Overcoming barriers to sustainability on college and university campuses
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Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Overcoming Barriers to Sustainability on College and University Campuses. Tom Kimmerer Executive Director AASHE. A Short Story About Sustainability. Growing Coffee Technified Coffee (monoculture). Growing Coffee

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Overcoming Barriers to Sustainability on College and University Campuses

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Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Overcoming Barriers to Sustainability on College and University Campuses

Tom Kimmerer

Executive Director

AASHE


A Short Story About Sustainability


  • Growing Coffee

    • Technified Coffee (monoculture)


  • Growing Coffee

    • Shade Grown Coffee


  • Buying Coffee

    • Shade Grown, Organic, Fair Trade vs. Commodity Coffee


What is sustainability?


What is sustainability?


What is sustainability?


A Sustainable Society is:

Environmentally viable

Economically Robust

Socially Just & Equitable


  • The decision process for individuals and institutions affects:

    • The global economy

    • The global environment

    • The social structure of communities


  • The decision process for individuals and institutions affects:

    • The global economy

    • The global environment

    • The social structure of communities

  • Coffee is the world’s second largest commodity


Why Colleges are Important

The campus must be the laboratory in which we invent a sustainable future.


Barriers to Sustainability

The organization of colleges & universities is a significant barrier to sustainability


Barriers to Sustainability

The Landlord-Tenant Relationship


Barriers to Sustainability

The Landlord-Tenant relationship needs to be replaced with a collaborative learning relationship.


Campus Collaboration

When implementing sustainability programs, operators and academics need to be allies.


Overcoming the Barriers - NAU


Teaching the Campus

Prof. Stephen Mead


Teaching the Campus – Informal Education


Teaching the Campus – The Sustainability Interpreter

Interpreters create

Banners, Signs, Posters

Tours

Videos


Overcoming Barriers – People to People

Gary Deason, Center for Sustainable Environments

Mark Flynn, Executive Director, Capital Assets & Services


Engaging Students


Engaging Students

  • Teach Sustainability across the curriculum

  • Provide specialized courses and curricula

  • Model sustainable behavior in the classroom and on campus


Engaging StudentsOberlin College


Engaging Students

  • Focus the Nation

    • Teaching Event on climate

    • Jan. 31 2008

    • Focusthenation.org

  • Campus Climate Challenge

    • Supports student activities in clean energy

    • Climatechallenge.org


Engaging Students

  • Make students, staff, faculty aware participants, not passive recipients.

  • Give them information

  • Let them make choices


Barriers to Sustainability

Universities and their suppliers need new relationships


Procurement by Collaboration

  • Buying stuff in new ways

    • Shift from command purchasing to collaboration

    • Shift from bid packages to RFPs

    • Viewing providers as collaborators

    • ASU and Aramark


Overcoming barriers

  • The major barriers to sustainability are in human behavior and relationships, not in science and technology.

  • Segments of the campus need to learn new relationships


  • Over 400 College and University Presidents have committed their campuses to reversing climate change.

  • The ACUPCC will be the great accelerator of campus sustainability

“More than ever, universities must take leadership roles to address the grand challenges of the twenty-first century, and climate change is paramount among these” - Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University


Last Thoughts

  • In any economic revolution, there is bifurcation

    • Those who change and thrive

    • Those who resist and fail

  • Sustainability requires both small, incremental steps and large leaps

  • Don’t assume that change is linear


Opportunities Abound

Colleges and Universities are the laboratories in which we invent a sustainable future.


www.aashe.org

www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org

Thanks to Jim Buizer, Tony Cortese, Lee DeBaillie, Gary Deason, Mark Flynn, Hunter Lovins, Dave Newport and others for inspiration and help with content. Special thanks to the great AASHE staff: Julian Dautremont-Smith, Judy Walton, Sam Hummel, John Johnson.


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