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Celebrating Earth Day

Letter to the Editor | Monday, April 21, 2008

Dear Members of the Notre Dame Community,

The University of Notre Dame is committed to incorporating energy conservation and environmental stewardship in its institutional goals. The Energy and Environmental Issues Committee has been a driving force behind many of these green initiatives at Notre Dame.

Undoubtedly, the biggest environmental news of this year is the creation of the Office of Sustainability. The office was established the first of the year and its director, James Mazurek, is scheduled to start May 1. Mr. Mazurek joins Notre Dame from Accenture, where he served as a partner in the Corporate Strategy Group for Utilities, Energy and Government Practices. He brings valuable experience in developing and executing sound sustainability strategies.

The Office of Sustainability will build institutional learning capacities to support continuous improvement in building design and operations, landscaping, procurement, energy and water conservation, waste disposal, recycling and service provision. The University has generously provided the office with a $2 million green loan fund to provide capital for environmental improvements in both campus buildings and operations, illustrating a long-term commitment to sustainability efforts.

Sustained collaboration between many groups within the Notre Dame community has demonstrated the University’s dedication to energy and environmental issues. It is our hope that this interest will gather momentum in the wake of the upcoming Presidential Forum on Sustainable Energy.

Throughout the year, we have sponsored initiatives such as Game Day Recycling, the Green Summit and RecycleMania in order to spread awareness and inspire change. Institutional changes are most effective when coupled with personal conservation measures. We encourage all members of the Notre Dame community to examine current practices and not to underestimate the importance of simple actions such as turning off the lights, powering down computers, and recycling bottles, cans and paper.

Happy Earth Day.

Lourdes Long

Colleen Kelly

Energy & Environmental Issues Committee

April 21