Resource consumption is necessary to support our educational mission. It is also an increasingly visible reflection of university values of effectiveness and efficiency. We will push our already best-in-class programs to a unique level of excellence and bond these programs to our educational mission.
UT Austin enjoys a significant level of recognition for its efforts in resource conservation. Staff, faculty and students widely recognize that conservation is fundamental to institutional operations, both for efficiency and for minimization of environmental impact. We have an immense amount of control over our consumption and output. In the campus survey, the respondents displayed consensus, with over 70% placing high priority on energy efficiency and renewables, water conservation, waste minimization and green buildings. These items appeal to our campus as tangible successes in resource conservation.
The culture of efficiency long pursued by the UT Austin utility in energy production has been purposefully extended to other resource areas as addressed in the Natural Resources Conservation Plan. These efforts are driven equally by an interest in conserving funds as in conserving resources. Higher levels of distinction can be achieved in areas of existing high performance such as energy, water, resource recovery and green building. New opportunities for distinction are readily attainable in fleet operations, landscape and green purchasing.
A living lab program can be made richer by viewing it as a means of enhancing the experience of campus at the individual level, specific to an individual's role on campus. This adds value and recognition to the skill our staff bring to their role on campus, while benefiting students. In addition, students, staff and faculty will see more clearly the institution's commitment to managing resources wisely.
The goals establish high bars within each resource area, but all attainable through strategic investment and dedicated campus practices.