On Monday afternoon, eight Goshen College faculty and staff members met to learn about Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Jim Weingart of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management led the presentation. He assists organizations to meet codes implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA mandated that Goshen College be inspected every three years, or an EMS should be put in place. In response, the college is weighing all options.
EMS is a process of planning out a sustainable routine, then evaluating and carrying out that plan. “EMS goes above and beyond simple compliance to government standards,” said Weingardt. Environmental impacts are lowered while preventative action is taken against pollution, which lowers costs in the long-run.
Goshen College could also agree to inspection every three years. It would be like a “fresh pair of eyes,” one group member suggested. But if the college doesn’t meet EPA requirements, the school may be forced to pay severe fines--up to six figures in value.
Many faculty and staff members questioned whether an EMS was really necessary. The college already has committees to focus on sustainability as well as ecological stewardship.
The meeting on Monday was the first of many discussions about how the college can become more environmentally friendly.