The University of Utah Sustainability Office celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a Sustainability Showcase on Friday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the Marriott Library Plaza.
Over the years, students, staff and faculty have contributed to a vision of making the University of Utah a better place. In September, the Sustainability Office will celebrate these milestones and achievements with interactive games, prizes, food and entertainment to engage community members in both the history and current programming of the office.
The university’s sustainability efforts began to coalesce in 2007, with the formation of the Sustainability Office (then called the Sustainability Resource Center), under Facilities Management. With only one full-time staff member and some volunteers, the office got to work organizing recycling at football games, installing the first solar panels on campus, setting up a campus farmers’ market, making sure that sustainability was included in the Campus Master Plan and developing a student fee to support student-led sustainability projects through the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund. On Earth Day 2008, then-University of Utah President Michael K. Young signed the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment, dedicating the university to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Over the years, with growing engagement from students and faculty in sustainability-related interdisciplinary research and learning, the Sustainability Office moved into Academic Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Faculty and law professor Amy Wildermuth was named Chief Sustainability Officer in 2014. Under Wildermuth, the office also joined forces with the Global Change and Sustainability Center, founded in 2010 to foster interdisciplinary sustainability research.
This year, the Sustainability Office celebrates 10 years of dedicated efforts of faculty, staff and students from across campus resulting in one megawatt total photovoltaic solar installed on campus, an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, a campus commitment to sourcing 20 percent local, humane and fair-trade food by 2020, and many other achievements.
“Though much progress has been made, sustainability is an ongoing effort, and there is still a lot of work to do,” said Myron Willson, deputy chief sustainability officer for the U. “The next 10 years of sustainability at the university will be guided by those in our community who get and remain involved. Join us at the Sustainability Showcase to learn about ways you can help make the U a better place for all who live, work and play here.”
About sustainability at the University of Utah
The University of Utah is committed to integrating sustainability across all areas of the institution, including academics, operations and administration and to serving as a model for what is possible in sustainability. The Sustainability Office supports sustainability efforts of all kinds and works to better streamline initiatives and collaboration across campus.