Sustainability Mission Statement:
- Explore and communicate ways to improve upon current university practices by fostering innovative ideas and technologies both within the campus community and beyond
- Educate the campus community to create a healthier and more responsible environment.
- Develop progressive solutions to reduce negative environmental impacts in ways that are economically beneficial.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes their responsibility to be leaders in sustainable development for the community, state and nation. Imparting knowledge of sustainability is essential in achieving its campus wide mission to produce well educated citizens. In order to reach and maintain this objective, the Sustainability Initiative was created.
Consisting of the Chancellor's Sustainability Committee (formerly EPAC), the Sustainability Manager, the Eco-Rep Program, and the Student Fellowship Program, the Initiative works to inform, educate and promote sustainable practices to the campus community. A collaborative effort between students, staff, faculty and administrators allows numerous projects and sustainable changes to be implemented. The large involvement of student participation in these efforts has integrated sustainability into the fabric of the academic mission of the University.
|2007||President Jack M. Wilson signs the five UMass campuses onto the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In order to fulfill the requirements outlined in the ACUPCC, Chancellor Thomas Cole forms the Environmental Performance Advisory Committee later that year to write the University’s Climate Action Plan and to develop and implement projects that would help make the campus more sustainable.|
UMass student Josh Stoffel launches the Eco-Rep Program as his senior thesis for Commonwealth College. Designed to promote student facilitated learning around issues of sustainability, the Eco-Rep Program focuses peer-to-peer education in residence halls. The curriculum is eventually redesigned to have more emphasis on internal development of Eco-Reps knowledge of sustainability.
Students see a need for a Sustainability Coordinator to help organize and promote the work being done in sustainability. An Eco Rep Program manager is also hired.
|2010||The UMass Amherst Climate Action Plan is compiled and published by EPAC. By spring 2010, the Sustainability Initiative encompasses a Student Sustainability Coordinator and seven other sustainability internships (now the Fellowship Program). Student interns worked in areas such as Waste and Recycling, Finance, Energy, Communications, Food Systems, Marketing and Infrastructure and by Fall of 2010 over twenty interns were working for the Sustainability Initiative and receiving appropriate college credit for their respective fields of study.|
|2011||A collaborative team of students, staff, and faculty submit the Sustainability Tracking Assessment Rating System (STARS) report to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and received a Gold rating, one of only 24 college and university campuses nationwide to receive this rating. Ezra Small is hired on as the first Sustainability Manager for UMass Amherst. Ezra is now serving as the chair of EPAC and is working to develop a vision for the present and future of sustainability efforts on campus.|
|2012||The Campus Sustainability Manager submits the first ACUPCC Progress Report for the University. To view the report go to: http://rs.acupcc.org/progress/254/. The Chancellor's Sustainability Committee (formerly EPAC) publishes the 2012 Climate Action Plan 2.0: A Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, available for download on the Campus Sustainability Initiative ScholarWorks website or directly to the PDF here.|