Faculty, staff and students - If you've ever wanted a chance to impact the future of the UNO campus, now is the time!
This past November, members of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Sustainability Committee launched the university’s first Sustainability Master Plan.
The plan, which was facilitated by the Verdis Group and led by representatives from across campus as well as the Omaha community, identifies new policies and practices that can be implemented by UNO that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, financially feasible and will benefit the campus now and into the future.
To share this plan, members of the Sustainability Committee are holding a series of seven brown bag sessions over the next seven weeks to highlight each of the areas identified in which UNO is commited to sustainability. The plan, with an executive summary, can be found here.
The goals of the sessions are to share the strategies outlined in the plan and to seek input on prioritization and implementation. We can't make our campus better for the next generation of students without your help!
The first session, being held on Jan. 28 in the OPPD Community Dialog room of the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will focus on the topic of Community Engagement.
As one of UNO’s three strategic goals, community engagement is often associated with UNO’s signature service days or the UNO Service Learning Academy. However, community engagement is key to the effectiveness of UNO’s new Sustainability Master Plan.
The brownbag session will provide faculty, staff and students with an emphasis on community engagement to learn more about UNO’s plan and to share their ideas with the committee.
Some highlights from the Sustainability Master Plan include:
Where We’ve Been
- UNO is nationally recognized for its community engagement efforts, recently earning the Presidential Award as part of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and a reclassification as a Carnegie Community Engagement institution – effective through 2025.
- UNO is also a long-time partner with the Green Omaha Coalition, with faculty and staff having served on its Board of Directors. UNO is also a host site for many Green Omaha Coalition meetings and events.
- UNO’s Mammel Hall is home to the Nebraska Business Development Center, which helps Nebraska businesses implement sustainable practices.
- UNO partners with the Omaha Public Power District to host an Academy of Sustainable Environments and Renewable Energy for students each summer.
Where We’re Going
- Continue to build and maintain the wide number of community relationships UNO already has with businesses, nonprofits and government entities in order to leverage UNO’s academic expertise to solve community problems
- Utilize UNO’s new Center for Urban Sustainability to foster new partnerships that specifically address issues of sustainability in city environments including waste water treatment, carbon emissions, recycling and more.
- Improve awareness of sustainable alternatives both on campus and in the community through dialogue sessions and increased levels of applied research that can then be implemented locally
Dates and topics of the forums are as follows:
January 28 (OPPD Dialog Rooms) – Community Engagement
February 4 (Rooms 201/205) – Energy, Buildings and Emissions
February 11 (Rooms 201/205) – Water and Sustainable Sites
February 18 (OPPD Dialog Rooms) – Materials, Waste and Recycling
February 25 (OPPD Dialog Rooms) – Campus Culture
March 4 (OPPD Dialog Rooms) – Campus Planning and Mobility
March TBD (Rooms 205/209) – Academics and Research
For those unable to attend this or any of the upcoming forums, please feel free to contact one of the Sustainability Committee co-chairs: Jonna Holland, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Patrick Wheeler, at email@example.com.