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ND creates office for environment awareness

Katie Peralta | Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In its efforts to continue sustainability and environmental awareness, Notre Dame has created the Office of Sustainability, and had named James M. Mazurek as its first director.

Mazurek, a Notre Dame graduate, will begin at his new post May 1.

The new office, which was created in January, will focus on University building efficiency and carbon strategy, among other environmental issues, said junior Lourdes Long, a representative to the Energy and Environmental Issues Committee.

“[The office was created] to focus on energy and environmental action on campus,” Long said. “It will develop a sustainability strategy for Notre Dame.”

Long said the plans for the office’s implementation have been in the works for about a year, and that she is excited about Mazurek’s appointment as the office’s first director.

“He’s very passionate about Notre Dame,” Long said. “He cares about issues in sustainability.”

The University administration is similarly passionate about Mazurek’s appointment.

“As Notre Dame progresses toward becoming a more environmentally responsible campus, I am certain Jim will provide the necessary leadership and expertise as we strive to reach our goals,” University President Father John Jenkins said in a statement.

Mazurek’s appointment is especially important “as Notre Dame builds its green program and aspires to be recognized as a global leader in this area,” vice president for business operations James Lyphout said in the statement.

The Office of Sustainability, Long said, will be granted a $2 million loan to sponsor environmental improvements on campus.

Long said the loan will fund many types of energy programs, from building improvements to research initiatives.

Mazurek, who majored in mechanical engineering as an undergraduate at the University, earned his masters degree in environmental engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, Long said.