Office of the President

Approval of Campus Sustainability Committee

Executive Memorandum 11-017 February 23, 2011

This Executive Memorandum has been superseded by 19-033 .

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Approval of Campus Sustainability Committee

Upon the recommendation of the Academic Senate I approve the formation of a Campus Sustainability Committee.


In 2007 President Paul Zingg became one of the founding signatories of the American Colleges & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). This climate commitment is an outward expression of our campus’s leadership in charting a path toward a more sustainable campus community and our commitment to address climate change by reducing and ultimately neutralizing greenhouse gas emissions from campus and to accelerate research and educational efforts to equip society for a more sustainable future.

As a signatory of the ACUPCC, our institution is pledged to eliminate our campus’s collective contribution to climate change over time. This commitment includes establishing an institutional structure to oversee the development and implementation of a program to comply with this commitment. To fully integrate sustainability across campus departments, we propose the formation of a Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC).


The role of the Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) is to serve in an advisory capacity to all campus departments, colleges, and other entities in an effort to advance environmental, social and economic sustainability at the California State University Chico.

The CSC would provide leadership in identifying mechanisms to integrate sustainability concepts into all core functions of the university. The CSC will provide recommendations for implementing sustainability across the campus by constructing a sustainability plan addressing the following nine focus areas:

  1. Education
  2. Transportation
  3. Waste
  4. Procurement
  5. Food services
  6. Biotic environment
  7. Water
  8. Energy
  9. Built environment

Within each focus area the CSC will develop goals, actions, and timelines. An initial assessment to establish benchmarks will be conducted across the focus areas to allow the campus to evaluate our progress. (See Initial Assessment below.)

Building a common vision is essential to expanding the integration of CSU, Chico’s 6th strategic priority into daily departmental operations. A periodic and comprehensive assessment will provide a platform on which to build. As departments reflect on assessment questions, they will be prompted to consider sustainability efforts in their current departmental operations and evaluate what future efforts may be feasible.

Committee Membership and Organization

We propose that the CSC be composed of 17 members as identified below.

We recommend that the CSC be chaired by two co-chairs:

1. The Vice President of Academic Affairs (or designee)

2. The Vice President of Business and Finance (or designee)

We suggest that the committee include the following ex officio members:

  1. The Senior Director of facilities (or designee)
  2. The Director of Planning, Design, and Construction (or designee)
  3. The Executive Director of the Associated Students (or designee)
  4. Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development (or designee)
  5. The Sustainability Coordinator (or designee)
  6. The Associated Students Sustainability Coordinator (or designee)
  7. Associated Students Environmental Affairs Commissioner (or designee)

We further propose the following appointments to the committee:

  1. Representative appointed by the President
  2. Representative appointed by the Vice President of University Advancement
  3. Representative appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs
  4. Staff member appointed by Staff Council
  5. Staff member from Information Resources appointed by Information Resources
  6. Student appointed by the Associated Students
  7. Faculty member appointed by Academic Senate (Potentially the General Education Sustainability Pathway Coordinator)
  8. Faculty member appointed by Academic Senate

All appointed faculty and staff members of the CSC would serve a two-year appointment with the option for renewal. Student representatives will serve one-year appointments. The faculty members appointed by the academic senate will serve two years on the committee, with the first year having one full, two-year term appointee and one temporary one-year appointee, in order to offset the terms of the two faculty member appointees.

Initial Assessment

Assessment activities will be championed by the CSC, but administratively supported by the Institute for Sustainable Development. Recognizing the workload strain on the campus constituents, it is important to choose an assessment structure that minimizes workload while being comprehensive in scope.

Conducting a campus-wide sustainability assessment would:

  • Provide an internal planning document with which to guide the Sustainability Committee in its mission.
  • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of our institution
  • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

The role of the campus sustainability committee would be to:

  1. Work with supervisors to introduce assessment and garner support
  2. Help identify appropriate personnel to answer assessment questions
  3. Provide political support to the assessment project
  4. Monitor progress of assessment when reported by the Institute for Sustainable Development

The role of the Institute for Sustainable Development in this project would be to:

  1. Provide an assessment orientation workshop to the Sustainability committee
  2. Provide assessment orientation workshops for participating personnel
  3. Provide technical support for assessment
  4. Report on assessment progress at Campus Sustainability Committee Meetings
  5. Monitor assessment progress

Assessment Strategy

A comprehensive assessment will cover the areas of:

  1. Education and Research
  2. Operations
  3. Planning, Administration, and Engagement
  4. Innovation

Assessment will be conducted using locally developed tools, or utilize existing assessment tools. Most existing assessment tools address the broad categories indicated above.

Operationally, each category will be addressed by subcommittees of CSC to reduce overall workload. Subcommittees will be chaired by a member of the CSC (or their designee) and be assisted by the CSU, Chico Sustainability Coordinator and a student intern to identify individuals (reporters) from the appropriate departments to assist with the assessment procedures.

The role of each subcommittee chair will be to:

  1. Work with supervisors to assign appropriate reporters
  2. Ensure that all appropriate areas under their category are completed in a timely manner
  3. Provide political support to project
  4. Report on progress of subcommittee to Sustainability Committee

The role of the CSU, Chico Sustainability coordinator in this project will be to:

  1. Provide an orientation workshop for the Sustainability Committee
  2. Provide orientation workshops for each subcommittee for reporters
  3. Train and oversee interns in assisting subcommittee chairs and reporters
  4. Provide technical support to reporters
  5. Provide support at all Sustainability Committee meetings
  6. Provide support at all subcommittee meetings
  7. Monitor reporting progress

The role of the student interns, working under the CSU, Chico Sustainability Coordinator will be to:

  1. Facilitate communication regarding reporting for subcommittee chairs (to reporters, etc.) Including: emails, phone calls, etc.
  2. Assist subcommittee chairs in gathering data by providing technical support to reporters
  3. Assist with orientation workshops for reporters
  4. General and technical support
  5. Gentle and professional nudging of straggling reporters for deadlines

Follow up assessment

Following the initial assessment, the CSC will establish a timeline for follow up assessments. The assessment design will minimize workload on any one individual, or committee member by distributing the assessment to parties responsible for that particular operation on campus.

Subcommittees will answers assessment questions, providing information about how they, as individuals and as departments, are meeting CSU, Chico’s 6th Strategic Priority. Follow up assessment serves as a functional metric with which departments can design improvements. This strategy will minimize workload and maximize impact.

Each subcommittee will have the following structure:

Operations Subcommittee (example)

Representative of VP of Academic Affairs (Chair)

Assistants to the Education and Research Subcommittee Chair: Halli Bovia & Student Intern

Transportation Campus Conservation Energy