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For more information contact mark.a.kinders@uwrf.edu or brenda.k.bredahl@uwrf.edu.

UW-RF Targets Energy Self-Sufficiency By 2012

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SEPT. 27, 2006--Gov. James Doyle in a news conference at UW-River Falls on Wednesday announced that he is targeting the campus to become energy self-sufficient by the year 2012.

Doyle, accompanied by UW System President Kevin Reilly, toured the state by airplane, making similar announcements on the campuses of UW-Green Bay and UW-Stevens Point. UW-Oshkosh also was selected by the governor to go "off the grid."

"With ongoing increases in the cost of energy, now is the time for Wisconsin to take control of our energy future. By committing four of our campuses to energy independence by 2012 we are tapping into the ingenuity of the UW System and laying the groundwork for a cleaner, more energy independent future in Wisconsin."

Doyle told about 200 persons who attended the announcement, "UW-RF is obviously a natural to be selected for this pilot. This is a campus that has been devoted in so many different ways to conservation and to renewable energy.

"This is a campus that is a model in the country for recycling, and a model in the country for green building."

He said the initiative's intent is to have the campus produce as much energy as it consumes. By using innovative energy generation methods and buying "green" energy produced by local utilities without the use of fossil fuels, the campus is expected to break even on its energy costs in five years.

According to the Governor, his staff will work with UW-RF to develop an energy plan and then seek money from the Legislature as a front-end investment in technologies and research. He said the money will be recovered by cost savings.

"We're doing the right thing in River Falls and doing the right thing across Wisconsin. Now it's up to us to take the next step forward. I'm really proud of all of you here," Doyle told the students, faculty and staff.

"This is going to be up to your planning and ingenuity. This is going to be a great campus project. We hope that in your classrooms and in your laboratories you will be discussing and focusing on how to make this campus energy independent."

In a written statement, UW-RF Chancellor Don Betz responded, "We couldn't be more pleased with Gov. Doyle's announcement that he has designated us to become a self-sustaining campus.

"Sustainability is a way of life at UW-River Falls. We believe that sustainability is a core value as well as a practical objective that should be pursued in many ways both on our campus and in the St. Croix Valley region that we serve.

"Sustainability should be ecologically based, so that we are good stewards of our natural resources. Sustainability should be sociologically oriented, so that people and communities are able to live and work and contribute to society in meaningful ways. We believe that sustainability also should be economically driven, so that society benefits from new efficiencies that generate savings to be reinvested in other productive ways to enhance our communities.

"This designation will motivate us to rededicate ourselves to modeling the way on sustainability, whether the benefit is to other institutions or to communities. We embrace the trust that has been placed on us to lead the way, to achieve success, and to share our successes with others," the chancellor said.

UWS President Reilly noted, " The campuses selected to be pilot partners in this initiative are leaders in energy conservation and sustainability. I commend the campus leadership and all those in the communities of UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-River Falls, and UW-Stevens Point for keeping sustainability as a university priority. Some of these campuses are pioneers in using 'green power' - and others plan to do so in the very near future. I congratulate these campuses for their aggressive conservation efforts, and I commend their persistence in seeking out new renewable energy options. "

Doyle's backdrop was a new $35 million UW-RF Student Center, which is scheduled to open in January. Doyle cited as an example of UW-RF's innovative commitment to sustainability.

The facility will be 40 percent more efficient than similar contemporary student centers. It includes a 48,000 gallon storage capacity of collected rain water that is used for grey flush water. The structure incorporates natural building materials, with a white roof to reflect sunlight, along with many other features. An educational kiosk will also be on display in the Great Hall, which will monitor various elements of the building's resource consumption.

Among the other UW-RF sustainability strengths are:

·Sustainability principles incorporated into a half-dozen majors and minors, with the concept to be included in many more academic offerings.

·Creation of a Sustainability Committee that will work with the state agencies and public partners to investigate such steps as developing wind energy power plants on campus, pursuing solar generation, employing green roofs on buildings, reviewing purchasing processes for recycled goods, and investigating the most efficient methods to transport people and goods. UW-RF's current strategic planning process has identified developing a sustainable campus as one of 10 goals.

