This question is the elephant in the room for us. Penn State University owns an enormous amount of property, runs one of the highest energy bills in the state, uses vast amounts of water, tens of thousands of people, and schools about 80,000 students each year. That's a lot of resources to move that comes with a sizable ecological footprint.
How does something so big move on a more sustainable path?
How does it reduce its carbon footprint when its main campus is running on coal, some of which has recently been traced to mountain top removal?
How do you mobilize employees to become less wasteful? To reduce, reuse, and recycle?
What research is and can be coordinated at a university to reduce its and its graduates' ecological impact and expand human capacities within reason?
How do you try to get sustainability into the broader curriculum?
The list can go on and on.
Today we are going to learn how some of this, and much more, is happening. We have the good fortune of hosting Erik Foley-DeFiore, Penn State's Manager of Sustainability (pictured at right with his co-workers Milea Perry and Lydia Vandenburg). Hired last year, Foley-DeFiore has an MBA from St. Francis University and has worked extensively on funding enormous wind power projects in Pennsylvania. He was recently elected as President of the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium, a coalition of over 50 Pennsylvania colleges and universities that have made a commitment to sustainability in some fashion.
Listen today from 5-6 pm on The Lion 90.7. Call in to ask questions at 865-9577.