Archive for September, 2009

Last Night’s Event with Adam Werbach

Last night, Adam Werbach of Saatchi & Saatchi S spoke at the new Miller Hall, courtesy of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business’ Undergraduate Program and the Undergraduate Net Impact chapter. A few thoughts:

  • I was lucky enough to have dinner with Adam and some of the Mason and sustainability faculty before the speech. I have to say — the meal and the executive dining room were both wonderful. I can’t say enough about both Mason and Miller Hall to this point; I’ve had nothing but fantastic experiences with both since I’ve been hired.
  • Adam was, as expected, bright, enthusiastic, and eager to learn what we were doing at William & Mary. We discussed higher education’s role in promoting a sustainable way forward for the next generation, and Adam had some interesting insights into the way sustainability would be perceived in the years to come.
  • Wow, what a turnout! Apparently the event sold out quite quickly, and the ballroom in Miller Hall was absolutely packed. So great to see so many people, from both within and outside of Mason, interested in sustainability in the business world.
  • For those of you who haven’t read Adam’s book Strategy for Sustainability, I highly recommend it; most of his speech highlighted the points he elaborates on in his book. The speech itself was entertaining, informative, and light-hearted, all of which I think are important in the general sense of educating people on sustainability.
  • The questions asked by the audience were fantastic, and, perhaps most importantly, were from a wide range of students — MBA, BBA, and non-business students. Perhaps most telling was Adam’s response to the question “So what do we do next?” Saatchi & Saatchi S’s “DOT” is to have 1 BILLION people pick a personal sustainability practice; but, as Adam elucidated, that’s where their role ends. They aren’t in charge of what we do after picking our practice; that’s our job! We get to decide what happens next. And I think, more than anything else, that’s what I took away from Adam’s speech: that here in higher education, and especially here at William & Mary, we have the opportunity to use these networking and marketing tools to build larger & more effective groups dedicated to one thing (sustainability) which, like ourselves, is so many different things at once.

I hope you all enjoyed the event as well. I’ll be meeting with Net Impact next week to discuss phase two of W&M’s “DOT” campaign. What will YOU do next?

September 25th, 2009

Weekend Update

From the past few days…

  • The Mason School of Business’s Undergraduate program’s Do One Thing (DOT) Campaign on Facebook has reached over 500 fans and over 200 DOTs posted, according to Undergraduate program director Chris Adkins. Add yours today!
  • COS launched the Eco-Ambassador program on Saturday with a marathon kickoff & training event, graciously hosted by Larry Smith in the Commons Cafeteria. 7 departments & offices across campus are hosting students working to create their own sustainability projects and implement them in each office. From Modern Languages to Landscape & Grounds, you’ll be seeing new ideas in daily sustainability practices popping up all over campus!
  • COS also has announced its request for proposals for the Fall 2009 Green Fee projects! Anyone on campus can submit a proposal for improving any aspect of campus sustainability, funded by the student green fee. Look over the requirements and start working on a proposal of your own!

September 21st, 2009

Choose your DOT!

The Mason School of Business asks, “What’s your DOT?”

DOT stands for Do One Thing, and it’s a program launched by the global sustainability agency Saatchi & Saatchi S. Saatchi has been working with companies like Wal-Mart to launch the DOT program among their employees — changing “sustainability” from a vague concept into a specific task relating to one’s own life. These “one things”, or Personal Sustainability Practices, can be anything relating to your own cultural, social, economic, or environmental impact. I, for example, am fixing my bicycle, so that I can ride it to work. In the process, I’ll get in better shape, (exercise fits under “social”), save money on gas (economic), and reduce my carbon emissions (environmental) by not driving!

Saatchi & Saatchi S is working with William & Mary’s Mason School of Business to launch the first university-level DOT campaign. Mason is looking for 100 new W&M community members a week to join the DOT campaign (join here on Facebook!). This campaign is in conjunction with an event happening next week at Miller Hall. The School of Business is bringing Adam Werbach, the global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S and former President of the Sierra Club (at age 23!), to campus on Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM in the main hall of Miller. Invitations are required (more information here), but the event is free!

This is a great launch to what will be a fantastic year for sustainability in Mason. Join the DOT campaign, spread the word, attend the event next week, and keep checking in for more!

