Washington University in St. Louis’ goal is to foster a university culture in which sustainability is a defining element of institutional identity and daily practice.
The WashU community’s engagement in sustainability efforts has rapidly expanded in the last five years. A myriad of new initiatives, new resources, and major accomplishments have come to pass since 2010. Here are a few highlights:
- Students now run more than 20 sustainability-focused organizations, have created dozens of new sustainability leadership positions in long-standing organizations, and have advocated for change locally and internationally.
- Staff have championed a broad range of efforts, including creating zero-waste events, promoting the Green Office Program, and driving much of the progress highlighted throughout the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations.
- The Green Ambassador program launched in 2013 with 33 students. They introduced 1,700 incoming freshmen to campus sustainability practices and played a pivotal role creating a cultural shift on the Danforth Campus.
- The School of Medicine Sustainability Action Team (SAT) meets quarterly to learn about and then disseminate new initiatives and publishes a monthly newsletter.
- The Office of Sustainability developed a student intern program, including 16 student workers during the academic year and three to five over the summer.
- Residential Life’s Congress of the South 40 developed an Eco Rep program, which is integral in the Green Cup energy reduction competition.
- Faculty members have created new interdisciplinary sustainability courses, including Earth’s Future: Causes and Consequences of Global Climate Change, sustainable design-focused architecture studios, the experiential Sustainability Exchange, and Urban Ecosystem Principles Integration.