The Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office (DSUSO) was created in 2007due to demand from the students. The DSUSO is an organization that strives to create a culture of sustainability within Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) operations thereby improving our university community by making the DSU an ecologically aware, economically responsible, and socially equitable institution.
By encouraging communication within the Dalhousie student community, we act as a hub to identify, assess, and address challenges of environmental sustainability on campus. The DSUSO organizes Green Week and implements student-run sustainability projects and initiatives and is funded by an undergraduate levy of $1 per full time student per semester (Fall and Winter).
Connect with us online…
Email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Come visit us at:
Second floor next to the Student Executive Offices, Student Union Building.
6136 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia
2012 Winter Office Hours
Or by appointment
***The DSU Sustainability Policy is being hosted here temporarily. The policy will be hosted at www.dsusustainabilityoffice.ca in the near future***
DSU Sustainability Policy
Passed December 1, 2010
Terms of Reference
Board: The DSU Sustainability Office Board of Directors
Building Manager: Manager of the Student Union Building
DSU: The Dalhousie Student Union
DSUSO: The Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office
Executive: Executive Officers of the Union
General Manager: General Manager of the Union
President: President of the Union
Student: A full-time or part-time student
Staff: Persons employed on a full or part time basis in the SUB or by the DSU
SUB: The Student Union Building
University: Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
VPFO: Vice President (Finance & Operations) of the Union
There is overwhelming evidence showing that the current rate of resource depletion in developed countries is unsustainable, and that the excessive use of fossil fuels is contributing to global climate destabilization; therefore, renewable and non renewable resources must be conserved to ensure quality of life for future generations. Dalhousie University signed the Talloires Declaration in 1999, recognizing that in order to achieve a strong institutional reputation and stay competitive in an environmentally, socially, and economically conscious world, the institution must demonstrate leadership and commitment to sustainable practices. Furthermore, in 2009, Dalhousie University signed the Canadian College and University Climate Statement of Action for Canada, which commits the university to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Dalhousie students, faculty and staff, as well as the community and other partners, have been implementing and engaging in campus sustainability initiatives on an ad hoc basis for many years.
Sustainability is widely accepted to consist of environmental, social and economic elements. More specifically, it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the health and integrity of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources. In its simplest form, sustainability means using less; less energy, less water, fewer products in an attempt to reduce or eliminate waste and conserve valuable resources. The DSU recognizes that striving to become sustainable involves reducing the ecological footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of the Union. Furthermore, the DSU recognizes the need to move beyond an ad hoc application of sustainable principles.
Purpose & Scope
This policy is to be recognized as a first step taken by the DSU towards institutionalizing sustainable concepts and practices. The implementation and review of this policy shall be carried out by the DSU Sustainability Office (DSUSO) in cooperation with the DSUs Executive members. This policy has been commissioned to reform the internal operations of the union, covering everything under its direct jurisdiction on Studley, Sexton and Carleton campuses. This policy shall act as an ethical guide for DSU facilities, operations (including student society events), centres, services, and governance, as well as for transactions such as purchasing and lobbying.
The DSU is seeking to become a leader in sustainable practices by fostering a culture of sustainability within the Dalhousie community.
To begin integrating sustainable practices into the daily student experience and operations of the DSU; to create benchmarks for success, and to continually measure and track our progress towards becoming a truly sustainable institution; to implement and facilitate initiatives that seek to institutionalize sustainability and contribute to creating a culture and awareness of sustainable practices within the Dalhousie community.
The DSU shall:
Implement sustainable practices as a part of everyday operations by minimizing the use and consumption of energy, water and material resources in recognition of the limited capacity of the biosphere to accommodate human activities;
-Encourage innovative leadership that institutionalizes continual improvements in sustainable practices, operations and procedures on and off campus;
-Collaborate internally and externally via the DSUSO to (i) promote sustainability partnerships on campus, (ii) raise awareness and increase dialogue between members and groups in the campus community, and (iii) promote connections related to sustainability stewardship with the larger community;
-Communicate with students about current and future initiatives, progress, issues and opportunities;
-Foster awareness, and nurture participation and involvement;
-Begin building credibility and enhance the exchange of information about sustainable practices, initiatives, workshops, events and other ways that students can engage in learning about sustainable lifestyles;
-Adopt an approach to decision making that incorporates consideration of financial, social and environmental sustainability;
-Lobby the University and various levels of government in support of student sustainability initiatives, events and policies.
·The implementation, monitoring and review of this policy shall be carried out by the Executive and the DSUSO.
·The DSUSO and the DSUSO Board shall review this document annually (by January 31) and update it as required. Amendments must be approved by the DSU Council.
·An initial sustainability audit conducted by students (and if possible a professional firm) shall benchmark DSU sustainability performance so that subsequent sustainability audits can highlight strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges to implementing sustainable practices within DSU operations. The result of the audit will be reported to the President, VPFO, General Manager and the SUB Building Manager.
·Any student has the right to bring concerns regarding the implementation of this policy to the attention of the DSUSO. The DSUSO shall make such avenues of communication available to students via staff office hours, email and by phone.
·The DSU expects that DSU staff, offices and departments will adhere to this policy in their daily operations by implementing sustainable practices in their daily routines. Such practices may include but are not limited to, powering down computers and turning off lights at the end of the day, recycling and using environmentally friendly office supplies and materials.
·The DSUSO shall write an annual report regarding the implementation of and amendments to the policy that year as well as recommendations for actions for the following year.
·The initial cost of being sustainable will be recognized as part of a long-term strategy for cost efficiency.