Office of Sustainability Hosts Annual Green Summit

Jake Gomez, Maroon-News Staff

On Thursday, March 11, in the Robert H. N. Ho. Atrium, the Colgate Office of Sustainability held the Annual Green Summit and Oak Awards as part of a series of events for the office’s annual initiative 13 Days of Green.

The summit consisted of a group discussion with Director of Sustainability John Pumillo, Program Coordinator Pamela Gramlich and other students and faculty to discuss sustainable initiatives on Colgate’s campus, including what the group’s vision of Colgate is for the year 2030.

Participants at the summit envisioned several ideas for a more sustainable Colgate, including adding topic-specific CORE curriculum courses regarding sustainability, implementing more sustainable practices in the dining halls and ways to reduce waste through new waste-management practices.

First-year Juliana Koller is a sustainability representative for the Office of Sustainability and attended the event last Thursday.

“[The Sustainability Representative (S-Rep) leadership development program] introduces first-year students to the sustainability culture at Colgate and equips them with the skills and information they need to improve sustainable practices in their Commons community,” the program’s descriptions says.

S-Reps represent their residential commons and aim to “develop and lead engaging educational programs that raise awareness about sustainability-related issues on and off campus.”

Koller stressed the importance of events like the Annual Green Summit for the Colgate community.

“I think this type of event is really important because it gives everyone at Colgate a chance to share their opinion on how Colgate can be more sustainable. [The Annual Green Summit] was open to everyone on campus, so students and faculty who are not currently involved with the Office of Sustainability had a chance to come and share ideas and goals for the future,” Koller said.

Koller also said the university must adjust to the global conversation about sustainability.

“I think it’s important to be constantly changing and adapting our goals as a university to strive toward being sustainable in a way that will have the greatest impact. Colgate made a promise to become Carbon Neutral in 2019, so now it is time to look towards a new goal and the way we can improve in terms of sustainability,” Koller said.

Thursday marked day two of 13 Days of Green. Sponsored by the Sustainability Council, this Colgate tradition “highlights local and global sustainability challenges and initiatives, and demonstrates what individuals can do to inspire change,” according to the official 13 Days of Green page on the Colgate website.

In thinking about how Colgate can continue to practice sustainability and environmental-consciousness, Koller believes that the university is on the road to a more sustainable future.

“Although I am not sure to what degree we will be able to put all these ideas into motion, I think that people can look forward to Colgate continuing its efforts to be a sustainable university. Events like this show that Colgate is trying every day to become more and more sustainable, and we as students have places where we can voice our concerns and ideas,” Koller said.

Thirteen Days of Green will continue until Earth Day on April 22. More information regarding 13 Days of Green events can be found on the Colgate calendar.

Contact Jake Gomez at [email protected].