The University of Notre Dame has long incorporated energy conservation and environmental stewardship into its annual goals. Growing concern for the environment, continued growth of campus, changes in the environmental regulatory climate, and volatile energy prices have brought a renewed focus on reducing its energy and environmental impact.
The Office of Sustainability was established on January 1, 2008, and its first director, James Mazurek, was appointed in May. The office will build institutional learning capacities to support continuous improvement in building design and operations, landscaping, procurement, energy and water conservation, waste disposal and recycling, and service provision. It is also charged with educating the campus community through informal learning opportunities, presentations, conferences, competitions, and an updated website.
Its immediate goals include:
- Establishing a baseline for all energy use at Notre Dame, including heating, cooling, electricity, transportation, and purchased goods
- Developing metrics that will be used to track progress from 2008 forward
- Setting specific goals for improving sustainability in various aspects of the campus, including heating, cooling, electricity, transportation, and purchased goods
Green Loan Fund
A $2 million Green Loan Fund provides capital for environmental improvements in both campus buildings and operations.
The Energy and Environmental Issues Committee
University leadership reconstituted the Energy and Environmental Issues (E&EI) Committee in December 2006 to broaden energy and environmental awareness, to report on Notre Dame “green” initiatives, and to advise University leadership on eco-friendly opportunities. The work of the committee, which comprises faculty, staff, and students, has resulted in a campus-wide awareness campaign, the annual Green Summit, and the completion of new initiatives to minimize energy use.
Select Administrative Accomplishments
• Member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
• Five buildings are being designed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards
• Transition to single-stream recycling
• Recycled over 15.2 million pounds of waste in 2007
• 5 hybrid vehicles added to motor pool
• Included renewable energy sources in the new Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering
• Coordinated fare-free public transportation for entire campus community
• Diverted over 300 tons from the landfill since 2005 through annual From Old 2 Gold sale
Notre Dame Food Services continually evaluates decisions with a dedicated task force that monitors social responsibility, customer preferences, and financial concerns. It is currently investigating and taking action on topics such as local sourcing, sustainability, and employee education.
“Learn more >”:http://food.nd.edu/about/environmentalism.html