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Sustainability

The Committee for Sustainability promotes a culture of sustainability on the TU campus. The committee facilitates research, learning opportunities, policies and practices that address environmental, economic and social responsibility.

We serve as a connection for all members of the campus community – including faculty, staff and students – to advance policies and projects and participate in processes that lead to a more sustainable future.

Cenergistic Partnership

University of Tulsa President Gerard Clancy and the TU Board of Trustees have announced a partnership with the Dallas-based energy conservation firm Cenergistic to implement a new energy sustainability program that will increase technology, scaling capacity and organizational continuity among the university’s physical plant systems.

Cenergistic services will help TU redirect money from utility costs to improve classroom technology by managing energy and sustainability initiatives in TU Physical Plant. TU has a long history of engaging in sustainability projects including reducing water consumption among common campus areas, eliminating paper usage by moving to electronic records, installing solar panels, implementing recycling initiatives and adding educational content to its website about off-campus conservation strategies. TU also is home to a sustainability committee featuring faculty, staff and students who encourage campus engagement and conduct environmentally friendly research. Teaming up with Cenergistic reinforces TU’s priorities on further reducing energy usage, capturing additional cost savings and providing more resources for the Physical Plant staff.

“Our partnership with Cenergistic will help us close funding and personnel gaps, allowing us to spend our budget where it matters: providing students an exceptional education with the appropriate resources, said Jason Grunin, TU assistant vice president of business and energy. “Every dollar we save on energy helps us further the environment, experience and education of our students.”

new partnershipTwo energy specialists will be deployed to TU, equipped with Cenergistic’s Ceres cloud-based, machine learning software, which includes real-time alerts, to augment optimization of TU’s equipment and energy usage across all university buildings and facilities. Cenergistic also provides remote and onsite engineering and measurement and verification experts.

“Cenergistic is thrilled to partner with The University of Tulsa to implement our Energy Sustainability program. With our full-time onsite energy specialists equipped with the latest software working to ensure all facilities and systems are functioning at peak efficiency, coupled with an organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation, we believe the university will see great success in both cost and energy savings,” said Dr. Randy Hoff, vice chairman of Cenergistic. “It is our mission that, with help from everyone in the organization, we will create a culture of sustainability that will progress into the future.”

The Energy Sustainability Program will help TU qualify its buildings for ENERGY STAR® certification with the Environmental Protection Agency. University officials also look forward to strengthening the mindset of conservation and a culture of sustainability among staff and students prompted by the Cenergistic partnership.

About Cenergistic

For more than 30 years Cenergistic has helped over 1,400 K-12 districts, universities and government municipalities find more than $5B in hidden electricity, natural gas and water savings by applying sustainability as a service solution on their campuses. Superintendents, CFOs, COOs and board members can reduce energy and water spending by up to 25% annually with no capital investment, while improving the comfort and quality of classroom and building environments, helping students and employees achieve their full potential. For ten consecutive years, Cenergistic has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year. To learn more visit www.cenergistic.com.

Committee for Sustainability

Jason Grunin – (President), Assistant Vice President of Business and Energy Conservation

Angie Williams – (GA for Sustainability) Museum Science and Management Graduate Student

Jeremy Garrison – (President of Students for Sustainability) Undergraduate Student

Kevan Buck – Executive Vice President

Devra McManus – Administrative Associate to the Executive Vice President

Chad Settle – (Professor) Economics

Bob Shipley – Associate Vice President for Operations and Physical Plant

Steve Wilkins – WFF Manager

Mike Neal – Director of Dining

Lauren Wagner – TURN representative

Nick Salis – (Associate AD) Athletics

Steve Tipton – (Professor) Mechanical Engineering Department

Lara Foley – Center for Global Education

Student Groups and Campus Engagement

Sustainability Committee: Institution has an active student organization focused on sustainability.

Sustainability website and newsletter: Established April 2007 and includes administrators, students, faculty and staff from most stakeholder departments on campus including dining services, physical plant, purchasing, Janitorial Services and Administration.

National Energy-Environment Law and Policy Institute (NELPI): An initiative of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, in collaboration with The University of Tulsa, serves public interest through education and research in energy, natural resources and environmental law and policy (REEL) Certificate Program)

Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Society (REELS) and certificate program: Law School (3 research asst/speakers on campus) –  TU premiere Energy /Environmental Law School – REELS is currently working on TU become a nationally recognized energy law school with respect to traditional and alternative energy sources and their concomitant legal issues. Furthermore, efforts are being made to make the law school more environmentally friendly. Contest anticipated for first-year law students whereby teams will identify policies, procedures, and practices which the law school can change in order to reduce its environmental impact, thus saving resources and money. REELS assisting in re-design of outdoor student lounge on the east side of Mabee Legal Information Center. The plan is to incorporate recycled materials, xeriscaping, and solar and/or wind energy technologies.

Earth Matters: A group of students who goal is working to promote sustainability and environmental activism on and around campus. Earth Matters meets weekly and plans and hosts activities including speakers and Free Veggie Lunch Day.

Faculty Engaged in Sustainability Research

Indoor Air Program – Richard Shaughnessy, Research Associate

Collins College of Business –  Tim Coburn

Sustainable Energy and Resources Law – Gary Allison

Engineering and Natural Sciences – Jim Sorem

Chemical Engineering – Tyler Johannes (Algae Biofuels, Synthetic Biology)

Chemistry – Dale Teeters (Nanochemistry and Materials Chemistry as they apply to Battery Electrode and Electrolyte Materials)