Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

MU Adds New Sustainability Coordinator Position, Committee

Coordinator, committee will support and coordinate Mizzou's efforts to 'go green'

April 17, 2009

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Since 1990, campus energy expenditures at the University of Missouri have been reduced by 12 percent. Energy costs have decreased by $4 million annually, and emissions have been reduced by 96,000 tons. Recycling programs for paper, electronics and drinking materials have emerged. End-of-the-year dumpster waste has been reduced through a campus-wide rummage sale, and many other programs encouraging individuals to be aware of their environmental footprint have been initiated.

In an effort to enhance program synergy and improve on this foundation, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton announced today that the duties of the current recycling coordinator will be expanded to include oversight of campus sustainability efforts under the new title of sustainability coordinator. The coordinator will work to identify, coordinate and support existing programs, develop communication strategies in support of campus sustainability, and identify and encourage more sustainability initiatives throughout the campus.

"I am very proud that we have so many sustainability efforts underway across the campus, but I think it is very important that we have a coordinated approach and an open dialogue as to how we can enhance these efforts in the months and years ahead," Deaton said. "Sustainability is not just about what we do here on campus; we must continue to incorporate sustainability in the classroom and in MU Extension programs across the state. We must take knowledge gained through our research and prepare our students as well as the state's citizens on the best ways to protect our planet."

Deaton also announced that he would expand the role and charge of a current standing committee - the Environmental Affairs Committee, to include sustainability. The Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Committee will make recommendations to the provost on the development of policies for environmental and sustainability issues; develop formal and informal mechanisms for improved education to enhance environmental and sustainability awareness; and provide a biannual sustainability report to the chancellor. The current committee is composed of representatives from faculty, staff and students who are recommended for appointment by Faculty Council, Staff Advisory Council, the Missouri Students Association and the Graduate Professional Council.

Finally, the campus administration will adopt a statement in support of sustainability:

The University of Missouri is dedicated to environmentally sustainable policies and practices that promote responsible stewardship of existing resources and the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, acquiring and using energy-saving, environmentally friendly and renewable/recyclable resources and materials; providing educational programs, resources and incentives for sustainable practices by students, faculty and staff; participating in recycling programs and the safe disposal of materials; researching and testing new sustainable initiatives; and taking proactive steps to preserve and protect natural resources. Each unit or department within the university is encouraged to evaluate current policies and practices on a regular basis with the goal of adopting or improving sustainability.

"I will ask The Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Committee to review this statement and recommend any changes for permanent adoption by the campus administration," Deaton said.

These actions come following recommendations from a task force convened by Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Jackie Jones in July 2007. The task force reviewed various practices on campus and throughout the state; met with students, faculty and staff over an 18-month period; sought information from experts in the field; and developed the recommendations for campus administrators.