Rollins College

Campus Initiatives in Sustainability at Rollins College

Converging Paths: Sustainability at Rollins College

EcoRollinsSustainability has been defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Rollins’ actions toward that goal are the result of a convergence of institutional commitment, student activism, and vendor participation. And they’re changing the College in perceptible ways.

It’s hard to miss the influence of “green” practices on everyday campus life. You might start the day with buying a cup of Fair Trade coffee in the dining hall—served either in a “Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle” mug from Sodexo (the contractor that operates Rollins Dining Services) or in a biodegradable, non-Styrofoam container. Continue reading this article, discover more ways Rollins is working toward a more sustainable campus, or scroll down for more updates on campus initiatives.


Fair trade jewelry

Fair Trade on campus

Efforts for Rollins to acquire 'Fair Trade College' status began summer '12.  All fair trade components were met by spring '13 and the college was designated a Fair Trade College on April 18th during the Earth Day Festivities.

A Fair Trade Resolution was created and approved by multiple factions on campus - A&S Faculty, CPS Faculty, Executive Committee, Student Government Association, Finance and Services Committee, Staff Advisory Committee and the Committee on Environmental and Sustainable Issues. The resolution follows the Rollins mission statement upholding social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Rollins College Fair Trade Resolution 2013

For purchasing on campus, a new sustainable purchasing policy was created and approved in March 2013. This policy includes strong efforts to purchase fairly traded items if possible and if economically sound.  Purchasing Fair Trade products will not be mandatory, but recommendations and examples are given to help in decisions.  It may be noted that if fairly traded items are not available, it is suggested to look to sustainable and/or recycled items.  And if not economically sound for fair trade, to at least make the effort for the sustainable and/or recycled items.

Sodexo, campus dining services, have fair trade coffee, decaf coffee, tea, sugar, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, chocolates and Honest Tea.  For vendors/areas like Sodexo, they must have and offer at least 3 food items at all times that are certified fair trade. This includes what is offered in all dining service areas, in the C-store [convenience store] and for all catered events! 

Management at Rollins Sodexo are looking into bringing more fair trade items to be available such as bananas and other various fruits and vegetables.  Sodexo has in place a Fair Food Program and a zero tolerance policy for forced labor.

Follett BookstoreThe Rice Family Bookstore, run by Follett, has multiple fair trade items available!  They carry Dr. Bronner's hand soap, chocolates, toiletries and multiple clothing items from Alta Gracia, a company that is exclusively fair trade.   Follett also has a strong purchasing policy in force and is a Fair Labor Organization.

The gift shop in the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is already a fair trade certified vendor with the City of Winter Park, a Fair Trade Town!  They have carried various items from multiple fair trade vendors since 2006.  The gift shop carries cards, jewelry and an assortment of gift items.

Under the Committee on Environmental and Sustainable Initiative [CESI], a sub-committee was created that includes faculty, staff and students.  Their charge will be keeping up to date on what the above areas are doing to follow the fair trade requirements.  The committee will also have the opportunity to make policy suggestions to it's parent committee, the Finance and Services Committee, on purchasing and any other areas that could include fair trade products throughout the campus.

The Fair Trade Campaign at Rollins College will be monitored and progression of events and products will be part of the Rollins College Student-run Sustainability Program's initiatives, supported by the Committee on Environmental and Sustainable Issues.  The student sustainability coordinators and the program coordinator of the Sustainability Program will make all efforts to ensure Fair Trade continues to be out in the forefront on campus.



Working Toward a More Sustainable Rollins

Facilities Managementhas been implementing sustainable practices across the Rollins campus. From low flow shower heads and high efficiency lighting to hybrid vehicles and green chemicals, discover the many ways Facilities Managements strives to make Rollins an environmentally friendly campus. More…

Dining Services, in partnership with Sodexho, has been working with Food Alliance certified farmers and offering solid information and tools about green practices in order to offer you healthy, organic food options and ways you can help the environment. More…

Strong HallCampus Construction Projects Increase Sustainability

Rollins College completed more than 40 various construction projects ranging from residence hall renovations to the completion of the west end chilled water loop. The projects attempted to take full advantage of implementing sustainable practices in every area, including both passive and active heat recovery for domestic hot water production, shared oversize cooling towers to minimize fan energy, highly efficient chillers, computer controlled operations, and a cutting-edge water treatment system that eliminates the use of chemicals for controlling scaling, corrosion, and biological growth within the cooling tower. More...

