Johns Hopkins University, MD Sustainability Committee

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Johns Hopkins University, MD, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Formed in 2006

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The Johns Hopkins Sustainability Committee was formed in Fall 2006 by President Brody to augment each division's individual progress toward reducing their environmental impacts through a collaborative committee framework.

Beginning on Earth Day 2000, many dedicated members of the Johns Hopkins community have worked to decrease the university’s impact on the environment. With a focus on identifying and implementing practices that promote environmental stewardship, this environmental community—informally comprised of faculty, students and staff—has produced an impressive number of successes: today Johns Hopkins benefits from a revamped recycling program, several notable successes related to green purchasing and procurement strategies, energy efficiency activities, and substantial new knowledge in “green” building design. Most impressively, these combined efforts have reduced our environmental footprint while helping save millions of dollars in operating costs by reducing inefficiencies.

It is clear, however, that many opportunities were missed by divisions working independently instead of collaboratively. The mission of the Sustainability Committee (SC) is to address this need by connecting professional staff and faculty members from all divisions. The SC is results-oriented, focusing on areas of collaboration that produce quantifiable benefits for all divisions. The purview of this committee is, therefore, primarily in areas of university operations.

To maximize its effectiveness, the SC is a Presidential-level committee, with members appointed from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine, School of Professional Studies in Business and Education, Peabody Institute, School of Nursing, Applied Physics Laboratory, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, School of Advanced International Studies, the Sheridan Libraries, and the Whiting School of Engineering. Each member of the committee has a good understanding of sustainability activities within their divisions. Members are tasked with sharing the details of those activities with the committee and bringing information back to their divisions. Members appointed from each division have influence, if not direct authority, within their divisions so that opportunities can be pursued.

The SC is chaired by Davis Bookhart, Director of the Johns Hopkins Sustainability Initiative, who reports the progress of the SC to the President and to the greater Johns Hopkins community.

To improve the environmental profile of the Johns Hopkins University by building better lines of communication among its divisions, sharing ideas and best practices, collaborating on projects that produce wide-spread benefits, and highlighting successes to the entire Hopkins community.

See the complete Mission and Overview of Committee.