Summer Sustainability at W&M

It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Some technical difficulties and the rigors of finishing up the first year of the Sustainability Fellowship can keep a man from his blog for some time. That said, I’d like to get back in the swing of things with a quick update as to what’s going on here on campus during the summer months.

Our annual summer research grants were awarded for the second time in April, and the students should be starting their work in the coming week or two. We usually only fund four students for summer research through the Green Fees, but this year’s applicant pool was so strong that we decided to fund an extra research project. I’m very excited to see what the students can create during their weeks here this summer.

The students (and their research topics) are:

  • Amanda Anderson ’11: green roof design
  • Max Cunningham ’13: a comprehensive transportation plan for W&M
  • Jane Gray Morris ’13: public space construction in the W&M sustainable gardens
  • Jamison Shabanowitz ’12: an e-recycling program
  • Alexandra Volpert ’11: reducing nutrient loading in Lake Matoaka

We’ll also be welcoming our new Sustainability Fellow in July. Before I take my leave, however, I hope to help the interns get started on their great research, finalize my sustainable procurement guidelines, and put together a final report on W&M’s great progress over the past year. I’ll be back soon with more posts on what’s new in sustainability at W&M.

Until then!

June 2nd, 2010

W&M earns a B on the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card!

Great news, folks! The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) released their 2010 College Sustainability Report Card at 12:00AM today (Wednesday), and W&M received a B this year! This is a HUGE gain for us. Two years ago, SEI awarded us a D-minus, and that grade was the first of the many report cards we’ve seen since, all of which featured W&M gains. But this report card’s results in particular are worth restating: W&M has risen 2 and a half grades in two years. That’s fantastic progress, in my opinion.

First, our breakdown by category (followed by 2009 and 2008 scores):
Overall: B (C, D-)
Administration: A (C, F)
Climate Change & Energy: C (C, F)
Food & Recycling: B (B, C)
Green Building: B (B, C)
Student Involvement: A (B, –)
Transportation: B (C, F)
Endowment Transparency: D (F, F)
Investment Priorities: A (C, C)
Shareholder Engagement: (F, F)

Our largest gains were in Administration, Student Involvement, and Investment Priorities, all of which received A’s. This highlights our improved strengths over the past year or so. The addition of my position and a more detailed outline of COS and the student Green Fees helped us significantly in Administration (SEI also points us out under Categories — Administration as “Leading by Example“). Better reporting of our student initiatives helped our grade in Student Involvement, as anyone who’s been involved with sustainability at W&M over the past years could tell you that that was one of our core strengths from the beginning! In regards to Investment Priorities, it’s obvious that the structure & transparency of the Green Endowment is very important, as it not only significantly improved our grade but put us in the top tier of the category (You’ll be seeing more interactive data on the Green Fund on the Sustainability @ W&M site in the near future).

All in all, fantastic news for sustainability at W&M. I want to thank all of the student, staff, faculty, administration, alum, and community volunteers that have contributed to sustainability at W&M over the past few years for all of your dedicated work. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we won’t continue to improve without your help. Keep up the good work!

October 7th, 2009


About:

Welcome to Hark Upon the Green! This blog is a shared space for members of the sustainability community at William & Mary to write about sustainability topics on and beyond. If you would like to contribute to the blog, contact Madeleine Boel, Committee on Sustainability Web Assistant, at mgboel@email.wm.edu.
Make sure to visit Sustainability at W&M for all of W&M's progress on sustainability efforts. Catch up with William & Mary Sustainability on Twitter at WM_GreenisGold
To learn what William & Mary's Environmental Law Society is up to, visit their blog at http://envirols.blogs.wm.edu/.

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