For more information about UW-RF's efforts, visit www.uwrf.edu/sustain .

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UW-River Falls Sustainability Fact Sheet

Sept. 27, 2006

·UW-River Falls has a rich history of supporting sustainability both on campus and in its service area of the St. Croix Valley. The University defines sustainability principles in their broadest context of economic, ecological, social justice, and human and physical resources that meet current needs without decreasing opportunities for future generations.

·A campus Sustainability Council is fully exploring all aspects of this issue: curricular and co-curricular programming, and operations and maintenance practices to develop policies, procedures, programs and benchmarks.

·Faculty and staff are working with Wisconsin Public Power Inc., Xcel Energy, and non-governmental organizations to form partnerships to create opportunities for academic programming, and installation and implementation of alternative energy generation. Recommendations for action will be made by December.       

·UW-RF is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Further, the campus is reviewing becoming a signatory of the Talloires Declaration, which is a statement outlining sustainability values and practices embraced by hundreds of national and international universities and colleges. The UW-RF Student Senate has recommended the campus adopt this declaration for a sustainable future.

·Sustainability principles are incorporated into many courses at UW-RF. The University offers a major and minor in Environmental Science and incorporates the principles into majors and minors in Conservation, Geology, Land Use Planning and Agriculture Engineering Technology, as well as a minor in Hydrogeology. Graduate academic offerings include a certificate program in Wildlife Recreation and Nature Tourism, and a master's degree option in Sustainable Community Development.

·UW-RF's current strategic planning process has identified developing a sustainable campus as one of 10 goals. The process will identify three sustainability initiatives with nine tasks for implementation. These could include such activities as focusing on changing behavior on campus and in the region by further infusing the principles into majors and minors, as well as general education courses.

·The strategic plan will investigate such tangible steps as developing wind energy power plants on campus, pursuing solar generation, employing green roofs on buildings, reviewing purchasing processes for recycled goods, and investigating the most efficient methods to transport people and goods.

·The strategic plan will investigate such tangible steps as developing wind energy power plants on campus, pursuing solar generation, employing green roofs on buildings, reviewing purchasing processes for recycled goods, and investigating the most efficient methods to transport people and goods.

·In January, the campus will open its new $35 million Student Center, which is a model of sustainability. Funded in its entirety by students, the budget includes $1 million dedicated to sustainability measures. All phases of the new Student Center have an emphasis on this concept. The Ames Building, which previously occupied the site, had over 90 percent of its contents recycled. The Student Center construction process required that almost all construction waste materials be separately recycled. The majority of building materials came from less than 500 miles, reducing energy costs for transportation to the building site.

·Student Center design elements include a 48,000 gallon storage capacity of collected rain water that is used for grey flush water. The structure incorporates natural building materials, with a white roof to reflect sunlight, along with many other features. The design will result in a 40 percent energy reduction compared to other contemporary student unions. Additional sustainability elements include cleaning chemicals that are Green Seal certified as well as water saving cleaning equipment. An educational kiosk will also be on display in the Great Hall, which will monitor various elements of the building's resource consumption.

 ·UW-RF Students have actively encouraged energy conservation. Last spring semester the Student Senate, ECO Club, and several residence-hall based student groups encouraged students to be energy efficient, which resulted in a 7 percent reduction in water, heat and electrical consumption in housing. The education program is being continued this academic year for the 2,500 students who live on campus.

·UW-RF has continued its energy efficiency monitoring for more than 30 years. Lighting and flooring replacement projects in residence halls are contributing to energy savings, as well as reducing maintenance and replacement costs. Toilets and light fixtures have been replaced with energy and resource efficient fixtures in academic buildings.

·The campus has an extensive recycling program. In 2005, the campus recycled a combined 185 tons of plastic and Styrofoam containers, paper products, and food waste. Thousands more items also were recycled, including: batteries, tires, oil, computer components, appliances, light tubes and incandescent bulbs, and pallets. Over 150 cubic yards of compost and chipping were produced.

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Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:34 Central Daylight Time

 

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