Skip to content
Sustaining Pacific logo

  • Print

Pacificans receive funding for sustainability projects

May 22, 2018

New water bottle refill stations. Treadmills that run on people power. Energy-efficient LED lighting and waste stations that expand collection of compostable materials.

These were among the initiatives announced at the Sustainability Month Garden Party last month as candidates for Sustainability Project Investment Funds (SPIF). 

The following five projects were approved for funding from the SPIF. Most of them involved collaborative efforts by staff from more than one department.

  • Installation of water bottle refill stations at the DeRosa University Center and the Chambers Technology Center — proposed by Arlene Brown from the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement and Lourdes Reyes from School of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Four non-plug-in treadmills for the Baun Fitness Center — proposed by Pacific Recreation's Marc Falkenstein.
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting retrofits in the Reynolds Art Gallery, Baun Fitness Center, Khoury Hall, Monagan Hall and Olson Hall — proposed by Physical Plant's Joel Feaver.
  • Installation of a three-bin (trash, recycle, compost) collection system in the Library — proposed by Mary Somerville, university librarian.
  • Reconfiguration of the waste station in the DeRosa University Center — proposed by Jessica Bilecki, sustainability director, in collaboration with Bon Appétit.

SPIF was established in 2012 to support projects that improve sustainability at Pacific. Collectively these projects help the university save money, reduce consumption of electricity, decrease landfill waste, educate about sustainable practices, contribute to health and make it easier for people to make responsible decisions.

The LED lighting retrofit is expected to pay for itself in three years or less. Previously funded LED lighting retrofits are conservatively estimated to save the university more than $200,000 per year.

Student with Muir journal

Last fall, 800 first-year students received a John Muir Observer Journal as a result of a SPIF project. The journal connects students with Muir's legacy and invites them to fill the pages with their own observations or creations, helping them become more aware of the environment and encouraging its preservation.

Other SPIF-funded projects have included the installation of numerous water bottle refill stations, which help reduce waste from single use plastic water bottles. Existing refill stations have refilled more than 200,000 water bottles, potentially keeping as many disposable bottles from entering the waste system.

SPIF funds have been awarded for research on a living wall, outdoor tables with solar charging capability, and establishment of the Kitchen Co-Op, a fully equipped kitchen and dining space available for student use. Each year the Co-op sponsors healthy cooking demonstrations and related activities. This past year there were 27 reservations for use by students and student organizations.

Do you have an idea for a sustainable project that would benefit the university community? A call for SPIF applications will go out early in the fall and will be posted on the Sustaining Pacific webpage

Join University of the Pacific on: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Youtube