Campus News

Big Blue Goes Green ... Again


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2013) — In recent years, the University of Kentucky has made significant strides in its efforts to create a more sustainable university.

Only a few weeks ago, for example, the university accepted a commercial rebate check of more than $1 million from Kentucky Utilities as a reflection of its energy savings. KU awarded the rebate in recognition of the replacement of aging, less efficient equipment.

Departments and programs campuswide gather every year to show how the university contributes to a more sustainable campus, state and nation. Now in its seventh year, Big Blue Goes Green, a popular interactive showcase of those sustainability initiatives, is slated 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9,  in the Frank Harris Grand Ballroom of the UK Student Center. If the past is any indication, hundreds of students, faculty and staff will attend to learn more about their sustainable university.

The goal of BBGG 2013 is to introduce students, faculty and staff to the wide variety of sustainability-related efforts at UK, and to recognize the work of the individuals and units responsible for these programs.  The event is a great opportunity for these program leaders to let the campus community know what they are doing to promote environmental stewardship, social well-being, and economic prosperity on our campus, in our Commonwealth, and beyond.

BBGG is hosted by the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment (TFISE) and the Student Sustainability Council.

“UK embraces a broad, inclusive and evolving definition of sustainability that focuses on the intersections of environmental, social and economic issues,” said Shane Tedder, UK sustainability coordintor. “We have exhibits that highlight opportunities and initiatives from four general areas of campus: academics and research, operations, student initiatives and community outreach.”

In addition to the campuswide showcase, there are several special events planned for the day. Every activity is free and open to the public.

At noon, there will be a showing of the film “Every Seventh Person” in 363 Student Center. Between 2002 and 2005, filmmakers Elke Groen and Ina Ivanceaneau interviewed in three Chinese villages and documented everyday life – without censorship. At the same time, the inhabitants of the villages shot their own short films about their hopes and their dreams. An exceptional portrait of life in China, away from the urban and industrial centers. The title references the fact that statistically, every seventh person in the world is a Chinese farmer.

The 3rd Annual TFISE Research Showcase will be held 4:30-6 p.m. in the Student Center Small Ballroom to highlight accomplishments of UK’s faculty and students who conduct interdisciplinary research in environmental and sustainability science and policy in the following major areas: environmental science, environmental and public health, economic and social policy, manufacturing and materials science, and engineering and design.

The day ends with Arnim Wiek, the keynote speaker. Wiek received his doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 2005 and is currently an assistant professor in ASU's School of Sustainability. He serves on the boards of the International Sustainable Development Research Society and the International Sustainability Conferences. Wiek has conducted sustainability research on urban development, land use conflicts and resource management in several European countries, Canada and Sri Lanka, and has researched sustainable governance of nanotechnology and nuclear power as well. His methodological research has focused on the question of how research between scientists and non-academic partners from government, business and the civil society is initiated, facilitated and institutionalized to support sustainability transitions.