Institutionalizing Sustainability--From the Ground Up

Abstract: As we complete the twentieth year of our involvement in sustainability at our university, we are able to share our unique approach for institutionalizing this commitment; including the involvement by the full complement of university administrators, faculty, staff and students as well as members of the surrounding community.

Although the impetus for our work predates many of the current national groups – AASHE, HEASC, and DANS, among others; the many formal initiatives – ACUPCC, STARS, FTN, and 2030, among others; and the multiple emerging scoring/ranking systems – LEED, STARS, and SEI, among others; we have benefited from incorporating the structure of each in the development and expansion of our ongoing work.

We have embedded sustainability deeply in the structure of our institution and found the work to yield surprising unanticipated opportunity, ranging from practical operational management to inventive educational and research outreach. This presentation will explore that history; providing insight on the utility and complications of leveraging these many organizational resources, national program plans, national guidelines and burgeoning scoring/rating systems.

Robert J. Koester AIA, LEED AP
Director, Center for Energy Research/Education/Service
Ball State University