Yesterday’s Sustainability Showcase was a resounding success, with more than 100 people dropping by the Sustainability Office’s new location in the Business Classroom Building in lower campus. Guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres, a tour of the office’s design features, and demonstrations of new and ongoing campus sustainability initiatives, including the just-launched Green Map.
Several speakers made brief remarks. Chief Sustainability Officer Amy Wildermuth spoke about the recent reorganization of the Sustainability Office. President David Pershing applauded the efforts of all those working toward sustainability on campus, saying, “I believe passionately in what you are doing.” He then announced the University of Utah’s commitment to procure 20 percent “real food” by 2020.
Senior Vice President Ruth Watkins congratulated professors Tariq Banuri and Steve Burian on their USAID grant for a major clean water initiative in Pakistan, and she also remarked on the hiring of five new university faculty members for the Society, Water and Climate Research Cluster. Finally, Myron Willson, director of the Sustainability Resource Center, talked about the design and remodel of the Sustainability Office’s new suite, including such features as recycled carpet tiles, low-VOC paint, LED lights, and occupancy sensors. Willson also announced the Bennion Center as the first recipient of the new Green Office Certification.
With washable glassware, finger foods with ‘real food’ labels (see sidebar), compostable plates and special compost bin for the event, and no printed marketing, the Sustainability Showcase received gold-level recognition under the Green Event Certification.
A big thank you to everyone who helped to celebrate this next phase in the University’s efforts toward sustainability.