PESC Charge

President's Environmental Sustainability Council

The President's Environmental Sustainability Council (PESC) is charged with developing Gustavus’s environmental sustainability vision and goals, including those related to climate change and greenhouse gas mitigation, in alignment with Gustavus Acts Strategy 3.7:

  • Implement environmental stewardship and sustainability principles and practices across the College.
  • Engage the campus community in increasing environmental sustainability by emphasizing the connections between campus infrastructure, operations, and student learning.

The PESC will recommend to the President’s Cabinet policies and procedures for achieving Gustavus’s environmental sustainability goals, including operational structures, campus initiatives, and public events that might support achievement of those goals.

President's​ ​Sustainability​ ​Council​ ​(PESC)​ ​relationship​ ​to​ ​the​ ​President’s​ ​Cabinet​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Board​ ​of Trustees

The President's Sustainability Council is an advisory committee to the Cabinet. Therefore, the Cabinet will consider recommendations made by the PESC. PESC recommendations to the Cabinet will be reviewed in consultation with the PESC as needed. The Cabinet will convey recommendations that it affirms to the appropriate college entities (e.g. Facilities, the Provost, Student Life, President’s Council for Sustainability, etc.) for implementation. When the policy implications and financial consequences of a recommendation warrant, the Cabinet will carry PESC recommendations to the Board of Trustees for consideration.

Since many sustainability-related decisions involve responsibilities shared across vice-presidential lines of authority, Cabinet deliberation and commitment is essential to meeting our strategic sustainability commitment. In the event that a decision about a PESC recommendation cannot be deferred until a scheduled Cabinet meeting (e.g. the recommendation requires a timely response to an opportunity), the PESC will convey its recommendation to two vice-presidents to expedite decision-making.

Functions​ ​and​ ​Responsibilities

The President's Sustainability Council will:

  • develop the Gustavus environmental sustainability vision and goals in alignment with the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan, including those related to anthropogenic climate change mitigation and adaptation, water and soil conservation, stewardship of biological diversity and resources, and waste management and recycling.
  • recommend policies, procedures, plans, and action steps for achieving Gustavus’s environmental sustainability goals, including operational structures and community events that might support achievement of those goals.
  • establish environmental sustainability benchmarks, as well as assessment and reporting procedures.
  • develop an environmental sustainability communication plan in collaboration with Marketing and Communication and report regularly on plans and progress to the Gustavus community.
  • serve as representatives of, advocates for, and liaisons to the stakeholder groups associated with the PESC (students/student organizations, faculty, administration, support staff, alumni).
  • annually review this charge and the work of the PESC, updating the charge as necessary in consultation with the President’s Cabinet.
  • report annually to the President on council actions and efforts, and college progress towards environmental sustainability.

Qualifications/Expectations​ ​of​ ​PESC​ ​Membership

  • Ability to represent the best interests of the planet, country, state, local area, and College with regard to sustainability.
  • Passion for environmental sustainability and a healthy planet
  • Active participation in committee deliberations in a thoughtful manner
  • Ability to meet frequently throughout the academic year

PESC​ ​Membership​ ​and​ ​Meetings

The President's Sustainability Council will be comprised of:

  • the President (ex officio)
  • the CFO and Vice President for Finance and Treasurer (ex officio)
  • the Provost and Dean of the College (ex officio)
  • the Director of the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation (ex officio, Chair for the PESC),
  • two faculty appointed by the Faculty Senate (one serving as Vice-chair for the PESC)
  • the Director of Linnaeus Arboretum (ex officio)
  • Director of Physical Plant (or designee) (ex officio)
  • AVP of Auxiliary Services (ex officio)
  • the Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management (ex-officio)
  • one student representative appointed by Student Senate
  • one at-large student representative
  • one administrative staff (not from the academic affairs or finance divisions)
  • one non-administrative staff

Appointments shall be for staggered three-year terms, with the exception of student terms, which will be one to three-year terms dependent on student availability, interest, and year in residence.


The Director of the Johnson Center for Environmental Sustainability or the faculty vice-chair shall convene and chair the meetings, and will outline and distribute an agenda based upon input from all members of the Council. The Chair and/or Vice Chair will present to the President’s Cabinet which holds ultimate decision-making authority. In matters of time sensitivity, where a meeting of the full cabinet is not possible, consensus of two cabinet members may authorize action on behalf of the cabinet. Ex officio members will have voting rights on the PESC. The President's Sustainability Council will meet at least twice per semester and more frequently as necessary.


The President's Sustainability Council will report to the Cabinet. The PESC chair and vice-chair will work with the whole council to maintain a publicly accessible record of meeting deliberations and decisions, publicizing key initiatives and coordinating communication with Marketing and Communication, and creating an annual report on its efforts and progress towards meeting any benchmarks established by the PESC.