Transformation - 2008 President's Report

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The Urgency of Now - 2008 President's Report

Innovative Green Initiatives Create Sustainable Environment

students build a green roof atop the Life Science building

The green roof test site atop the Life Science Building will further research on how to improve air quality.

Programs to clean up the air in North Texas, analyze its carbon footprint and build environmentally friendly buildings illustrate UT Arlington's leadership in green efforts among higher education institutions.

Make no mistake, UT Arlington's school colors are blue, white and orange. But more and more, Mavericks are going green.

As at many universities across the country, sustainability has become an important initiative at UT Arlington. But in a number of ways, UT Arlington is a step ahead.

Among them is the President's Sustainability Committee, an innovative collaboration featuring 10 work groups that address issues across campus. Priorities include building and construction, recycling, energy and water conservation, transportation and more. The faculty, staff, students, alumni and City of Arlington personnel who comprise the groups assure that sustainability issues are considered in each area.

Each work group is proactive, bringing ideas to UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo for his consideration. Last spring, he approved more than 80 initiatives recommended by the committee.

The University is a green leader in other ways, too. The roof of the Life Science Building recently became the first green roof in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and UT Arlington has partnered with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to clean up the region's air.

Last spring, UT Arlington became only the second Texas university to analyze its carbon footprint. Plans are in the works to make the new Engineering Research Building one of only a few buildings nationally to achieve LEED Silver Certification. And, to oversee all this, the University plans to hire its first sustainability coordinator.

We will continue to push the envelope to do more related to sustainability, said John Hall, vice president for administration and campus operations. The carbon footprint analysis concluded that much of the emissions are coming from our buildings, so it is imperative that we continue to implement further energy conservation measures that will save electricity and reduce the demands on the buildings' HVAC and mechanical systems.

On the academic side of the house, look for more programs and course offerings to incorporate sustainability initiatives across the disciplines.