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Report Card 2010

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Student Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, more than 1,100 school survey responses from over 300 institutions are now available online. In total, these surveys offer more than 10,000 pages of data collected from colleges and universities during the summer of 2009 . To access surveys from other schools, go to the  surveys section  of the website. To see grades, or to access additional surveys submitted by this school, please click the "Back to Report Card" link at the beginning or end of the survey.


Name: Kat Potter
Doctoral Candidate, MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate
Name of organization: Sustainability@MIT
Number of active members: 900 on mailing list; 100 active in various projects / activities
Website: sustainability.mit.edu
Date of last meeting:
Frequency of meetings: 2 / month for officers; sporadic events for full membership
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: making MIT community more aware of sustainability issues

Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?
[  ]  No

[ X ]  Yes. Please list details for each competition.
#1 - Name of competition: CarbonRally
Year initiated: 2009
Frequency of competition: 1 / year
Participants: unsure
Goal of competition: Reduce energy consumption of students
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: Unsure

Lasting effects of competition:

3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?
[  ]  No

[X]  Yes. Please describe: Undergraduate Association's (UA's) Sustainability Committee

4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:  

MIT Sustainability Summit: To engage the MIT community and its supporters in a discussion of the challenges and opportunities in improving the global ecosystem and public health, sustainable development, and social & economic equity.  30 speakers and 300 attendees

Campus greening projects: Sustainability@MIT's members are working on a variety of campus greening projects in coordination with the MIT Energy Initiative's "Walk the Talk" task force.  Such projects include campus energy consumption mapping, energy retrofits, behavior change, green procurement procedures, department operations and curriculum audits, and many more.  These projects are showcased at the semesterly MIT Generator and Re-Generator events

FreeMeet: The Fall FreeMeet encouraged MIT students, staff, and the general community to clean out their closets and donate their stuff for re-use by other MIT community members.  FreeMeet was a community marketplace for used products.  Participation: About 200 people donated and/or took other people's former belongings. The remainder was donated to Goodwill and the Cambridge Shelter.  In total, over 1,000 items changed hands.  Because of its success, we will have another FreeMeet on Friday, 11/21.

MIT Generator: The MIT Generator is a semesterly event to showcase existing campus greening projects, seek additional leadership in those projects, and propose new projects.  We think that the MIT Generator was not attended as well as previous sessions.  However, we did involve new students in current campus greening projects.  Attendance: 75 students.  We are working on ways to take the MIT Generator to the next level.

Business as Unusual: We held three separate art making events to explore the connections between food, climate and poverty. As participants arrived, they spun a wheel to find out what income level they would be 'reborn' into, then learned about a family somewhere in the world living on that income level and what food they eat in a week. They then contributed to a collage map of the world showing how agricultural yields are expected to be impacted by climate change. Next they had a chance to use wood blocks with images of fruits, vegetables, animals, etc onto t-shirts, bags, and 'prayer flags'. The 'prayer flags' were incorporated into a large outdoor fabric sculpture which went out into the trees between the student center and bexley for two separate weekends. The art was all then put on display in the weisner gallery in the second floor of the student center

Speaker: Chris Park, Deloitte: Chris Park is a Principal in Deloitte's Detroit office and co-leads Deloitte's Enterprise Sustainability practice. Chris joined Deloitte Consulting LLP's Strategy & Operations practice in 1994. He is a registered architect by training, and in his consulting career, he has served clients in the life sciences, health care provider, manufacturing, higher education, financial services and retail industries. Chris is currently expanding Deloitte's cross-functional service offerings around sustainability and corporate responsibility through the Enterprise Sustainability Integrated Market Offering (IMO), linking together traditional environmental, social responsibility and sustainability consulting under one umbrella.

Speaker: Jason Clay, WWF: WWF's strategy is unique amongst NGOs. It addresses the most significant threats to globally significant places. It also delivers on the strength of our logo, builds on our presence in producer countries, and reinforces our credibility as a brand in consumer countries in the EU and North America. Jason will also talk about the WWF's innovative partnerships with the private sector.

Speaker: Alan AtKisson: The ISIS Agreement: How sustainability can improve organizational performance and transform the world

Speaker: Melina Shannon-DiPietro, Director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project: Melina's talk focused on the success Yale has had in implementing a sustainable campus dining program, including a campus farm, sustainable purchasing practices, and educational programming related to food, agriculture, health and the environment.  Yale is recognized as a leader in the campus sustainability movement, and we hope this event can further our discussions about MIT's initiatives

Globalization and the Crisis of Environmental Governance in India: A talk by Ashish Kothari, an acclaimed environmentalist from India who is a founding member of Kalpavriksh (Indian environmental NGO), member of WCPA and Chair of Greenpeace India Board of Directors. 

Speaker: Shai Agassi, Better Place: Shai Agassi is Founder and CEO of Better Place, which is building an innovative, sustainable model for transportation (via electric cars) in which consumers subscribe to transportation as a service, much like they do today with mobile phones

Speaker: Graham Sinclair, Sustainability in Investment Strategies: Topics included: "What you wish you knew about credit derivatives and corporate governance in March and Investing in a dry place: investment options when every drop of water counts."  Graham Sinclair is an investment consultant, global project leader and ESG architect. He consults to fiduciaries, asset owners and investment managers on investment architecture and portfolio design, specializing in integrating environmental, social and corporate governance [ESG] factors into investment strategies.  In 2008 his consulting engagements include architecting sustainability into a global money manager on Wall St, modeling investment vehicles for an international organization to expand its impact, and directing the UN Principles for Responsible Investment [PRI] in Emerging Markets Project for the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative. In 2007, Graham was recruited to the inaugural class of the WWF One Planet Leaders sustainability leadership program in Switzerland. 

Power Vote campaign: We have teamed with a nation-wide organization, "Power Vote," to advocate for clean energy to be a priority in Obama's administration.  The goal is to sign up 2,000 students at MIT; 1M people nation-wide.

5) Please list and briefly describe any other student-run organizations related to campus sustainability at your school, and provide URLs if available (e.g., student groups; student government committees; student-run food co-ops, gardens/farms, bike co-ops) and provide contact information of the student leaders, if possible:  

Biodiesel@MIT, Biological Energy Inverest Group, Closing the Loop, Dorm Electricity Competition, Electric Vehicle Team, MIT Energy Club, MIT Food Initiative, The Generator, MIT Student Pubwash, Sloan ENergy and Environment Club, Sloan Net Impact, Society for Social and Environmental Leadership, Solar Electric Vehicle Team, Sustainability@MIT, Society for Ocean Conservation, UA Sustainability Committee, Vehicle Design Summit

Questions 6 is for informational purposes only; your response will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.
6) Please list any regional or national networks with which your group is affiliated (e.g., Energy Action Coalition/Campus Climate Challenge, Sierra Student Coalition, a state PIRG, a state student sustainability coalition):  


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