February 2017 Meeting of the Sustainability Task Force
Notes for February 16, 2017
Task Force attendees: Andrew Friedland (co-chair), Rosi Kerr (co-chair), Erin Mansur, Fabian Stocek, Meg Rauner, Alex Derenchuk, Lee Lynd, Maanav Jalan, April Salas, Anne Kapuscinski, Denise Anthony, Merritt Patridge, Frank Roberts,
Invited Guests: Abbe Bjorklund, Molly L. Smith, Laura Carpenter, Jenna Musco
Welcome (Andy and Rosi):
Timeline of Task Force going forward-
Master Planning and Facilities Committee of Board has requested an update at the upcoming (March) meeting. We currently have 45 minutes on the agenda for update and discussion of the Task Force report and process. Presumably, if the President has support from members of the Board, he will be more likely to adopt ambitious goals. How should we present ourselves to the committee?
Overview of where we are:
Pretty good level of granularity in energy – we see opportunities for a low carbon energy system and some investment in renewables that is meaningful.
In waste, there is good information, good transparency and ability to control our impacts. Other categories clearly need to be elevated as priorities so our report will recommend commitments towards future action.
Discussion of the “One Pager”, Both in Concept and Draft:
One member reminded the chairs to include energy efficiency and building design in goals and recommendations in energy.
Another member brought up financial implications – in some places sustainability goals produce saving and this plays well. In some areas, what we are asking for requires investments. This is a more difficult sell.
One member stated that it will be key to connecting this to the stated vision for Dartmouth - -some of the things the President and the Board have said. For example, at the Fall Faculty meeting, the President outlined big issues and directly connecting this to those is a really important thing. Sometimes Board will push it but some will ask the President how this fits into his vision and defer to him. A good idea is to tie to a couple big themes, like the idea of teacher/scholar, the acknowledgement of global challenges.
One member asked what are the three biggest pieces of environmental footprint of Dartmouth - -Walker, Nagel et all footprint analysis - -bundle all metrics, realizing it is imprecise, into one thing and where are our three biggest categories Others chimed in:
- Food would be big if had a complete handle on it.
- Endorse efficiency first.
- There is value in diversity of technologies
- Food is important enough that it should not be presented as a this won’t happen… we should push a bit here. It’s very important.
- In almost every one of these physical things, there is potential to maximize educational value – experiential learning – elevate operations as experiential learning opportunity. How should we articulate this?
- Areas are under resource constraint and in order for senior leaders to endorse these actions, they need to be resourced financially and in human capacity – constraints are pronounced.
- We need to be aware that there is an aversion to adding staff so we should be careful to think about how to do the thigns in our report efficiently from a labor perspective.
- Are we missing the action/summary/value of simply stating goals publically?
- Include something about social sustainability/social impacts in intro paragraph?
- Statement around the community and the stated goals of Hanover and surrounding towns and activities that are underway. This is a broader regional effort and we have to recognize our position and geographic location.
- There is a balance between sugarcoating and stating honestly -- if the Task Force can’t say it, who can? Downside of not paying attention to sustainability - -tangible implications – applicants choosing other schools, long term costs, etc.
- There are cost effective things we can do and loftier aspirations, and we can pick and choose between those.
One member asked who is the audience for this the one pager? That is a critical question?
Where does Dartmouth have potential? Laggards is not the word to use. Alums and peer institutions are key points to push with
Goal is to circulate this document to John – and seeing if this is the right thing, get feedback.
Lee: What stakeholders are we thinking about and what is there interest – another group is entering freshmen. Have front page be written executive summary and table on the back.
Rosi Kerr will update document and circulate for feedback with goal of getting a draft document done next week.
Evaluation and Discussion of the Landscape Section
Review of principles and goals. Comments:
We should enhance mention of carbon sequestration
Change word “philosophy” to something more concrete
Add definition of organic, green etc. whatever the term is, it should be defined
Evaluation and Discussion of the Transportation Section
Review of principles and goals. Comments:
Do we have a definition for transportation system? What does that include?
Define transportation fleet – does this include enterprise?
Coordination with Upper Valley is required here.
Including socio-economic needs here – have low cost transportation and sustainable transportation.
Add a principle about public transportation/or considering Dartmouth in context of regional transportation
Streamline terminology – three ways to shift transportation emissions 3 ways – a term that encompasses all three –mobility supply chains – encompass all levers as solutions—having a more general term
fuel economy standard wording is too specific. Please delete
What is Still Outstanding?
Accountability and Reporting section
Aiming for consensus on each of these sections.
After March 9th – draft/abstract will go to senior leaders for feedback and help in understanding process.
Rosi and Andy will share times when they are working on documents in next month, and invite Task Force to drop in.
Give us materials via email to react to - -e.g. draft slide deck etc.
Divestment Sub Group has requested time at next meeting and are planning to propose a principle that suggests that we develop mechanism that align people across Dartmouth system to reduce carbon. Will distribute before next meeting.
Recommendation for how to keep this group moving forward: Distribute ownership beyond committee to actual implementers. Get people who will implement this “on board.” Rosi will continue to meet with folks in departments who will implement.