Western Sustainability Awards

Nominations for the 2015 Western Sustainability Awards are now open! Please submit your nominations here. Winners in each of the four submission categories will receive $1000 from the Sustainable Action Fund to support their sustainability efforts.
Please submit your nominations here.

To honor the Western community's commitment and efforts to achieve sustainability, the Office of Sustainability, Sustainability Advisory Committee, and Western administration recognizes and celebrates the achievements of various individuals, groups, programs or projects that make important contributions to Western Sustainability.

The Western Sustainability Awards are your chance to highlight endeavors
which are moving campus toward national leadership in sustainability.

The concept and practice of sustainability is part of the mission statement and strategic plan of WWU, and is exemplified in academics, student life, operations, and connection to the greater community. Western is recognized for its campus-wide efforts through national rankings such as the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System, the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes, and the EPA's Green Power Partnership. Our accomplishments are due to the actions of faculty, staff, students, administrators, and community neighbors and friends throughout the campus, Whatcom County, and the world.

2012: Nominees | Recipients

2011: Nominees | Recipients

2012 Western Sustainability Award Recipients

2012 Sustainability Award in Academics: AMSEC Solar Project Team

amsecThe AMSEC Solar Project Team is being recognized for:

  • Creating Innovative work on improving the efficiency of luminescent solar concentrators.
  • Working as a team of five faculty and over a dozen student researchers to bring about advancements in solar technology.
  • Being awarded a $970,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's SOLAR program to further this research.
  • Team includes: David Patrick, John Gilbertson, Janelle Leger, Brad Johnson, Stephen McDowall, all the many students associated with this project.

[ Learn More About The AMSEC Solar Project Team ]

2012 Sustainability Award in Operations: Miller Hall Renovation Team & Energy Savings Company Project Team

miller hall renovation teamThe Miller Hall Renovation Team is being recognized for:

  • Gaining the Western's first LEED Gold Certification for a campus building.
  • Excellent collaboration between the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget and Woodring College of Education.
  • Creating a 30% drop in electricity use and a 40% drop in heating use through this project.
  • Team includes: Rick Benner, Ed Simpson, David Willett, Michael Henninger, Carole Morris, and Diana Rosen.

escoThe Energy Savings Company Project Team (ESCO) is being recognized for:

  • Creating for the first time at WWU, a campus-wide energy and water conservation project, spanning 28 buildings.
  • Creating an annual savings of $230,000 rising to $370,000 annually in ten years.
  • Team includes: Greg Hough, Sandy Fugami, Don White, Gary Jordan, Mike Ulrich, Chris Hadley, Gayle Shipley, John Kingsford-Smith, Steve Morrow, William Harrison, Gail Kuromiya, Gary Carlton, Francis Halle, Fred Ramage, Adam Lenard, Martin Reed, Joe SueWing, Honorary team member: Tim Wynn

2012 Sustainability Award in Student Life: Students for Sustainable Water

custodialStudents for Sustainable Water (SSW) is being recognized for:

  • Initiating an effort to address the issue of bottled water on campus.
  • Presenting information on bottled water to residence halls and Western classes to increase awareness on how the use of single-use plastic water containers clog landfills among having other negative environmental impacts.
  • Giving students tools to become more sustainable in their plastic consumption by providing free reusable water bottles and educating folks on the location of the new bottle refill stations across campus.
  • Drafting an advisory student ballot initiative for the removal of bottled water from campus.
  • Acting steadfast in commitment to their ideals, and the collaborative nature by which they achieved their goals.
  • Team includes: Members of Students for Sustainable Water.

[ Learn More About Students for Sustainable Water ]

2012 Sustainability Award in Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Gary Bornzin

utsDr. Gary Bornzin is being recognized for:

  • Being a voice for sustainability education for decades and acting as one of the first sustainability educators to emerge on campus.
  • Placing sustainability-related themes at the center of his teaching.
  • Providing leadership for the development of sustainability across the curriculum, both at Fairhaven and through his campus wide work.
  • Designing and teaching the Visioning Sustainable Futures course for over twelve years, and helping students to move beyond learning about the environmental crisis to finding solutions.
  • Creating the long-standing class Science and Our Place on the Planet: Sustainability.
  • Creating curriculum that students overwhelmingly find valuable, inspiring, empowering, and life changing.
  • Acting as a longtime advisor for WWU's Outback Experiential Learning Site and providing key leadership to make the OELS into a campus locus for student-driven learning, including the expansion of organic gardens, restoration of a native riparian wetland, and hosting countless workshops on permaculture methods and green building techniques.
  • Leading the Applied Human Ecology and Sustainable Systems class for several years.
  • Sponsoring and mentoring student explorations of sustainability concepts via Independent Study Projects (ISPs). During 2011-2012, alone, he sponsored 26 sustainability-related ISPs.
  • Acting as a member of the WWU Sustainability Committee since its inception in 2005.
  • Challenging us all to imagine the world we want to inhabit and to working for social justice and a healthier, more livable world through his teaching, advising, and community outreach.

[ Learn More About Dr. Gary Bornzin ]