This Year in Sustainability

This Year in Sustainability

May 28th, 2014

With the 2013-2014 academic year coming to a close, the University of Washington Bothell Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability (CACES) would like to thank you all for your continued support in helping our campus remain a model for environmental sustainability. This year marks one of great progress for our campus and our community, and we would like to take this opportunity to share a few of our successes from the past year.

This spring we have seen the completion of our newest building on campus, Discovery Hall, which is LEED registered and targeted to receive a Gold rating once fully operational. It sets a standard for future building on campus, and will vastly expand student opportunities for STEM programming, what with numerous new labs, and innovative collaboration spaces for both students and faculty.

Solar at UW Bothell

In early 2014, we applied for and received a WA State Department of Commerce solar grant for over $550,000, the largest single grant award of the more than $14 million allocated during this round. This funding, combined with contributions from UW Bothell and Cascadia College, will result in nearly 500 rooftop solar panels being installed on our LB2 building over the summer, with an installed capacity of just under 100 kilowatts.

This complements our two 10 kilowatt parking garage solar installations, which have provided almost 60 Megawatt hours of electricity since installation in May 2011. Roughly one third of that electricity has been diverted to our 7 electric vehicle chargers, which provide free charging to EV drivers who pay for parking. The other 41 MWh (and counting!) of power generated is continually used by our garages on site to reduce our utility bills. 

Operational Sustainability

Throughout all UW Bothell buildings, we have removed paper towel dispensers, replacing them with high-efficiency hand driers, saving an estimated 850,000 paper towels per building from future use and disposal. Each hand drier will cost roughly $7 per month in electricity, versus about $500 per month in paper towels for a given building. In addition, by participating in the Shred-it™ secure recycling program, we diverted over 14 tons of paper from the landfill, saving an estimated 240 trees from destruction. Combined with new combined triple-stations for compost, landfill, and recycling placed throughout UW Bothell buildings, we are striving to set new standards for waste management and reduction on campus.

Our continued commitment to keeping our grounds clean and safe remains a key driving force behind our efforts as conscious environmental stewards. Since 2006, our campus has been effectively pesticide and herbicide free, and our gardening staff work tirelessly to manage campus using low-impact strategies. In 2008 we became the 2nd higher education campus in the country, and first in Washington State, to receive Salmon-Safe certification.

We look forward to future challenges and opportunities that await our community, thank you for your continued support!