Please describe your institution's greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.
Linfield’s emissions reduction goal is to reduce emissions as funding is available in a practical and pragmatic manner, with a two pronged, reciprocally integrated approach:
1. Conserve natural resources by educating the community about improving behavioral patterns, in order to take advantage of low cost reduction opportunities, and
2. Improve efficiency by directing available capital toward on-campus investment opportunities.
Linfield understands that efficiency and conservation are inherently interconnected, and intends to use education and awareness as the link to bridge the gap between efficiency projects and the community’s consumptive behavior. By making the community conscious of the environmental benefits of campus efficiency projects, Linfield will encourage thought and increase awareness about typical patterns of use, emphasizing conservation focused behavior. In turn, through sustainability focused education, continued adoption of meaningful building policies, and funding green development on campus when possible, Linfield will garner support and create demand for efficiency projects. In the college’s third foundational educational principle to: Steward Linfield’s Physical Assets, Linfield confirms that long term investment in physical assets supports the mission of the institution by educating students both in and out of the classroom.
Please see the report for a detailed listing of the potential strategies Linfield may investigate to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Please describe your institution's plans to make sustainability a part of the
curriculum for all students.
Issues of sustainability and humanity’s environmental footprint play a substantial role throughout Linfield’s curriculum. These issues are encountered not only in the Environmental Studies program of study, but in a range of courses satisfying the distribution requirements required of all students (the Linfield Curriculum). Students from all areas of study have multiple opportunities to engage with the issue of sustainability.
Courses that directly address sustainability are regularly offered in the eight Linfield Curriculum categories. Linfield courses include Energy and the Environment (physics), Environmental History of the US (history), Natural Resource Economics (economics), Environmental Ethics (philosophy), and Environmental Literature (English). Students often satisfy the Global Pluralisms aspect of the Linfield Curriculum with a travel course taken during January term. While these course topics change yearly, 2011 offerings will include Aboriginal and Environmental Economics of Australia, Literary Biology of the Seas of Cortez, Ecotourism’s Impact on Selected Areas of Argentina, and Outdoor Environmental Studies. Inquiry Seminars, writing intensive courses required of all freshmen, also periodically engage sustainability issues, for example The Collapse of Complex Societies and In Search of the Good Life.
All incoming freshmen also participate in a one-credit common reading and discussion course called Colloquium. As a part of this program, the entire campus is invited to participate in a series of lectures, volunteer and outreach opportunities, and other activities relating to the common reading. The common reading itself is chosen by a faculty committee to be an inspiring work related to an issue of current critical importance. Readings for the past three years have all related to global citizenship, including components of sustainability. The readings have been: (2008) Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, (2009) Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert, and (2010) In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.
Please describe your institution's plans to expand community outreach efforts toward the
achievement of climate neutrality.
As interest in sustainability began to rise and information became available about the efforts of other institutions, Linfield formed a committee to increase environmental awareness. This committee, the Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability (ACES), recommended President Hellie’s endorsement of the ACUPCC which he signed in June 2008. Since then, ACES has continued to guide the college’s efforts to improve susstainability. ACES is currently co-chaired by Glenn Ford, VP of Finance & Administration, and John McKeegan, Advisor to the President and General Counsel, having continuous, direct support from the president’s office. ACES utilizes participation across the campus, with input of faculty, administrators and students. ACES is currently an advisory committee, but is seeking formal authorization as a permanent campus committee.
The students, faculty and administrators at Linfield were committed to sustainability long before ACES recommended that President Hellie sign the ACUPCC. Led by an organized and vocal subset of the student population dedicated to sustainable practices, Linfield faculty, administrators and students have led many efforts to educate the Linfield population. As a democratic college environment, any changes or new ideas are adopted after the community is educated on the subject or because adopting the new method simplifies daily living. Linfield has been educating and implementing small changes as steps to make decisions that are inherently better for our environment. By offering and encouraging more sustainable everyday choices and influencing daily behaviors on an unconscious level, Linfield hopes its graduates and staff will have established behavior patterns that result in lower emissions. Evidence of these small indicators can be seen in classrooms, on campus, and the college’s website. A list of programs, initiatives, and visible evidence of influential developments on campus is included in the report.