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E-M:/ MSU releases its 1st Campus Sustainability Report

Enviro-Mich message from "Link, Terry" <link@mail.lib.msu.edu>

EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the past four years, Michigan State University's Office of Campus Sustainability (OCS) has been collecting benchmarks and reviewing data on social, economic and environmental indicators about the campus and its facilities. 
The office, with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has been looking at ways to help MSU develop into a more sustainable campus and ways to share the experiences and data collected. 
The 75-page report sets out data profiling the university's changing environmental, social and economic climate over the past 10 years. The first compilation of its kind for MSU, the report was compiled by members of the University Committee for a Sustainable Campus.
The idea for a sustainability report began with the committee when it was formed in 1999.
"There was a need to provide a wide range of benchmarks against which change could be measured," said Pete Pasterz, manager of MSU's Office of Recycling and Waste Management and a member of the committee. 
"While other colleges and universities across the country have started to address their own long-term sustainability, identifying and measuring sustainability indicators are still in their infancy within the higher education community," said Terry Link, OCS director and report editor. "We are still working to identify good measures of what a sustainable campus might look like for future generations. The committee would like to thank the administration and members of the campus community for providing us with information for the report." 
"I would like to thank the committee members for their hard work in compiling this report," said Robert Huggett, vice president for research and graduate studies. "We are all concerned about the future of our campus. This information will be helpful for the university to see where we need improvements and where we are doing well." 
Committee members looked at social indicators on students, employees and security and safety. They also looked at economic indicators including budget income, expenses, tuition, financial aid and health care costs; and environmental indicators including energy and water usage, materials management, and land use and transportation issues.
"It is important that we as a community be aware of the connections between our individual choices and the overall sustainability picture, and consider what our responsibilities are to our local and global communities," Link said. "The committee hopes members of the MSU community will take time to review the report and reflect on emerging patterns and discuss the meaning of the data presented. Education is the first step in addressing issues that have a direct impact on the future of our campus." 
The committee plans to publish similar "state of the campus" reports on a biannual basis.
"No single indicator, whether economic, social or environmental is especially important in and of itself," said Laura B. DeLind, committee member and senior specialist adviser in anthropology. "Rather it is by considering their interconnections that we, as a campus community, will be better able to make informed and equitable decisions for the future." 
To view the report, visit the Web at www.ecofoot.msu.edu, or contact Link at link@msu.edu <mailto:%20link@msu.edu> . 

Terry Link, Director
Office of Campus Sustainability
525 S. Kedzie
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

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