- A forum was held to discuss new ideas and improvements for sustainability.
- One future improvement by the sustainability office is to have a single-stream recycling system.
- One of the ideas suggested is that there be a limit on the overproduction of university publications.
University staff and students met Monday afternoon in the Alumni Memorial Union to brainstorm ideas for improvement on campus sustainability.
Toby Peters, associate senior vice president, led the discussion with Mike Whittow, assistant to the vice president.
Peters discussed the Renewal Task Force, which began 10 years ago with the purpose of increasing "productivity, efficiency and quality" for both university staff and students. He said the committee tries to simplify processes across campus and to centralize them where possible. He stressed the importance of the whole university's support for the mission of the Office of Sustainability.
"Everyone has to take ownership of it," Peters said.
Whittow reported on the Sustainability Office, saying it is trying to create awareness about what it does for the university. He said sustainability not only involves social and economic aspects, in addition to environmental ones.
"Sustainability is more than just saving energy and recycling," Whittow said.
It includes using economic resources wisely, Whittow said. The office has four working groups: new buildings, providers, natural resources and utilities, and recycling. The goal of each group is to research what can be done better and to work toward improvements.
Whittow said the university has recycled a lot of unconventional materials.
"Ninety-five percent of the 1212 Building was recycled," Whittow said.
He said three new academic buildings — Zilber Hall, Eckstein Hall and the planned Discovery Learning Complex — will have certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. McCabe Hall will also meet LEED certification, Whittow said.
The office is also working on a project to move to a single-stream recycling provider. Whittow said this would remove confusion from the recycling system and the time wasted on dividing the materials.
He said the office is also working to create a Web site for the campus community to see what the office is doing. The Web site would also welcome feedback and questions.
The purpose of Monday's forum was to receive feedback and ideas from those who attended.
Peters asked participants, "In your daily routine, what could be a better way?"
Ann Taghikhani, director of university special events, said university offices could look at ways that supplies could be reused in the future. Sue McKeon, associate director of university special events, suggested that staff think about how supplies could be reused when purchasing them.
Each table of attendees was instructed to produce a list of ideas that would be collected. One idea was to increase the use of technology to decrease the use of paper. Peters said the RTF looks first at how to simplify processes before making them "automated."
Another idea was to reduce the production of university publications, from magazines and newsletters to the Marquette Tribune. Peters said the university is trying to consolidate mailing lists to avoid overproduction of publications.