As a response to the GC35 Jesuit mission on ecology, Jesuit schools and institutes in Asia Pacific are developing a Sustainability Officer (SO) Course for campus managers and ecology administrators in the region. This is also part of the green campus agenda defined last year by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific and the Association of Jesuit Campuses and Universities in Asia Pacific.
Although it is recognized that campus managers and ecology administrators effectively keep the ground in order and deliver services, Jesuit people in Asia Pacific see the value of establishing a course that provides people both the science- and faith-based knowledge to empower them to work in a more ecological way. Often, these staff are focused to send out job orders and work tickets with limited comprehension of the broader technical and socio-political implications of their day-to-day activities.
Initially, the course is focused on Jesuit institutions, schools, and universities in Asia Pacific, to “get our house in order.” In the future it is expected that the course will be offered to the general public, including local governments, by the different institutions to contribute to broader environmental management and systems in society.
The SO course is viewed as a keystone in understanding and synergizing ecological activities and relations on and off campus. It creates the venue for a new breed of campus management and transformative education and includes spiritual deepening through Our Environmental Way of Proceeding (OEWP), as a basis for attitudinal growth for all staff, faculty, and students.
The SO course also provides a basis to integrate ongoing activities of “greening the campus” programs of many of our institutions such as segregation practices, laboratory and technology projects, best practices, and student programs, on and off campus. Greater ecological integration and sensitivity to local and country context is also expected in the development of core and elective courses and apprenticeship.
The SO course seeks to provide transformative knowledge through a modular program that runs for four to six weeks a year, within a period of three years. It is an intensive course that includes both classroom lectures and practical learning exercises. There are 12 modules that cover a wide range of topics from basic understanding of environmental checklists and its analysis and audit to carbon footprint and certification (please see box below).
The course modules and content are yet to be finalized and key people from Sanata Dharma University and ATMI-Solo (St Michael’s Academy) in Indonesia and Ateneo de Davao University, and the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) in the Philippines are set to meet in early April 2012 to finalize the course.
|INITIAL OUTLINE OF THE SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER COURSE|
Living out a way of green campus management
Integrating on and off campus production and consumption aspects
National and local environmental certification and processes