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Webinar: Zero Waste Visioning – Campus Wide Solutions to Zero Waste
April 26, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDTFree
In this webinar we will hear from Sustainability Staff at 3 Universities who recently published Strategic Visions for Achieving Zero Waste on their campuses.
Developing a Strategic Vision is a campus-wide process of Stakeholder Engagement via intentionally facilitated sessions. First, 20-35 stakeholders are identified (heads of departments, staff who manage programs, frontline workers, student and faculty representatives, etc) and are invited to participate in a series of Visioning Sessions. These visioning sessions are structured to encourage stakeholders to think about long-term solutions and identify areas where strategic investment is needed outside of departmental silos. For example: Do we need a new physical space to manage surplus property? A digital asset management system? A new dishwasher? A facility to manage compost? More staff? Better bins and signage? Etc.
We specifically refer to this process as “strategic visioning” as opposed to “strategic planning” because most campuses aren’t ready for the planning stage yet. To truly address systematic problems in sustainable materials management, we need to bring all stakeholders together around a shared vision that may require a reshuffle of departmentally siloed program responsibilities, or a goal of developing new infrastructure, policies, and systems that don’t currently exist.
During this session we will hear from Campus Sustainability Staff who managed this process in partnership with the Post-Landfill Action Network’s (PLAN’s) Atlas Zero Waste Program. PLAN works with campuses to hire student fellows, who are trained to coordinate stakeholder engagement, schedule visioning sessions, co-facilitate the visioning process, and produce the campus-wide strategic vision for achieving zero waste.
Panelists will reflect on the experience and the outcomes of this process, the benefits of working with and training students to take a leadership role in this effort, as well as the challenges of coordinating and engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders who hold different opinions and ideas for long-term solutions.
Alex Freid, Director of Atlas Zero Waste, Post-Landfill Action Network
Alex is the founder of PLAN. He is also an activist and organizer who has been working to end waste since high school. Alex was a co-founder of UNH Trash 2 Treasure and has received the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, the Udall Scholarship, and the Brower Youth Award for his work against waste.
Mike Evans, Associate Director, Williams College, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives
Mike Evans and the Zilkha Center at Williams College began its Atlas work with Post Landfill Action Network in 2019. Mike has worked closely with PLAN and supervised student interns to conduct the Atlas Stage 1 campus waste assessment and work with stakeholder groups on zero waste visioning. Williams is the first campus to move into Stage 3 of the Atlas project – Developing a Zero Waste Action Plan.
CJ Agbannawag, Sustainability Program Coordinator, UArizona Office of Sustainability
CJ Agbannawag has overseen the Stage 1 and Stage 2 process at UArizona, and through the Stage 2 Strategic Visioning process was able to publish a Zero Waste Strategic Vision for the campus in January 2022.
Darian Acosta, Senior at Cal Poly Humboldt
Darian Acosta (she/her) is a senior at Cal Poly Humboldt majoring in Environmental Science and Management with a focus on Policy and Planning, and minoring in Sustainability. She works as a Compost Fellow with the Office of Sustainability on Campus and was a Spring 2023 Atlas Zero Waste Fellow.