Green Committee Minutes of January 12, 2009
In attendance: Ray Bailey (chairman, MA), Laura Noell (AN), Les Krogh (WO), Amy Gilley (AN, representing Callan Bentley), Dan Wells (AN), Nancy Wyatt (MA), Doug Boe (WO), Victor Zabielski (AL), Denny May (AL), Mitch Markon (LO, via video), Ruth Stanton (ME, via phone)
The meeting began at 3:30 pm in the large conference room in the Brault Building on the Annandale Campus.
The meeting began with the report from the chair. Ray reported on a meeting he had with Lena Storm who is the head of the sustainability office at GMU. Ms. Storm has 1 full-time employee and 3 part-time employees working for her. GMU gave a half-time grant to a faculty member to create a “Sustainability Across the Curriculum” Program. GMU is “greening up” their food services, looking at composting, working with a foundation to create a fund to support small projects, and increase the number of small projects and their visibility. GMU would like to coordinate with NVCC regarding recycling programs and creating an “Earth Day Program” that is held at Annandale. Lena Storm has also created a state-wide sustainability coordinators network.
Comments: Laura recommended that we try to get workforce development interested in the green effort. Denny mentioned the Van Jones spoke at a sustainability meeting that was held in Texas last October. Denny also stated that NVCC will need to prep for the anticipated increase in Green jobs as a result of the new administrations priorities. Dan mentioned that WO will be teaching some green technologies (geothermal) as part of the HVAC program. Victor gave a lengthy review of the activities of the ad hoc Environmental Program Committee. The committee has been meeting for the past year and is in the process of creating a Career Studies Certificate in Environmental Studies. Denny recommended getting a representative from Workforce Development to attend an upcoming meeting to see how they are addressing the new green initiatives. Ray said he will try to meet with William Gary from workforce development and see if he would like to come to a meeting. Nancy recommended checking with George Gabriel in OIR to see if he can address the green initiatives. Ruth recommended checking with the advisory committee.
Mitch asked who was responsible for decisions on land-use at the college. Dan stated that all land-use decisions were the responsibility of the State Board for Community Colleges, then the Provost, the President and the facilities manager. Use of smaller parcels of land was the responsibility of the Campus/Provost. Ray wondered if we could use unused land for tree-plantings. Denny stated that he had spoken with Scott Sklar who advocated creating private/public partnerships to use land on the campuses. Denny would try to get Scott Sklar to come and speak at one of our meetings.
Ray introduced the Climate Change Teach-In scheduled for February 5, 2009 at the Annadale and Alexandria Campuses. Mike Tidwell of CCAN (Chesapeake Climate Action Network) has committed to speak at both campuses.
Comments: Nancy recommended wedding the visit with a book signing in conjunction with our bookstores, Barnes & Noble. Laura mentioned that the Lyceum can handle the book signing. Denny recommended getting some money for the speaker.
Ray stated that it would be a good idea to meet with President Templin to encourage future funding for sustainability initiatives at the college and a commitment that these initiatives will be a high priority when the financial state of the college improves.
Comments: Ray recommended getting something on the NVCC web page. Nancy stated that any additions or changes to the web page must go through the Administrative Council.
Mitch stated that he had spoken with someone at the local fire department about building a dry hydrant at the Loudon Campus. He also spoke with someone at EPA who wondered why NVCC was not actively pursuing environmental grants.
Comments: Laura and Nancy recommended contacting the grants office. Ray stated that it would be our job to identify the sources of funding, but not necessarily our responsibility to get the funding. Mitch recommended using some of these grants for our construction projects. Ray emphasized the need to advocate for a paid “sustainability officer” position at the college. Denny and Nancy recommended pursuing this sooner than later….like now. Mitch recommended looking at the EPA for grants for the sustainability officer. Nancy recommended that we speak to Dr. Templin about creating a sustainability officer position only AFTER the committee creates a formal definition of the position.
Ray mentioned that Dan Priest emphasized that the market for recyclables was tanking. Ray reviewed our work on the recycling issue from the previous meeting, stating that there are three contracts: a contract with Fairfax county and AN and ME for hauling away the recyclables, a housekeeping contract, and a contract to haul away the recyclables from locations other than AN and ME.
Comments: Mitch noted that recycling is not meant as a money making venture. Laura said that we should encourage reduction of use and renegotiate the contracts. Nancy questioned who would monitor the tonnage removed? Les stated that cost is determined by pick-ups, not necessarily by tonnage. Nancy recommended publishing details of recycling to get the information out to the college. Mitch stated that the topic of recycling should be introduced by HR at orientation of incoming employees. Mitch also began expounding about motorcycles and horses at the Loudon campus. He recommended creating a green newsletter to be distributed to all employees. Denny reiterated that it had been stated at the last meeting that clear wording will be included in all housekeeping and trash hauling contracts to include recycling programs at all campuses. It is the duty of each campus to create a program specific to that campus. Denny wondered if it would be wise for the committee to create a formal declaration of recycling intent, possibly a “Manifesto of Sustainability. Mitch suggested that our vendors might be asked to contribute toward purchase of recycling bins, since it is their product which generates a lot of waste. Nancy agreed to discuss the concept with Dave Courter, Director of Auxiliary Services, which is responsible for contracts with these vendors.
Ray ended the meeting at around 5 pm.