Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee exists to address important contemporary issues surrounding Berea College’s seventh great commitment, especially as that commitment relates to “a way of life characterized by mindful and sustainable living…high personal standards, and concern for the welfare of others.” It is important for Berea College to follow and innovate sustainable practices in order to reduce waste, CO2 emissions, and its overall environmental footprint in order to preserve the natural environment and to set an example for others. However, our greatest potential for promoting sustainability as an institution lies in educating the generations of students who will pass through the College and carry away the knowledge and motivation to create the path toward a more sustainable world.

The purposes of the Committee are to:

  • Advise the Vice President for Operations and Sustainability, the Vice President for Student Life, the Provost, and the Dean of Faculty in regard to sustainability goals, progress, opportunities, and initiatives;
  • Monitor the progress of the College Climate Action Plan and College Sustainability Plan;
  • Provide routine reporting and communication about key sustainability indicators and initiatives to the campus community;
  • Establish and monitor annual metrics by which to drive continuous improvement of sustainability across the campus community;
  • Assure recommended greenhouse gas emissions and STARS reporting is completed on time;
  • Review and recommend policies and procedures that affect the sustainability efforts, integration, and achievements of the College’s various operations and extra-curricular programs;
  • Promote, support, and measure learning and leadership in both academics and labor; and
  • Support routine assessment of campus attitudes and knowledge of sustainability concepts and practices. 

The Committee will be co-chaired by the Compton Chair in Sustainability and the Sustainability Coordinator. The Sustainability Committee provides a bridge across governance structures, including students, faculty and staff, and key administrators. The primary way that students become educated and motivated about sustainability while at Berea is by their immersion in campus life, where attention to sustainability will be the norm. By nature of its composition, the Committee will be aware of sustainability efforts and initiatives and can offer advice and support to co-curricular and extracurricular programs and activities such as CELTS and other centers, Enactus, Campus Life, Residence Halls, the Student Life Team, the Learning Commons, and the Student Government Association, etc. The Committee can also be a resource for curricular bodies such as COGE and Academic Divisions, where appropriate. 

The Composition of the Committee includes the Compton Chair in Sustainability (Ex-Officio and Co-Chair), the Sustainability Coordinator (Ex-Officio and Co-Chair), the Vice President of Operations and Sustainability, one elected member of the College Faculty, one elected General Faculty member who is not a member of the College Faculty, and two students appointed by the Student Government Association. College Faculty and General Faculty members will be elected by the General Faculty Assembly and will serve staggered three-year terms.