This Target is about increasing the visibility of, and access to sustainability in campus life. Implementing actions include a wide range of education programs, collaborations, and volunteerism that touch the lives of nearly every student, staff and faculty member, as well as community members in the neighborhoods surrounding UW campuses. 

See all the target actions

Status updates

FY 2022 progress

Target actions for FY 2022

  • Whole U and UW Sustainability collaborate to expand university-wide equitable engagement
  • Expand professional development opportunities for faculty and staff
  • Inventory and expand community engagement 

Much of the work under this target has focused on organizing and promoting sustainability events, providing opportunities for the UW community to connect on a variety of sustainability topics. Events enable new learning and engagement around topics in-depth or at an introductory level, and promote cross-disciplinary collaborations between different units. 
The engagement working group organized several events throughout the year to facilitate this engagement, including a Tri-Campus Food Systems event in the Fall and a Food Systems Conversation Series in the Spring. UW Sustainability also welcomed a return to in-person events with a Sustainability Fair in the Fall - inviting academic departments, operational groups and student organizations to table and provide information on sustainability efforts - and Earth Day events in the Spring. There are also hundreds of events hosted by different groups across the UW every year, including academic seminars and lectures, volunteer work parties and student-led events. Annual offerings include the School of Environmental & Forest Sciences’ Sustaining Our World Lecture, the Student Food Cooperative’s Humble Feasts, the Foster School’s Environmental Innovation Practicum, the American Indian Studies Department’s Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltx: Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge symposium, and many more from a wide variety of disciplines.

While events play an important role in community engagement, events are a small part of the larger sustainability picture, and generally only reach a small percentage of the UW community. This target will be re-evaluated to address quality of engagement rather than only quantity, as high-quality engagement with fewer people can be equally if not more impactful. We also want to better identify the desired outcomes from an engagement target, and how equity can be better centered in our collective sustainability engagement work. Finally, if the updated Plan includes a measurable target for engagement, we will need to ensure the target can be measured over a baseline.

Previous status reports

Target metrics

Metrics for this target are still being developed. As part of the fiscal year 2021 Action Plan, UW Sustainability will lead an effort to define “sustainability engagement” in measurable terms, and assess a 2020 baseline. The defined measurement unit shall correlate to an individual receiving an encouragement toward considering environmental impact, human health, diversity, equity or inclusion in the context of their participation in the UW community.

Guiding principles of this target