Task Forces

UNH Sustainability works in collaborative ways to identify innovative pathways that accelerate the transition towards sustainability across all aspects of our mission and practice and to track and report our progress. The sustainability transition entails working with diverse partners on and beyond the campus to confront persistent societal problems and challenges with open minds and hearts, creativity, and shared commitment and the task force works to continue to build a culture of sustainability at UNH.

Students can apply to be a representative on a task force here.

A vote to establish this committee was made by the Asset Allocation Committee of the UNH Foundation Board in spring 2017, and the first meeting of the committee was held in July 2017. Its charter is as follows:
Sustainability is a core value at the University of New Hampshire and it underpins our academics, research and practice. As part of UNH’s ongoing institution-wide commitment to sustainability, the UNH Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR) shall be formed to help support the Foundation in sustainable, socially responsible investment practices and policies.

Operating Principles
- The UNH Endowment Fund is capital of the University of New Hampshire Foundation (UNHF) created by donors, invested and managed for the benefit of the University of New Hampshire, and providing funding to support the academic, research, and public service missions of the University.
- The primary investment objective of the Endowment is to achieve the highest long-term return on investment assets that is compatible with the University’s risk tolerance and time horizons and consistent with prudent investment practices.
- “Sustainable investment” practices are consistent with that objective in that they entail consideration of short- and long-term risks of environmental and social harm—which can present financial risk for investors.
- By acting in an advisory role to the Asset Allocation Committee (AAC), the CIR can increase the AAC’s capacity for making informed and prudent decisions regarding the management of the Endowment. The role of the CIR is purely informational; all decision-making authority will continue to rest with the AAC and UNHF Board of Trustees

Roles and Responsibilities of the Committee
- Research opportunities relevant to the sustainable investment of the Foundation’s endowment monies—including opportunities that may arise for increased shareholder engagement or proxy voting, as well as specific investment strategies or opportunities.
- Consider proposals from the UNH community (e.g. students, staff, faculty, alumni, etc) relevant to sustainable investment of Endowment monies.
- Make recommendations to the Asset Allocation Committee (AAC) of the UNHF Board of Directors on possible courses of action.
- Help educate and inform the broader UNH community about sustainable investment practices in general and about UNH’s sustainable investment practices in particular.
Operational Processes
• The Committee shall meet quarterly, or as called by chair/s.
• The initial work of the committee will be to set goals and identify priority actions or research questions for the Committee’s work during AY17-18 (i.e., to create an AY17-18 work plan.) Thereafter the Committee’s priority goals/issues will be revisited and updated annually.
• UNH community members may submit concerns/suggestions regarding sustainability issues and the University's investments to the Committee on Investor Responsibility. The UNH CIR will consider and vote on what recommendations (if any) to make to the Foundation's Asset Allocation Committee and/or Board regarding proposals brought to them.

Mission

The UNH Ecosystem Task Force (EcoTF) examines sustainability issues related to land use, development, and ecosystem management. The overarching goal of the EcoTF is parallel to that of the UNH Energy Task Force: to serve in an advisory capacity to the UNH President and be responsible for making recommendations on the full range of issues that relate to land use, landscaping, ecosystem health, biodiversity and development. Recommendations will be formulated taking into account the teaching, research and engagement mission of the university, its core value of sustainability, and its long-range Master Plan, including the Landscape Master Plan contained therein.

Charge of the Ecosystem Task Force

In particular, the EcoTF is charged with:

  • Developing a long-term plan for sustainable management of biodiversity and ecological integrity of UNH lands including the core Durham campus.
  • Developing tools for assessing, evaluating and managing ecosystem function and services within the Oyster River and Lamprey River Watersheds including approaches to landscape design and management in support of the Campus Landscape Master Plan and in accord with knowledge and best practices of sustainable ecosystem management.
  • Identifying mechanisms that support professional development opportunities for UNH faculty/staff to contribute to the goals of the EcoTF including related curriculum, research, operations and engagement activities.

The EcoTF complements and integrates the work of related UNH groups including the:

Mission

Chaired by the Associate Vice President for Facilities and coordinated by the Sustainability Institute at UNH and UNH Facilities, the ETF began in 2005 to develop new ways to reduce energy consumption in response to fast-rising energy prices. The mission of the ETF soon broadened to serve in an advisory capacity to the UNH President and make recommendations on the full range of issues that relate to climate change and energy.

These issues include energy generation, demand management, and efficiency and conservation; to greenhouse gas mitigation policy and action; to participation in energy and carbon markets; to campus adaptation planning, to prepare for the increasingly-evident impacts of a changing climate; to curriculum, research and outreach opportunities related to climate and energy. The overarching goal is to guide UNH toward a systematic and integrated energy policy that emphasizes health and integrity, climate protection, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and stability, fairness for all University constituents, and consistency with priorities set by the UNH Strategic Plan and UNH Campus Master Plan.