Dining Services, Rollins College

Dining Services Makes Positive Changes

While sustainability efforts or “going green” is prevalent for schools in states like Oregon and California, Rollins College is leading the charge in Florida. All Styrofoam drink cups, lids and straws have been removed from Rollins campus dining locations and replaced with biodegradable products. Biodegradable napkins are used throughout campus, and the Bookmark Café, Dianne’s Café, The Marketplace and Cornell Courtyard are now serving Starbucks Fair Trade Certified coffee products. More...

 locally grown



Please see the attached map of locally grown produce that Sodexo uses here at Rollins!   



Sodexo 2010 Sustainability Report - North America

Committee on Environmental and Sustainable Issues

During the fall 2008 semester, the Finance and Services Committee endorsed the proposal for a new standing committee to address environmental and sustainability issues on campus.  The Committee on Environmental and Sustainable Issues [CESI] membership consists of students, faculty and staff.

The Committee on Environment and Sustainability Issues (CESI) will advise the administration on a wide variety of issues related to sustainable development, environmental impact, biodiversity and environmental justice. The range of issues will include curricular and educational issues, facility and business issues, programmatic issues and policy-related choices concerning the environment.  Some initiatives that CESI have endorsed and help push through on campus are:

  • changing copy paper throughout the campus to 50% post consumer recycled paper
  • getting approval for setting all copiers on campus to default to double side copy
  • printing out dining receipts only on request
  • serving only 'sustainable' seafood
  • recycle bulk food cans in dining services
  • cardboard baler
  • renaming the Recycling Program and Recycling Coordinators to the Sustainability Program and Sustainability Coordinators
  • using greenware [biodegradable] at all catered events, unless china is preferred
  • Green Fox Day
  • graduation gowns produced from sustainable trees starting May '13 commencement

 In progress:

  • attic insulation work throughout campus buildings
  • classroom occupancy sensors throughout campus
  • LED - pole lights
  • submetering buildings on campus
  • no-idling policy for buses and trucks on campus and during participating campus events off campus

 Other initiatives being researched:

  • working with Explorations to initiate multiple sustainable practices
  • working with campus to 'turn off' electronics when not in use
  • elimination or reduction of plastic water bottles on campus
  • solar panels on the SunTrust Parking Garage

CESI 2008-2009 Annual Report

CESI 2009/2010 Annual Report

CESI 2011/2012 Sustainability Master Plan

CESI 2012/2013 Annual Report


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I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

John Muir


ReThink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
(from Global Stewards)


Reduce Purchases: In general, think before you buy any product - do you really need it? How did the production of this product impact the environment and what further impacts will there be with the disposal of the product (and associated packaging materials)? When you are thinking about buying something, try the 30-Day Rule -- wait 30 days after the first time you decide you want a product to really make your decision. This will eliminate impulse buying.

Simplify: Simplify your life as much as possible. Only keep belongings that you use/enjoy on a regular basis. By making the effort to reduce what you own, you will naturally purchase less/create less waste in the future.

Buy Used: Buy used products whenever possible. Sources include garage sales, Craigslist, local thrift stores,, local used furniture stores and local consignment shops.

Borrow From Friends: If you only need something temporarily, ask if a friend or neighbor would loan it to you.

Share With Friends: Share things like books, magazines, movies, games, and newspapers between friends and neighbors.

Avoid Creating Trash: Avoid creating trash wherever possible: when ordering food, avoid receiving any unnecessary plastic utensils, straws, etc. (ask in advance), buy ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, don't accept "free" promotional products, buy products with the least amount of packaging, etc. Every little bit of trash avoided does make a difference!

 recycled laces

America consumes 30% of the world’s paper – printing and writing paper comprises half of this percentage. (From Sierra Club)

For every $11 spent on groceries, $1 goes toward packaging! Up to 40% of the waste in our landfills is packaging-related material. Rethink what you buy. (From Sierra Club)

North America accounts for 31.5% of global consumption, even though we only comprise 5% of the world’s total population. (From Sierra Club)

Vampire power costs America between 1 and 3 billion dollars per year. This energy waste comes from appliances left plugged in when they are not in use. (From Sierra Club)