Campus has a new Office of Sustainability

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Sustainability was officially launched last week.

“Our intent is to harness the diversity, knowledge and enthusiasm of the university’s students, faculty and staff to promote a campus that studies sustainability and implements what is learned in campus practices,” says Craig Benson, a professor in the College of Engineering, one of two Office of Sustainability co-directors, at a kickoff event on March 9.

The Office of Sustainability is the implementation of the campus Sustainability Initiative, one of two campus-wide initiatives in the 2009-14 Campus Strategic Framework.

In 2010, a 17-member task force, aided by eight working groups composed of faculty, staff and students, developed a comprehensive set of recommendations related to sustainability at UW-Madison. The Office of Sustainability, growing out of these recommendations, serves all aspects of campus and is responsible for promoting and linking practices related to education, research and campus operations.

“Sustainability needs to become an integral part of the fabric of campus, the identity of what it means to be a Badger,” says Faramarz Vakili, campus director of sustainability operations.