The ETF’s role in advising the campus administration on climate and energy issues took on even greater prominence when UNH became the first land-grant university in New England to sign the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in February 2007. A member of the leadership circle of ACUPCC signers, UNH pledges to take immediate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop a plan to move the University toward carbon neutrality.

In particular, the ETF is charged with:

  • Developing timelines, targets, and action items under a UNH Climate Action Plan (called “WildCAP”) to help move UNH towards carbon neutrality.
  • Developing immediate and future actions to reduce energy costs, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy conservation through technological improvements, increases in efficiency, reductions in waste and selection of fuels.
  • Inventorying and promoting curricular, research and engagement programs intended to increase awareness of and behaviors around energy use, efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Other Resources

The ETF complements and integrates the work of related UNH groups including the following:

Purpose

The purpose of the STF is to ensure that our collective efforts are guided by a shared vision of the role of higher education in sustainability. Our efforts will reflect UNH’s unique contributions to the challenges and opportunities of sustainability, will communicate that sustainability is at the center of our community and will leverage our national leadership and reputation to support our mission and strategic priorities. 

Objectives

The objectives of the STF are to ensure that UNH continuously maintains the highest possible STARS rating, which is currently Platinum status, in all future reporting beginning in March 2021; The STF will also reach beyond STARS to nurture a culture of sustainability at UNH that touches and is enriched by students, faculty, staff, and all members of the UNH community and that reflects our values and strategic priorities. 

Process

The STF will operate as a network that connects, engages, and aligns all parts of the UNH community through supporting a common vision, shared measurements, continuous communication, and synergistic activities. The STF will make recommendations and report on progress to the Provost and Cabinet; The STF process will reflect effective sustainability network governance and planning with UNHSI acting as the backbone organization and partner.

Task force chairs

  • Chris Clement, Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Tom Kelly, Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Director, Sustainability Institute
  • Stephen Trzaskoma, Department Chair, Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies

Task force members

  • Jennifer Andrews, Sustainability Project Director
  • Kim Babbitt, Associate Dean, COLSA 
  • Doug Bencks, University Architect and Director of Campus Planning
  • Jenni Cook, Associate Dean, COLA
  • Kelly Doherty, Assistant Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Pelema Ellis, Vice President of Enrollment Management
  • Eleta Exline, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Dimond Library
  • Martie Gleason, Executive Director, Compensation, Benefits & Services, Human Resources
  • Erik Gross, Senior Executive Director, Advancement
  • Bill Janelle, Associate Vice President for Facilities & Operations
  • Ken LaValley, Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement/Director, UNH Extension
  • Bill McNamara, Executive Director, Hospitality Services
  • Rick Macdonald, Director of Business Affairs
  • Marian McCord, Senior Vice Provost, Research, Engagement and Innovation
  • Brad Manning, Director, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Cari Moorhead, Interim Dean of Graduate School
  • David Mortensen, Chair of the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
  • Matt O’Keefe, Director of Energy and Utilities
  • Amy Ouellette, Associate Director, UNH Extension
  • Allyson Ryder, Program Director, Community, Equity, and Diversity
  • Scott Smith, Professor & Department Chair, Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies
  • Mica Stark, Chief communications officer & Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs 
  • Anne Surman, Director of Procurement Operations, USNH Purchasing
  • Fiona Wilson, Executive Director of Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise

Student members

  • Devon Guyer, Student, Student Senate
  • Marie-Josiane Ohoueu, Graduate Student Senate

The Zero Waste task force embodies UNH's commitment to improve our recycling and waste minimization to make our campus a zero waste place. Administrators, staff, faculty, and students collaborate to maximize efficiency in current efforts and explore new ways to reduce waste.  

Task force chairs

  • John Aber, Natural Resources & the Environment, Professor
  • David May, Office of Business Affairs, Associate Vice President

Task force members

  • Jennifer Andrews, Sustainability Project Director
  • Semra Aytur, Health Management & Policy, Associate Professor
  • Kimberly Babbitt, COLSA Deans Office, Associate Dean Undergraduate Studies
  • Kristin Carpenter, Residential Life, Assistant Director-Residential Life
  • Stacey Hall, Campus Recreation, Director
  • Lawrence Hamilton, Sociology, Professor
  • Dwain Lozier, Housing, Facilities Contract Manager
  • Richard MacDonald, Office of Business Affairs, Director
  • James Malley, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor
  • Brad Manning, Environmental Health & Safety, Director
  • Marty McCrone, Environmental Health & Safety, Manager
  • Steve Metcalf, Athletic Administration, Deputy Director
  • Matt O’Keefe, Director of Energy and Utilities
  • Steve Pesci, Campus Planning, Special Projects Director
  • Matt Smith, UNH Compost Facility-Organic Dairy Farm, Student Graduate Researcher
  • Fiona Wilson, Paul College, Clinical Associate

Student members

  • Jonathan Dean, Student Senate, President
  • Pia Marciano, Student Environmental Action Coalition