Western Sustainability is encouraging everyone on campus to continue conservation actions during winter quarter. A poster highlighting the small actions that add up to reduce utilities costs and environmental impact, making Western a better place, is being sent to each mail stop and Residence Hall. The poster provides recognition that everyone’s actions contribute to long-term university sustainability.
The poster, titled “Use Your Power for Good” includes simple actions to reduce electricity and heating energy consumption, cut down landfill waste, and reduce transportation impacts; all practices supporting university sustainability. Departments are asked to place the poster in a common area, and encourage best practices wherever possible. Additional copies of the poster can be requested from the Office of Sustainability. A PDF of the poster is available online. Information and conservation tools are also available on the Office of Sustainability website: https://sustain.wwu.edu/.
Increased enrollment and additional buildings on campus contributed to a rise in carbon emissions between 2007 and 2009. Since 2010, focused attention on energy conservation actions and building systems efficiency are reducing Western’s carbon emissions to below 2007 levels, progressing towards the goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. Tons of CO2 equivalent have declined from a high of 42,000 in 2009 to 36,000 in 2014.
Coordination of conservation campaigns and energy efficiency improvements is an on-going effort of Western Sustainability. The importance of personal action as well as building systems improvements in meeting Western’s utility and CO2 reduction goals was initially outlined Western’s 2008 Climate Action Plan. Energy efficiency improvements in building systems continue to help reduce WWU greenhouse gas emissions. Public information campaigns such as Sweater Days, Power Down, and Go4 the Green residence hall challenge increase awareness and personal action, which are also essential to utilities conservation. Sustainable Office Certification recognizes offices that have assessed their practices as a working group, and every individual is invited to put these actions to use in their daily life as well.