Western Sustainability Awards

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

2015 Western Sustainability Award Recipients

2015 Sustainability Award in Academics: Western Gallery & Paul Brower

amsecPaul Brower is being recognized for:

  • Creatively reducing the Western Gallery’s electricity consumption by adapting the gallery’s lighting system to be compatible with energy-efficient LED fixtures.
  • Reducing the Western Gallery’s lighting energy use by 89% and saving an average of 7,998 kWh of electricity per year.
  • Accomplishing this project for under $4,000, when it was projected to cost $80,000.

[ Learn More About The Western Gallery ]

2015 Sustainability Award in Operations: Facilities Management & the Puget Sound Energy Rebate Team

miller hall renovation teamThe Puget Sound Energy Rebate Team is being recognized for:

  • Innovatively optimizing building efficiency in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls.
  • Decreasing kWh in multiple campus buildings.
  • Receiving $246,000 in rebates from Puget Sound Energy for their work.
  • Saving an additional net amount of $30,000 per year in annual utility costs.
  • Team includes: Greg Hough, Chris Hadley, Holli Marie Brawley, Fred Escher, Don Holland, Gerry Vermeulen, Barry (Richard) Wolten, Scott Dorough, Stan Wolf, Seth Crawford, Mark Harrison, Patrick Russell, & Billy Walker

[ Learn More About The Puget Sound Energy Rebate ]

2015 Sustainability Award in Student Life: Climatefest & Jill Macintyre Witt

custodialThe Climatefest Team & Jill Macintyre Witt are being recognized for:

  • Planning and implementing Western’s first climate change conference, Climatefest.
  • Raising awareness to climate issues and inspiring others to take positive action for a stable climate.
  • Over 300 people attended the conference. Speakers included a personal video message from former Vice President Al Gore.
  • Award received by: Grace Wang, Kathy Patrick, Blanche Bybee

[ Learn More About Cilmatefest ]

2015 Sustainability Award in Community Partnership: Soap for Hope & Kim Masser

utsKim Masser is being recognized for:

  • Reducing waste and enhancing human health and dignity.
  • Collecting and consolidating partially used containers of laundry soap and personal care items to redistribute to nonprofit organizations. She now distributes 15 boxes of products each year.
  • Engaging others to get involved in her work. Partners have included WWU Dining Services, the AS Recycle Center, and Zero Waste Western.

2015 Sustainability Award in Local Initiatives: The Northwest Indian College Foodscaping Team

utsThe Northwest Indian College (NWIC) Foodscaping Team is being recognized for:

  • Modeling food sovereignty for Northwest Indian College students and staff, as well as the Lummi Nation.
  • Making local, organic, and traditional foods more accessible.
  • Demonstrating outstanding collaboration with NWIC’s science faculty, Indigenous Service Learning Office, NWIC Cooperative Extension, Lummi Natural Resources, Commodity Foods, student interns, and the EPA EcoAmbassador Grant program.
  • Team Includes: Ane Berrett, Brian Compton, Na'ta'ne Miles, Carol Wilson, Paul Cline, and Nathanael Davis

[ Learn More About The Foodscaping Project ]

2015 Western Sustainability Awards Keynote Speaker


Awards speaker: Courtney Martin, author of the Western Reads Book of the Year, “Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists”.

Courtney is a widely-read freelance journalist and regular blogger for Feministing. She is a Senior Correspondent for The American Prospect Online and her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and the Christian Science Monitor, among others.
Courtney consults with social justice organizations throughout the nation, including the Ms. Foundation for Women, the National Council for Research on Women, and the Bartos Institute for the Constructive Engagement of Conflict. She has conducted workshops for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty throughout the nation. Please see more about Courtney @