September 15th, 2009

A Guide to Greener Electronics

Here’s a neat resource from Greenpeace: the Guide to Greener Electronics 2009 edition! Greenpeace has been publishing this handy guide for a few years now, and you’ve already seen quite a few companies make changes based on the rankings. Where does your phone rank? Your laptop? It turns out my new Apple doesn’t rate quite as highly as I would have hoped. I guess I’ll have to make up for it by recycling my old computer through W&M IT, and treating this new computer well (including learning how to maximize my MacBook Pro’s battery life).

September 13th, 2009

The week in summary

My apologies for the radio silence over the past few days — the requisite early-fall illness creeping across campus hit me early in the week. No flu, though, thankfully!

What’s been happening this week? Well, we had our first Steering Committee meeting for the Committee on Sustainability, and we welcomed our two new student representatives to Steering: Caroline Cress ’10 will be representing undergraduates and co-chairing the Programs and Education Subcommittee, and Dan Conant of the School of Education will be representing graduate students and co-chairing the Operations Subcommittee. Among the numerous topics of the Steering meeting were a reorganization (we’ve eliminated the Finance working group, split Physical Plant into Energy and Waste/Recycling, and added a Procurement group into STAC), the large outpouring of student volunteers for COS (over 40 applications!), and the numerous projects coming down the pipes (releasing a sustainability academic audit, launching the Eco Ambassador Program, etc.).

Last week also saw the first official days of work for the Sustainability Interns hired by Dining Services & Aramark! Christy Ottinger ’10, Sarah Will ’10, and Ian Fuller ’11 will be working in the numerous dining facilities across campus to improve recycling practices in both dining and preparation areas, create a composting program, support increased purchasing of local, seasonal, organic, fair trade, and cage-free foods, and promote awareness of food sustainability issues on campus. Students, keep an eye out for them in your dining halls! I’ll be working with them mostly in regards to the creation of a composting program for Dining Services. Hopefully, with the help of the College and Aramark, we can get a large-scale composting program going by the end of the year!

The College also saw the release of the state’s budget expectations for next year — with poor news for anyone involved. As the year continues, you’ll see some information from me and COS about how much money our recent sustainability efforts have saved the College; preliminary estimates have us breaking $100,000 in savings each year, with more surely to come!

September 12th, 2009

COS Recycling interns save thousands of dollars!

Great news from two of the Committee on Sustainability’s summer research grant recipients: Tyler Koontz and Judi Sclafani’s work on restructuring our recycling & waste contracts will save the College at least $40,000 a year! Read more here at W&M News.

This is the biggest of a few excellent signs that our recycling program is moving in the right direction. Those of you on the Williamsburg campus will be seeing recycling bins in academic buildings and on Old Campus soon, as SEAC and Alpha Phi Omega get ready to start their semester of volunteer recycling. We’re also working on an alternative recyclables program, where students will have more access to recycling for batteries, light bulbs, electronics, and the like. I’ll make sure to keep you updated!

September 4th, 2009

Apply to be an Eco-Ambassador!

Students, there’s a great new opportunity to get involved in campus sustainability. We’ve launched a new hands-on, creative, and innovative internship program called Eco-Ambassadors. We’ll be picking 8 students to work in various offices & departments across campus, coming up with their own sustainability projects in tandem with a staff member. This is a great way to get some experience in working with faculty & staff you may not usually interact with, like those in Grounds & Landscaping or the President’s Office.

Here’s the official announcement:

Applications are now being accepted for the Eco-Ambassador internship program sponsored by the Committee on Sustainability. Eco-Ambassadors may be eligible to receive independent study credit for two semesters through the Environmental Science and Policy program for their participation. The internship will consist of 5-10 hours spent per week creating and implementing a sustainability project in a particular department or office, in collaboration with a supervising staff member.

All students of Sophomore social class and above (including graduate students) are eligible to apply. The program’s kickoff event will be held Saturday, September 19th in the Commons Cafeteria conference room, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. All participating students are required to attend, as this will serve as both the orientation session and the first project brainstorming session.

Interested students are encouraged to fill out an application and submit it to the College’s Sustainability Fellow Phil Zapfel at by Thursday, September 10th at 5:00 PM. Any questions are to be directed to Phil Zapfel.  The application is available at .

As always, feel free to email me if you have questions!

September 2nd, 2009


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