SOU’s Sustainability Office works with faculty, staff and students to develop and achieve SOU’s goals and uphold its sustainability values. This includes climate action, energy use and generation, waste and material management and biodiversity.
The goal of the Sustainability Office is to coordinate and drive forward efforts across campus for SOU to meet its sustainability goals. The goals are framed in the Strategic Plan as well as the Climate Action Plan.
The Sustainability Office is run by the Director of Sustainability, Becs Walker. The Director of Sustainability also works with a number of students.
The Sustainability office carries out the following:
- Monitors and reports nationally on SOU’s greenhouse gas emissions
- Reports nationally on sustainability, through STARS
- Identifies and applies for grants for projects e.g. solar and EV charging
- Coordinates the maintenance of SOU’s Tree Campus and Bee Campus certification
- Works with departments to identify and implement sustainability initiatives
- Oversees the electric vehicle charging infrastructure on campus
- Implements and develops renewable energy projects on campus
- Monitor energy use and supports energy efficiency projects
- Develops and implements sustainability policies on campus e.g. Sustainability an Equity in Purchasing policy
- Manages waste and materials to reduce, reuse and recycle
- Promotes sustainability to be integral to building projects on campus
- Coordinates and chair of the Sustainability Council
For more information on the day to day work of the Sustainability Office, please visit our Sustainability Operations pages here.
Image Text: AASHE (Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education), STARS (a program of AASHE), STARS (a program of AASHE) Gold (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System)
Sustainability Reporting and STARS
The Sustainability Office coordinates and oversees SOU’s reporting on sustainability. In May 2022, SOU achieved a Gold rating for campus-wide sustainability achievements, as measured by the STARS evaluation system developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and used to grade colleges and universities worldwide.
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The reporting framework assesses a University’s performance on sustainability in the following categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, Planning and Administration and Innovation. For more information, please visit the STARS website here.
Opportunities for students to get involved at the Sustainability Office:
There are a number of opportunities to get involved with the Sustainability Office. Sustainability jobs for students in the Sustainability Office can be found on Workday.
“I love working in the Sustainability Office as the PEAK Student Sustainability Coordinator because I got the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects, from Federal reporting to energy efficiency data collection, to website redesign!”
Mimi Pieper, Computer Science
“Working in the Sustainability Office as the PEAK Student Zero Waste Coordinator was a great experience because it helped me develop project management skills and understand the importance of collaborating with others to drive collective action. During this time, I also gained awareness of the sustainability efforts and passion that students were contributing to SOU.”
Sarah Ross, Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2023