UW-Green Bay has created its first Office of Sustainability and has named John Arendt as director. Last year, working with then Provost and now current Chancellor Alexander, the campus Sustainability Committee identified the need for a dedicated office. Its mission? To address the campus’s sustainability needs and to serve as a conduit between the campus and UW System sustainability representatives.
Arendt sees many similarities between today’s climate and the ‘turbulent 60’s’. “In many respects, the conditions we are operating under seem eerily similar to the planetary crisis going on when the University was founded.” He also envisions the office taking an activist role for the University and the region. “Including a need for new thinking, teachers looking for novel ways to instruct and looking to a younger generation to provide leadership out of the current paradigm.”
One of those current needs will be reporting the campus sustainability efforts to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report, which is due in spring 2021. Surveys consistently show that sustainability practices remain extremely important for students when considering which college to attend.
The STARS report communicates the university’s sustainability rating to prospective college students in publications such as Princeton Review and Sierra Club’s Cool Schools report. The Office of Sustainability will be housed in the Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI), where Arendt will also continue to serve as director. The EMBI office is located in ES 105 and Arendt can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on the contact page of the campus sustainability webpage.