office’s proposed presentations include a talk about the Open House by Kristi Wiedemann, a talk by Shana Weber and Mike Lemonick on communicating sustainability through the SECN summer program, and a talk by Eileen Zerba about the green roof systems.
· Ivy Plus Sustainability Meeting: The Office of Sustainability is hosting the annual Ivy Plus sustainability meeting on April 28th and 29th. The first day will consist of a strategic planning workshop for the field, and the second day will feature a session on communicating sustainability effectively for fundraising.
· Ambassador Program Updates: The Ambassador Program is currently in its pilot phase for staff, with the broad goal of advancing campus sustainability. We recently had our fourth meeting with this first group, and at the end of this year we will distribute surveys to help gauge the program’s success and plan for the future. We may also conduct focus groups across campus this summer to help determine what people can do / want to do within this type of program.
· Newsletter Updates: After going through several drafts, the newsletter will be published in the second week of April. We have moved a “Monthly Snapshot” format, which will consist of a monthly two-page newsletter. The newsletter will be distributed to our current connections on campus (PSC, Ambassador’s Program, sustainability listserv). After the first few publications, we hope that people will begin to join our listserv as the main mode of distribution.
· Revisiting the role of the PSC: Working Group structure and membership presentation and discussion
- We would also like to engage faculty and staff involvement within both the PSC and within individual working groups.
- One idea to accomplish the goal of more faculty involvement is to have a faculty member co-chair the PSC.
- The Office would also like to propose talks to develop a regular speaker series. This would allow High Meadows recipients a venue in which to present, but free up the PSC’s time. This series would include presentations from faculty, students, and staff that have received High Meadows funding. It might also include a major speaker, and could potentially pair with related talks by PEI or the Andlinger Center.
- As we think about restructuring the PSC, we should keep in mind the new reporting process of STARS. It will be helpful if the PSC structure aligns as much as possible with STARS reporting.
- Another key point is the difference between stakeholders and those people on campus that we want to influence.
· Updating the Sustainability Working Group Goals: Next steps
i. Engaging faculty and students
ii. Aligning student research interests
- In addition to engaging faculty and staff, there are two additional Working Groups we would like to add. The first is the Print Less working group. The second is a Communications Working Group. The Office of Communications has recommended that we form a Working Group centered around exploring how our communications materials on the web can best influence behavior: how and what do people want to see from us, and is our current reporting process meeting those needs.
· Drink Local: 60+ new installations will go in this summer in staff and academic buildings.
· Recycling guidelines: The Eco-Reps and Jon Baer have updated the campus recycling guidelines. Please help distribute them. (LINK TO GUIDELINES)
· Options for discussion - Lamp post postering: The Office of Sustainability has been working with Greening Princeton and the USG on a survey exploring effective communication methods. Greening Princeton and the USG have created a survey to assess how and where students on campus receive information about events. Categories include online calendars, Facebook, indoor posters, and lamp-post posters, to name a few. We suspect this survey will indicate that lamp post postering is an ineffective source of information for students. If this is the case, it will give us strong support to propose a no-lamp-post-postering policy. As this survey data will be very useful for campus information flow, the data will be available to those who request it. The survey will be conducted within the next few weeks.
May Meeting Minutes
Mike McKay was present to welcome the PSC group. He praised the PSC’s work throughout this academic year, stating that the group is helping Princeton achieve the goals within the Sustainability Plan. He also stressed the importance of campus acting as a living laboratory.
· Campus Farmer’s Market: The campus Farmer’s Market will be held for two more weeks in the Firestone Plaza from 11-3pm. Starting Thursday May 19, the Town Market will begin in the Public Library plaza.
The Office of Sustainability hosted the Ivy Plus sustainability meeting this past Thursday and Friday. The Ivy Plus meeting is a gathering of Shana Weber’s counterparts at other institutions within the Ivy league, and Ivy-plus league. All schools were able to attend except Stanford, and they were unable to attend because they were hosting a similar conference for the operations side of the Ivy League.
