Publication Date

2018-5

Document Type

Capstone

Study Type

ENV 312: Sustainable Solutions

Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Advisors

Alex Barron

Abstract

The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate (IPCC, 2014). Addressing the complex problem of climate change requires creative sustainable solutions that many college campuses are equipped to create. Smith College does not have a clear structure in place to empower students to create their own sustainable initiatives and on­campus projects. Our goal is address the SGCC recommendations to “explore the development of sustainability innovation funds to implement cost­ and carbon­saving programs” (SGCC 2017). Our objectives include assessing the need for implementing a sustainability innovation fund at Smith College. We also aim to identify the resources students need to implement sustainable projects on campus. ` Our methods included an anonymous student survey, semi­structured interviews with key stakeholders on campus, and a literature review of peer institution sustainability project programming. Our survey results indicate that students have specific project ideas for on­campus sustainable innovation, but lack the resources to access funding on campus. Semi­structured interviews with key stakeholders indicate that there are a considerable amount of existing funding sources on campus, including the newly developed House Sustainability Challenge. Based these results, we conclude that there is not a need for an entirely new Sustainability Innovation Fund. Instead Smith College should utilize existing resources to engage and empower students to create innovate sustainable project on­campus. Furthermore, we recommend that the House Sustainability Challenge act as a foundation to expand into a Sustainability Innovation Initiative (SII) for student­led projects on campus. We provide additional recommendation regarding governance, funding source, project eligibility, applicant eligibility, programming and publicity engagement of the proposed Sustainability Innovation Initiative (SII).

Rights

©2018 Rachel Moskowitz

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