Sustainability needs to be managed one step at a time

The students of Bradley’s Sustainability Committee would like to respond to the sustainability editorial published in The Scout two weeks ago.

The Sustainable Endowments Institute that evaluates the sustainability efforts of Bradley University is in the process of revising its grading policy. Consequently no university Report Cards were issued in fall of 2011. Bradley’s C- grade was issued in the fall of 2010 and reflects sustainability initiatives from the fall of 2009 to the summer of 2010.

At that time, Bradley’s sustainability program consisted of a pilot recycling program in University Hall, cane-sugar based take-out containers in Geisert cafeteria, eliminating cafeteria trays, purchasing 12 percent of the university’s food locally, and temperature setbacks.

The incredible sustainability improvements Bradley has made in the past 18 months are not reflected in our C- grade from SEI.

Changes since that time include:

Eliminating disposable take out containers in Geisert and Williams cafeterias, replacing them with reusable “clamshells”

Implementing a recycling program in all university residence halls, as well as Baker, Jobst, Olin, Sisson, Burgess and Swords Halls

Composting food waste

Committing to receive LEED gold certification on Westlake Hall and LEED silver on the Alumni Center

Installing 30 Halsey Taylor water filters and dispensers, which have refilled over 200,000 water bottles to date

Composting 68 tons of landscape waste in 2010 and 83 tons in 2011

Installing 3 charging stations for electric cars

The Sustainability Committee continues to seek ways to make Bradley a more environmentally friendly campus. The recycling program continues to grow and will be implemented in all academic buildings prior to the completion of this academic year.  Clamshells will soon replace Styrofoam containers in the Student Center.

Sustainability efforts (like Bradley’s recycling) program take time, resources, and, most importantly, people to maintain them.

The Sustainability Committee does not limit itself to completing one initiative at a time. We evaluate each initiative carefully and work to ensure that Bradley implements innovative, cost effective, and meaningful sustainability programs that minimize Bradley’s environmental impact as much as possible.

Please contact recycling@bradley.edu if you have feedback for Bradley’s Sustainability Committee or initiatives you would like considered. We appreciate your support of our efforts to make Bradley a more sustainable university.

 

Sincerely,

The Bradley Sustainability Committee