The President’s Standing Committee on Environmental Initiatives has been charged with monitoring and helping to implement the recommendations contained in a 2007 environmental report that was presented to Wayne State University’s Board of Governors. Over the past five years, the university has made great strides toward achieving a majority of the initiatives identified in the report. The document identified a five-year window to accomplish various environmental initiatives on and around the campus. Importantly, in 2011, WSU opened a staffed Office of Campus Sustainability to help continue moving these environmental initiatives forward and to assist with the development of the next generation of sustainable initiatives, programs and activities. Today, WSU is developing its 2nd Generation Sustainability Plan and under the leadership of President M. Roy Wilson, environmental sustainability moves forward throughout the university.

In September 2006, the Wayne State University Board of Governors adopted a Resolution on Environmental Concerns designed to protect our environment and create a vision for a greener campus. The resolution encouraged the development of a campuswide recycling program and recommended broader measures for progress toward environmentally responsible objectives. Among these were the use of green technologies in maintenance and construction of campus buildings.

Task Force established
Then-President Irvin D. Reid appointed Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Andrea Roumell Dickson to lead an effort to develop and implement programs promoting increased environmental responsibility on campus.

Reid created the Task Force on Environmental Initiatives, staffed by 28 members from throughout the university, comprising five subcommittees: Energy Conservation, Recycling, Sustainability, Transportation, and Waste Stream and Mass Balance.

Task Force charge
In October 2006, President Reid charged the task force to provide a comprehensive strategy for improving the university’s resource management. The strategy encompassed recycling; green purchasing; energy conservation; waste stream, mass balance and sustainability measures. The group also was charged with raising campus awareness about the benefits of environmental stewardship.

Reid stressed the need to implement environmentally conscious practices that would result in cost savings and reduce consumption of energy and natural resources across campus.

Task Force report
Each subcommittee wrote a portion of the task force’s subsequent report. A preliminary report was issued to the campus community in conjunction with 2007 Earth Day activities; the final report was issued in October 2007.