As we near the end of the fall and winter’s chill moves in, UT Knoxville’s energy conservation efforts are heating up: Over the past 15 months, your actions and ideas to save energy and work efficiently through the Switch Your Thinking campaign have saved the campus more than $1 million in energy costs alone.
Switch Your Thinking News
This Knoxville News Sentinel article explores how the university is working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and “make orange green.” Gordie Bennett, sustainability manager for UT Knoxville, explains how UT is taking a more in-depth approach, analyzing carbon dioxide emissions and creating a comprehensive plan for reducing its carbon footprint.
UT Knoxville took top honors in the state and the Southeastern Conference in this year’s 2010 College Sustainability Report Card. The report, published annually by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, gave UT Knoxville a B grade, placing the campus higher than any other Tennessee college or university and tied with two other universities for the top mark in the Southeastern Conference.
Planning for significant budget cuts, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has established a Lean Management Office as a permanent function of the campus administration, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek announced today. The move formalizes the university’s commitment to enhancing efficiency and improving processes as it prepares to weather a $40 million cut to its annual state appropriation by July 2011. Federal stimulus dollars have filled the gap, but the one-time funds expire June 30, 2011.
When he started college as a math major, Gordie Bennett never thought that he would end up an environmental advocate who spends his days with a nine foot tall light switch affectionately named “Switchie.” But for Bennett, the sustainability manager for UT Knoxville, it’s just another day at the office.
For Joseph DiPietro, UT vice president for agriculture, being a good steward of the environment comes naturally.
UT is more than halfway to the “Switch Your Thinking” campaign goal of reducing energy use on campus by 10 percent this fiscal year. To help the campus reach this milestone, Make Orange Green and the Committee on the Campus Environment have created an energy conservation program for faculty and staff called “Friends of Switchie.”
Faculty Senate President and professor of philosophy John Nolt speaks with the UT Minute staff about UT’s efforts to create and maintain a sustainable campus.
The Switch Your Thinking energy-saving effort at UT Knoxville is halfway to its goal of a 10 percent reduction in energy use compared to last year. As of March 1, the campus has used 5 percent less energy this fiscal year than last, resulting in a savings of $559,000. The savings are a result of students, faculty and staff at UT Knoxville taking many steps to cut back on energy use, combined with a new campus energy conservation policy.
As of Friday, Jan. 30, Facilities Services began distributing 6,000 new recycling bins at UT Knoxville, more than doubling the number of recycling receptacles on campus. The seven-gallon desk-side bins are to be used for paper recycling, and will be placed in major office buildings beginning with Stokely Management Center and including South and East Stadium Halls, McClung Tower and Andy Holt Tower.