Comprehensive Environmental Policy
The Resource and Environmental Management Program (REMP) Steering Committee guided the development of the Comprehensive Environmental Policy, which was adopted by President’s Council in April 2001. The Policy was updated again in 2008 to add three new elements related to the goals and action items of the College's new Climate Action Plan (see Section II. clauses 4. and 5., and Section VI. Clause 4.)
Interestingly, Ithaca College's Comprehensive Environmental Policy was researched and drafted by an undergraduate student, Sean Vormwald '01. The REMP steering committee reviewed, revised and submitted the policy draft to the President's Council for review and adoption.
The REMP steering committee is charged with reviewing the policy, making recommendations to College administrators for implementation strategies and action items to meet policy objectives, and for reporting on progress in meeting the goals of the policy.
Download the most current version of the Comprehensive Environmental Policy (PDF).
Below is the complete text of the Ithaca College Comprehensive Environmental Policy:
Ithaca College establishes this policy to identify general goals and strategies for a commitment to environmental responsibility. Through enacting and implementing the vision of this policy, Ithaca College will be a positive example and play a significant role in the advancement of environmental responsibility on the campus and in the local and greater community.
As established in its Vision and Mission statements, "Ithaca College strives to become the standard of excellence for residential comprehensive colleges …" and "All members of the College community are encouraged to…share the responsibilities of citizenship and service in the global community." In keeping with this vision and to effectively operate the campus while also working to preserve the rights of present and future generations, the College affirms its commitment to environmental excellence and actively promotes the public’s right to a healthy, quality environment. Ithaca College will work toward the goal of balancing fiscal, operational, and environmental responsibility in making decisions and in general College practices. The College acknowledges its role and responsibility to provide educational, social, and financial leadership to achieve the goals of this policy.
Goals and Strategies:
I. Commitment to Environmental Education. The College recognizes the need for the education of all members of the College community concerning the importance of environmental responsibility and the components of this Policy.
- The College commits to assuring that all members of the College community are aware of the Comprehensive Environmental Policy and understand their role in its implementation.
- The College recognizes its academic role in fostering leadership by educating the College community about environmental responsibility and by continuing to support environmental education in the curriculum.
II. Environmentally Responsible Purchasing Policies. The College recognizes that one of its primary opportunities to exercise environmental responsibility is through its purchasing choices. The College will strive to obtain maximum value for its expenditures and will work toward obtaining the "best value" by considering short and long-term costs, maintenance, life cycle, and environmental costs in purchasing goods and services.
- The College acknowledges that environmentally responsible purchasing choices will help create and sustain markets for environmentally responsible products.
- The College commits to the goal of balancing environmentally and fiscally responsible purchasing choices by considering life cycle costs, long-term implications, and environmental impact of its purchasing policies.
- Purchasing policies will encourage acquisition of products that minimize waste, have high recycled content, use environmentally responsible production methods, and demonstrate maximum durability or biodegradability, reparability, energy efficiency, non-toxicity, and recyclability.
- Departments shall specify and purchase ENERGY STAR-certified energy-efficient products in all product categories for which such ratings exist. (amended in 2008)
- Departments shall be encouraged to specify and purchase environmentally preferable products that meet or exceed the standards of third-party certification programs for environmental and/or sustainable products where such ratings exist. (amended in 2008)
III. Efficient Use and Conservation of Energy, Water, and Other Resources. The College recognizes the importance of conservation efforts and efficient use of resources as the primary methods for reducing resource consumption.
- The College commits to minimizing the consumption of energy, water, and other resources by eliminating wasteful practices and promoting efficient use.
- The College strives to maximize energy efficiency in existing buildings, renovations, and new construction.
- The College commits to exploring and implementing well-considered and feasible conservation measures in existing buildings, renovations, and new construction.
- The College will explore the application of developing technologies for energy systems and renewable energy resources.
IV. IV. Minimizing Solid Waste Production. The College recognizes the importance of minimizing solid waste generation by the community and will establish policies and processes to that end, first through reduction, then through reuse, and finally through recycling.
- The College commits to waste source reduction, especially at the point of purchase.
- The College supports reuse of materials to maximize fiscal, environmental, and energy efficiency.
- The College supports development of food scrap composting and bio-mass resource recovery programs.
- The College commits to a comprehensive recycling program as the final step in solid waste reduction and as a means to transform waste into a resource.
V. Minimizing Hazardous Waste and Toxic Materials on Campus. The College acknowledges the importance of safe management of hazardous and toxic materials and will continue to establish policies and processes to maintain efficient use, tracking, storage, and disposal of hazardous and toxic materials.
- The College commits to keeping the presence of toxic materials and the generation of hazardous waste at reasonable levels for work and research on campus.
- The College supports environmentally responsible disposal of hazardous waste.
- The College commits to keeping the use of radioactive materials at reasonable levels as needed for research and supports environmentally responsible disposal of its radioactive waste.
VI. Environmentally Responsible Campus Design and Planning Principles. The College recognizes the importance of environmentally responsible practices in developing the physical characteristics of its community. It will consider environmental implications in the development, construction, and operation of campus infrastructure, grounds, and buildings.
- The College will strive to balance sound fiscal practices and environmental responsibility in the maintenance, development, and planning of campus facilities.
- The College will work toward the goals of providing landscaping and grounds maintenance practices that use vegetation compatible with the local environment and integrated pest management techniques.
- The College has an ongoing commitment to facilitating pedestrian travel, bicycle use, and other modes of transportation that minimize environmental impact.
- All new facilities and major renovations shall incorporate sustainable practices to the degree feasible and shall strive, at a minimum, to meet the equivalent of a LEED Silver rating in their design. Project management teams are encouraged to meet higher LEED rating levels whenever possible. (amended in 2008)
Follow-up, review and update:
All members of the College community are invited to support the College’s efforts to meet the goals of this policy by contacting the Resource and Environmental Management Program (REMP). Operating units, working in concert with REMP, are encouraged to develop departmental policies that will lead to appropriate implementation strategies consistent with the comprehensive environmental policy. REMP is willing to provide leadership to aid departments in policy development, implementation strategies, and timelines. REMP will undertake biannual review of this policy and make recommendations for updates as needed; it welcomes comments and suggestions for changes to this policy.
Effective Date: April 23, 2001 (amended in February 2008 – amendments as noted)