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Sustainability Committee

Mission, Purpose & Definition


The mission of SUNY Canton’s Sustainability Committee is to foster a College-wide culture of sustainability through the development and implementation of policies, practices, and programs that promote environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic viability.


  • Advise Executive Cabinet on College-wide sustainability matters.
  • Collaborate with key faculty/staff members across disciplines who have the expertise to impact sustainability on campus.
  • Recommend an integrated, comprehensive approach to policy and operations that balances ecosystem health with human well-being and prosperity.
  • Execute programs that have been identified, evaluated, and endorsed by the Committee and the Executive Cabinet.
  • Communicate new and current practices, programs, research, and ideas to departments, campus and larger community.
  • Emphasize the significance of integrating sustainability practices into the fabric of institutional decision-making at all levels.

Definition of Sustainability:

The general understanding is that sustainability is defined as “the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” –Brundtland Commission 1987.

Sustainability Venn Diagram



  • Develop, implement, and update as needed a Campus Sustainability Plan
    • Reduce Energy & Water Consumption
    • Increase Renewable Energy Use
    • Decrease Solid Waste, Increase Recycling Rate and Reuse of Materials
    • Incorporate Sustainability into the Curriculum, Campus Life & Operations
  • Track and use data and information from Executive Order 88, 4, 18 , STARS and SUNY system-wide goals to encourage greater support, participation and adoption of sustainable practices and initiatives.

The Committee shall choose projects and subcommittees (action groups) related to these goals.


  • Prioritize sustainability initiatives that are associated with cost avoidance, incentives and a short ROI.
  • Institutionalize sustainability programs and practices.
  • Mobilize students through sustainability service, SGA, student activities and other existing programs.
  • Use guidelines of ACUPCC & ARC.
  • Model best practices.



The Committee shall determine its own policies and internal structure, and shall govern by consensus whenever possible. In the absence of consensus, a two-thirds majority of the Committee members or their alternates or proxies shall be required to alter this Charter or take other official actions. Subcommittees of the Committee shall be governed in a likewise fashion. All decisions shall be subject to review by the Executive Cabinet.


The President shall appoint the Chairpersons of the Committee.  The Sustainability Coordinator shall serve as one of the Chairpersons. The Chairpersons’ responsibilities shall include setting and distributing the agenda to members before each meeting, facilitating meetings, and serving as a liaison for the Committee. The Chairpersons shall be members of the Committee. The appointment of a secretary, timekeeper to maintain records and meeting minutes shall be made at the discretion of the Chairpersons.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be a standing Subcommittee of the Committee. The purpose of the Executive Committee is to:

  • Distribute administrative responsibility, decision-making, and planning among Committee Members; and
  • Provide a formal and regular setting in which to make such decisions and plans; and
  • Report on the progress of the Sustainability Committee to the Executive Cabinet.

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the following members:

  • The Chairpersons of the Committee
  • The Chairpersons of the subcommittees or action groups
  • Additional Committee members as appropriate for presentation purposes

Subcommittees/Action Groups

The Committee may form Subcommittees or action groups to work on specific tasks. A member, alternate member of the Committee, or volunteer to the Committee, as sanctioned by the Chairpersons of the Committee, shall chair the Subcommittees. The Chairperson of the Subcommittee shall oversee all work done by the Subcommittee. The chairperson also shall maintain organization of the Subcommittee, report to the Committee at meetings, and act as liaison to the broader community.

The Committee will decide the appropriate subcommittees.


Committee Composition

The Committee shall be composed of representatives from specific departments. The Committee shall consist of representatives from the following departments, offices or schools:

  • Executive Cabinet
  • Physical Plant & Sustainability
  • Residence Life
  • Campus Life/Student Activities
  • Dining Services
  • Procurement
  • Information Services
  • Canino School of Engineering
  • School of Science, Health and Criminal Justice
  • School of Business and Liberal Arts
  • Student Body Representative

Terms of Service

All members of the Committee shall be appointed for one term of service. The appointment shall continue into the next term of service. A term of service (term) shall be defined as the duration from the first Committee meeting of the Fall semester until the first meeting of the next Fall semester.  There is no limit to the number of Terms a member of the Committee may serve.

Appointment Procedure

Faculty, staff and students who desire a seat shall petition the Executive Committee for appointment to the Sustainability Committee. The President shall make the final appointment. Each member may designate a proxy in the event he/she is unable to attend a monthly Committee meeting or Subcommittee meeting.

Removal Procedure

There are two conditions for removal of members from the Committee:

  • Consensus among current Committee members that the individual should be removed; and
  • Approval by the Executive Cabinet.

Subcommittee/Action Group Membership Procedure and Composition

Subcommittee members shall volunteer or be appointed by the chairperson of the Subcommittee. The Chairperson of the Subcommittee shall notify the Chairpersons of the Sustainability Committee of all appointments and removals.

Membership on the Committee is not required for membership on a Subcommittee of the Committee.


Committee Meetings

The Committee shall meet at a minimum of 2x per semester. The time and location shall be determined by consensus of the Committee, and all members of the Committee shall be notified in advance. Meeting minutes shall be made available to all committee members one (1) week after the meeting.

Each Committee member or his/her alternate or designated proxy shall attend a minimum of 4 meetings per year. Each Committee member or his/her alternative or appointed proxy is strongly encouraged to actively serve on one or more Subcommittee.

Subcommittee Meetings

The Subcommittees shall, pending the nature of the workload, meet at the discretion of the Chairperson of each Subcommittee.


Meetings of the Committee and its Subcommittees shall be open to the public.

Cooper Service Complex
34 Cornell Drive
Canton, NY 13617

Phone: 315-386-7222
Fax: 315-386-7960