As part of its ongoing commitment to green practices, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will unveil and discuss its comprehensive campus sustainability plan during the campus’s observation of the international Earth Day at 1 p.m. in Reeve Memorial Ballroom 227 April 22. The sustainability plan is a 124-page document that will guide the University’s efforts to continue as a national leader in responsible environmental stewardship, education, outreach and research.
“Universities already play unique roles in educating society and conducting research,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “As a large institution, UW Oshkosh can play an important part in shaping the future and in supporting green practices on all levels. The sustainability plan is intended to provide a roadmap for major steps toward sustainability over the next five years.”
Among the operational goals outlined in the document are:
- Hire a Campus Sustainability Director;
- Reduce the annual consumption of fossil fuels for heating by 50 percent from 2000 levels by 2012;
- Reduce overall water consumption levels by 50 percent from 2000 levels by 2012;
- Utilize energy efficient and sustainable design standards on all new construction and applicable renovation projects undertaken after 2007. All such projects shall seek to meet or exceed LEED “Silver” level of sustainability;
- Reduce automobile trips to campus by 20 percent by 2012 through incentives and improvements in sustainable alternatives; and
- Increase biodiversity and usable green space of the campus while reducing dependence on fossil fuels, other extracted materials, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
The plan also calls on the University to link the formal teaching mission with informal teaching opportunities to develop understanding, attitudes and habits that promote sustainability. In support of that goal, sustainability would be a recognized, emphasized and common theme across departments and programs. Further, events, extracurricular opportunities and internships would seek to provide students with hands-on experience with sustainable practices.
“The long-term vision is that scholarly activities by faculty, staff and students generate and test ideas for creating a sustainable future,” said David Barnhill, director of environmental studies and professor of English. “We hope to develop and maintain research and scholarship that supports sustainability efforts, contributes to the professional development of staff, and challenges students to apply their emerging skills and knowledge.”
The plan also includes recommendations for the University to develop outreach efforts so that sustainability lessons learned by the campus can by used by the public.
For more information about the sustainability plan, visit http://www.uwosh.edu/assets/announcement/sustainability/.