On Day 1 we had a professional development session on conflict and communication styles. On Day 2 we brought in development people from the various schools to help open avenues of communication for development offices. Through our conversations with development, we discovered that they would benefit most from stories about sustainability activities on campus that they can then share with donors. To help demonstrate the stories that campus sustainability has to offer, we brought in a panel of students, faculty, and staff, and Eileen Zerba gave a presentation on the green roofs. A summary of the entire Ivy Plus meeting will be produced in the near future.
Greening Princeton will be hosting a panel on “How to Green Reunions” to help gather ideas from alumni, The EcoReps will be continuing and expanding upon their hard work to help promote recycling at the events. Alumni classes are also getting involved. Several members of one class are biking to reunions, and another class is purchasing carbon offsets. The Office will be offering Green Tours throughout reunions, and there will also be a green tours app for the iPhone.
We are happy to announce that the concept design for the Sustainability Kiosk in Frist has been approved. The Kiosk is composed of two “concept areas.” Concept area 1 is a guest curated area, where faculty, students, and staff can book a month throughout the academic year to display a project / research initiative, etc. We would like to think of this space an ongoing mini open house. Concept area 2 will be made up of office initiatives, the lucid dashboard, a place for comments, a video panel, more display space, etc.
While the final design is not set, all areas in the concept were designed for multiple purposes, and it is our hope the entire kiosk will be very flexible. We will soon be working with students to get their feedback and to help us inform our detailed design process. The kiosk will be placed on the 100 level of Frist, in the cabinet space near the stairwell, opposite of Café-Viv and the student seating area. Depending on the design process, we hope to have the kiosk installed by the end of the fall. Much of the construction can be doe off site, and then perhaps installed over a break.
Andrea DeRose announced that the vanpool program has increased from five vans up to seven. TDM’s goal was to have seven vans by 2015. They are now looking at the possibility of having nine vans by the end of the year.
Don Weston announced that 701 Carnegie will be hosting a Sustainability Fair on June 10th for 701 staff. They will feature sustainable products and vendors.
A major idea for the PSC going forward is to take out the presentation element. We want to create a separate speaker series where, students, faculty, and staff can present. We would also include High Meadows recipients in that series. This would allow the PSC to hone in on the work of the working groups. We envision the PSC being made up of many of the same people, but our time would be more focused on strategic planning and implementation of our goals/strategies. This will dovetail nicely with a major upcoming project - updating the Sustainability Plan.
We also propose adding a few new Working Groups to cover gaps in our reporting process. The best example EH&S. Other Working Groups might need some refinement, potentially including more people now that the campus has grown. We also plan to include faculty and students in each Working Group. As it is often difficult to make Working Group topics relevant to faculty and students; one idea is that if there is a research/independent work benefit, we might engage this group more readily.
Pablo DeBenedetti – Suggested that many PSC members might need a refresher on the overall view of what each Working Group does. He suggests a half day retreat for presentations to get everyone on the same page. This would likely take place in the early fall to include faculty and students.
· STARS summer reporting process
Kristi has spent time creating a better process for reporting information. She has created forms for submitting data, based off of the past information we have collected, and what we need to collect for STARS. We will look at this summer as the pilot phase of these forms, and hopefully we will work out all the bugs in the new reporting process so the next year will be very smooth. Look for these after reunions.
· Food waste
In 2010 our campus generated 1,117 tons of food waste, and this represents about 25% of our overall waste stream. The Office has spent the past few months investigating a variety of food waste technologies. Currently we send all our food waste to a pig farm in south Jersey. This month we are testing a food dehydrating system from SOMAT. We are conducting batches with both vegetable waste and meat + vegetable waste, testing all of the end products, and closely monitoring the energy costs.
As previously discussed, we are conducting research on a potential policy around posting posters on lamp posts on campus. The USG and other students have worked with the Survey Research Center to create a survey, which will go out very soon to the student body. This survey will investigate how students use different methods of communication (for events) on campus, and which of those methods are most effective. We anticipate that this data will show that postering on lamp posts is not an effective means of communication, and thus we can move to propose a ban on lamp post postering.
We feel that this sort of postering is symbolically counter to sustainability. Additionally, mass postering uses financial and printing resources in a wasteful manner, and requires additional maintenance by our grounds staff Regardless of the data we receive from the survey, the role of this group could be to advance a policy that bans lamp post postering, while providing alternatives to postering that we can offer as a more effective solution.