GW Sustainability Task Force Nears Completion of Year-Long Effort to Prepare Recommendation Report
After two full academic semesters of work, GW’s Task Force on Sustainability is nearing completion of its report of recommendations, which is expected to be submitted during the early summer. Formed in September 2007 by President Steven Knapp to develop recommendations to enhance GW’s academic initiatives in the areas of environmental stewardship and to propose improvements to relevant University policies, Task Force membership included E&EM Lead Professor Jonathan Deason. E&EM graduate student Brian Krausz also worked with the Curriculum Committee of the Task Force.
Left: Task Force members Jonathan Deason and Diane Knapp
The Task Force is evaluating the University’s existing academic and administrative programs and developing recommendations addressing energy conservation, resource and waste management, sustainability awareness, research programs, learning/curricular opportunities, procurement policies, and service initiatives and partnerships. As a part of its efforts, it also held a “listening session” on January 17, 2008, at which more than 80 GW faculty, staff, students, and community members filled the Marvin Center Amphitheatre to share ideas on sustainability efforts across the University.
Participants in the forum addressed the reasons why GW should be a more sustainable institution; which sustainability initiatives and actions are most important for the classroom, community, and campus operations; if there are known sustainability campus practices that would benefit the University; and why the University should assume a leadership role in sustainability efforts.
Left: Task Force Members Get Input from GW Students and Faculty at Listening Session
Many potential financial, marketing and environmental benefits of adopting sustainable practices were offered. One of the major issues discussed was the establishment of an environmental program or building to centralize University environmental programs. Participants also expressed concern about the lack of an established recycling program and suggested projects such as windmills, green roofs, and increased campus greenery.
Left: Task Force Members Meet with President Knapp