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Sustainable Campus Forum

Engaging faculty, staff, and students in the sustainable campus movement

SCF seeks to engage faculty, staff, and students in the sustainable campus movement by creating an open and inclusive forum where every university constituent can bring in concerns and ideas for a sustainable campus. It functions as a bridge between the decision-making body of the university and the university constituents. The main goal of this forum is to share innovative ideas and approaches to promoting campus sustainability based on a sense of urgency of the current climate crisis.

The forum discusses what makes a campus sustainable by sharing different perspectives and dimensions of sustainability, empowering students’ participation in sustainable initiatives and decisions within the University, and raising awareness related to Global problems to take action on campus.

The first forum was held online in July as a pilot project. Around 30 faculty, staff, and students participated and discussed current problems and solutions of campus sustainability. Both infrastructure-related problems/solutions and movement-related problems/solutions were presented during this forum.

One of the biggest challenges observed pertains to the imbalance of technical and psychological means of addressing these issues within an educational institution system. For example, many universities are primarily concerned about improving their standings within the sustainability rankings without giving careful thoughts about the meanings of campus sustainability. In that case, sustainability discussion tends to be a technical problem, narrowly focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions on campus. The psychological/movement approach can direct some attention from technology and infrastructure to our thinking and behavior. For instance, investing in sustainability focused education can provide the stepping stones to acquiring a sustainable mindset that leads to sustainable habits such as conserving energy, reducing food waste and single-use plastic, planting trees, creating gardens, etc.

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