Your resource for advancing sustainability at Macalester

The Sustainability Office is a resource for encouraging and enabling the advancement of sustainability across campus. It does this by:

  • Helping to form connections between students, staff, faculty and the senior administration
  • Creating and supporting campus communication structures
  • Acting as a central hub of information on sustainability
  • Supporting sustainability projects and policies

The Sustainability Office works in conjunction with and under the oversight of the Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Monthly Themes

RIO + 20 logo

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as the Rio+20 Conference, was held from June 20-22, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It marked the 20th anniversary of the original 1992 Rio Earth Summit that framed the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) through the Agenda 21 outcome document. The Macalester College Sustainability Office will be using the critical issues identified by the United Nations Rio + 20 event as the office monthly themes for the 2013-2014 academic year.

This year's themes will be:

  • September - Cities/Transportation
  • October - Health/Food
  • November - Jobs
  • December - Disasters
  • February - Energy
  • March - Waste*
  • April - Water/Oceans

*Waste is the only non-UN critical issue.

Office Location

The Sustainability Office is located in Kagin Commons. Suzanne Savanick Hansen is the Sustainability Manager and she works with eight student workers and Program Assistant Kurt Miller. Student workers across campus are also involved in the sustainability Student Worker Network, where up to 25 students workers in 11 different departments work on sustainability issue across the campus. Student Maria Langholz ‘14 coordinates the network. The group meets every other week in the evening.

Progress Report

This annual report describes the progress we have made toward our sustainability goals and provides a summary of actions taken in each goal area. Overall, we have significantly reduced our waste through our food waste to pig feed program. Our greenhouse gas emissions appear not to have changed significantly over last year, but significant progress has occurred in the areas of planning and incorporating sustainability into campus operations and student life.  In the year ahead, we will continue work on an ambitious Landscaping Master Plan that will guide the college in how to include low maintenance, sustainable landscaping on campus. In addition, we will explore more ways we can incorporate sustainability into education.

Read Progress Report