Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Accomplishments to Date

  • February
    • An idea is born!
  • March
    • Background research, learning, and planning is done
    • Numerous meetings and trainings done with the Atlantic Sustainability Coordinator for the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC)

  • September
    • Society created and Constitution written.
    • DISI members attend the 7th Annual SYC National Sustainable Campuses Conference
  • October
    • Grand DISI Launch hosting then-Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, Elizabeth May, and presentation by the DISI Executive on plans for the group.
    • DISI member attends North-East Sustainable Campus Consortium at Harvard University (funded by DSS)
  • November
    • Committees organized, Executive chosen
    • First Advisory Committee meeting held
  • February
    • DISI members attend and present at the 1st Annual SYC Atlantic Sustainable Campuses Conference
    • 1st Annual Fundraiser held at Gradhouse, bringing in over $700
    • DISI goes on WebCT
  • March
    • Presentation to the DSU on DISI projects and policy/office potential
    • Draft DSU Environmental Sustainability Policy written and DSU Sustainability Coordinator proposal completed
  • April
    • Environmental Problem Solving class completes portion of the Ecosystem section of the Campus Sustainability Assessment

  • September
    • DISI member attends founding meeting of Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
    • DISI members attend the 8th Annual National Sustainable Campuses Conference
    • First DISI Internship offered via course credit
  • October
    • DISI members attend Greening Dalhousie Roundtable to discuss Dalhousie sustainability with faculty, staff, administration, community members and CEOs
    • Presentation to the DSU regarding potential for Sustainability Office; Ongoing talks with DSU result in generous gift of 3rd floor office space
  • January
    • DISI teams up with Nature Conservation class group to launch Paper Cut campaign to switch campus to 100% post-consumer recycled paper
  • February
    • DISI members attend the 2nd Annual SYC Atlantic Sustainable Campuses Conference
  • March
    • Meeting with President Tom Traves
    • Open House
    • 2nd Annual Fundraiser held at T-Room
    • Change name to SustainDal
  • New DSU Sustainability Coordinator helps create existing structure for SustainDal (issue-based committees led by coordinators which make up the executive in addition to 3 non-committee positions (project coordinator, communications and treasurer))
  • Committee projects get rolling. Hundreds of signatures collected in support of having more local food in residence cafeterias. Recycling signs posted around campus. Residence Lights Out challenge.
  • SustainDal members attend Atlantic Green Summit at acadia University and the SYC National Conference at Western
  • 1st ever Green Week! Tons of educational events and fun social events
  • Atlantic Green Summit in Sackville, NB
  • SYC National Conference in Sherbrooke, QC
  • AGM- September 25th, 6pm, rm 224 in the SUB

History & General Background

In February of 2005, the Sierra Youth Coalition gave a presentation on the Canada-wide Sustainable Campuses project to the Environmental Programmes Student Society. and was also working with DalGreen. Students from these two organizations joined forces to create the Dalhousie Integrated Sustainability Initiative, co-founded by undergraduate students Zoƫ Caron and Jason Pelley in September 2005.

DISI was officially launched on October 25, 2005 by a small group of students, including other such as Lilith Wyatt, Angela Alambets, Kirsten MacLean, Anna Claire Ryan, Sarah Dawson, Vern Woolsey, and Heather Reed. Then-Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada gave an inspiring talk, followed by an informative session by a group of DISI presenters, outlining what DISI was to become.

DISI has approximately 150 members. The group's mandate is to institutionalize environmental, economic, and social sustainability through changing university operations, curriculum and culture. DISI has an Advisory Committee made up of students, faculty, staff and administration to ensure informed decisions are made.

The major project of DISI is the Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework. (See Concoria's first completed assessment here.) This is a holistic framework that recognizes that people and our economy function within the environment as a greater whole. The assessment measures the level of sustainability of a campus using over 170 different indicators.

These indicators fall under 10 main headings: Water, Land, Air, Materials, Energy, Knowledge, Economy & Wealth, Governance, Health & Well-being, and community. It spans issues such as tuition fees, campus green space, access to health services, and energy efficiency.

So, although saving energy and minimizing our overall environmental impact is a large piece of the puzzle, campus sustainability means much more!

Election Referendum News


to all the Dalhousie students that voted YES for the Sustainability Office referendum question in the DSU elections!

Keep posted for upcoming news.


In the 2007 DSU election, the Dalhousie Integrated Sustainability Initiative (DISI) requested a 2$ student fee to support a paid position for the new sustainabilty office in the SUB. The office will be a resource for all students regardless of faculty, to initiate & co-ordinate environmental initiatives on campus.

This is huge!


Yale has one. Harvard has one. UBC saves millions of dollars every year with one. MUN has one. UPEI has one. U of C has one.

A Sustainability Office with a full-time coordinator is what Dalhousie needs. Our university has a major impact on the environment around us – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

DISI (now SustainDal) aims to institutionalize sustainability through campus operations, policy, curriculum and culture by working with students, staff, faculty and administration. We want environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic feasibility.