John Rogers Named Sustainability Advisor

John Rogers has been appointed Advisor to the Head of School for Sustainability. Head of School Barbara Chase created the position in an effort to dedicate more time and resources to environmental sustainability. Rogers, Dean of Studies and Instructor in Environmental Science, will continue to serve as Dean of Studies. Rogers declined to comment for this story. Alison Kent ’08, head of Eco-Action, said that when it comes to sustainability, “Mr. Rogers knows what he’s talking about.” Wrote Michael Williams, Director of Facilities, in an email, “John is a good leader and very committed to this field. He will bring both a passion for these goals and a well founded understandings of the practical realities involved.” According to Chase’s email, Rogers will work to accomplish two primary goals. The first is to oversee an audit of institutional conditions and practices to provide a baseline appraisal for future sustainability planning. Rogers will work with Williams and CFO Stephen Carter in service of these goals. Wrote Williams in an email, “[Sustainability] is a personal choice, an institutional concern and a worldwide issue.” The second goal is to draft a statement of philosophy of Phillips Academy’s sustainability goals. After it is finished, the Board of Trustees will review the statement in January 2009. Bogdanovitch said that the community needs to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a sustainable Andover?” Sustainability, which Bogdanovitch defined as “living to meet the needs of the human community without compromising future generations,” is an issue of large importance to many on campus. “If we keep living the way we are, our grandchildren won’t have the same resources as us,” said Kent. “Our generation needs to start learning now,” said Emily Wei ’09, a board member of Eco-Action. Kent said that her main goal for the Eco-Action club is to increase Phillips Academy’s awareness about sustainability. The club has helped to organize initiatives like the Green Cup Challenge and a potential on-campus garden that could supply Uncommons with herbs and fresh produce. Eco-Action also showed King Corn, a documentary about sustainable foods, to the community on Tuesday. The club is working as well to reduce the school’s consumption of plastic water bottles. However, Kent said that the club could accomplish a lot more working with Rogers, because he, as a member of the Senior Administrative Council, has more authority. Wei said, “He is really connected with the administration.” “Mr. Rogers has lots of history working with environmental issues on campus,” said Bogdanovitch. Wei believes that he can help the club reach its goal of the sustainable garden. Although there are still regulations to be sorted out, Wei said that Eco-Action would like to have the garden up and running by this spring.