David Gore Named Campus Sustainability Coordinator

photo of David Gore

Eastern Kentucky University’s new campus sustainability coordinator says his first priority this year is to establish a composting program and raise awareness about the many environmental efforts underway at EKU.

David Gore, who served as a grants and contracts administrator and then environmental technologist with the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet from 1990 to 2008, assumed his new responsibilities Feb. 7. For the past year, the 1987 EKU graduate has assisted the Eastern Kentucky Environmental Research Institute at EKU.

Alice Jones, chair of EKU’s Committee on Responsible Environmental Stewardship and director of the Eastern Kentucky Environmental Research Institute, said the addition of the sustainability coordinator position “signals a welcome serious commitment on the part of the University for sustainability.”

Noting that EKU Facilities Services began extensive recycling efforts two decades ago, Gore said, “We want this year to be the year we start composting.”

The University currently recycles “everything it possibly can,” Gore said, specifically citing plastic, aluminum, cardboard and construction site waste. “The rest goes to the landfill, but we’re going to try to keep it here and compost it.”

The reduction in tipping fees and transportation costs to the landfill will mean an immediate and significant cost savings for the University, Gore noted.  Already, the University has identified a location on its Meadowbrook Farm in eastern Madison County as its choice for a compost site.

The compost initiative is part of a broader sustainability strategy at the University. “We want to look at sustainability as a business model,” he said.

Meanwhile, many offices and units on campus have been working in recent years toward “greener” practices:

·         The most prominent University-wide examples is the Siemens Energy Savings Performance Contract, at $27 million the largest such contract in the history of the Commonwealth. The project, begun in 2008 to promote long-term sustainability, reduce the University’s impact on the environment and dramatically reduce EKU’s utility costs, is funded entirely through guaranteed energy savings and does not require additional taxpayer dollars. To be completed this year, it is expected to trim the University’s annual utility budget by more than 40 percent while also reducing Eastern’s environmental footprint.

·         EKU’s Information Technology (IT) operation has earned national recognition as a “green” innovator, earning three mentions in an article entitled “Thirty Tips for Going Green with IT Operations and Equipment” in the June 2010 edition of University Business magazine. For example, IT configures all desktop machines to go into power saver mode after a time of non-use. Also, in recent years, the University has eliminating printing of payroll checks, grades, student invoices and financial aid letters, made many University forms web-based and the University directory available only online. Also, IT has moved individual servers to a virtual server environment, dramatically reducing power consumption.

·         Many campus offices organize events or lend support to the University’s annual Earth Days in the Cumberlands celebration, coordinated by the Eastern Committee for Responsible Environmental Stewardship, established in 2005 to help guide EKU toward greater environmental stewardship and greener practices.

Published on February 22, 2011