Nominations open for Western Sustainability Awards

Western Today staff

The Office of Sustainability and Western Washignton University administration have opened nominations for the third annual Western Sustainability Awards.

The awards honor the Western community's commitment to achieve sustainability and celebrates the efforts of individuals, groups, programs or projects that make important contributions to “Western Sustainability.” Nominations will be taken in the areas of academics, operations and student life. The awards selection committee may also award special “Community Connection” and “Lifetime Achievement” recognitions. Nominations will be received through June 21, and nomination forms can be accessed on the Western Sustainability Awards webpage

2012 winners included:

  • AMSEC Solar Project Team, receiving an Award in Academics for creating innovative work on improving the efficiency of luminescent solar concentrators, and being awarded a $970,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's SOLAR program to further this research.
  • Miller Hall Renovation Team, receiving an Award in Operations for gaining Western's first LEED Gold Certification for a campus building, and creating a 30-percent drop in electricity use and a 40-percent drop in Miller Hall heating use through the project.
  • Energy Savings Company Project Team, receiving an Award in Operations for creating a campus-wide energy and water conservation project spanning 28 buildings, netting a yearly savings of $230,000 rising to $370,000 annually in 10 years.
  • Students for Sustainable Water, receiving an Award in Student Life for initiating an effort to address the issue of bottled water on campus and drafting an advisory student ballot initiative for the removal of bottled water from campus.
  • Gary Bornzin, receiving an Award in Lifetime Achievement for being a voice for sustainability education for decades and acting as one of the first sustainability educators to emerge on campus.

The concept and practice of sustainability is part of the mission statement and strategic plan of WWU, and is exemplified in academics, student life, operations, and connection to the greater community. Western is recognized for its campus-wide efforts through national rankings such as the Sierra Magazine's Cool School list, the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes, and the EPA's Green Power Partnership.

The WWU Office of Sustainabilityis Western’s hub for campus sustainability and is dedicated to helping WWU achieve its strategic goal of campus sustainability by integrating sustainability into operations, academics, and research.