News Category: sustainability

UEM team applies stewardship to replacing 40-year-old chiller at PRC

Sept. 13, 2021

A project to install a surplus chiller at the Pickle Research Campus (PRC) involved multiple teams from Utilities and Energy Management (UEM).

Students support Zero Waste efforts with signage and database guidance

Resource Recovery interns Devia Joshi, Gabrielle Lopez, Melanie Albrecht, Sylvia Asuncion-Crabb, Naomi Hagy, Eeshana Hamed and Lauren Smith were responsible for rolling out signage across campus in summer 2021.
Sept. 1, 2021

Achieving Zero Waste, a 90 percent reduction of waste sent to the landfill, is a long-term goal of the university. Although the reduction goal has not been accomplished yet, Resource Recovery Manager Bobby Moddrell said that the Zero Waste Program in Facilities Services’ Resource Recovery unit has recently taken additional creative and tested steps toward achieving the goal through a Green Fund collaboration.

Office of Sustainability’s CEC leads student-facing sustainability efforts

Diego Allison picking up an Upcycling Kit
May 26, 2021

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, the Campus Environmental Center (CEC) student organization serves as a student voice for sustainability initiatives across campus, according to Environmental Center Coordinator Brianna Duran.

Landscape Services partners with University Housing and Dining and South Asia Institute to create South Asia Garden

A blue pottery water feature at the South Asia Garden
April 27, 2021

While the Landscape Services Installation team often participates in landscape rehabilitation or other special projects, they shine when afforded the opportunity to use historical and horticultural knowledge to find landscape solutions. Such an opportunity arrived when University Housing and Dining (UHD) Sustainability Coordinator Neil Kaufman asked for a unique planter for the South Asia Garden.

Landscape Services plants gardens, supports pollinators with campus partners

A bumblebee collects pollen from a coneflower
Aug. 24, 2020

The Pollinator Program launched by Facilities Services’ Landscape Services unit started as a way to encourage pollinators such as butterflies and bees to visit the UT Orchard located at San Jacinto and 24th Street. Urban Forestry Supervisor Jennifer Hrobar, who now manages the Pollinator Program, was inspired by discussions with Landscape Services colleagues who wanted to use milkweed plants to entice monarch butterflies to visit more areas of campus. She applied for a grant through Tree Campus USA in 2016 that provided the funds needed to install the university’s first official pollinator garden at the UT Orchard.

UEM earns platinum-level PEER renewal certification

2020 PEER Platinum icon
July 10, 2020

Utilities and Energy Management (UEM) has again earned Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification by Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI), this time at the platinum level. Over the past 15 years, UEM has emerged as a university utilities leader, winning numerous awards and becoming the world’s first PEER-certified campus in 2014.

Landscape Services’ greenhouses: year-round planting for the future

Landscape Service employees show beautifully grown flowers in the greenhouse
Jan. 17, 2020

Do you ever think about where campus plants come from? Thanks to the efforts of Landscape Services’ greenhouse staff, families are being created in the landscape--plants you see in one area may be direct descendants of a plant in another area. Plants given out at events may have a parent living and growing on campus, and newly installed plants may have been moved across campus rather than being discarded. Refreshing, reusing and recycling of plants happens every day since greenhouse production ramped up in 2016.

Resource Recovery interns contribute to UT’s zero waste effort

Resource Recovery Interns group photo
Jan. 9, 2020

Student interns with Resource Recovery, a branch of Facilities Services that includes Zero Waste and Surplus Property, continued to target reductions in UT Austin’s solid waste stream this past semester through multiple diversion efforts. As demonstrated in their presentations delivered recently on campus, the students collectively put in over 1,300 hours to help the university move closer to its sustainability goals for the campus.

Volunteers practice stewardship at Waller Creek Cleanup

Volunteers help to cleanup Waller Creek at the EHS biannual event
Nov. 7, 2019

The Waller Creek cleanup, hosted by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), is a biannual event that depends on campus students, faculty and staff volunteers to collect debris and trash from the one-mile stretch of the creek that runs through campus. On Saturday, November 2, volunteers committed their time to cleaning up the segment from Dean Keaton St. to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Fifteen volunteers collected 221 pounds of trash, including chicken wire and even a syringe.

Teaming up for UT’s Texas Arbor Day event transforms campus creek

UT Landscape Services team and staff team up to for Texas Arbor Day 2019
Nov. 6, 2019

UT Austin's Landscape Services hosted the university's observance of Texas Arbor Day on November 1, with a planting event at the UT Orchard by Waller Creek (west side of 24th Street and San Jacinto). The event was part of ongoing stewardship efforts by UT Landscape Services to transform stretches of Waller Creek that run through campus, improving the safety, sustainability and health of this riparian ecosystem by removing invasive, overcrowded vegetation and replanting with native plant species.