2020 Theme: Think Global, Act Local
This year’s LCC Theme was inspired by global and local perspectives as we strive to better understand the impact of sustainability on our everyday lives. The theme was also suggested by your voice as the SLC community demonstrated a genuine passion to further explore this concept with colleagues in an upcoming conference.
We invite everyone to learn more about the theme and review the associated resources as a preamble to the “Call for Proposals”.
Global Perspective: UNESCO Sustainability Goals
The climate issue has risen to new heights this year with unprecedented extreme weather events and the emergence of powerful discussions and new leaders such as Greta Thunberg. We feel it is appropriate to continue the narrative to identify how we can be part of the solution and accelerate our commitment to sustainability.
In 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created the Sustainable Development Goals. The seventeen goals outline specific ways in which sustainability can impact larger social/economical issues.
We invite you to learn more about these goals by visiting the UNESCO website.
Local Perspective: College & Community
There are many sustainability initiatives that are currently underway and planned at the college across the three campuses. The LCC provides an opportunity to further highlight these initiatives, share our success as a college and inspire action for the future.
SLC’s understanding of sustainability is based on the globally recognized Brundland Commission (Our Common Future, 1987): “meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”.
We recognize that sustainability is the integration of the lenses of environmental responsibility, economic viability and social/cultural vibrancy. It is through strong governance that enables SLC to integrate the lenses of economics, social/culture and environment to make optimized decisions positioned in the sweet spot of sustainability. At SLC sustainability is about optimization and integration.
- Economic Development: related to programing and operational considerations in a manner that is fiscally responsible and sustainable over the long-term.
- Social Development: related to the cultural vibrancy, diversity, affordability, health and equity of our institution.
- Environmental Responsibility: related to our environmental impact and footprint, resource efficiency, and procurement of environmentally conscious good and services.
SLC’s Commitment to Sustainability: Be accountable for our decisions and actions to ensure our long-term viability, reduce our environmental impact and foster a healthy and dynamic college. ~ SLC Strategic Plan 2014-2019.
St. Lawrence College is a member of the globally recognized Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS). As of Sept 2019, there are over 888 global members, 67 Canadian members and 28 Ontario members. STARS provides a universally recognized methodology and action selection menu to track higher education institution’s progress along the sustainability continuum. Based on an institutions progress they are ranked as either bronze, silver, gold or platinum.
STARS theme areas include: Operations, Academics, Engagement, Culture, and Planning. AASHE and STARS align with the United Nation Sustainability Goals. SLC achieved a Bronze ranking in Feb, 2019 and is targeting Gold for the end of the new strategic plan.
Learn more about AASHE and STARS program by visiting the AASHE website
Your Voice: 2019 Feedback Survey Responses
At the end of LCC2019, the Planning Committee sent out a feedback survey asking the college community for theme ideas. It was amazing to see the number of suggestions and requests asking the college to explore a theme surrounding sustainability. You shared, we listened..
“Please think about environmental sustainability!”
“Sustainability is stressed at our college and an integral part of the strategic plan. We need to practice what we preach.”
“It would be great to focus on sustainability and explore ways to enhance the conference’s efforts in promoting sustainable practices“
“I loved the sustainability workshop – can we have more discussions on this topic?”
“Sustainability ideas… using materials that are natural – rent real glass and do away with anything that ends up in the landfill. Would be good to announce that this conference is 100% Sustainable!”
“Given the current environmental crisis that we find ourselves in, these events should be run striving towards zero waste”