ESC Green Project 1 Summary Text for Power Point Presentation ofDecember 6th, 2010: “Building a Green Culture at EmpireState College, Metro Center – 325 Hudson St., New York, NY Empire State College/SUNY–Metro Center Team Members: Marc Garber, Cheryl Lavery, Pam Lozano, Gary Prashar Mentor: Dr. Erella Regev Course: Strategic Planning: Sustainability Project – BME 0687243 Fall,2010 January 31, 2011
ESC Green Project 2 ABSTRACT As Students of Empire State College, specifically the Metro Center located at 325Hudson Street in NYC our intent is to research other successful “Green Culture” initiatives inand around NYC that can be applied to our campus. Our teams’ purpose is to be able todetermine areas where this campus can improve in its sustainability and energy efficiencyefforts. Our team recognizes that one of the main obstacles in adopting any new initiative isthe modification of behavior; therefore we plan to considerably research functioningprogram’s behavioral impacts on the basis of success in creating a “green” culture. We will make recommendations for how Empire State College, Metro Center – 325Hudson Street can adopt a “greener” culture.
ESC Green Project 3 WHAT SUSTAINABILITY IS AND IS NOT. Recycling paper, glass, and other materials, and limiting water and electricconsumption are major steps in the struggle to make our world a better place. But thesemeasures are just drops in the bucket when viewed from the perspective of truesustainability. But what exactly is sustainability. Or maybe it is easier to discuss whatsustainability is not. Sustainability is not just about recycling plastic water bottles, rather it isabout not buying water in plastic bottles in the first place. Sustainability is not aboutremoving another mountain top for a cache of coal that will barely out a dent in the humanraces appetite for fuel; its more about changing our lifestyles to reduce our reliance on fossilfuels by demanding less energy. It is up to each and every human being who cares aboutsustaining a livable planet for generations to come, to become personally sustainable. Herewe will present our findings, after months of research, for achieving sustainability here atEmpire State College Metro campus. We hope to plant the seeds that will grow into thegreening, not just of the physical facility, but of the culture of ESC Metro. "Achieving sustainability is not just about changing how humans do things, its aboutchanging how humans view things." -Dexter Dunphy in "Organizational Change forCorporate Sustainability", p. 153 In order to build a Green culture at Empire State College, Metro Center we mustconsider the following: where we are now, where we want to be and what we must do tothere. Only after we have fully researched these aspects of building a green culture will beable to assess the potential implementations that can take place at ESC, Metro Center bothshort term and long term.
ESC Green Project 4 WHERE ARE WE NOW? SUNY plans for ESC Metro Center ESC has hired a full time Director of Environmental Sustainability, whoseresponsibilities include making recommendations for sustainability efforts throughout theESC school system. Additionally, ESC has made a commitment to participate in NYCMayor Bloomberg’s NYC 30-10 challenge, in which colleges will commit to reduce theircarbon emissions by 30% over the next 10 years. ESC is a member of the Association forthe Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. These initiatives place ESC in aposition to embrace sustainability throughout the campus and commit to making ESC a more“green” environment for students, faculty and staff. SWOT Analysis A comprehensive SWOT analysis was completed at the inception of the project.Internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats were identified.Strengths of the project included the synergy with ESC’s sustainability efforts and certificateprogram, cost savings that could be borne to the college, adult learners in general are open tonew ideas and behaviors, the college has hired a Director of Environmental Sustainabilityand has a dedicated budget for sustainability efforts, and building a green culture will attractenvironmentally-minded students and faculty. Some of the weaknesses identified includedexisting lease restrictions, minimal influence with the current building management as ESCleases the space and does not own it, general resistance to change, no funding designatedspecifically for the Metro Center, and there is no current energy audit available by which toidentify or benchmark changes or suggestions. External opportunities are the environmentalconcerns of society, significant advances in green technology and products to supportsustainability efforts, the availability of other “green” colleges by which to benchmarkefforts, and Bloombergs NYC 30-10 initiative, which challenges colleges to reduce their
ESC Green Project 5carbon emissions by 30% over the next 10 years. The threats identified include lack ofaccess to public and state funding, current building laws and ordinances that might prohibitsome of the recommendations, and any future change in current consumer attitudes towardssustainability. Audits: (GARY) It is important that we define who comprises the current culture at ESC, MetroCenter. Any Green initiative has to involve Stakeholders. Stakeholder is defined by MerriamWebster as “a person, group, organization, or system who affects or can be affected by anorganization’s actions”. Stakeholders at ESC – Metro include: Students, Faculty, Staff,Families of Students, Other Building tenants, NYC , Community and the Government.Through our research we were able to discover that the Faculty and Staff of ESC spend onaverage 35 to 40 hours at the actual center, while some work from home. The studentinformation was harder to determine since the data available only took into account totalnumber of enrollments per term and some students are enrolled in more than one class.However, we determined that the student body at ESC – Metro Center was comprised ofadult learners, a diverse population. They also include commuters and some distancelearners. WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? Benchmarking – industry standards: Three industry associations/standards were identified that support sustainabilityefforts in colleges and buildings. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)provides guidelines and metrix for buildings to reduce their carbon emissions and become
