Published April 16, 2015
Building the most publicly accessible solar array in the nation? Check.
Turning food waste into a potent and eco-friendly fertilizer? Check.
A new interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to solving pressing environmental problems? Check.
These accomplishments are only the tip of the iceberg in UB’s efforts to create a more sustainable campus and world through innovative research, education and operations management.
Yet to reach the goal of becoming a truly sustainable university, more must be done. Much more.
The summit is the kickoff for a larger effort by UB to embed sustainable thinking, practices and decision-making throughout the university via an integrated sustainability strategy.
It will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Black Box Theatre in the Center for the Arts, North Campus, and feature keynote speaker Erik Foley, managing director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute.
One of more than 30 events scheduled during Earth Week — visit UB Sustainability’s website for a complete list — the summit will include UB’s first-ever Green SLICE (Sustainability Leadership, Innovation, Collaboration and Engagement) awards.
Winners of the awards are:
At the summit, UB’s leaders also will provide an update on the university’s progress to achieving carbon neutrality.
A landmark sustainability report compiled by UB in 2012 was certified “silver” by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education — a clear indication that UB is at the forefront of sustainability among North American colleges and universities.
Leaders will discuss the efforts of UB’s Stewardship Committee (formerly the Environmental Stewardship Committee). The committee created the university’s Climate Action Plan, which offers guidance for the university on energy use, transportation, information technology, materials use and human resources.
Stewardship co-chairs Robert Shibley, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, and Ryan McPherson, chief sustainability officer, also will explain how UB is enlisting the expertise of dozens of leaders university-wide to build upon the committee by creating four new subcommittees focusing on research, teaching, operations and engagement.
The subcommittees, which are tasked with developing goals, priorities and focus areas for UB’s broader sustainability plan, are chaired by: