Lehigh Sustainability Council

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The Lehigh Sustainability Council (LSC) has made good progress in improving Lehigh’s environmental impact through education, good business practices, and operations. Members play a critical role in promoting sustainability on campus. This includes:

  • Gathering input from the campus community about important institutional environmental initiatives
  • Evaluating initiatives for implementation
  • Articulating Lehigh’s Sustainability commitments
  • Taking advantage of Lehigh’s academic programs and the engagement of students
  • Providing advice to the President and senior leadership on priorities for initiatives to undertake with expected timeframe and anticipated impact

In order to continue on an upward trend in sustainability achievements, Lehigh has updated its 2012 sustainability plan to the Campus Sustainability Plan 2020. The LSC will play an important role in implementing this plan by leveraging its subcommittees and programs to ensure cross-collaboration among all campus groups. You can read more about the Campus Sustainability Plan 2020 here.

Meeting Schedule 2020-2021


Foster campus-wide engagement on environmental stewardship matters, advise the President and senior leadership, coordinate activities with the Office of Sustainability in an effort to advance Lehigh’s sustainability goals, and set priorities for change that will have the largest impact and provide meaningful results.

  • Achieve the campus climate commitment goals

  • Provide input to achieve campus sustainability plan goals

  • Coordinate with academic departments including Environmental Initiative to assist in their goal to infuse sustainability into a broad set of curricula across campus

  • Promote the Green Fund in partnership with Green Action and monitor the results of LSC-funded projects


The Lehigh Sustainability Council was formed in 2008 by President Alice Gast to advise the university leadership on ways to improve sustainability on campus.

With the signing of Lehigh’s Climate Commitment in 2009, LSC took the lead on articulating the goals. In that vein, LSC has worked with many groups and offices on campus to support the implementation of single-stream recycling; recycling of used engine oil, antifreeze and vehicle tires; the compilation of a Greenhouse Gas inventory; the use of recycled papers and soy-based inks; and increasing the number of "green" office supply purchases. Other initiatives include the creation of the Lehigh Community Garden at the Goodman campus, and the creation of the Green Fund, which provides small grants to students, faculty and staff to fund sustainability projects.

  • All members shall serve two year terms with the exception of the Department Representatives group whose terms are determined by their respective Vice President, the EI Executive Committee Member and the Sustainability Coordinator.

  • Terms will begin at the start of the fall semester whenever possible, i.e. September 1 – August 31. There shall be staggered membership terms to provide continuity.


Membership Composition

  • Two co-chairpersons appointed by President (one faculty member, one administrator)

  • One faculty member from each College appointed by the President in consultation with the Provost

  • EI Executive Board Member for Outreach

  • Two undergraduate students appointed by the Student Senate following a campus-wide selection process

  • Two graduate students appointed by the Graduate Student Senate following a campus wide selection process

  • One Department Representative for the following departments appointed by their respective Vice President (or equivalent) and approved by the Co-Chairs: Provost’s Office, Facilities Services and Planning, Business Services, Library and Technology Services, Student Auxiliary Services, Athletics, Development & Alumni Relations, University Communications and Public Affairs, Student Affairs, Research and Graduate Studies, and Sustainability Coordinator

  • Two at-large members nominated through a campus-wide selection process to serve two-year terms. These members are approved by the Lehigh Sustainability Council and will not be eligible for reappointment in order to allow other interested community members to serve.

  • Consulting Members (expert members of the campus and local community who are invited to Lehigh Sustainability Council meetings by the Co-chairpersons)

Subcommittees/Working Groups

Sustainable Initiative Grant

This subcommittee focuses on awarding money on a rolling basis for students, faculty, and staff for sustainability projects.

Education (Faculty Curriculum)

The Education committee is focused on improving sustainability education and awareness across the curriculum and research.


The Operations committee works on finding ways to increase efficiency, reduce emissions, and maximize capital investment in our physical plant to enhance the overall well-being of Lehigh University and community


This group discusses and implements LSC communication initiatives such as campus updates, event notifications, and general topics related to building awareness of the LSC and its related activities

Contact Us

For more information about the Lehigh Sustainability Council, please contact the co-chairs, Mark Ironside (mri205@lehigh.edu) and Karen Pooley (kpb312@lehigh.edu).