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February 2017
Sustainability News
Sustainability Summit featured Food Security, Funding ideas

This is an image of Indiana University.

The second IU Sustainability Summit took place Friday, February 3, at IU Bloomington. Representatives from almost every IU campus attended to share ideas for best practices, funding, degree programs, community outreach, and more.

Participants heard several presentations, including University Director of Sustainability Bill Brown’s talk on the Indiana Sustainability Development Program.

The program, which will be piloted this year, will create a network of sustainability  professionals throughout Indiana, a listening tour to learn about workforce development needs and desired employee competencies, an intensive training workshop to teach those competencies to IU students, and an externship program to place well-trained students in organizations throughout Indiana.

“We want to create an ecosystem where we retain the best and brightest sustainability students in Indiana after graduation,” Brown said.

The first workshop will be held the second week in May for highly qualified students in sustainability and culminate in paid externships for students at Indiana businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and other entities with a need to elevate their sustainability expertise.

The program will be piloted with IU Bloomington students in its inaugural year, but will likely branch out to include all campuses in the future.

IUPUI plans commercial food waste composting route

This is an image of IUPUI compost.

Several Indianapolis businesses will be taking steps to be more sustainable in 2017 with the help of IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability’s commercial food waste route.

The route, which is being planned in collaboration with Butler University, was the 2016 winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) "Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE!". The two universities will split the $50,000 prize to start a commercial composting route, starting at both university dining halls, and eventually expanding to Indianapolis businesses.

“There are very few private or city provided commercial food waste routes in Indiana, and there are none in Indianapolis,” IUPUI Sustainability Director Jessica Davis said, adding that she hopes this route will prove to the city the route is necessary.

Along with the route, the Office of Sustainability will be collecting data for a monthly report on the amount of food waste saved to give the public a more concrete cost comparison.

Before IUPUI can do that however, they have to recruit local businesses, selecting participants who believe in the idea. Currently, IUPUI and Butler Sustainability are putting together an action plan and finalizing the details with the waste hauler, Ray’s Trash.

While the one-time cash prize will jump start the project, Davis said the goal is to make the route sustainable by bringing on enough businesses willing to pay to compost.

“We’re asking companies to pay to do what’s right, so we want to make doing the right thing accessible for all,” she said.

IU South Bend’s Sustainability Showcase in the Works

This is an image of IUPUI compost.

IU South Bend is planning to provide a new bridge between its campus and the South Bend community through its Sustainability Showcase.

The Showcase will be a one-block site for teaching, demonstrating, and enjoying sustainability. Currently, it is an under-utilized space at the University.

“We’re hoping to inspire by example,” said Director of the Center for a Sustainable Future Krista Bailey. “People can come and see that sustainability is possible for people living in the city and that it has financial and health benefits.”

The Showcase is set to have both indoor and outdoor learning spaces and host for-credit classes through IUSB and community classes, she said.

The Center for Sustainable Future put out a request last semester for feedback on the project from the South Bend community and IUSB, and what they found was a demand for classes on farm-to-table cooking, beekeeping, renewable energy, and other hands-on classes.

“We hope to be able to give folks a chance to learn by doing,” Bailey said.  

IU Southbend's Lecture Series Underway 

The Center for a Sustainable Future at IUSB will be welcoming Luis Montestruque on February 22 as part of the Center’s spring lecture series.

Montrestruque, the president and CTO of EmNET, LLC, will be giving a talk entitled “Sewer Pipes That Think: reducing pollution in the St. Joseph River with intelligent sever systems,” according to the IUSB website.

Each lecture functions like a Ted talk, said Director of the Center for a Sustainable Future Krista Bailey. The lecture will last roughly a half hour followed by an interview and audience questions.

All talks are free and open to the public.

Register for the 2017 Food Waste and Hunger Summit

Want to learn more about food security? Sign up for this year’s Food Waste and Hunger Summit.

The Summit is held at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio from March 24-25. Both the Campus Kitchens Project and Universities Fighting World Hunger will be hosting the summit, according to the Campus Kitchens website.

The topics for the event will revolve around how to expand networks to make a bigger impact, diversity in training and learning, and inclusivity in sustainability and food security dialogues.

For further questions, check out the Campus Kitchen website.

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