Sustainability Action Plan
INITIATIVE NAME Sustainability Action Plan
UNIVERSITY Wesleyan University
TAGS strategic planning | community | sustainability
CONTACT Jennifer Kleindienst <jkleindienst@wesleyan.edu>
WEBSITES www.wesleyan.edu/sustainability/climate-action/sustainability-action-plan.html




SUMMARY

The SAP includes goals, objectives, and strategies to move Wesleyan toward carbon neutrality and a sustainable campus. Over 100 students, faculty, and staff have participated in the plan's construction.



IMPACT

When complete (target launch Fall 2015), the SAP will provide guidance for nearly every sector of the University to move in a sustainable direction.  

  • December 2013: The Sustainability Office and SAGES distributed an all-campus survey to gather input on perceptions of campus sustainability efforts
  • February 2014: The Sustainability Office and SAGES held a workshop to brainstorm ideas for the SAP.  Over 50 students, faculty, staff, and administrators met to brainstorm goals and strategies in 13 topic areas
  • March 2014: SAGES held a meeting to plan next steps for the SAP, including the proposed structure and forming working groups  
  • March-May 2014: The 12 working groups (later 10) developed goals, objectives, and strategies in their respective sections
  • September 2014: The Sustainability Office collaborated with each working group to refine ideas and build a cohesive plan
  • October 2014: First drafts from each working group due
  • Spring 2015: Final drafts from each working group due
  • Summer 2015: Review and approval by President Roth and senior administrators
  • Fall 2015: Senior Staff Presentation, public comment period, and launch


PROCEDURE

This was an intentionally inclusive process, with workshops, surveys, and working groups gave students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to participate in whatever capacity they were able.  This process was entirely in-house to retain ownership and has been driven by the Sustainability Office and SAGES.  Approval from the President and senior administrators was key to getting buy-in and adjusting the plan accordingly.  The public comment period in the fall will give the campus a final chance to weigh in before the SAP is finalized.



MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED

Establish a timeline and parameters for the plan ahead of time, or else the process will be bogged down with details (hence why it will have taken nearly two years for the first SAP).  Establish a vision for working groups so that they understand the scale of the SAP and how to challenge without becoming impossible.



FUTURE PLANS

The SAP will go live this fall and will serve as a five-year sustainability plan.  One of the strategies within the SAP is to create a governance system for the plan itself so that implementation can go as smoothly as possible.  We will create a new SAP for 2020.