Sustainability Committee

The mission of the SOLES Sustainability Committee is to (a) develop practices and policies to reduce the carbon imprint of SOLES students, faculty, staff and facilities and (b) support curriculum and pedagogy on the topic of sustainability.

The SOLES Sustainability Committee is made up of SOLES faculty, administrators, staff and students committed to promoting USD-wide sustainability efforts.  Membership is open to all on a continuous basis. Please contact the committee at any time via, or join us for one of our monthly meetings.

Strategic Plan

We are committed to supporting the SOLES Strategic Initiative to Promote Sustainability.

Our goals include:

  • Increase awareness of sustainability practices by SOLES staff, students, and faculty.
  • Identify and suggest best practices to incorporate sustainability topics across the curriculum.
  • Advance sustainable practices in SOLES’ operations.

Syllabi Template Statement

Please consider adding the following sustainability statement to your course syllabi, adjusting the language as appropriate:

"In collaboration with University-wide efforts, we are committed to developing sustainable practices.  We invite you to join us in practicing the three R’s of conservation/sustainability: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Copies of this syllabus will not be printed for distribution by the instructor and handouts will be avoided whenever possible.  Additional resources are available on the SOLES Sustainability website."

Zero Waste

In collaboration with the USD Office of Sustainability, SOLES is leading the way in becoming USD's first Zero Waste facility.  

What is Zero Waste?

The Zero Waste International Alliance (2009) broadly defines Zero Waste as:

A goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and re- cover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

Informed by this definition, USD characterizes Zero Waste as a dynamic process that re- quires a systems approach. While the intent is to become a 100 percent waste-free campus, a diversion rate of 90 percent shall be considered a successful rate of “Zero Waste” diversion during the preliminary stages of the process. 

What can we do to help achieve this goal?

Learn what you can do to help your office and SOLES achieve Zero Waste by talking with a Zero Waste Guru.  These are SOLES faculty, administrators, staff, and students that have received training on USD's initiatives and are available to answer your questions and guide you to the proper resources.  

Find the nearest Zero Waste Guru by looking for this badge!
Zero Waste Guru Badge

If you're interested in becoming a Zero Waste Guru, please contact Anne Kiecher ( in the USD Office of Sustainability. The time commitment is very minimal for this volunteer position, and there are not regular standing meetings associated with this group.

Meeting Schedule Fall 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 12:30 - 1:30 pm (MRH 225A)

Tuesday, December 8, 2:30 - 3:30 pm (MRH 225A)


Contact Us

Have questions or comments for the SOLES Sustainability Committee? Please email us at