Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

UW-Whitewater improves sustainability

Sustainability at UW-Whitewater

UW-Whitewater’s weekly “News and events” announced on Oct. 2 that the Rock County campus has made huge strides in its efforts to make the campus environmentally sustainable. 

The email shared that Rock County reduced its energy use by 29%, and carbon emissions by 55% (compared to their emissions in 2005). 

Tom Ness, the facilities manager at Rock County, is the one who has been leading the charge in making the Rock County campus more sustainable. Currently his most important project is replacing all the lights in the school with LED bulbs. The idea of replacing the lights in the school first began with Ness’s predecessor, Mike Connor.

Ness said he got involved when he “learned how much energy we saved by just converting or swapping out a fixture it became really exciting.” 

In addition to switching the bulbs to LED, Ness has also undertaken several other sustainability projects around campus, including switching off heating and AC in the buildings when they are empty, creating more prairie spaces on campus that don’t require mowing, and ensuring lights are turned off in empty rooms. 

Ness said that the projects are entirely funded by the facilities maintenance budget with some help from the Rock County local government. 

However, Rock County is not the only UW-Whitewater campus trying to become more sustainable. 

Wes Enterline currently stands as  the sustainability director at the Whitewater campus. 

Enterline described UW-Whitewater as being ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability. Similarly, he discussed how early Whitewater created the position of sustainability director compared to the rest of the UW System. 

“Overall, we were, I think, the second to have a position like this,” said Enterline. 

Enterline’s main goal throughout the years has been to get students engaged with sustainability, and has then channeled this student labor into several sustainability projects, including the campus garden and greenhouse, teaching children how to garden, monitoring local waterways, and working to restore the local environment. 

Enterline hopes to do even more in the future; he is currently preparing a sustainability report for Chancellor Corey King, and hopes the report will allow him to embark on even more ambitious sustainability projects.9

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Blake Erwin
Blake Erwin, Community News Editor

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