UNK begins sustainability master plan

SustainabilityUniversity of Nebraska at Kearney is embarking on a process to develop its first sustainability master plan. Verdis Group, from Omaha, has been engaged to guide planning efforts and has experience working with both University of Nebraska-Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Center on their sustainability efforts.

Faculty and staff will soon receive an email survey to begin the evaluation, self-study and planning. Chancellor Doug Kristensen invites the campus community to engage in sustainability master planning efforts, as good stewardship of resources is one of UNK”s mission imperatives.

As part of the sustainability master planning process, UNK will measure key performance indicators related to energy, water, waste and recycling, transportation, and other items. UNK will then set sustainability goals and prioritize strategies for achieving them. Faculty and staff will be engaged throughout this process through survey, meetings and discussion opportunities.

Facilities Management and Planning Director Lee McQueen described sustainability as a strategy for success that simultaneously emphasizes social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility. Sustainable decision-making benefits people, the planet, and profits, allowing present and future generations to thrive, he said.

Equipped with its first sustainability master plan, UNK will position its students, faculty, administrators, and its operations to advance in a healthy, responsible, and long-lasting environment, McQueen said.

The scope of work and timeline for the Verdis effort includes surveying the campus to determine campus perceptions later this month, then open forums so appropriate groups have opportunities for input in March, with public presentation of the final plan this fall (2015).

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?Please complete the UNK Sustainability Survey for a chance win one of four $30 gift certificates to Target!

The anonymous survey takes roughly 7 – 10 minutes to complete and asks for your input regarding sustainability at UNK (i.e. actions and decisions that are environmentally, socially, and financially responsible, benefiting present and future generations of people). Information provided will be used in the development of the Sustainability Master Plan for the campus.

Contact: Kelly Bartling, Communications and Community Relations, 308.865.8455, bartlingkh@unk.edu

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