ESC Green Project 6more energy efficient. AASHE provides a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment andRating System) audit program designed specifically for colleges and universities to determinetheir current sustainability policies/operations are and where improvements can be made.Finally, the American College & University President’s Climate Committee providesadditional guidelines and information for benchmarking and implementing sustainabilityefforts in a higher education environment. Benchmarking institutions – Berkeley College: Berkeley College has 8 campuses in the NY/NJ area. This study focusedpredominantly on their NYC Midtown locations which are owned by the college. Berkeleyhas a well-formed sustainability program called Project GreenPath. It started as a grass-rootseffort by a few faculty members interested in how the college could implement basicrecycling measures, and has expanded to a fully developed program that includes asustainability committee and partnerships with all facets of the faculty, staff and studentbody. Their initiatives include a highly visible recycling program, websites and newsletterscommunicating their efforts, student and staff-wide emails promoting the program, internaloperating changes such as copy and print management systems, retrofitting bathrooms withauto-flushers, foam soap dispensers and electronic paper towel dispensers, light sensors thatturn off lights when classrooms are empty, reduction of electrical usage through temperaturecontrols and powering down of computers, and a plethora of other programs. Berkeleycontinues to research and recommend other sustainability initiatives such as solar power,light bulb retrofitting and shortened hours on Fridays in the summer to reduce energyconsumption. The budget for the sustainability efforts comes mainly from the facilities andoperations budgets at each campus. Benchmarking institution – Hunter College:
ESC Green Project 7 Hunter College, a NYC division of CUNY (City University of New York) has 10buildings in the NYC area. They began their sustainability efforts in 2007 when they agreedto participate in Mayor Bloomberg’s 30-10 Challenge. Hunter Green has a sustainabilitycommittee comprised of faculty, staff and students. Hunter has a website that publicizes theirsustainability efforts, which include TV monitors that promote sustainability efforts andcampaigns, a recent “take the stairs” campaign that promotes fitness and energy awareness,recycling efforts, food donations to City Harvest, participation in MillionTreesNYC, bikeracks to promote bicycling to school, rather than taking public transportation or driving, andother initiatives. They have retrofitted their space to conserve energy, such as replacingwindows with energy efficient ones, retrofitting bathrooms with auto-flushers and auto-dispensers, reduced HVAC demands on weekends and after hours. A new building will beLEED certified. The budget for the sustainability efforts comes mainly from the facilitiesand operations budgets, and grants to the college. Triple Bottom Line Reporting … (GARY) In order to have a future culture of Pro-environmental Students, Staff and Faculty, wewill have to foster environmental knowledge, which will affect environmental attitudes andresult in pro-environmental behavior. The college can provide the faculty, staff and studentswith environmental knowledge through studies and seminars that will seek to impactEnvironmental attitudes. Although increased environmental knowledge does not directlyresult in positive environmental attitudes, but it is key in modifying pro-environmentalbehavior. [ FIND CITATION ] . WHAT WE MUST DO TO GET THERE
ESC Green Project 8 Given the nature of our current culture, we have an advantage already. Studies havefound that “the longer the education, the more extensive is the knowledge aboutenvironmental issues. Yet more education does not necessarily mean increased pro-environmental; behavior. A meta analysis of 128 pro-environmental behavior research found the followingvariables associated with pro-environmental behavior… Organizations that are trying to change a culture their employees in order toimplement the change. However, one of the biggest challenges to implement change andmain resistance to change is cynicism. Communication, research has found, is one of themost usefull tools in implementing successful environmental practices and overcomingcynicism and skepticism. However. This communication must fully expose the real motivesfor the change and they must be believe by the employees and organization members.Another key in implementing successful strategic decisions refers to involving key membersof the organization that are respected to buy-in on the motives of management and theninfluence the rest of the organization. Organization must Communicate implementation plans to reduce cynicism andskepticism Expose real motives Involve key members of the organization. "Vision 2015" – The SUNY Empire State College Vision 2015 includes acommitment that by 2015, ESC will serve a growing body of students while generating asmaller carbon footprint, providing a full array of studies and degree programs related to theenvironment and sustainability, and modeling environmentally sensitive behavior incommunities across the state. ESC will also play an active role within SUNY and beyond asan advocate for sustainability in higher education.
