There is no all-conclusive vision of a sustainable future. The term “sustainable,” by itself, carries extensively different definitions depending on whom you ask. However, despite these discrepancies, one incontestable necessity toward an environmentally conscious future is collaboration. Haverford College took a mighty step in this direction last Friday by holding its first ever Sustainability Summit.
This conference, hosted by the Committee for Environmental Responsibility (CER) in conjunction with the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC), brought together on-campus environmental actors including students, staff and faculty. The purpose of the Summit was first and foremost to foster holistic lines of communication and to enable utmost learning and efficiency within our environmental missions. For while technology and its innovation greatly advance our community toward a future of sustainability, it is real discussion, communication and collaboration that serve as the foundation for environmental change. The Summit succeeded in acting as a bridge between inspired idealism and real solutions.
The discussions began with presentations on past and current initiatives, including but not limited to: CER’s Green Office Program and Devereux Bike Sale; Facilities Management’s locational survey for Photovoltaic Panel installation; E-Haus’s community vegetarian meal provision; Institutional Advancement’s funding of Environmental Studies Department faculty; and the waste reduction mission of the Better Together Campaign. Looking forward, future plans included: an HCA Orchard; electric vehicle-charging stations; a Haverford Garden educational workshop; a Fair Trade sale; a carbon offsetting program; and enhanced composting and recycling systems. Needless to say, it was an exciting meeting filled with enthused ideas, lively discussion and collaborative solutions. More tangibly, the Summit produced a petition stating our vested interest in a Haverford College Presidential candidate who places a primary focus on sustainability.
The impetus for, and main topic of, the Sustainability Summit was achievement through efficient communication. While this initial Summit was not open to the entirety of the Haverford community, this does not signify any sort of organizational isolation. The new CER website (www.haverford.edu/greening_haverford/cer/) and GO! Board subforum are spaces of virtual environmental discussion where issues, ideas, plans and general inquiries are encouraged. Please help in planning a pathway toward a sustainable future.
- Steve Griffith ’12