Sustainability initiatives at Purdue typically come in one of three forms: a project, policy or program. A variety of new initiatives are expected now that clear and ambitious sustainability goals have been outlined in this Strategic Plan. Anticipating this surge, Purdue has developed a formalized process for reviewing, prioritizing and approving sustainability initiatives. This will support long term implementation of the plan by creating a transparent and standardized review process. The process includes the campus’s sustainability leadership at strategic times to help ensure initiatives integrate sustainability considerations fully and appropriately, thereby making them more successful in producing the intended outcomes and maximizing the likelihood of approval by Purdue’s senior administration.
Two committee structures will review, provide feedback, and ultimately approve or reject sustainability-related initiatives. The first is the existing Sustainability Council Steering Committee (SCSC), which is comprised of sustainability leaders from different operational areas, academics and research, fiscal affairs, and the graduate and undergraduate student population. The second is the new Sustainability Council Executive Committee (SCEC), which is comprised of senior administrators including the Executive Vice President for Business and Finance, Treasurer; Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Vice President for Research; Vice President for Physical Facilities; Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Assessment; Vice President for Ethics and Compliance; and a representative of the University Resources Policy Committee. This group of senior administrators will provide final approval or rejection of sustainability initiatives.
The Sustainability Council Steering Committee will serve as the initial point of contact and review for campus sustainability proposals. In addition to participating in the established capital project approval process by reviewing and commenting on sustainability-related "traveler: documents, the SCSC will also receive a variety of proposals from its own subcommittees and interested campus constituents. Serving as the first tier of the review process, the SCSC will be responsible for developing a set of criteria by which the viability of proposals may be assessed, evaluating submitted proposals and providing feedback to submitters. The SCSC will help ensure that initiatives contain analysis of first and long-term costs, environmental benefits, resource and cost savings, timeline, performance metrics, and a plan for quarterly progress updates. When the SCSC agrees that a proposed initiative is viable, in alignment with the goals of the Sustainability Strategic Plan, and ready for review by senior administration, the SCSC will present it at a quarterly meeting of the Sustainability Council Executive Committee.
The SCEC will be provided with Initiatives two weeks in advance of each quarterly meeting to allow for an initial review. The SCEC will have three weeks after the meeting to evaluate the initiatives and provide a response to the SCSC. At this time the SCEC will either approve, request changes or clarifications, or table each of the presented initiatives. A summary of the basis for rejection will accompany any initiative that is not approved. Initiatives that are not approved may be revised per SCEC suggestions and funneled back to the SCSC to repeat the process. This option, however, is dependent upon the content of the SCEC's comments. It is anticipated that this process will provide the campus community with the structure and feedback necessary to successfully develop and implement initiatives that support the achievement of goals outlined in this plan.
This process also contains an important recordkeeping component that imparts a higher level of consistency and transparency to the university’s sustainability program. The SCSC will draft an annual report that summarizes the projects reviewed by the SCEC and reasons for their approval or rejection. The report will also provide an implementation progress update for approved sustainability initiatives. This report will be distributed to the SCEC and made available to the campus community.