By Daniel Schemer, October 2008
On Thursday, October 2, representatives from the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability for UMass Dartmouth received an award from Governor Deval Patrick's Leading by Example Program for outstanding progress in reducing its environmental impact.
Held at a State House ceremony in Boston, the Leading by Example Program (LBE) acknowledges efforts by state agencies, municipalities, and education institutions to promote "green" programs and cleaner living. "Public agencies' efforts to save fuel, reduce waste and water use, and promote renewable energy are opportunities to save money while saving the environment," said Ian Bowles, Secretary for The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, who also oversees LBE.
UMass Dartmouth received the award for several programs instituted over the last year, such as the formation of the Office of Sustainability, the improvements in the campus recycling program, and the creation of a "green" purchasing policy. Other points highlighted at the awards ceremony included the following: the development of the sustainability minor, food waste from Sodexho being diverted to a local farm, hosting the climate commitment and focus the nation conferences, the sustainability summer camp for middle-school students, and research in sustainability-related fields in each of the colleges.
"It was a great ceremony ... and a real tribute to UMD. Bob Peck and I accepted the award on behalf of dozens of faculty, staff, students, and administrators committed to sustainability," said Susan Jennings, Interim Director for the Office of Sustainability.
Presenting the honors were Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Phil Guidice, State Purchasing Agent Ellen Bickelman, and Division of Capital Asset Management Commissioner David B. Perini. "The impressive nature of these awards is a clear indication that responsible purchasing is now mainstream and is being embraced not only by government purchasers, but by colleges and universities, large corporations, medium and small businesses, and consumer-level buyers as well," said State Purchasing Agent Ellen Bickelman.
Established in April 2007 by Governor Patrick's Executive Order no. 484, the LBE Program directs agencies of state government to improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy technology, and reduce carbon footprints. Each year, state agencies, municipalities, and public higher education institutions compete for awards, and two are given in each category.
This year's other recipients were the towns of Barnstable and Shirley in the municipal category, Massport and the Bureau of State Office Buildings for state agencies, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for higher education institution.
Go to the Executive Office for Energy and Environmental Affairs for more information on the Leading By Example Program.