About the Roadmap

Susquehanna University’s Sustainability Roadmap is a working document that outlines a forward-looking path to minimize our operational impacts, expand sustainability education and further embed a culture of sustainability within our campus community. This roadmap is a guide for all campus offices, departments and individuals to play a role in furthering our sustainability efforts.

This roadmap identifies six goals: 

  1. Academics: Incorporate sustainability within the curriculum and scholarly activities.
  2. Collaboration: Strengthen sustainability culture through relationship-building.
  3. Communication: Optimize awareness and knowledge-sharing among internal and external audiences.
  4. Operations: Reduce our environmental footprint.  
  5. Planning: Strategically use university resources to foster sustainability.
  6. Student Engagement: Provide meaningful sustainability-focused opportunities for students.

The following expands upon each goal through specific objectives and strategies. These are intended to complement our current sustainability efforts, to provide inspiration to campus community members and to suggest tangible ways to get involved. 

Sustainability comprises a vast array of different topics, some of which are typically overlooked. To better focus our attention on these important topics, each goal contains strategies to highlight efforts to advance: social justice, global citizenship, and the economy. 

Incorporate sustainability within the curriculum and scholarly activities

  1. Strengthen interdisciplinary curriculum development
    1. Develop a sustainability training session with the Center for Teaching and Learning to empower faculty to develop sustainability content for their courses
    2. Establish a major and/or minor in sustainable management [Economy]
    3. Continue to develop curricula for Global Opportunities (GO) program directors to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their programs [Global Citizenship]
    4. Host informal faculty and staff gatherings to discuss sustainability
      1. Intentionally include the SDGs in these conversations [Global Citizenship]
      2. Intentionally include environmental justice connections [Social Justice]
    5. Sponsor faculty or staff members to attend conferences or trainings to incorporate sustainability into their teaching
    6. Gather and advertise opportunities for faculty conferences and/or trainings about social justice and sustainability [Social Justice]
  2. Expand scholarly activities on sustainability
    1. Internally share faculty research about sustainability
    2. Host an annual campus sustainability research symposium
    3. Sponsor a faculty member to develop an event that highlights their scholarship and its connection with sustainability and social justice [Social Justice]
  3. Increase the sustainability literacy of campus
    1. Explore how sustainability can be incorporated into each major and the Central Curriculum
    2. Develop a student sustainability literacy and values assessment
      1. Measure changes in sustainability literacy and values over a student’s four-year experience
      2. Analyze, track and archive student knowledge gaps and areas of improvement about sustainability
      3. Use multi-year assessment data to inform the development and revision of courses, pedagogical workshops, co-curricular events, university communications and other programs
    3. Sponsor alumni speakers to share how their professional roles address the SDGs [Global Citizenship]
    4. Develop programming about the business case for sustainability [Economy]
    5. Increase sustainability content in the environmental studies major and minor
    6. Use the Center for Environmental Education and Research (CEER) to provide living learning laboratory opportunities

 

Strengthen sustainability culture through relationship-building

  1. Expand partnerships between the Office of Sustainability and other offices and departments
    1. Launch the EcoHawk Office Program
    2. Develop at least two sustainability-focused events each semester that span offices/departments
    3. Host one event each year through the Committee on Sustainability
    4. Co-host events with a social justice theme [Social Justice]
      1. Host one Let’s Talk event each year
      2. Work with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) to host one event each year
      3. Develop collaborations between the Sustainability Project Leaders and/or SU’s Environmental Club with other student groups like SU Natives and Allies (SUNA), the CDI student staff, Asian Cultural Association, Black Student Union, Gay Straight Alliance, etc.
    5. Partner with the Career Development Center to highlight careers in sustainability [Economy]
    6. Increase interdisciplinary academic partnerships to connect sustainability and business [Economy]
    7. Develop a large-scale, service-oriented Earth Month event
    8. Foster partnerships with external organizations to amplify diverse sustainability knowledge and experiences
  2. Expand self-directed campus-wide sustainability collaborations  
    1. Partner with one pre-existing large-scale event on campus annually, and enhance it with sustainable practices
    2. Publish an annual report about the state of the SDGs at SU that outlines how offices have contributed to the SDGs [Global Citizenship]
    3. Incorporate sustainability into professional development of faculty and staff to integrate sustainability into decision-making at every level
    4. Create sustainability career profiles to share with academic departments that highlight sustainability careers that connect to their programs [Economy]
    5. Create a peer-to-peer education workshop for faculty and staff to educate each other about sustainable skills, hobbies, and knowledge
    6. Offer UN SDG trainings for faculty and staff to draw connections between their work and the UN SDGs [Global Citizenship]
    7. Use the CEER as a social and meeting space to provide opportunities for collaboration

 

Optimize awareness and knowledge-sharing among internal and external audience

  1. Increase sustainability content of communications to students, faculty and staff
    1. Create and disseminate an end-of-year report to be published by June 30th each year
    2. Spotlight students, faculty and staff whose work focuses on sustainability
    3. Publish content to connect social justice and sustainability [Social Justice]
      1. Create one social media post a month to draw those connections
      2. Create one flyer/poster annually that connects social justice and sustainability
    4. Increase the variety of information shared, including campus-specific sustainability efforts, external news and knowledge, and calls for action
    5. Create environmental justice talking points for Sustainability Project Leaders that will be made available to campus [Social Justice]
    6. Create an infographic on the economic impacts of sustainability on campus to raise awareness with faculty, staff and students [Economy]
  2. Maximize the communication methods already at our disposal
    1. Create intentional cross-referenced content between social media, our student-driven sustainability website (The Ginkgo), the weekly sustainability e-newsletter, MySU, the SU sustainability website, and Faculty Staff Weekly and Inside SU e-newsletters
    2. Expand the number of faculty and staff who receive the weekly sustainability newsletter so that each department or office has at least one recipient
    3. Develop a communications plan for students and another for faculty and staff
    4. Develop a CEER webpage within the larger SU website
    5. Provide a mechanism for faculty and staff to share personal sustainability efforts
    6. Extend communications to external audiences such as alumni, prospective students and local community members by utilizing pre-existing communication structures within the offices of Admission, Alumni and Advancement, and those working within the local community
    7. Create a section of the Blough-Weis Library Sustainability Guide that includes published sustainability-related scholarship from faculty

