Sustainability achievements to be highlighted in State of the University address

Speech coincides with the annual National Campus Sustainability Day
Sustainability achievements to be highlighted in State of the University address

Published Oct. 16, 2013

Lynn University President Kevin M. Ross will include details about Lynn’s sustainability achievements and ongoing efforts to reduce the university’s environmental impact during his annual State of the University address at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 - National Campus Sustainability Day.

Over the last few years, the university has launched several strategic programs to increase the sustainability of its operations. Ross will update the campus community on these efforts.

“Improving the sustainability of your operations is not a fad or vague concept that you pay lip service to,” Ross said. “It’s an industry best practice that reduces an organization’s environmental impact while also decreasing fixed costs.”

Strategic sustainability projects

New Central Energy Plant

Lynn’s new Central Energy Plant is being built and will begin operating in early 2014. It is a key component of the university’s $10.7 million energy efficiency program with Siemens Building Technologies Division, the largest single-phase project of its kind at any university in Florida. The effort is designed to ensure 30 percent utilities reduction, among other sustainable benefits. The plant will cool water and then send it to air conditioning units around campus in a “chilled water loop” to help them provide more efficient climate control, and it plays a role in achieving LEED certification for the new International Business Center due to open in the fall of 2014.

New dining service’s sustainability focus

Lynn recently changed its food service vendor which brought with it a complete makeover of the dining experience. Additionally, the new vendor, Sodexo, a partner to more than 850 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, is a good match for Lynn’s Going Green program and is committed to reducing waste, conserving water, using green cleaning products and focusing on foods and materials produced locally. Sodexo’s 14 Better Tomorrow Commitments are a focus of its practices and the organization will work with the Lynn community to conserve water use, increase recycling of waste and work with suppliers to identify and implement source-reduction opportunities. For example, Sodexo is using 65 percent post-consumer recycled wares and bamboo ware at the remolded Christine’s bistro.

A popular sustainability practice introduced by Sodexo is the reusable drink and meal containers available for purchase at the Elmore Dining Commons. They can be used for takeout so students, faculty and staff can grab a meal or drink on the go while saving on the use of disposable wares.

Olewine Preserve

Lynn’s campus includes an 11.59-acre preserve on the southwestern portion of its campus for native Florida species of plants and animals. This preserve is cleaned and maintained by Lynn students participating in the university’s Citizenship Project and members of the sustainability committee. It will be officially dedicated as the Olewine Preserve, named for university friend Benjamin Olewine III of Harrisburg, Pa., and Boca Raton, Fla., on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. His generous $1 million gift created Lynn’s new entrance on Potomac Road, the back perimeter road and relocated the preserve. The preserve’s relocation is a major part of the city-approved master plan because without these activities much of the campus expansion could not be realized.

Water Bottle Initiative 

Lynn’s Campus Sustainability Committee will begin rolling out its water bottle initiative across campus on Nov. 1, Lynn University’s Founders Day. Committee members will start to distribute reusable water bottles to the entire community that can be used at several hydration stations strategically positioned in high traffic areas around Lynn's campus. The goal of this effort is to reduce the number of plastic water bottles used on campus by providing a convenient way for the Lynn community to always have fresh water available.

These and other sustainability efforts are highlighted on the Going Green page available on the university’s intranet site, myLynn.

Lynn University’s sustainability efforts are just a few of the items that will be discussed in the annual State of the University address. Several other updates and new information about forthcoming projects that affect the Lynn community will also be mentioned.

The speech will be streamed live on Wednesday, Oct. 23, beginning at approximately 12:45 p.m.