Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sustainable Steps

Gordon recently held its first Sustainability Committee meeting. Faculty, staff, students and special guest Terry Collins—an innovator in the field of green chemistry—met to discuss Gordon’s current efforts in sustainability and how they can be increased.

“We’ve run well, but now we need to flesh out a vision for how we’ll improve our efforts,” said Dorothy Boorse, chair for the Department of Biology. “The inaugural meeting of this committee and the support of Gordon’s administration are very good steps in the right direction.”

Gordon’s push towards running a greener campus has been driven in large part by the dedication of the Physical Plant staff with support from President Carlberg. Current practices in place include a new water filtration system in Lane—eliminating the need for bottled water; a conversion of 95 percent of buildings to natural gas rather than oil or electricity; water-saving shower heads on 318 showers; recycling of 35 percent of daily trash; and energy-efficient lighting across campus.

“Christians are called to care for the poor, the oppressed, and the created world,” says Boorse. “Because unsustainable practices harm our neighbors, destroy creatures we are supposed to protect, and will harm the lives of generations yet unborn, Christians should be on the forefront of creation care.”

The new Sustainability Committee will meet regularly to continue mapping out an approach to sustainability that crosses divisions, involves senior administration and has the financial support of campus connections.

Currently Gordon is part of the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program. STARS provides a framework for understanding sustainability in higher education by setting a common set of measurements, creating sustainability incentives, sharing information on sustainability practices, and building a diverse campus sustainability community. In addition, Gordon recently became a member of the association that runs STARS, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

1 comment:

kk said...

As a Gordon alum, it makes me incredibly happy and very proud to see Gordon making these changes towards sustainablilty- and to be advocating for the belief that God gave us the earth and then left it to us both to enjoy and to take care of.