Sustainability Initiative  
 

 

 

 

Structure for Change: Frequently Asked Questions

 
What exactly is a sustainability proposal?
How do I submit an idea to the Sustainability Initiative (SI)?
Am I expected to do the legwork for my proposal?
What resources are available to help develop my idea?
How will the Sustainable Business Working Partners be able to help me?
What are the roles of the committees in the Sustainability Initiative?
Who do I contact for questions about the Sustainability Initiative at Aquinas?
 
Q: What exactly is a sustainability proposal?
A: A sustainability proposal is a comprehensive description of an idea to make Aquinas a better place to work and learn. The typical components of a proposal include: the submitter’s name & contact information, a title which describes the idea, a thorough description of your idea and the associated triple bottom line (financial, social, environmental) benefits. Some background research is required for most proposals. A developed proposal should also include an in depth look at the financial implications of the idea and considerations of its environmental and social impact on campus and beyond.
 
Q: How do I submit an idea to the Sustainability Initiative (SI)?
A: You may submit a proposal online or you may submit it to Jessica Eimer, Program Director of The Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College. Proposals can also be mailed to Mrs. Eimer's office (2nd Floor of the Academic Building, Room 201) or submitted to her via e-mail at eimerjes@aquinas.edu.
 
Q: Am I expected to do the legwork for my proposal?
A: Yes, to some degree. It is primarily the job of the idea submitter to develop the proposal and he/she is expected to lead the process of developing the idea. The various sustainability committee members can help suggest research resources and connect you with other individuals who may be interested in helping develop the idea. Background information for some of the proposals is available in the inventory section of the SI Web site, as well as through the expertise of our Sustainable Business Working Partners (AQ Sustainable Business majors) who have volunteered to assist in the development of ideas.
 
Q: What resources are available to help develop my idea?
A: The expertise of the Sustainable Business Working Partners, Jessica Eimer, and the sustainability initiative interns at The Center for Sustainability are available. You may find substantial background information about AQ's “baseline” in the inventory section of the SI Web site. If you don't see information you need in the inventory, please contact Jessica Eimer at eimerjes@aquinas.edu.
 
Q: How will the Sustainable Business Working Partners be able to help me?
A: Sustainable Business Working Partners (SBWP) are teams of two (volunteer) sustainable business majors available to help develop your idea. Coordinated by Jessica Eimer at The Center for Sustainability, they can help gather background information for your proposal. Typically they are involved in the beginning of the Sustainability Initiative process, but they may be used at any point. To request a SBWP, contact Jessica Eimer at eimerjes@aquinas.edu.
 
Q: What are the roles of the committees in the Sustainability Initiative?
A: The sustainability committees of the staff, faculty, and student assemblies are primarily charged with making recommendations for your proposal. They will usually consult with the idea submitter, the SBWP (if applicable), and affected AQ parties (such as maintenance staff) to assure all viewpoints have been addressed in the proposal.
The primary role of the Joint Sustainability Committee is to assign a triple bottom line value rating (1-5) to proposals after they have been reviewed by the respective faculty/staff/student sustainability committee.  This value rating guides the particular assembly committee (e.g. faculty, staff, student) in their recommendation as they consider bringing the idea to their assembly for a formal vote of approval.
 
Q: Who do I contact for questions about the Sustainability Initiative at Aquinas?
A: For questions, it is best to contact Jessica Eimer, Program Director at the Center for Sustainability. However, any member of the campus sustainability committees may also have the answer your questions. To view these members, visit the introduction section.