By John Arendt, Director of the UW-Green Bay Office of Sustainability
To continue advancing its mission-directed focus on sustainability and environmental awareness, this year UW-Green Bay formally established an Office of Sustainability. With the establishment of an Office of Sustainability, the university now has a clear destination with which to take its sustainability concerns and a needed facilitator to advance the institution forward. The opportunity to accomplish our shared goals was facilitated by establishing an Office of Sustainability within the Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI).
With EMBI’s focus on serving as an academic resource for improving environmental sustainability on the UW-Green Bay campus and in the region as a whole, placing an Office of Sustainability within EMBI was a logical decision. In terms of logistics and organizational structure, the budget for sustainability—while originating from the office of the Chancellor—already is housed in the EMBI office. No changes in the administration of the funding were required. And, by housing an Office of Sustainability in EMBI, the following priorities, while currently in flux, will finally find a stable home:
- Assume primary responsibility for the development and submission of the campus STARS report, with consultation from the Sustainability Committee.
- Provide monthly contact and annual conference representation with the UW-System Sustainability network.
- Serve as the sustainability liaison and sustainability expert of policies/events regarding sustainability on campus.
- Maintain dialog with the Student Government Association (SGA) primarily through the ironmental Affairs Committee and contact with the Student Union Fund Allocation Committee (SUFAC) in its role in distributing Student Sustainability Funding and environmentally focused student organization funding.
- Maintain a dialog with each of the campus environmental groups as well as the UWGB Residence Hall and Apartment Association (RHAA).
- Initiate campus sustainability events to actively engage the student community (e.g. Recyclemania, Campus Conservation Nationals).
- Maintain the UW-Green Bay Sustainability webpage and blog and work to incorporate each of the branch campuses into the site – perhaps creating a spotlight page for each campus.
- Work with branch campus CEOs to support sustainability within their individual institutions and to assimilate their individual identities with the umbrella of sustainability under the main Green
With the establishment of an Office of Sustainability, the university once again has a clear destination with which to take its sustainability concerns and a facilitator to advance the institution forward.