ESC Green Project 9 Incentives for engagement and accountability: ESC has committed to being energy efficient and embracing sustainability in theVision 2015 statement. It states that by 2015 “ESC should be prepared to serve a growingbody of students while generating a smaller carbon footprint, providing a full array of studiesand degree programs related to the environment and sustainability, and modelingenvironmentally sensitive behavior in communities across the state. We will also play anactive role within SUNY and beyond as an advocate for sustainability in higher education.”ESC has also made a financial commitment to sustainability through the hiring of a Directorof Environmental Sustainability. Failure to succeed in their sustainability efforts andcommitment may result in a loss of credibility and bad public relations for the college, awaste of funds designated for these programs, and a negative impact on students interested insustainability studies. Create a vision…(GARY) Another way in which ESC could ensure the building of a green culture is usingcommunications, both internal and external (marketing plan). We recommend that thegreening of the culture of ESC Metro Center be placed at the forefront of visibility for allwho enter: students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike. To accomplish this, we suggest that amajor initiative be undertaken which will utilize the abundance of resources at our disposal.The talents of ESC students of advertising, marketing, web-based technologies, psychology,sociology, art, mass communications, and any other relevant discipline should be enlisted inlaunching a plan that will effectively communicate the message stressing "why going greenbenefits you". We propose a collaborative program offered under the auspices of a class orclasses taken for credit and integrating these disciplines. We believe this will undoubtedlyproduce a revolutionary and exciting new approach to achieving our goals.
ESC Green Project 10 Available resources – talent of ESC students…???? RECOMMENDATIONS Short Term – Technical, Physical and Cultural: Short term recommendations were developed that can be applied with little cost to thecollege and utilize available resources of the school, and which require relatively smallcultural changes. Technical and physical recommendations include making recycling binsmore visible, putting signs above the light switches to remind students and faculty to turn offthe lights when leaving a classroom, providing students access to the paper shredding bins,have a designated sustainability bulletin board to promote and advertise sustainability efforts,promote the book exchange more visibly on Angel and MyESC, and provide a visible link tothe Sustainability Website on Angel and MyESC pages. Short term culturalrecommendations include encouraging faculty to accept emailed or online submissions ofassignments, as opposed to requiring paper copy submissions. Additionally, students shouldbe allowed to opt for electronic learning contracts and grade assessment forms. Finally, ESCshould advertise the benefits of NYC drinking water and encourage students and faculty tofill their water bottles in school and at home. Long Term – Technical, Physical and Cultural Long term recommendations were developed with the philosophy that they should besustainable through cost savings initiatives with imaginative use of new resources and thatthey should encourage a culture change throughout the school. Some long term technical andphysical recommendations are to partner with the building management to ensure thatrecycling is being done, to partner with building vendors to ensure that they are practicingenvironmentally positive behavior through using green cleaning supplies, retrofittingbathrooms when possible, explore the possibility of a bike room for commuting students, and
ESC Green Project 11invest in a print management and copy system to reduce paper consumption. It was alsorecommended that ESC implement a student recycling program for ink, toner and batteries,with the money received from recycling to be used to fund future sustainability initiatives.ESC should also publish and communicate the cost savings borne by these initiatives toengage students and faculty in the program and encourage a change in behavior. CONCLUSION ???? Addendum Since our presentation we have learned that all discarded trash from the facility issorted for recycling at a facility in New Jersey. We have also learned that a good practicealready in use At ESC Metro Center is the wide use, self-initiated by faculty and staff, ofreusable cups and mugs, rather than disposable containers. Under the direction of EmpireState Colleges first Director of Environmental Sustainability, Sadie Puglisi, a system-wideSustainability Club has been created to facilitate the inclusion of students in green initiativesand, quite ingeniously, to place the College in a more advantageous and opportune positionto receive benefits for the purposes of achieving sustainability that might otherwise not beavailable to the schools. Acknowledgements The members of the ESC Metro Center “Green Team” would like to express oursincerest thanks to everyone who helped us in our study, including. Dr. Erella Regev,Mr.Rhett Dugstad, Ms. Sadie Puglisi, Dean Cynthia Ward, Dr. Kevin Woo, Mr. AaronZachmeier, & Ms. Sophia Mavrogiannis. We hope we havent omitted anyone in error.
ESC Green Project 12 ReferencesDunphy, Dexter; Griffiths, Andrew &; Benn, Suzanne (2010) Organizational Change for Sustainability Management: A guide for leaders and change agents of the future. p.153. New York: Routledge.