 

Reduce our environmental footprint

  1. Create energy- and waste-reduction plans as outlined in our strategic plan
    1. Quantify sources of energy consumption and waste generation
    2. Research best practices to reduce energy consumption and waste generation
    3. Create proposals to reduce energy consumption and waste generation
  2. Annually inventory and track greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Reduce energy use on campus
    1. Continue LED light replacement project to target fixtures that are harder to replace through the capital budget request process
    2. Conduct a sensor audit of campus to determine other areas of campus that could benefit from light sensors
    3. Create student-centered energy reduction campaigns
    4. Communicate energy use to campus to show progress on reducing energy use (heating degree days considered)
    5. Empower the campus community to turn off lights as they leave rooms and when they see them left on
  4. Create an implementation plan for carbon neutrality
  5. Improve recycling rates and decrease landfill contributions
    1. Create consistent recycling infrastructure across campus, interior and exterior
    2. Improve signage of recycling process
    3. Install more hydration stations to encourage reusable water bottle use
    4. Create a green event guide
    5. Create a low-waste lab program
    6. Create a “Follow our Waste” campaign to raise awareness of
      1. Global connections of our waste system [Global Citizenship]
      2. Economic and business connections [Economy]
  6. Demonstrate the efforts to achieve the SU strategic plan “Cultivate campus property and natural resources to support our sustainability efforts”
    1. Create signage, communication plans, website and social media presence and other awareness-building campaigns for the following current and future projects:
      1. CEER nature trail
      2. Silk Mill restoration
      3. Pollinator garden
      4. Shakespeare garden
    2. Land acknowledgement [Social Justice]
      1. Promote the land acknowledgement on Deg Lawn
      2. Advocate to use a verbal land acknowledgement in the regular course of operations, like on tours, first year orientation, speakers, etc.
    3. Create gardens on campus that contain culturally important plants [Global Citizenship]
      1. Three sisters garden
      2. Medicinal herb garden
      3. International produce garden
  7. Empower the campus community to lead sustainability projects
    1. Increase awareness of the Student Government Association-sponsored Green Fund to increase applications for funding
    2. Create challenges for the campus to highlight ways we can reduce our collective environmental footprint
    3. Highlight sustainability experiences from the campus community

 

Strategically use university resources to foster sustainability

  1. Investments
    1. Explore ways in which SU manages its endowment to align with our aspirations for cultivating a more sustainable enterprise
    2. Consider adding a sub-committee on Investor Responsibility to make recommendations to our Board Investment Committee. The sub-committee would include students, faculty and staff, and perhaps alumni.
    3. Encourage the Investment Committee to weigh divestment from companies associated with fossil fuels
    4. Consider active investing in sustainable energy initiatives
    5. Consider using our proxy power as an investor to advocate for corporate policies more suited to a sustainable outlook
  2. Employee Wellness and Workplace Safety
    1. Consider a smoke-free campus
    2. Explore ways to formalize our existing workplace safety system and to add additional safeguards
    3. Highlight current occupational health and safety programs and resources on internal websites
  3. Diversity and Equity Coordination
    1. Enhance Inclusive Excellence web presence with information about the university’s diversity and equity office and faculty and staff trainings
    2. Make an effort to capture more accurate numbers of students, faculty and staff who participate in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities
  4. Assessing Diversity and Equity
    1. Publish recent climate survey results on appropriate page on the external website
    2. Publish to external website information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts
  5. Support for Underrepresented Groups
    1. Make the list and/or map of gender-neutral bathroom locations more easily accessible online
    2. Enhance Inclusive Excellence web presence with information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups.
  6. Affordability and Access
    1. Enhance Admission and Aid web presence with information about the university’s accessibility and affordability initiatives
  7. Wellness Program
    1. Update the existing web presence with information about campus wellness programs

 

Provide meaningful sustainability-focused opportunities for students

  1. Increase student engagement with sustainability
    1. Create Green Resident Assistant positions
    2. Create a first-year student engagement plan, from summer before they arrive through move-out of their first year
    3. Create sustainability initiatives that student clubs and organizations can personalize
    4. Host events at the CEER
    5. Create action-oriented student events/programs that tackle specific social justice topics, examples include: [Social Justice]
      1. Climate justice
      2. Food insecurity
      3. Eco-racism
    6. Raise awareness about the economic aspects of sustainability, including: [Economy]
      1. Biomimicry
      2. Social impact investing and ESG performance
      3. Promote shopping at minority-owned businesses
  2. Create opportunities for student leadership growth through sustainability
    1. Develop leadership programs in conjunction with the Office of Leadership and Engagement
    2. Create professional development opportunities for Sustainability Project Leaders to practice being change agents on campus
    3. Offer EcoHawk Office Program points to offices that train student employees about sustainable practices and provide opportunities for students to implement sustainable practices
    4. Create leadership opportunities using the UN SDGs [Global Citizenship]
      1. SDG Launch program
      2. Ginkgo Blog series for GO program, similar to the GO program blog
      3. Additional program development with Bridges 2030
    5. Relaunch the student sustainability service scholar (or equivalent) program