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Sustainability Management Plan

Overview: What's an SMP and Why It's Important

SMP cover with solar panel The De Anza College Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAG) in collaboration with the De Anza College community developed a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) for the campus. The information on the SMP Web pages are reflective of the information found in the final published SMP that was adopted by all levels of campus governance in fall 2007, with some adjustments made to timelines since then.

The plan will guide the College towards becoming one of the first sustainable community college campuses in California.

The SMP addresses all aspects of our impact on the campus and community. In this context, sustainability management addresses a broader range of human activity than traditional environmental management.

Sustainability considers our impact not just on air, land and water, but includes our impact on community vibrancy, environmental stewardship, social equity, and financial responsibility.

The SMP is composed of the early stages of a formal SMP, based on the international standard for EMS, ISO 14001:2004(E) (ISO 14001).

ISO 14001 defines an EMS as "the part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the environmental policy."

The standard goes on to provide a methodology to build an auditable EMS so that the organization using EMS can validate that all persons working on its behalf are conforming their decisions and actions to the priorities set by the EMS.

In the SMP for the college these priorities are defined in the first instance by the Policy Statement and the written processes and procedures. ISO 14001 was built and designed primarily for use in manufacturing plants. As such, it is often handled as an "end of pipe" add-on task, something more to do. Most formal industrial EMS built to date conform to the language of ISO 14001, but leave many business value and environmental protection opportunities unplumbed.

The SMP designed and delivered in this report overcomes many of these deficiencies and is intended to deliver maximum value, measured by real-world environmental performance, environmental protection, cost reduction, quality gains, and by adding demonstrable value to the business of the college in its core educational mission.

Briefly, the SMP will do three things for the college, and reliably so:

  1. Help identify and catalogue all of its environmental risks and opportunities (not just those regulated by law),
  2. Help set a frame for prioritizing those risks and opportunities
  3. Help to systematically apply greater management to the risks and impacts it deems most important, with the goal of reducing them to the minimum extent practical.

Prior to creating an SMP, the college managed environmental issues in two ways:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • A long history of environmental leadership

Using the SMP, the college will be able to involve the entire college community in more intentional, strategic and tactical efforts to improve sustainability performance in a systematic way. The detailed components of the SMP, which explain how the plan will be implemented over time, are described in the details of the plan section.

Contact: CEAG Committee

Last Updated: 9/1/09