Sustainability Goals - University of Minnesota, Crookston
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Sustainability Committee & Working Group Goals

Sustainability Committee's Charge | Committee

The University of Minnesota, Crookston Sustainability Committee's charged with providing overall leadership for [sustainability] work, while at the same time encouraging broad participation from across the campus, community, and region. It is our responsibility to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability by what we do, and how we do it. The success of our sustainability efforts depends on building broad based support.

The Committee is encouraged to:

  • Create an inventory of current campus initiatives
  • Identify energy conservation practies on campus
  • Identify strategies to reduce/reuse/recycle (RRR strategies)
  • Identify strategies to decrease the carbon footprint caused by transportation
  • Explore opportunities to increase the use of local foods and reduce food waste
  • Explore new program majors as well as integrate sustainability into the curriculum across the academic disciplines
  • Develop a communications plan to increase awareness of the work of the committee
  • Indentify internal and external funding sources for those initiatives requiring funding


UMC's Responsibilities per the
American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

  1. Establish an institutional structure to oversee the development and implementation of the schools program to comply with the ACUPCC.
  2. Complete a green house gas emissions inventory by May 15, 2009.
  3. Establish a climate neutrality action plan and set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral by January 15, 2010.
  4. Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of tangible action options.
  5. Integrate sustainability into the curriculum, making it part of the educational experience.
  6. Make our climate action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.

* The University of Minnesota President, Robert Bruinicks, signed the ACUPCC for all U of M campuses on January 15, 2008.


Current Initiatives

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory
  • Climate Neutrality Plan
  • Divide and Conquer Strategy (created 5 working groups - recycling, curriculum, communication and outreach, physical operations and food)


Working Groups


Recycling Working Group Goals | Committee

  • Formalize campus-wide recycling program for cans, bottles, paper and cardboard by the start of Fall 2009.
  • Decrease the volume of recyclable materials that are thrown away with campus trash. The specific goals is to reduce tipping by 25%.
  • Develop a marketing and educational plan by August 21st.
  • Showcase best practices and increase awareness.
  • Incorporate tote bags made from recycled materials into Freshman Orientation.
  • Change behaviors and make individuals more conscious about recycling.


Curricular Working Group Goals | Committee

  • Identify methods to integrate sustainability into the curriculum
    • Sustainability degree programs
    • Common reading programs
    • Formalize sustainability components in existing courses across both degree programs and the liberal education curriculum
    • Identify and promote sustainability internships and service learning opportunities.
    • Identify and promote study abroad experiences with sustainability focus.


Foods Working Group Goals | Committee

  • Inventory current sustainability initiatives/practices on campus related to food.
  • Make recommendations for increasing the amount of locally grown foods on campus.
  • Develop and promote procurement process with incentives for local food procurement.
  • Support local growers in providing produce, meat, grain, dairy products for the campus.
  • Identify strategies to reduce food waste, compost organic fraction.
  • Identify opportunities for teaching and learning to interface with dining services in food production, processing, presentation, nutrition, food service, business, etc.


Communication and Outreach Working Group Goals | Committee

  • Continue to focus on internal communication (UMC News, e-update, Eagle's Eye, Insight Radio, Facebook, Twitter).
  • Work with UMC University Relations Office to maintain a web site to highlight sustainability activities and events (
  • Incorporate sustainability initiatives in recruitment materials and offer outreach opportunities to teachers/administrators in K-12 schools.
  • Assist students by promoting opportunities connected to sustainability.
  • Promote the adoption of GreenStep Cities status by Crookston and other communities in Northwest Minnesota (minimum of 6 cities as a goal).
  • Encourage better publication of UROP grants and or other research that focus on sustainability.


Physical Operations Working Group Goals | Committee

  • Participate in establishing baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory (carbon footprint)
  • Identify energy conservation practices/ideas to reduce carbon footprint
  • Identify practices for management and reduction of peak electricity load