Planning

Wesleyan has made a number of institutional changes to promote social and environmental sustainability, especially in the areas of climate change, institutional structures, and creation of a student-managed Green Fund. Many of these changes have been implemented through collaborations with university resources and students, such as SAGES (Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship)the Committee for Investment Responsibility (CIR), and The Office of Equity & Inclusion.

The initiatives below show what we plan to do via our 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we have already accomplished. See pages 9-15 in the SAP for more details.

What We're Working On

  • Sustainability Resources
    1. Develop a Sustainability Office mission statement
    2. Provide students with resources to promote effective sustainable change 
    3. Develop ways to engage with the Middletown and larger community on sustainability 
    4. Establish student sustainability project support system 
    5. Develop a SAGES mission statement
    6. Recruit new SAGES members 
    7. Increase involvement of SAGES members 
    8. Increase knowledge and skills of SAGES members 
    9. Wesleyan recognizes the commitment of SAGES members
    10. Create a user- friendly Green Fund application form and funding process and update projects archive
    11. Increase number and diversity of viable applications to the Green Fund 
    12. Consolidate grant and funding opportunities into a centralized location 
    13. Develop a list of potential projects for fundraising opportunities 
  • Institutional Support
    1. Involve the Sustainability Office and Office of Equity & Inclusion in the next Strategic Planning process
    2. Involve the Sustainability Office and Office of Equity & Inclusion in the next Master Planning process
    3. Evaluate investment manager candidates with respect to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues
    4. Update this Sustainability Action Plan with extensive community involvement
  • Evaluation and Publicity
    1. Establish a plan for SAP implementation
    2. Establish quantification methods, metrics, timing, and format for an annual sustainability report
    3. Develop and disseminate the first sustainability report
    4. Evaluate the sustainability report format and revise as needed
    5. Submit greenhouse gas reports to ACUPCC
    6. Submit Usdan food waste weights to EPA Food Recovery Challenge
    7. Complete ACUPCC progress reports
    8. Complete STARS evaluation

What We've Done

  • Sustainability Resources
    1. The Wesleyan Sustainability Office, established in 2012, promotes inclusive and equitable environmental sustainability among students, faculty, staff, and the community. It strives to develop a diverse shared understanding of the short and long-term effects of Wesleyan on people and the planet. It catalyzes and advocates for new and existing programs and dialogues to create an empowered community that models individual and collective environmental and social responsibility and effects meaningful sustainable change.
    2. SAGES (Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship) is a group of over 50 faculty, staff, and student volunteers who discuss and take action on sustainability issues, ideas, and projects
    3. The Wesleyan Green Fund is a student-run fund that manages approximately $85,000 per academic year, and has funded 40 different sustainable initiatives from students, faculty, and staff
    4. Committee for Investment Responsibility (CIR) is an all student advisory committe that seeks to represent and empower the Wesleyan community in fulfilling Wesleyan’s shareholder responsibilities.
    5. The Office of Equity & Inclusion provides leadership and accountability to resolve systemic inequities for all members of the Wesleyan community through a metrics-based approach to research, education, and service, by promoting a healthy, thriving campus climate and a community of excellence.
  • Institutional Support
    1. Wesleyan has completed two STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) evaluations - the first in 2013 and the second in 2016 to measure and track its environmental, social, and economic sustainability progress in areas of academics, engagement, planning, and operations.
    2. In 2007, President Michael S. Roth enthusiastically signed the Campus Leadership Carbon Committment (previously the American College and University Presidents' Carbon Commitment), which committed Wesleyan to carbon neutrality by 2050.   Wesleyan has recorded its annual carbon emissions since 2008 and reduced emissions about 10 percent from 2008 levels.
    3. In 2014, Wesleyan University and Second Nature collaborated to create a map of the most recently reported greenhouse gas emissions data from colleges and universities participating in the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The map was conceptualized by Professor Mary Alice Haddad and built by Harvard University's Center for Geographic Analysis.
    4. Starting in 2015, staff performance reviews include sustainability as a core competency, evaluating employees on their demonstration of knowledge and application of sustainable practices, including waste minimization and energy conservation.
    5. The Wesleyan retirement benefit offers investments in TIAA and Fidelity. TIAA offers a Social Choice Account. Fidelity offers the Parnassus Endeavor Fund
    6. Social and environmental sustainability have been a part of the pre-planning process for Wesleyan’s next strategic plan, led by Sasaki Associates and Eastley + Partners.  
    7. Wesleyan is committed to meeting 100 percent of student financial need.  Students from families earning less than $60,000 annually are offered a loan-free financial aid package.  To keep Wesleyan affordable, tuition increases are capped based on inflation.  A three-year option reduces the cost of a Wesleyan education by 20 percent.
Contact
Jennifer Kleindienst, Sustainability Director
(860) 685-3242