The Boston College Meeting
May 3, 2006
Boston College and the
Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence (C2E2)
This workshop brought together environmental professionals and institutional research professionals to initiate a meaningful dialogue on the development of appropriate methods for measuring and reporting on environmental performance.
The workshop addressed the following questions:
How can Institutional Research work together with EH&S and Sustainability divisions within a University to create sustainable institutions?
Institutional Research offers expertise on:
• Measurement of institutional performance.
• Presentation of data
• Communication to channels that may not be accessible to EH&S.
Environmental Office has data (but not all) and interest in communicating to broader constituencies.
How do you apply sustainability to labs?
• Harvard University has established an interdisciplinary Labs Advisory Group.
• Conservation and data collection efforts have been undertaken at the Harvard School of Public Health.
• Reporting on indicators is being used to prioritize efforts, communicate impacts, and promote behavior change within the Harvard community (i.e., School of Public Health).
Are there metrics that allow you to compare labs or institutions?
• When it comes to bulk comparisons of hazardous waste, it is probably not possible to find metrics that will allow for normalization and comparison across time or institutions.
• Trend data for types of specific waste streams may be the best measure for purposes of comparison.
• Waste data are probably not the most important measures for the institution until other metrics have been established and reported.
Are there available publications or channels to communicate campus environmental information?
• Yes, annual Fact Books
• Dartmouth and Tufts are already doing this
• New facts are routinely introduced into Fact Books and IR representatives at this meeting welcomed environmental data
The outcomes of the workshop were:
• Realization of the value in partnerships between IR, EH&S and Sustainability efforts at a University.
• Demonstration to IR personnel that their expertise can help universities to create and report data that will lead to sustainable institutions and ultimately a sustainable society.
Consensus Action Item
The IR representatives from each university committed to taking steps to include a page in their own “Fact Book” that reports on environmental metrics.
The C2E2 encourages C2E2 members and other higher education institutions to include environmental performance information in their annual Fact Books and in reports to Board of Trustees or Overseers. We suggest beginning with carbon emissions.
For further information about the workshop contact:
, Boston College Director of Institutional Research
, Boston College Environmental, Health and Safety Office
, Director of C2E2