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Alliance for Sustainability
The Alliance for Sustainability is a Minnesota-based, tax-deductible nonprofit supporting model sustainability projects on the local, national and international levels. As part of its gala 20th Anniversary Celebration, the Alliance for Sustainability initiated its First Annual Sustainability Awards to recognize individuals, groups, and institutions that have been exemplary leaders and made significant contributions to sustainability – which the Alliance defines as being ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane (embodying our highest values in terms of how we treat animals, people and the Earth).

UTMB was recognized by the Alliance Board for the First Annual Sustainability Awards May 13, 2004
(http://www.allianceforsustainability.net).
University of Texas Medical Branch (academic and health institution) – Galveston, TX

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB ) was established on Galveston Island in 1891 as Texas' first medical school. Today it is the 10th largest medical center in the nation with four schools, seven hospitals, two institutes, and numerous research facilities. The University occupies approximately one hundred buildings with a staff of thirteen thousand.

Its motto is, "UTMB here for the health of Texas and the environment." UTMB established an energy conservation/recycling effort more than a decade ago--a program that has become a model of sustainability. Today, it has evolved into the UTMB Resource Conservation Initiative-a plan charged specifically with protecting the earth's finite resources so that future generations can lead clean, healthy lives.

In an effort to share its "Earth while" experience with the public, UTMB offers all employees, students, patients, visitors and area residents the opportunity to participate in its environmental/conservation initiative, some accomplishments of which follow.

  • Energy
    – A campus wide, four-phase, $12 million energy retrofit (high-efficiency lighting, power factor correction, water-conservation equipment, boiler economizers, low-nox burners, new chillers and remodeled cooling towers); each phase is paid for with the energy savings and cost avoidance from the initial investment.

  • Recycling
    – Galveston Partners in Composting: UTMB has joined with the City of Galveston and Moody Gardens to compost massive amounts of plant material. This unique program, started with grant funding, has become a model for others.

  • Environmental Programs
    – Storm Water Pollution Prevention: To educate for “non-point source pollution,” UTMB has stenciled 180 storm drains on campus with a shrimp silhouette and the message “Dump No Waste, Drains to Bay.” The City of Galveston plans to mark its storm drains as well.

  • Environmental Education
    – Green Teams: UTMB volunteers in each building encourage cultural change through promoting energy-management/recycling activities and provide related information in their departments. This effort is critical, as it sustains the programs in place, educates new employees on the university’s environmental practices and promotes cultural change.

Among the awards UTMB has received are:

  • One of the best work places for commuters, according to the Houston/Galveston Area Council; 2003

  • Recycling Leadership Award for Outstanding Environmental Public Education and Community Outreach from the Recycling Alliance of Texas; 2003

  • Environmental Vision Award for Community Relations from the Houston Corporate Recycling Council; 2001

 

 

Date Posted: 09/30/2004

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