Kicking the Mavericks Go Green campaign into high gear, Pres. James Spaniolo has approved the university’s first Sustainability Agenda, a package of 89 actions that will involve students, faculty, and staff across the campus in protecting the environment. The agenda ensures that UT Arlington will continue to be a leader in campus sustainability in North Texas and across the state even as a more comprehensive set of goals and strategies is being developed in the coming months.
When the President’s Sustainability Committee was launched in October 2007, one of its initial moves was creation of a comprehensive set of work groups. In turn, one of the groups’ early objectives was development of a preliminary agenda to improve the university’s campus-wide environmental performance, consider how to extend the environmental curriculum, and deepen campus engagement in North Texas environmental affairs. The groups submitted recommendations to Pres. James Spaniolo and Vice Pres. John Hall in March 2008; and the President and Vice President issued decisions on these recommendations in April and May 2008. The Sustainability Agenda consists of 77 approved actions to be carried out in the coming months (some pending approval of funding) and 12 preliminary actions that the work groups and various campus units have already largely accomplished in recent months.
A small sample of approved actions:
- ♦ hiring a Sustainability Director to facilitate the work of the President’s Sustainability Committee and sustainability efforts across campus;
- ♦ exploring ways to green the university’s curriculum and research;
- ♦ extending implementation of energy conservation measures;
- ♦ hiring student interns to undertake a thorough ecological landscape assessment;
- ♦ encouraging formation of an active student environmental organization;
- ♦ supporting student involvement in programs such as the Campus Climate Challenge (http://climatechallenge.org) and Ecomagination Challenge (http://www.ecocollegechallenge.com/aboutTheChallenge.html).
- ♦ increasing use of recycled paper for stationery, letterhead, business cards, and copy paper;
- ♦ developing purchasing guidelines on energy efficiency of new computers, photocopiers, televisions, and other electronics;
- ♦ working with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to develop an advertising campaign to educate the UT Arlington community on air quality issues;
- ♦ developing an employee carpooling program; and
- ♦ pilot testing a program for recycling goods and materials when students move out of residence halls in May each year.
Members of the university community are invited to offer feedback to assist the work groups in revising and extending the Sustainability Agenda during subsequent rounds of recommendations. Please contact the chairs of the appropriate work groups.
Sustainability Agenda (with list of work groups and their chairs).