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 weekly brown bag sessions that highlight each of the areas in which UNO is committed to sustainability, and your input is needed to make our future more sustainable!
Campus and community members are invited to come and provide input to help make our future more sustainable. This strategic focus area affects everyone.
The next session will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, in the OPPD Dialogue Rooms, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will focus on the topic of Campus Culture. Students, in particular, are encouraged to come provide input on how they want to be involved to ensure a sustainable future.
As one of UNO’s top five academic priorities, sustainability is viewed not just as changes to campus facilities or operations, but also as a critical area of study that will be necessary for decision-making in a wide variety of future careers. The desire to make sustainability part of everything we do at UNO is seen as the key to achieving the 2050 goals.
Where We’ve Been
- In 2008, Chancellor John Christensen supported the formation of a new UNO Sustainability Committee, which has helped usher in the Sustainability Master Plan
- Steve Rodie was hired in 2014 as the director of the Center for Urban Sustainability, which will provide guidance on sustainability-focused curriculum options and research
- Students currently learn about UNO’s sustainability practices during Freshmen orientation and are encouraged to take advantage of transportation programs like MavRide and the Omaha bike-share program.
Where We’re Going
- Student involvement in the future of the campus is key to making these changes happen. More opportunities and engagement options for student involvement will be designed and implemented including first-year immersion programs, volunteer opportunities, and more.
- A sustainability progress dashboard will be developed to inform Omaha and the rest of the country about the progress being made on campus.
- Providing additional communication to students about educational offerings and courses that focus on sustainability practices and highlighting these offerings during new student orientation.
- Develop training materials and sustainability guides to quickly and easily inform faculty and staff members who are looking for ways to be sustainable on campus.
- As changes are implemented and UNO’s goals take shape, sharing the good work being done on campus through award entries and regional or national recognition will be key.
More ideas explored on this topic can be viewed in the Sustainability Master Plan, which is available online. The section devoted to Campus Culture covers pages 86 through 94.
- March 4 – Campus Planning and Mobility
Weitz CEC OPPD Dialog Room, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- March 13 – Academics and Research
Mammel Hall Room 319, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
- March 18 – Energy, Buildings and Emissions
Weitz CEC Room 116, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.