COBE Sustainability Report
In publishing the second sustainability report for the College of Business and Economics (COBE) at Boise State University, COBE continues the practice of transparent reporting on social, economic, and environmental impacts as defined by our key stakeholders. Through the Responsible Business Initiative, COBE seeks to role model this leading corporate and organizational practice to share our progress and challenges, and to inspire our business and academic peers to follow suit. As with the first report, student learning has been central. The Student Sustainability Reporting Team comprises 15 COBE graduate and undergraduate students, and this team researched, collected the data for, and wrote this report.
The majority of metrics reported this year are similar to last year’s results published in May 2015. For example, the lack of diversity in COBE’s faculty and students has not changed significantly year on year. However, reporters covered the increased efforts the college has undertaken to create an inclusive environment that values all types of diversity, with the aspiration of increasing diversity in the longer term. Another year of data collection and reporting has evolved and improved the reporters’ audit of COBE’s responsible business content and courses, but the variation across programs persists. The college has undertaken significant efforts to improve its graduation and retention rates, and this year’s research shows that these investments are paying off as rates are slowly trending upward. Reporters also recorded a change in energy consumption because of an increased use of geothermal water, and noted the installation of COBE’s first solar panels. The report tracks the growing conversation around the college’s focus on the health and wellness of student, faculty and staff and the programs available to help them as well. However, measuring and reporting on the number of stakeholders who are benefiting from these programs remains an aspiration for a future report.
While reporters uncovered a number of improving metrics, there are still some material issues for which data is unavailable, including commuting and transportation methods for COBE students and employees, as well as the amount of waste generated in the college. Our inability to measure these two items makes any type of carbon footprint calculation impossible. Reporters were unable to find measurable data on the amount and retention levels of first generation students in the college, an issue identified as material to students.
A comprehensive list of recommendations follows this executive summary. Recommendations were generated by student reporters across two broad categories:
1. Actions the college can take in the short term, with minimal investment of time and resources, to improve key sustainability metrics.
2. Goals the college can set to track and improve key metrics for all material issues in the future.
College of Business and Economics at Boise State University, "2015 College of Business and Economics Sustainability Report" (2016). Sustainability Reports. 2.
2015 SR COBE Greenhouse Gases
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2015 SR Graduation and Retention Rates
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2015 SR International Experience
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2015 SR Recycled Paper Content
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2015 SR Student and Faculty Diversity
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2015 SR Student Involvement