Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thinking Green.

Pittsburgh Magazine in its latest issue has an article titled, "Thinking Green" in which they discuss how various universities in the area, including RMU, are embracing the idea of sustainability.
The idea behind sustainability is that it is a long term approach to environmental protection and process improvements, preventing pollution from the start and acknowledge the various connections between the economy, environment, corporate, social and government responsibility.
The article talks at length about the various avenues several universities have done to embrace sustainability, including University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Duquesne University, Penn State and Robert Morris University. Some of these projects include campus wide emissions control devices, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified buildings, cutting various types of waste, to offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in various areas of Environmental Science and Sustainability.
RMU's own Dr. Marcel Minutolo was interviewed for this article and he had this to say, “Think what you want about Walmart, but [it’s] a leader in sustainable practices. [Company leaders] don’t do it because they love the Earth. There are dollars involved. Sustainability makes sense, whether you love the Earth, love people or love money.”
If you are curious about what else Dr. Minutolo had to say about sustainability in and around RMU and the community at large, please read the article.

Robert Morris University takes the idea of sustainability seriously, and RMU actively promotes social responsible and environmentally sustainable practices. The Sustainability Committee have implemented some major initiatives around campus, and they include:

  • Adoption of a single-stream recycling program. Click here for a list of recycling locations on campus.
  • Elimination of disposable styrofoam to-go containers from the Food Court. The Food Court now offers reusable to-go containers that can be returned to the Food Court after use.
  • Installation of energy efficient hand driers in restrooms.
  • Expanded course offerings, including a major in environmental science, a minor in alternative energy and sustainability, and courses in sustainable marketing and management.
  • Adoption of LEED design standards for new building construction and major renovations.
  • A vendor certification program which will allow the university to reduce paperwork generated by vendor invoices and payments.
  • A utility demand response program.
This is just the start for RMU and their sustainable practices, and the university still has a lot to accomplish. There is still plenty of room available in the Sustainable Enterprises conference and the Global Reporting Initiative conference hosted right here at RMU. If you would like to attend, please take the time to sign up here. If you have any questions about either or both of the conferences, please email Dr. Marcel Minutolo or Dr. Steven Clinton.

Post by Ian Munroe

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