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Shana Weber: Sustainability Performance in Higher Education: Aligning Collective Impact with Ecoregional Drivers

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Shana Weber: Sustainability Performance in Higher Education: Aligning Collective Impact with Ecoregional Drivers

  1. 1. Sustainability  Performance  in  Higher   Educa8on:  Aligning  Collec8ve  Impact   with  Ecoregional  Drivers     ISCN  2014   Cambridge,  MA   Shana  S.  Weber,  Ph.D.   Director,  Office  of  Sustainability   Princeton  University  
  2. 2. Are  we  asking  the  right  quesJons?              
  3. 3. Campus  X  purchases  50%   “sustainable”  food  with  goal  of  75%   •  “sustainable”  defined  as  local  or  organic  or   cerJfied  humane,  free  range,  etc   •  DefiniJon  is  the  same  no  maTer  the  locaJon   •  Campus  X  is  in  a  water  scarce  region  
  4. 4. What  quesJons  should  we  ask?   •  Should  those  regional  condiJons  influence  the   definiJon  of  “sustainable”  food?  And   therefore  campus  goals?   •  What  is  the  actual  desired  impact  of  the  goal?   •  What  research  do  we  need  to  conduct  to   define  meaningful  targets?  
  5. 5. Next  Genera8on  Sustainability:   CollecJve  Impact   Ecoregional  PaTerns   From  this…           to  this:  
  6. 6. Are  metrics  about…   CompeJJve  advantage?   CollecJve  impact?  
  7. 7. CollecJve  impact:   •  262  STARS  reporJng  insJtuJons  (2005  –  2013)     GHG  emissions  down  5.4%     Water  usage  down  6.3%       “Sustainable”  food  purchases  =  24%     Per  person  waste  up  7.4%  
  8. 8. •  When  organized  by  ecoregions,  collecJve   insJtuJonal  performance  data  reveal   interesJng  and  significant  paTerns.  
  9. 9. Consider:  
  10. 10. Consider:  
  11. 11. •  Almost  all  campus  water  usage   is  the  same   =  
  12. 12. Even  more  interesJng…   •  STARS  reporJng  insJtuJons  in  water  scarce   regions  increased  their  use  by  10%     •  STARS  reporJng  insJtuJons  in  water  rich   regions  decreased  their  use  by  7%  
  13. 13. Ecoregions  
  14. 14. By  ecoregion…   •  NE  demonstrated  significantly  lower  water   usage  per  person  today  than  the  average,  with   average  reducJon  rates  over  Jme   •  The  Desert  demonstrated  increasing  water   usage  per  person  over  Jme,  with  current   usage  on  par  with  the  average  
  15. 15. What  is  the  next  generaJon  thinking   required?   •  Re-­‐connect  campus  performance  with   ecoregional  needs   •  Re-­‐think  metrics  to  align  with  desired   ecoregional  impact   •  Work  with  other  insJtuJons  in  the  ecoregion   toward  collecJve  impact   •  Coordinate  consistent  metrics  protocols   among  insJtuJons  to  assess  collecJve  impact  
  16. 16. What  is  the  next  generaJon  thinking   required?   •  Encourage  3rd  party  raters  to  value  the  alignment   between  campus  performance  and  ecoregional   condiJons   •  IdenJfy  specific  ecoregional  drivers  (water   scarcity,  soil  vitality,  water  quality,  biodiversity,  etc)   •  Replace  campus  baselines  that  are  prevalent   today  with  ecoregional  targets   •  Tell  collecJve  impact  stories  as  well  as  individual   campus  innovaJons  
  17. 17. Thank  You  
  18. 18. ObservaJons:   •  Performance  oien  based  on   improvement  to  campus   baselines  (inward  focus)     •  Not  on  improved  performance  in   response  to  eco-­‐regional  needs   (outward  focus)  
  19. 19. NE  Ecoregion:   •  Waste  ProducJon:     – Significantly  elevated  per  FTE  compared  to   average  today   – BUT,  reduced  waste  4%  over  study  period   •  GHG  Emissions:   – Significantly  reduced  emissions  than  average   today   – 13%  reducJon  over  study  period  

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