What Sustainability Can Look Like With Dedication & Vision!

NWEI's Lacy Cagle and Deborah McNamara at one of University of Minnesota, Morris's wind turbines this week
NWEI’s Lacy Cagle and Deborah McNamara at one of University of Minnesota, Morris’s wind turbines this week

This past week NWEI’s Lacy Cagle and I had the great privelege of leading a sustainability leadership retreat with the University of Minnesota, Morris’s Sustainability Leaders for the Future Fellows. We were inspired and impressed to see first-hand how this liberal arts college has managed to reduce its carbon emissions by 10,000 metric tons per year using wind and biomass energy sources – an 80% reduction!

Our time on campus showed us countless examples of sustainable practices in action: A 32-unit solar thermal array as well as two solar photo-voltaic systems (which convert sunlight into electricity and generate more than 30,000 kWh annually), and two wind turbines that produce 10 million kWhs of electrical power annually — meeting 60% of the electrical needs for the Morris campus! The list goes on: there are on-campus gardens (and composting!) contributing food to the dining halls, as well as to-go items in the cafeterias made from compostable potato and corn-based materials. The campus aims to be carbon neutral by 2020 and has already reduced their carbon footprint by 40% since 2005. Needless to say, we were excited and inspired. This is what sustainability can look like with dedication and vision!

We’re also excited to be embarking on more consulting and collaboration projects of this nature. Whether it is facilitating a workshop or one of our discussion courses, the NWEI team is available to support sustainability education and engagement efforts in a variety of capacities. Our areas of expertise include sustainability, sustainability leadership, employee engagement, transformative learning processes and campus sustainability. To find out more about our sustainability consulting services and how we can help you achieve your organization’s goals, click here.
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