On Monday, January 25, 2016 the UHMC Sustainability Committee had its first meeting of the semester and its first meeting under the new structure of an elected chairperson and defined committee. A campus Sustainability Committee was formed in 2009 and until now had not functioned as a formal committee with Robert’s Rules or hierarchal structure, meetings were ad hoc for the last two years due to scheduling constraints, interest in writing the charter, and no defined or elected chair to organize the agenda. On November 23, 2015 the UHMC Sustainability Committee elected Ferdouz Cochran, Instructor of Sustainable Science Management (SSM), as Chair an Angela Gannon, Office of the Vice Chancellor, as Vice-Chair. The UHMC Sustainability Committee will meet on different days and times during their monthly meetings to accommodate members and ease scheduling conflicts. The next meeting time has been proposed to be Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 1:30pm-3:00pm, room TBA.
During January’s UHMC Sustainability Committee meeting it was agreed that the number of voting members on sustainability policy and project planning will increase to 15 voting members from the previous 12 voting member limit. Voting members include: (2) student representatives total from the SOS Club, Student Government, or Student Activities Council, (1) Academic Senate or Faculty, (1) Budget Committee or Faculty, (1) Curriculum Committee of Faculty, (1) Strategic Direction or Faculty, (1) Hawai’i Papa O Ke Ao Representative, (1) Administrative Personnel, (1) Civil Service, (1) Operations & Maintenance, (1) Community Member, (1) SLIM, (2) SSM Faculty, & (1) Chancellor’s Office Designee. The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellors are non-voting members of the Sustainability Committee. Not all voting member positions are filled, the committee is currently sending invites and requests to fill the vacant seats.
The UHMC Sustainability Committee also voted to adopt a definition of sustainability that will be applied to all sustainability based projects and plans in order to keep the projects and plans focused and observing the UHMC Sustainability Committee definition of sustainability as it relates to the campus. This is the UHMC Sustainability Committee’s definition for campus sustainability plans and projects: “Sustainability provides a decision guiding framework that accounts for and balances all relevant considerations in decision making processes with the overall intent of meeting present needs without compromising our ability to meet future needs. A sustainable system is self-regulating and regenerative and balances existing and incoming resources, the use or consumption of those resources, and system outputs in a holistic and equitable manner.”
The next Sustainability Committee meeting agenda on Tuesday, February 16, will focus on the priorities and purpose of new sustainability projects and plans. The Sustainability Committee will determine if the campus plans will fall in line with the Board of Regents proposals for sustainability in the UH system or if Maui will carve out a focus on sustainability tailored for Maui campus. The Board of Regents prioritizes the following initiatives: a) no less than 50% of commitments to renewable energy on campus, b) commitments should provide a net benefit in two years (ROI), c) reduction of campus budget base funding in three years, and d) commitments do not increase the campus carbon footprint.
The UHMC Sustainability Committee next Tuesday, February 16 and is open to the campus and public.