U of M Will Spotlight Sustainable Technology Initiatives October 7 University News
For release: September 8, 2008

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

Sustainable Technologies Awareness Day will be celebrated at the University of Memphis on Tuesday, Oct. 7.  The free event will be held on the Student Plaza, directly in front of the Administration Building, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The campus-wide event will encourage environmental awareness, inquiry, and activism among students, faculty, and staff.  It will feature the numerous eco-friendly initiatives that have been developed by the University and by its community partners. 

It is sponsored by the Center for Biofuel Energy & Sustainable Technologies (BEST), a group of faculty from various U of M colleges who want to promote causes that will improve the quality of life for future generations through sustainable energy systems and practices.  Key partners include the Herff College of Engineering, the Master of Public Health Program, Marketing and Supply Chain Management, and the Environmental Research Center.

President Raines will spearhead the event at 9:30 am that day by dedicating a new Physical Plant sustainability initiative projected to save the University $2 million dollars over the next five years. The new technology will contain state of the art equipment and a computer-driven pumping system to provide better, more efficient cooling to campus buildings.

Sustainable Technologies Awareness Day will feature current and planned sustainability initiatives at the University of Memphis and by our partners. These include BEST’s Biodiesel Production Unit, funded by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, that will convert recycled cooking oil from the Tiger Den dining facilities into biodiesel fuel for use in university generators, vehicles, and the Physical Plant.  

Residence Life will showcase plans for the new West Hall, the first and most sustainable (“green”) public building to be constructed in the state of Tennessee.  Student groups from Public Health, the Environmental Action Club, and the Ecologic Research Center will focus on recycling and other actions that reduce health risks, improve our environment, and improve our economy.

Other participating organizations from off-campus will include the West Tennessee Center for Clean Cities Coalition; the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department; the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy; Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW); the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA); and the University Neighborhood Development Corporation.

The event supports U of M President Raines’ signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, committing our University to develop a plan to achieve carbon neutrality through efforts such as reduced energy use, green building, and recycling.  A campus-wide Sustainability Committee, led by Dr. David Cox, is working in support of that goal. 

For more information on Sustainable Technologies Awareness Day, contact Dr. Marian Levy, public health, by phone at 901-678-4514 or by email at mlevy@memphis.edu, or Dr. John I. Hochstein, mechanical engineering, by phone at 901-678-2173 or by email at jhochste@memphis.edu

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