Sustainability Commitment Guide

Sustainability Commitment Guide

Student Life is committed to student learning and the development of the whole student in a diverse campus community. To those ends, each of us must influence and lead student development and behavior by example of our own actions, guided by our divisional values.

Among those values are Accountability and Stewardship, which include our responsibility to be careful in our use of all resources, to promote sustainable practices that reduce the environmental impact of our operations and personal habits. Each of us should make the following commitments to reduce our consumption of finite resources and make important and enduring contributions to our world.

Energy consumption is both a major contributor to greenhouse gas production tied to climate change, and a major financial impact on the University's budget.

• I will turn off lights and equipment when a room is not occupied.
• I will consider task lighting for work spaces in lieu of multiple overhead lights.
• I will purchase energy-efficient lighting and equipment.
• I will encourage the use of manually operated doors, leaving the electric powered opener to individuals who need it.
• I will encourage use of the stairs when it is reasonable to do so, rather than taking the elevator.

Water is one of our most precious and vital resources, and conservation efforts can have a considerable impact both financially and environmentally.

• I will not be wasteful in my use of water.
• I will not dispose of waste or chemicals in any way that might contaminate water sources.
• I will reduce or eliminate my use of bottled water when other sources of drinking water are available.

Waste Reduction is important at both ends of the consumer path — decreasing the amount of energy and resources used to produce goods, and lowering the impact of waste that pollutes the earth, air, and water.

• I will support and promote recycling programs.
• I will use online directories instead of paper copies.
• I will help reduce unwanted junk mail by contacting organizations to be removed from mailing lists.
• I will reduce the distribution of promotional materials, newsletters, and paper mailings to University departments.

Printers and Copiers are responsible for considerable paper and energy consumption.

• I will strive to reduce my use of paper by being more prudent in printing and copying documents.
• I will participate in ITS Green Computing initiatives.
• I will look for opportunities to reduce energy consumption by setting printers to turn off when not in use, and will identify opportunities to reduce the number of individual, desktop printers in my work area.
• I will set double-sided printing as the default for all printers that have the capability.
• I will utilize the black and white printing option if available to conserve energy and toner costs.

Office and Cleaning Supplies in the waste stream can have serious impacts on the environment.

• I will use recycled-content and eco-friendly supplies as available, including cleaning solutions, paper towels, paper pads, file folders, pens, paper clips, paper, and toner cartridges.
• I will manage the ordering of supplies to reduce packaging and the number of deliveries (fuel, carbon emissions reduction).
• I will consider the Property Disposition Office before ordering new items.

A Culture of Sustainability and Environmental Consciousness is the collective work of all of us in Student Life. Let us commit to recognizing the need and opportunities to develop such a culture, to believe in it, practice it, and promote it in our daily lives at work and home.

• I will include sustainable practices in the office when training new employees.


For more ideas, please visit the Student Life Sustainability website, or

For a copy of this guide, please download and display the pdf version of this document.