The Committee on Sustainability (COS), formed in fall 2008 with the approval of W&M President Taylor Reveley, is charged with developing, planning and recommending to the President strategies for implementing the College’s Sustainability Policy, and integrating sustainability into the life of the College. COS not only taps W&M’s intellectual capital, but also feeds into and benefits from its teaching, research, and service missions.
President Reveley charged interim Law School Dean Lynda Butler and School of Marine Sciences and W&M Environmental Science and Policy professor Dennis Taylor with selecting dozens of faculty and staff members from all areas of the College community to serve on COS. Since the Green Fees passed by students and the Board of Visitors in spring 2008 are an integral part of the committee’s work, students serve alongside faculty and staff as contributing members of COS and its subcommittees. Currently the student influence on the actions of the committee is strong and well supported, with nearly 50 students serving on the 10 working groups. One of the main project resources for the committee is the Campus Sustainability Road Map, a student-compiled list of proposals resulting from a Campus Sustainability Seminar held in spring 2008 by the Environmental Science and Policy Program. The Road Map has been instrumental in guiding the early work of COS.
The Committee on Sustainability is dedicated to:
- Promoting a culture of sustainability through the College community by engaging the powerful education, research and service traditions of the College;
- Promoting sustainable practices that recognize the need to manage human interactions with ecosystems to minimize impacts of use, conserve the regenerative capacity of the natural environment, and promote its ecological integrity;
- Serving as a faithful steward of the Student Green Fee through prudent management of those fees to maximize their impact on sustainability;
- Building an operational model that ensures the long-term future of the College's commitment to sustainability; and
- Implementing and promoting the President's Policy on Sustainability through full engagement of faculty, students and staff.