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Green Summit 2008: Setting the agenda

After a day of discussion and reflection, attendees are beginning to sketch out rather precise ideas about what a green agenda for higher education might look like. During the last session, they shared their lists of what they wanted others to do to push for greater sustainability.

Several action items were shared across the boards. There seems to be a general consensus that the community needs more ways to share information, from case study repositories to research studies that really dig at specific numbers and outcomes. Several groups mentioned further exploring virtualization and changes to data centers, or online learning and telecommuting. Others wanted to ensure IT is part of the green discussion, making it part of the STARS assessment or ensuring that grant seekers for government money include a “green” aspect to their application.

Other highlights included:

  • Creating a Dow-like index for green initiatives
  • Getting better funding, staff, and consultants to carry the green banner on campus
  • Buy-in from top administrators
  • Policy mandates from the institutional or governmental level
  • Incentives and laws to drive behavior

Better explanations of terms like cap and trade and carbon tax