The UW Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) provides tri-campus institutional leadership coordination over the development of the university’s Sustainability Action Plan, climate and sustainability goals, and associated policies.
- Advises the Provost, President, and Board of Regents on the development and implementation of UW sustainability goals, policies, and targets.
- Updates the Cabinet and Board of Deans and Chancellors annually.
- Recommends to the President and Provost tri-campus, institution-wide sustainability goals, targets and priorities that align with UW mission, strategies, and organizational initiatives.
- Develops a UW sustainability strategy that aligns with environmental, equity, and economic goals of the university.
- Monitors progress of the development and implementation of a university-wide Sustainability Action Plan (SAP), which is updated every five years.
- Monitors performance of the overall SAP to ensure progress on implementation.
- Facilitates collaboration among operations, academic and other UW groups and community stakeholders in pursuit of sustainability goals.
- Facilitates broad communication and engagement across the university on sustainability initiatives to support transformation efforts and create a platform to sustain momentum.
December 2000: then-Executive Vice President Weldon Ihrig convened a 12-member task force to review the UW’s environmental policies and practices.
Academic year 2003-2004: formation of the Sustainable UW Alliance, to encourage focus on clean energy and green buildings.
August 2004: creation of the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee (ESAC). Then-UW President Mark A. Emmert announced to the President's Cabinet and the Board of Deans that the UW was adopting a Policy of Environmental Stewardship, of which the ESAC was the overseeing body. The Policy reaffirmed the University's commitment to environmental stewardship and responsibility. ESAC was chartered to act as a guide, provide advice and help develop the University's sustainability goals and was formed through a grassroots effort of staff, faculty and students coordinated by the Program on the Environment.
January 2009: ESAC chartered a Climate Action Planning Oversight Team.
September 2009: the UW’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) was drafted, adopted, and submitted to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
April 2012: ESAC was reorganized into the Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC), a University-wide committee that oversees the University's goals and development in relation to its commitment to sustainability. In collaboration with University units and stakeholders, the Committee identifies long-term goals and standards, as well as develops benchmark measures .
August 2012: President Michael Young signed UW Executive Order Number 13 on Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. The effort was spearheaded by ESC and CAP policy sub-teams. The Order confirms the University's longstanding commitment to sustainability and serves as the guide for future sustainable policy development and pursuit of CAP objectives.
June 2016: The ESC voted to implement a new Statement of Purpose further defining the committee's role and function.
Fall 2023: An updated charter was adopted for the committee.
For further information about the Environmental Stewardship Committee, contact: