For our general meeting on Monday September 21, we had the opportunity to hear from the University Director of Sustainability, Bill Brown. Mr. Brown began his presentation by giving us a little background on climate change and how the sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost will be. Then he talked about IU’s bicentennial strategic plan and all of the wonderful effects this initiative is having on campus. To start, IU leads the Big Ten in the number of LEED-certified green buildings with 14. They hope to have 20 buildings certified by 2016, with Hodge Hall in the works. One of the major benefits of green buildings is their air quality, as they are shown to lead to over 40% fewer allergy symptoms! Another initiative of the bicentennial strategic plan is to reduce emissions on campus by 30% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050. Also, the IU energy challenge helped saved over 28.6 million gallons of water over the last two years. That is more than the rest of the Big Ten combined!
Later on, Mr. Brown talked about the Hoosier to Hoosier Sale, which Net Impact has been involved with in the past. The sale has diverted over 60 tons of furniture from being thrown out and raised over $44,000 for charity! Mr. Brown concluded by talking about all of the great ways for us students to get involved in sustainability. Being involved in Net Impact is an awesome start, but there are also many sustainability internships through IU as well as other volunteering opportunities on campus. Also, coming soon there will be a real time campus energy and emissions online dashboard for students to play around with and see how much energy we are able to conserve. Overall, we had a great time listening to Mr. Brown’s presentation and if you missed the meeting or are interested in other sustainable opportunities you can visit sustain.indiana.edu to learn more.