The Physical Facility Department’s involvement in sustainability unofficially started in 1989 with the creation of Miami’s Recycling Program. Campus contests led to the launch of the Recyclemania Competition in 2001. Working with other departments across campus, PFD continues to advance waste diversion, starting food scrap composting and single stream recycling in 2012.
PFD has had a similar long involvement in energy conservation. Exceeding the state’s 10 year reduction goal of 20% per square foot in 2014, Miami’s campuses demonstrated a reduction of nearly 22%. In terms of energy consumption, the total decreased, even while square footage increased over 25% during the period.
Starting with Farmer School of Business in 2009, much of Miami’s green growth follows LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building principals. These include not only energy concerns, but areas such as indoor environmental quality, water conservation, access to alternative transportation, natural hydrology, and rain water management. Miami’s LEED credentialed buildings and otherwise “greened” construction projects enhance both the look and performance of the campus, and how we move around it. Prime examples of LEED can be found clustered in new dining and residence halls on Western Campus , supported by the Geothermal Heat Exchange Facility.
PFD added the position of Director of Sustainability and Energy Conservation to its administrative team in 2011 to make further advancement with Miami’s Sustainability Commitments and Goals and to create a Sustainability Office. The Sustainability Office supports an active student organization, called the Green Team, and it provides practitioner experience to enhance related academic studies for graduate and undergraduate students.
Miami’s and PFD’s sustainability progress is facilitated via numerous employee-generated Lean process improvement projects and through coordination with Miami’s Sustainability Committee.
Miami’s holds a Silver sustainability rating through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (AASHE STARS). The report, which documents sustainability progress across all higher education activities (education and research; planning, administration, engagement; and operations) was first submitted in March 2013, and will be updated in March 2016.